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CHARLESTOWN â€“ Despite the fact that the Whalerock case was settled Thursday with the townâ€™s purchase of the property on Kingâ€™s Factory Road, a Superior Court judge filed a ruling Friday stating that the town of Charlestown is an aggrieved party in the case.
In April, Washington County Superior Court Judge Kristin E. Rodgers issued a lengthy decision relating to the Whalerock proceedings ultimately remanding the case back to the Charlestown Zoning Board for a decision on Whalerockâ€™s application to erect two wind turbines in the town, and ruling that the town did not have standing in the case because it was not an â€śaggrieved party.â€ť
The town filed a motion May 22 for the court to reconsider its decision that the town was not an aggrieved party, which is defined as â€śany person or persons or entity or entities who can demonstrate that their property will be injured by a decision of any officer or agency responsible for administering the zoning ordinance of a city or town; or anyone requiring notice pursuant to this chapter.â€ť
Based on the above definition and evidence presented by attorneys for the town and for Whalerock, Rodgers previously ruled that the town was not an aggrieved party.
â€śIt is undisputed that the town does not own property abutting â€“ or even in the vicinity of â€“ the parcel that is the subject of Whalerockâ€™s application,â€ť Rodgers wrote in her April ruling. â€śLikewise, it is undisputed that the town is not a party to whom notice must be given under the provisions of the Zoning Enabling Act â€¦ It is clear beyond a reasonable doubt that the town lacks standing to appeal the zoning boardâ€™s decision and, therefore, would not be entitled to relief under any set of facts.â€ť
After the ruling, it came to light that the town did in fact own property within a 200-foot radius of Whalerockâ€™s parcel.
During oral arguments, held June 7 on the townâ€™s motion to reconsider, Peter D. Ruggiero, attorney for the town, stated that the town is an aggrieved party because â€śit holds (and has held since 1999) tax title to property within the 200-foot radiusâ€ť of Whalerockâ€™s parcel.
For the rest of this story and more local news, pick up the August 29 issue of the Chariho Times.