December 21, 2011

Yarmouth wants say in turbine dispute

By Cynthia Mccormick, Cape Cod Times, 21 December 2011

The proposal to install a wind turbine at the Aquaculture Research Corp. has turned into a bit of a border skirmish.

The town of Yarmouth is petitioning Orleans District Court to be allowed to argue against the turbine in a lawsuit filed by ARC. The town filed its motion last week.

“We’re direct abutters,” Yarmouth Town Counsel Bruce Gilmore said.

The turbine is proposed for beachfront property at the ARC shellfish hatchery in Dennis, just across Chase Garden Creek from Yarmouthport.

Dennis town officials support the concept of the 164-foot-tall wind turbine, saying the shellfish hatchery needs the wind power to reduce its energy costs.

The Dennis Board of Selectmen voted to sign on as an intervenor with the plaintiff in the ARC’s lawsuit against Old Kings Highway Regional Historic Commission and Rosemarie Austin of Dennis, who represents a group called Save Our Beaches.

Yarmouth owns Grays Beach and Bray Farm right across from the ARC property in Dennis, Gilmore said. He said the town is concerned with the turbine’s impact on recreational and historic properties.

“The main thrust of the motion is that Rosemarie Austin has no standing to have appealed the local Dennis committee’s decision,” Gilmore wrote the court.

The Dennis Old King’s Highway Historic District Commission approved the wind turbine, but that decision was reversed in September 2010 by the historic district commission’s regional appeals board.

Yarmouth officials are upset that they received no notice of the project when it went before the Dennis Old King’s Highway Historic District Commission, Gilmore said.

ARC has filed for a summary judgment in its case against the regional appeals board and Austin.

The town of Yarmouth needs to have its interests represented in the case, he wrote, especially since Austin is not represented by counsel.

The hearing in Orleans District Court is scheduled for Jan. 9.

Austin said Save Our Beaches is made up of 50 dues-paying members who oppose the turbine, which would reach 242 feet at the tip of its highest blade.

[rest of article available at source]

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