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DENNIS – The town of Yarmouth won’t be able to intervene in a lawsuit regarding a shellfish hatchery’s proposed wind turbine in neighboring Dennis.
Centerville attorney John Kenney, who represents the Aquaculture Research Corp. in Dennis, the plaintiff in the suit, said an Orleans District Court judge turned down Yarmouth’s request for intervenor status.
But the judge is allowing Yarmouth to file a brief in support of Rosemarie Austin of Dennis, who opposes the turbine and is a defendant in the case.
ARC is suing Austin and the Old King’s Highway Regional Historic District Commission. The regional board in 2010 overturned a Dennis historical committee’s decision to allow the turbine, after receiving an appeal from Austin.
ARC is arguing that Austin has no standing in the case and that the regional board substituted its own opinion for that of the Dennis Old King’s Highway Historic District Committee rather than finding fault with the local board’s decision-making process.
In filing for intervenor status, Yarmouth officials have said they are concerned that the town will not have a voice in the case. Yarmouth officials have not taken any official stand on the turbine.
Chase Garden Creek separates the town of Yarmouth from the area by Chapin Memorial Beach in Dennis where the turbine is proposed to go. The town of Dennis was allowed to sign on in support of the plaintiff.
The next hearing on the case is scheduled for Jan. 30, when Judge Brian Merrick will consider ARC’s motion for a summary judgment in the case.
The 164-foot-tall turbine would reach 242 feet at the top of its spinning blades. ARC says it needs the wind turbine to reduce energy costs and remain financially viable.
Neighbors complained about noise and flicker and the risks to seabirds in the area.
If the judge rules that Austin lacks standing, “it would mean her appeal of the Dennis committee would be essentially moot,” Kenney said.
The original decision to allow the turbine would stand, he said. But Kenney said Austin and the regional board would have the right to appeal.
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