FAIRHAVEN – The fate of Fairhaven’s north wind turbine now rests with Superior Court Judge Lloyd Macdonald following a hearing on a motion that could result in the turbine’s removal.
Twenty-three members of Windwise, a group opposing the town’s two turbines, filed suit against Fairhaven in December, alleging that the north turbine’s lease is “invalid.”
“The May 2007 Town Meeting specifically authorized the selectmen to sign the lease for one turbine on Lot 8 and one turbine on Lot 8A,” Windwise attorney Ann DeNardis said. “The north turbine was placed on Lot 9, which was never authorized by specific vote.”
At the Oct. 25 motion hearing, DeNardis decided to forgo a jury trial and asked Macdonald to decide the turbine’s fate.
Macdonald has yet to render a decision on the issue, something DeNardis said could take weeks.
If the judge finds in Windwise’s favor, “the turbine would have to be taken down and Lot 9 would have to be restored to its original condition before trees on the land were cut,” DeNardis said.
Town Counsel Thomas Crotty did not respond to requests for comment.
DeNardis said that if the north turbine were taken down, it would “not be easy” for it to be erected on the approved lot 8A because there would have to be another wetlands review.
She said she was optimistic that the judge would rule in Windwise’s favor, but that if he did not, “I can appeal it to a higher court.”
“If someone is dissatisfied with a verdict, you always have that option,” she said. “But for now, we are just waiting.”
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