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Cohasset board ends hearings on turbine proposed near Hingham  

Credit:  By Globe staff, www.boston.com 16 December 2010 ~~

Cohasset’s Planning Board on Wednesday closed its hearing on the wind turbine proposed for Turkey Hill, and is expected to make a decision on a special permit for the turbine at a Jan. 12 meeting.

But Jeffrey Tocchio, an attorney for Hingham residents who would live near the turbine, said that approval of the permit would probably result in a lawsuit.

Tocchio said there are shortcomings in the application for the permit, filed by the Trustees of the Reservation. He questioned the non-profit group’s legal authority to construct a for-profit operation on conservation land, the applicant’s failure to demonstrate the need for a 410-foot turbine rather than a smaller one, and the lack of data relating to endangered species.

But Cohasset Planning Board Chairman Al Moore said after the meeting, ‘‘We wouldn’t be doing our job if we were intimidated by people saying, ’We’re going to sue.’ ’’

The project, he said, will be approved if it meets Cohasset’s bylaws, which planners believe it does. Otherwise, the applicant would probably sue, Moore said.

The Sharon-based Trustees of Reservations has proposed a 410-foot-tall wind turbine for its Turkey Hill property. While the site lies in Cohasset, it’s surrounded by Hingham neighborhoods, where residents have raised a number of objections to the project.

Tocchio asked the Planning Board for a 30-day continuance of the public hearing so Hingham neighbors could review all the studies submitted to the town. Hingham selectmen, meanwhile, had sent a letter to Cohasset planners asking that Hingham residents receive adequate time to speak at the hearing.

The Planning Board allowed three hours of comments Wednesday, then closed the hearing shortly after midnight.

Source:  By Globe staff, www.boston.com 16 December 2010

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