CHARLESTOWN – Despite the fact that the Whalerock case was settled Thursday with the town’s purchase of the property on King’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 Whalerock’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 “aggrieved party.”
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 “any 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.”
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.
“It is undisputed that the town does not own property abutting – or even in the vicinity of – the parcel that is the subject of Whalerock’s application,” Rodgers wrote in her April ruling. “Likewise, it is undisputed that the town is not a party to whom notice must be given under the provisions of the Zoning Enabling Act … It is clear beyond a reasonable doubt that the town lacks standing to appeal the zoning board’s decision and, therefore, would not be entitled to relief under any set of facts.”
After the ruling, it came to light that the town did in fact own property within a 200-foot radius of Whalerock’s parcel.
During oral arguments, held June 7 on the town’s motion to reconsider, Peter D. Ruggiero, attorney for the town, stated that the town is an aggrieved party because “it holds (and has held since 1999) tax title to property within the 200-foot radius” of Whalerock’s parcel.
For the rest of this story and more local news, pick up the August 29 issue of the Chariho Times.