Dennis Resident Files Appeal to Block Home for Homeless Veterans

PHOTO COURTESY: Town of Dennis. Rendering of planned home for veterans

PHOTO COURTESY: Town of Dennis. Rendering of planned home for veterans

SOUTH DENNIS – Plans for a home for homeless veterans could be coming to a halt.

A Dennis man has gone to court in an attempt to block the proposed home.

Thomas Walsh, who is a neighbor to the proposed project, has claimed that the town’s Planning Board does not have the authority to issue a special permit.

The appeal was filed in Land Court in Boston last week and asks that the permit approval be annulled.

“The particular section of the zoning by-law that they’re challenging it under has actually been appealed before under and has gone all the way to the Mass Appeals Court, so I think we feel fairly comfortable that the permit is well grounded,” said Dennis Town Planner Dan Fortier.

Walsh has attended a number of meetings on the project and attended a recent Planning Board hearing with his lawyer Paul Driscoll.

At that same meeting, Driscoll said that the board did not have the authority to consider a special permit for the house.

There were also concerns by neighbors about who would live in the five-bedroom house and how it would be supervised.

Selectmen met with the town’s attorney on Thursday in a closed session to discuss the case.

“We are asking for the appeal to be expedited, hopefully if everything goes well, we would hope that it won’t affect the groundbreaking in the spring,” said Fortier.

This comes as residents will vote on two articles on Tuesday’s Special Town Meeting warrant relating to the project.

One gives the Cape and Islands Veterans Outreach Center authorization for a long-term lease of the property and the other would grant $200,000 in Community Preservation Act funds.

An attorney for Walsh declined to comment at this time.

By JUSTIN SAUNDERS, CapeCod.com Newscenter

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