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Opponents sue Cape Cod Commission over approval of 312 Hyannis apartments

Twin Brooks 7-12-22 revised site plan.JPG
This rendering shows, in red, the area of the former Twin Brooks golf course that would be developed for the Emblem Hyannis apartments. The green portion would be placed under a conservation restriction. The lighter green shows areas that were part of the fairways of the old golf course.

Local residents fighting a proposed 312-unit apartment complex in Hyannis are taking the matter to Barnstable Superior Court.

The lawsuit appeals the Cape Cod Commission’s February approval of the Emblem Hyannis apartments, which would be built on the former Twin Brooks golf course.

John Ale, a member of the community group Save Twin Brooks, said the commission should not have approved a project that is inconsistent with the Regional Policy Plan.

“Under the Cape Cod Commission Act, Section 13 is very clear,” he said. “Any approval of a development of regional impact must be consistent with the Regional Policy Plan. Full stop. No exception.”

The commission has previously said a development agreement can be inconsistent with the Regional Policy Plan if the project is necessary to meet community needs — such housing, in this case — and if the project advances the interests of the Regional Policy Plan in another way, such as by improving the handling of stormwater runoff.

But Ale contends that the commission’s regulation does not comply with the law.

The lawsuit also says the commission failed to address significant issues raised in public hearings and did not give enough consideration to Barnstable’s local comprehensive plan.

The complaint alleges that the commission favored the developer, Quarterra, by giving the company more time to speak in public meetings than it gave the opposition.

Quarterra, formerly called Lennar Multifamily Communities or LMC, has proposed a complex of 13 apartment buildings, a clubhouse, and a pool. The company says 41 units would be deed-restricted as affordable, and 271 would be market rate.

In addition to Save Twin Brooks, the case has two other plaintiffs: Capeway Towing & Transport and resident Denise T. Johnson.

CAI has reached out to the defendants — the Cape Cod Commission and Quarterra — for comment.

Jennette Barnes is a reporter and producer. Named a Master Reporter by the New England Society of News Editors, she brings more than 20 years of news experience to CAI.