Neighbors raise ante in oyster fight

MASHPEE — Residents opposed to a proposed oyster farm in Popponesset Bay are asking the state’s highest court to weigh in on the dispute.
 
The homeowners’ attorney, Brian Wall of Sandwich, has filed an appeal of part of their case to the Supreme Judicial Court. They want the high court to determine if the Cape Cod Commission must review the aquaculture project because it is a commercial development, an argument rejected last month by the Appeals Court.
 
Richard Cook has been locked in a three-year legal battle with homeowners in the area of the bay who have called his proposed 1.9-acre oyster farm a nuisance and potential safety hazard. Cook has worked another shellfish grant in Mashpee’s Ockway Bay since 1983.
 
He has won local and state regulatory approval for the Popponesset Bay project but has been stymied by the lawsuits filed by homeowners, who also attempted unsuccessfully to use a lobbying firm to put a provision into the state budget that would have killed the project.
 
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