GREEN DEVELOPMENT, LLC D/B/A WIND ENERGY DEVELOPMENT, LLC; and ARPIN ASSOCIATES, LLC
THE ZONING BOARD OF REVIEW OF THE TOWN OF WEST WARWICK, AND JOHN CIMINO, in his capacity as the Finance Director for the Town of West Warwick
County Superior Court
Plaintiff: John Orest Mancini, Esq.
Defendant: Timothy A. Williamson, Esq. (Defendants) Thomas J.
Cronin, Esq. (Applicants)
matter came on for hearing before Mr. Justice Lanphear on
October 24, 2016 on a motion to intervene. Appellants in this
action claim that the Zoning Board of Review of the Town of
West Warwick inappropriately denied their request for a
dimensional variance. Appellants were proposing to construct
a wind turbine on their property in West Warwick. Anthony
Ciccarone, Lena Ciccarone, Stephen Padula and Barbara Padula
move that they be allowed to intervene in this zoning appeal.
of the Rhode Island Rules of Civil Procedure allows for
intervention of right and permissive intervention. The
Applicants claim that each subpart of the rule justifies
their intervention. The Court will review each subpart in
as of Right
Tonetti Enterprises v. Mendon Road Leasing Corp.,
943 A.2d 1063, 1072-73 (R.I. 2008), the Rhode Island Supreme
Court adopted a test established by the United States Supreme
"Intervention as of right is governed by Rule 24(a)(2).
Under Rule 24(a)(2), an applicant will be granted
intervention as of right if the applicant files a timely
application (a factor not challenged here), the applicant
claims an interest relating to the property or transaction
which is the subject matter of the action, the disposition of
the action may as a practical matter impair or impede the
applicant's ability to protect that interest, and the
applicant's interest is not adequately represented by
current parties to the action (a factor also not challenged
here). If the applicant satisfies these four criteria, then
the applicant 'shall be permitted to
intervene.'" Id.; see Stringfellow v.
Concerned Neighbors in Action, 480 U.S. 370, 382 n.1, 107
S.Ct. 1177, 94 L.Ed.2d 389 (1987). (Footnote deleted).
each element in turn, the Court finds that the Applicants
have filed a timely application, in that the motion to
intervene was filed within sixty days of the appeal-complaint
Applicants suggest that they have an interest in the
property, claiming that the use of the Applicants' real
property is impaired by this application in that their
property is approximately 1000 feet away from the proposed
414 foot turbine. Clearly, they do not have an interest in
the property where the turbine will be placed, nor do they
have an interest in any of the abutting property. Any
interest is therefore limited.
next step is to weigh whether the disposition may as a
practical matter impair or impede the Applicants' ability
to protect their interest. This is difficult to assess
without a clear interest being enumerated as set forth above.
Applicants suggest that the erection and operation of the
turbine would result in noise and impair their view. In terms
of noise, the noise generated on Applicants' street is
approximately forty decibels, or the sound of a stream or
refrigerator. These are normal sounds which are present when
many people sleep, so the Court cannot find that this noise
would significantly impair the Applicants' land. There is
no demonstration of diminished value or that the Applicants
would be deprived of the full use and enjoyment of their
land. The mere fact that the turbine would be visible from
1000 feet away does not give rise to standing for
fourth and final factor is the whether the Applicants'
interests are adequately represented by others. The Zoning
Board application was denied. There is no reason to conclude
that the Town of West Warwick (which, through its Zoning
Board, already rejected the application and is defending
herein) will not adequately represent the Applicants or other
residents of its town. Though the Applicants presented
significant evidence at the zoning hearing, and ...