DARTMOUTH – The town will ask opponents of a wind turbine project to drop their lawsuit and will seek its dismissal in Superior Court if they don’t.
Town counsel Anthony C. Savastano said at Monday’s Select Board meeting that he believes the neighbors’ lawsuit does not have merit now that a new zoning bylaw for wind turbines, which was passed at Town Meeting, was upheld on Sept. 13 by the state Attorney General’s office.
Neighbors contend in the lawsuit opposing the two wind turbines off Chase Road that they were not properly notified about the project.
Savastano said the bylaw gives Dartmouth the right to erect turbines in any zoning district when they are built on town lands.
But the attorney for the neighbors, Philip N. Beauregard, said Monday night they will continue to oppose the project.
He said that it is not a suitable location for the turbines.
The Select Board also approved a special permit to construct the turbines following a lengthy series of public meetings in January.
Savastano said Monday night he believes the new bylaw makes the lawsuit and special permit “moot.”
“We will taking that position in court as well,” he said.
Savastano said he will be contacting the neighbors’ attorney this week about dropping the lawsuit.
If they don’t agree to voluntarily drop the lawsuit, he said the town will go to Superior Court to seek its dismissal.
Savastano also said during the interview the neighbors would not be successful if the town obtained a building permit for the turbines and they contested it.
“It will cost them and the taxpayers’ money,” if they contest it, he said.
Beauregard questioned whether the town is withdrawing its special permit, explaining he doesn’t know if they are, based on Savastano’s comments.
“If they clarify (their position) and surrender the special permit, then we will agree the suit is moot,” he said.
“The key thing is whether they intend to proceed under the new bylaw. If they do, it will be challenged.”