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ARC will appeal ruling against turbine  

Credit:  By Nicole Muller, The Register, www.wickedlocal.com 27 October 2010 ~~

DENNIS —

Aquacultural Research Corporation is not finished with its attempt to build a wind turbine on its property at Chapin beach in Dennis.

“We will file an appeal in Orleans District Court,” said Gail Hart, vice president of ARC said Tuesday afternoon.

Hart and her business partners Richard Kraus and Susan Machie, will ask a judge to set aside the Old King’s Highway Regional Historic District Commission’s Sept. 28 annulment of the Dennis OKH committee’s decision to allow ARC to construct a 600 kW, 242-foot wind turbine.

Dennis Town Clerk Terri Bunce received a written notification of the Commission’s decision on Oct. 25. ARC has until Nov. 15 to file its appeal.

The Commission’s 14-page document, crafted by attorney Jim Wilson, bears the signature of chairman Peter Lomenzo, who also is chairman of the Dennis OKH committee. That group, on a 3-2 vote Aug. 25, approved ARC’s application for a certificate of appropriateness. Rosemarie Austin of Dennis filed an appeal of the decision Sept. 2, claiming that the town committee used “poor judgment,” failed to exercise due diligence and did not adequately review available information before approving the project.

Lomenzo, who voted against the application, presented the Dennis committee’s procedure at the regional commission’s Sept. 28 hearing.

Opponents maintain that the proposed turbine’s size would have an adverse audio and visual impact on the environmentally sensitive residential area, destroying views from Dennis, Yarmouth and Barnstable.

The written document details the OKH Commission’s public hearing, summarizing the application, ARC’s and Austin’s presentations, Lomenzo’s description of the local committee’s process, public comment, rebuttals from all parties and the regional commission’s decision. Commissioners Patricia McArdle of Sandwich, Richard Gegenwarth of Yarmouth and Patricia Anderson of Barnstable voted to annul the project and deny the certificate of appropriateness, citing poor judgment among Dennis committee members.

Commissioner Lawrence Houghton of Brewster, who served as acting chairman for the hearing, said the Dennis committee did not exercise poor judgment and voted against the motion to annul the local decision.

Lomenzo abstained from the vote.

What’s next?

Last week Dennis selectmen met with their lawyer in executive session to discuss the possibility of the town’s filing an appeal to protect the interests of Dennis residents who would be economically impacted should rising energy costs drive ARC out of business.

This came on the heels of a Barnstable District Court judge’s Oct. 15 decision to uphold the local and regional OKH groups’ rejection of a proposed wind turbine on the Cape Cod Community College campus.

Dennis Selectmen Chairman Paul McCormick told The Register on Monday, “We were considering an appeal, but we have concluded that ARC must file it as the applicant and landowner.” McCormick said that an appeal filed by the applicant would have better standing in court.

“Barnstable’s rejection of the college project is disappointing,” McCormick added. “Old King’s seems not to want any wind turbines in its district.”

Selectman Wayne Bergeron said he sees hope in several differences between the college application and ARC’s. “Barnstable District Court upheld the local committee’s decision, whereas ARC would be going to Orleans District Court to ask the judge to uphold the local decision and throw out the commission’s annulment. Different court, different judge, different decision history. If ARC appeals, we’ll support them.”

Source:  By Nicole Muller, The Register, www.wickedlocal.com 27 October 2010

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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