Green Development Notifies Coventry & Exeter of Intent to File Lawsuit Totaling $285M Against Towns

Green Development Notifies Coventry & Exeter of Intent to File Lawsuit Totaling $285M Against Towns

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Thursday, January 30, 2020

GoLocalProv News Team

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Green Development to sue Towns of Coventry and Exeter. PHOTO: Green DevelopmentGreen Development, LLC, one of Rhode Island’s largest renewable energy developers announced today their intention to bring lawsuits asserting Federal and State claims against the Towns of Coventry and Exeter and hold all elected officials, planning members and zoning officials personally accountable for their actions as parties to the suit.

Green is seeking damages of approximately $85 million dollars in Coventry and approximately $200 million dollars in Exeter. The suit will assert that certain town individuals have not only deprived Green of their development rights in Coventry and Exeter, but have also interfered with Green’s development interests in other Rhode Island communities.

Coventry Town Manager Ed Warzycha tell GoLocal in an email,”The town received notification of the pending action late yesterday evening, and it’s being reviewed by legal counsel.  I am unable to respond with anything further at this time.”

Exeter officials did not return calls.

Each elected official and town officer in the Towns of Coventry and Exeter will be served with a letter notifying them of the intent to file the lawsuit. The letter serves as a 40-day warning period per the rules of the court. The purpose of the letter is three-fold: to provide notice of claims made by Green against the towns; to demand that all applicable evidence be preserved and not destroyed, and to transmit Access to Public Records Requests.

“There has been a long and tortured path to get to this point and unfortunately we have no other recourse, but to file this action. The actions of various town officials, who have acted outside of their purviews and contrary to town ordinances and due process in many instances has unfairly deprived and interfered with Green’s ability to operate and develop renewable projects. Green has expended millions of dollars in Coventry and Exeter and the actions of certain individuals have unnecessarily brought projects to a standstill,” said Bill Fischer, spokesperson for Green Development.

“Every municipal elected official in Rhode Island should look at Exeter and Coventry as a case study in how not to approach the citing and development of renewable energy projects and we intend to prove this in a court of law. Unfortunately, what has ruled the day in both of these towns is obstructionism motivated by nimbyism,” added Fischer.

In Coventry those being notified Include:

Joanne Amitrano, town clerk; John Arnett, finance director; Kerry L. McGee, President, Town Council; Gregory Laboissonniere, Vice President, Town Council; Town Council Member Ann Dickson, Town Council Member Gary Cote; Town Council Member Debra Bacon; Russell Crossman, director, planning and development/town planner; Ronald Flynn, chairman, Planning Commission; Rick Kalunian, vice chairman, Planning Commission; Kevin Reyes, Planning Commission member; James Kenney, II, Planning Commission member; Glenn Anderson, Planning Commission member; Carl Mattson, Planning Commission member; Jason Osenkowski, Planning Commission member; Richard Polselli, Planning Commission member; Brian Wagner, assistant planner; Kerrie Karwoski, Zoning Clerk/Zoning Enforcement Officer; and former Town Council Member Karen Carlson.

In Exeter those being notified include:

Lynn M. Hawkins, town clerk; Calvin A. Ellis, Town Council President; Robert M. Conn, Town Council member; Daniel W. Patterson, Town Council member; Chris Palmer, chairman, Planning Board; Maria Lawler, Town Treasurer; Francis P. DiGregorio, Vice President, Town Council; Manuel Andrews, Town Council member; Ashley Hahn-Sweet, town planner; Donna DiDonato, Planning Board member; Michael DeFrancesco, Planning Board member; William Haas, Planning Board member; Michael Viverios, Planning Board member; Scott Millar, Planning Board member; and Donna Pari, Planning Board member.

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