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FAIRHAVEN – Complaints about the building permit for Fairhaven’s wind turbines will go before the Zoning Board of Appeals in March after a Windwise plaintiff filed an appeal, the town’s building commissioner said.
The move is the latest in a series of actions to stop construction of the two 400-foot wind turbines being built off Arsene Street.
On Wednesday, Wayne Fostin said he had received the appeal and that a March 6 zoning hearing would be scheduled. Abutters will be officially notified of the date and time, he said.
Fairhaven resident and Windwise member Donna McKenna officially filed the appeal through Ann DeNardis’ law office, according to DeNardis. McKenna is the only individual able to do so, because she is the only one who received a response to concerns sent to the building office, she said.
In December, approximately 160 people signed a letter challenging specific zoning actions for the town project, including the validity of the building permit. According to the official process, the building commissioner must respond to such a complaint before the matter can be appealed to the zoning board.
But DeNardis said only McKenna, the letter’s first signature, received a response from Fostin. Although she believes each person who signed the letter should have received a response, DeNardis said McKenna was forced to move ahead on her own because she only had until Wednesday to officially act.
In response, Fostin said his understanding, per town counsel, is that he is only obligated to respond to the person who sent the letter to him and that is the first name on the list.
In a related court case, about 21 plaintiffs were denied an injunction on the wind project in New Bedford Superior Court last week. In that decision and an earlier one, the court has told plaintiffs that zoning concerns must first be brought to the town’s appeals board before the court can act on them.
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