It seems the legal challenges and the litigation in connection with Dartmouth’s plans for two wind turbines will continue, based on recent public comments by the opponents’ attorney.
The town just learned its wind turbine zoning bylaw – allowing it to site a facility on municipal land in any zoning district in Dartmouth – has been upheld by the state Attorney General’s office.
Opponents of the turbines said they are still reviewing the attorney general’s ruling, but will fight it.
“It will be contested. The clients believe the windmills don’t belong where they are sited,” said attorney Phil Beauregard.
“If the town applies for a building permit under the new bylaw, it will be challenged,” he said. “It’s not the end of the litigation. It’s only the beginning.”
The Select Board approved a special permit for the turbines and Town Meeting approved $9.5 million in financing for the project.
Opponents have filed a lawsuit in Superior Court in an effort to block construction of the facility.
Town Counsel Anthony Savastano said he thinks the lawsuit is intended to delay and possibly kill the project.
“The challenge to the permit was not valid,” he said. “It was just a means to hold up the project for a period of time until it wasn’t financial feasible.”
In the attorney general’s decision, Assistant Attorney General Margaret Hurley said her office received communications from the opponents, urging them to strike it down.
Select Board member Joe Michaud, a New Bedford lawyer, and Savastano believe the attorney general’s ruling makes the lawsuit moot.
The Select Board is planning to discuss legal strategy with regards to the turbines when it meets in executive session with Executive Administrator Dave Cressman and Savastano Monday prior to the Select Board’s meeting.
According to Select Board Chairman Bill Trimble’s blog, dartmouthhitchingpost.com, the board will discuss “next steps” at the meeting. Those may include contracting with an engineering firm to design the turbines.
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