Federal Court Sides with Aquinnah

                      Gay Head Cliffs


AQUINNAH -A Federal Judge in Boston has issued a ruling ordering the Aquinnah Tribe of Gayhead (Aquinnah) to comply with town zoning and building regulations as they move ahead with their planned bingo hall off State Road in Aquinnah.

The Vineyard Gazette reports that the ruling comes as the result of a May hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Mark Saylor at the request of the town. Town officials were seeking clarification on the matter; the Tribe said it was under no obligation to comply with town requirements, the town disagreed.

The gambling hall is being constructed on tribal land.

When the tribe began clearing a four acre parcel for the project in February, both Chilmark and Aquinnah referred the matter to the Martha’s Vineyard Commission review.

At two MVC hearings on the proposed slots parlor, no members of the tribe took part.

The ruling does not give the town the authority to halt the construction but only to be sure the tribe complies with local building rules. The tribe has the ability to appeal by either asking Judge Saylor to reconsider his ruling or taking the issue to the U.S. Court of Appeals.

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Rob Woodard has been reporting on news for the CapeCod.com NewsCenter for five years. Listen to his news reporting on 99.9 the Q, Ocean 104.7, Cape Country 104, Cape Classical 107.5 and here on CapeCod.com.

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