NORTH SMITHFIELD — The North Kingstown company that wants to build a towering wind turbine on Old Smithfield Road has filed suit in Superior Court against the Town Council, saying officials unlawfully imposed a moratorium on such structures after its application was already in play.
Wind Energy Development and the Joseph F. and Ruth S. Pacheco Living Trust – owner of the land upon which the turbine would be built – are both named as plaintiffs in the suit.
The seven-count suit argues that the moratorium is illegal and unenforceable, partly because WED’s application to erect the 465-foot-tall structure was substantially complete before the council imposed the freeze on May 19. Court papers say that means WED has a “vested” right to move forward under state law.
“Defendants violated and intend to further violate the Plaintiffs’ rights as afforded by the due process clause of the Rhode Island Constitution by engaging in a variety of actions and schemes evidencing a clear disposition against the Plaintiffs’ proposal specifically targeting Plaintiffs’ property, proposal and approval through the Moratorium,” papers filed in the case say. “Plaintiffs have effectively been denied a fair and meaningful opportunity to be heard.”
The lawsuit is unrelated to a separate attack on the proposal that is slated to get under way tonight at the Kendall-Dean School – or at least it was, until early yesterday afternoon.