Appeals relating to one of two town-owned wind turbines on Blacksmith Shop Road were denied by the Falmouth Zoning Board of Appeals Thursday, December 10.
Residents Linda H. Ohkagawa and Barry A. and Diane C. Funfar, represented by attorney Christopher G. Senie, and Neil P. and Elizabeth L. Andersen, represented by attorney J. Alexander Watt, brought forth two separate appeals of the building commissioner’s lack of enforcement against Wind 2, which began operating in February 2012. The board was tasked with identifying whether the parties each had standing in the case; whether they had knowledge of the building permit for the turbine within 30 days of its issuance and had a duty to inquire about the project; and whether they were guilty of a doctrine called “laches,” defined as an unreasonable delay or negligence in pursuing a right or claim that prejudices the adverse party.
Members came to a consensus at a previous meeting that they were inclined to deny both of the appeals based on the doctrine. At its meeting last night, the board voted to deny the Andersens’ appeal, and also unanimously voted to accept, as written, their decision drafted by the town’s special counsel Mark Bobrowski.
Board member Kenneth H. Foreman, though, wavered in his agreement with the board on the second appeal.
“I feel that Ohkagawa had a stronger case,” he said, referring to her argument that she was unaware of the building permit until October of 2010, later than the other appellants. Mr. Foreman expressed frustration that the inaction of the building commissioner had “put the client in a pickle.”
Zoning administrator Sari D. Budrow reminded him that the building commissioner’s inaction was not before the board, and Mr. Foreman agreed that a good case had been made for laches. Ms. Ohkagawa and the Funfars’ appeal was also denied unanimously and the decision approved as written.