FAIRHAVEN – A Bristol County Superior Court judge has found in favor of the town of Fairhaven and Fairhaven Wind in the latest lawsuit brought by wind turbine opponents.
The suit was one of two brought by members of the turbine-opposition group Windwise alleging that the town’s lease for the north turbine is invalid because it was built on Lot 9 instead of Lot 8A.
On Tuesday, Judge Angel Kelley Brown found in favor of the town, despite Windwise’ argument that the Zoning Board of Appeals had approved the wrong lot. In December 2012, Judge Lloyd MacDonald also found in favor of the town when Windwise argued that Town Meeting had approved the wrong lot.
All parties to the suit were notified of the judge’s finding on Tuesday evening, but his written decision had not yet been released.
Gordon Deane of Fairhaven Wind said he was also “pleased with the outcome.”
“Even though we have not seen the rationale behind it yet, honestly, it is no surprise for us,” he said. “(Windwise) has tried a number of different arguments against us and different approaches and so far they haven’t won any.”
Deane said he could not say what the decision means in the long run because “I cannot predict what the opposition will do next.”
Ann DeNardis, attorney for Windwise, said she could not comment on the decision without seeing the judge’s rationale.
Fairhaven Selectman Geoffrey Haworth called the decision “great news,” saying he hopes it will end the town’s legal expenses.
“Hopefully we can move onto mitigation rather than going on and on with these legal recourses that seem to be going nowhere,” he said.
However, Haworth said the win was bittersweet because “even though we prevailed in the lawsuit, we have the leftover legal expenses.”
Haworth said the town has spent at least $21,000 on this suit alone.
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