Land off Moshup Trail has been at center of heated legal battle for nearly two decades. Mark Lovewell

Land off Moshup Trail has been at center of heated legal battle for nearly two decades. Mark Lovewell

The state Supreme Judicial Court has handed a decisive legal victory to the town of Aquinnah, the Vineyard Conservation Society and others who have been battling a private developer for years over whether a wild expanse of land off Moshup Trail can be opened up for development.

In a ruling issued today, the state’s highest court said that landowners James Decoulos and Maria Kitras do not have legal access to two landlocked parcels totalling about 30 acres off the trail, a public road that runs through the remote western reaches of the Vineyard.

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