To the editor: It was with great excitement that we were able to read and share Superior Court Judge Gildea’s decision to vacate (reverse) the Housing Appeals Committee’s decision regarding Surfside Crossing. Voiding the project’s approval and ability to move forward and placing the project in violation of the zoning code of the Town of Nantucket and requiring the building commissioner to revoke the building permit he had issued in November.
This is a huge and very rare decision for a court to make. The Judge pointed out the citizens had not been heard and they did in fact have standing. Something the developers fought hard against. The judge saw us not as just a case number but as members of a community who have been disadvantaged. Vacating the permit and the remand back to the Nantucket Zoning Board of Appeals is how it should be and that is exactly what the court has ordered.
When the citizens and Nantucket Tipping Point decided to appeal the HAC decision we did so because we strongly believed that the community’s rights had been infringed and our community’s rights to participate had been deprived. Substantial changes had been made to the project that had never been seen or discussed by our local boards or the community as to how this development will drastically and negatively affect the health, safety, welfare, and environment of Nantucket’s community and residents.
The Town left it to the local citizens to fight this unthinkable battle we were told we would never win when the Select Board chose to drop the appeal. But because of support from people like you, the citizens prevailed. You truly make a difference for the island we all love.
I am so thankful for all those who have participated and who have supported this effort in any capacity for the last five and a half years. For those who said they are fearful to speak up, but continue to send messages of support. For those who wrote letters, who came to site visits, who attended meetings, court hearings, who made donations. Challenging the establishment is not easy, especially on a small island. This has been a true community grassroots effort for the love of the island, our community and the future of the island and generations to come. The seemingly silent majority has made it possible to right the wrong. On behalf of Nantucket Tipping Point and the community we are standing up for, we thank you for your continued support in our endeavor to be vigilant as we move forward to the ZBA hearings.
Never underestimate the value of persistence.
Nantucket Tipping Point Board Member