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North Kingstown wind project back on track

NORTH KINGSTOWN – The halt to construction of a 380-foot-high wind turbine is apparently over.

After several residents in the town’s Green housing development on Ten Rod Road put a stop to work, a deal recently was reached to get the project moving again. David Darlington, a spokesman for developer Mark DePasquale, said a private resolution with confidentiality agreements had been reached. Specifically, signatures from residents within the development had to be filed with the town. The last of the signatures for changes to their deeds were submitted Friday, Darlington said.

DePasquale subsequently dropped a $25 million lawsuit against seven neighbors for breach of contract. The development has 30 deeds, and DePasquale, who lives in the upscale neighborhood, owns 16 deed and 14 belong to residents.

Work on the project near was halted in April after concerned residents noted that the paperwork hadn’t been filed completely over a land-swap arrangement.

In a letter to the Town Council, eight residents wrote they opposed the turbine because of “the health and safety issues of our families, especially the children, that most concern us.”

To appease objections regarding the visual impact of the project, DePasquale has reduced the height 30 feet to 380 feet. The Portsmouth High School turbine, as a comparison, is 336 feet high. The wind turbine at New England Tech along Route 95 is 156 feet high.

Darlington said the turbine is expected to be finished by the end of the year. About 5 percent of construction has been completed.

The North Kingstown Green turbine is one of two DePasquale aims to build in town. A second at Stamp Farm near Shartner Farm on Route 2 is being delayed after a moratorium on all utility-scale wind turbines was passed in January by the Town Council. The North Kingstown Green turbine wasn’t affected by the moratorium.

DePasquale is a real estate developer and construction company owner. He intends to build other turbines across Rhode Island.