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Opponents of Fairhaven wind project take their fight to court  

FAIRHAVEN – In a civil suit filed against the town last week, a group of 11 residents is asking the court to overturn the Planning Board’s approval of a two-turbine wind project.

“These turbines are going to be placed unreasonably close to these residences, to these homes,” said Ann DeNardis, who is representing the plaintiffs. “It is an unreasonable burden that these plaintiffs are being asked to bear for the benefit of the entire community – and the benefit of an individual developer in particular.”

Developer CCI Energy is proposing to erect two 397-foot wind turbines on town-owned land adjacent to the waste treatment plant on Arsene Street.

The complaint, filed June 4 in Bristol County Superior Court, alleges the proposed wind turbines will “detract from the character of the neighborhood, including the scenic, historic and historical values of the neighborhood,” thus decreasing the plaintiffs’ property values.

Planning Board members were “improperly biased” in CCI Energy’s favor, the complaint alleged, a “taint of bias” that violated the abutters and other public hearing participants’ due process rights.

The complaint also detailed concerns about noise levels, the effect the project might have on the town’s bike path and the adequacy of the town’s setback bylaw.

Ms. DeNardis, on behalf of a similar group of residents, also filed an appeal of the Conservation Commission’s order of conditions with the state Department of Environmental Protection.

The department conducted a site review May 29 but has not issued a decision yet.

Developer James Sweeney, president of CCI Energy, said residents have every right to appeal decisions.

“Yet I don’t believe there’s anything valid in what they’re arguing for other than my belief that it’s a delay tactic,” he said.

The project’s investors are committed to moving forward with the project despite the delays, according to Mr. Sweeney.

However, the delays may force a switch to turbines about 66 feet taller than the ones currently proposed in order to make up the financial losses associated with the delay, he said.

CCI Energy is evaluating its legal options before deciding how to proceed, according to Mr. Sweeney.

By Charis Anderson
Standard-Times staff writer

southcoasttoday.com

10 June 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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