The Edgartown Stop & Shop expansion project got a major win Friday after a state Land Court judge denied multiple claims from abutter and trustee of Courtway Trust Benjamin Hall that the expansion would decrease his property value, clearing the way for the project to proceed.
Judge Diane Rubin issued the 21-page decision granting summary judgment to Stop & Shop last week. The decision affirms the Edgartown planning board’s 2018 approval of the project.
Stop & Shop also got approval from the Martha’s Vineyard Commission in December 2017 to add 17,400 square feet of additions to its existing building and redesign the parking lot, among other renovations. The planning board approved the project last summer, and construction was set to begin last fall.
But in July of last year, Hall filed a complaint, dragging the project through court all winter. In February, Stop & Shop filed a motion for summary judgment. Hall then filed several extension requests that would have delayed the project for another year.
A summary judgment hearing was held on May 30, where Rubin denied Hall’s extension requests.
“In light of [Hall’s] persistent disregard of court orders and repeated failures to meet agreed-upon deadlines, I exercise my discretion … to disregard the May 30 filings,” Rubin wrote in her decision.
The crux of Hall’s argument said shadows and noise would contribute to a loss of property value on his home, which he owns and resides in, at 14 Cyprien Way, which abuts the north section of Stop & Shop. When asked why Stop & Shop’s project would create more than a trivial shadow impact, Hall said, “Because the sun comes up every day and goes down every day.”
Rubin described Hall’s property value loss concerns as “vague” and “generalized.” She dismissed all of Hall’s claims, and said no financial damages would be awarded.
In the court documents, Stop & Shop says it plans to begin construction this fall after the busy summer season.
Updated to correct the owner of the property. — Ed.