Hatton Meadow project still on hold

Solar Panel

By TAYLOR HARTZ
STAFF WRITER

Attorneys for Greenskies, LLC, and the town of Southington appeared in court again on Monday, requesting a motion to dismiss an injunction that is preventing the start of construction on a 2-acre solar panel planned for Hatton Meadow.

Representing the community coalition to save the meadow, Attorney David Rosenberg told Judge Abrahams that he felt the approval process for the solar site violated the town’s zoning conditions.

Rosenberg was granted one week’s time to argue the motion to dismiss when the case was heard in court on Aug. 3.

Diane Whitney of Pullman & Comley, representing Greenskies, and Town Attorney Mark Sciota, representing Southington, filed their motion to dismiss on Aug. 1, claiming a lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

Whitney said the plaintiffs were heard before the town council and had the opportunity to appeal to the Planning and Zoning Commission at an earlier date.

The solar panel plan was approved under state statute 8-24, which allows the town to bypass public hearings and referendums in the case of municipal improvements.

Rosenberg argued that by the time the plaintiffs learned of the plans, there was not adequate time available for an appeal.

Construction was set to begin at Hatton Meadow on July 27, but was halted when an injunction was issued just three days before the project was scheduled to begin.

Whitney further requested that if the case goes forward in court, the company and town receive a bond for daily damages.

The affidavit submitted by Whitney stated that the injunction is costing Southington and the Middletown company damages amounting to $1,672.47 per day, in addition to a $13, 222 reimbursement to a contractor.

Rosenberg said he disagrees with the idea that Greenskies and the town are suffering irreparable damages, but that the plaintiffs will comply with the bond request.

The injunction is still in place, pending a decision on the motion to dismiss. Judge Abrahams said he expects to have a decision this week.

NOTE–On Tuesday, Aug. 11, Judge Abrahams ruled that the motion to dismiss, filed by the Town of Southington and Greenskies, is denied. The court will hear arguments on Aug. 17 to decide if posting of a bond is appropriate and, if so, how much the bond should be. The parties will also select a date for the hearing of the temporary injunction at that time.

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