Falmouth Wind Turbine: Deemed ineligible for permit

On the morning of March 5, 2016, the Falmouth Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) deliberated over whether the Town's application for a special permit to retain Wind 1 should be approved. Wind 1 is the first of two Vestas V82 1.65 MW turbines erected at the community's wastewater treatment facility. The turbines created significant controversy following noise complaints by nearby residents beginning in 2010 when the turbines were first turned on. In a February 2015 ruling, the Massachusetts appeals court found that the Town of Falmouth failed to meet the requirements under the local bylaws when it erected Wind 1 without first obtaining a permit. The ZBA hearing was to determine whether a newly filed application met the requirements for a permit to be issued retroactively. Wind I has been idle since September 2015. The attached documents represent the arguments by the town's attorney (in favor of issuing a permit), the residents (on why a permit should not be issued), and a spreadsheet itemizing the decisions that need to be made the the ZBA. The below summary by Mark Cool explains how the Board ruled on each of the decisions. 

The ‘decision making flow-chart’ guiding the discussion involved the follow relevant bylaw issues (hurdles).  Straw polling was conducted on each. 

Straw Poll Results

On the issue to whether Wind 1 is accessory to the WWTP – Sect. 240-33G(5)

The Town of Falmouth did not establish by direct fact that Wind 1 is accessory to the WWTP  (vote 4-1)

On the issue to whether Wind 1 should be governed by maximum height restricts – Sect. 240-70

The Town of Falmouth establish that Sect. 240-70’s height restrictions did not apply  (vote 5-0)

On the issue to whether Wind 1 meets performance requirements – Sect. 240-166

The Town of Falmouth did not establish by direct fact that Wind 1 would not cause ‘adverse impacts on the neighborhood’. (vote 4-1) 

On the issue to whether Wind 1 will be compliant with other bylaw provisions – Sect. 240-216I

The Town of Falmouth did not establish by direct facts that Wind 1 complies with Sect. 240-110 Nuisance (vote 5-0)

TO BE CLEAR – The Special Permit Application by the Town of Falmouth for Wind 1 has not been denied.

The application, rather, has not met bylaw requirements to be eligible for a Special Permit and thus, further Zoning Board consideration.

Mark Bobrowski, attorney for the ZBA, will write a draft on behalf of the Zoning Board’s straw polling and discussion relevant the ‘hurdles’ not achieved.  Hurdles that are eligibility requirements for special permit consideration.  Hurdles that have not been met by the applicant (Town of Falmouth).

In other words, a decision on the merits of a Wind 1 special permit is not necessary.  The Town of Falmouth has not met necessary bylaw requirements.  Therefore, the structure known as Wind 1 is prohibited per the Falmouth Zoning Code.

302178715 Decision Making Spreadsheet

Download file (51.5 KB) pdf

302178716 Town S Proposed Findings

Download file (978 KB) pdf

302178718 Neighbors Proposed Findings

Download file (628 KB) pdf

Source: https://mjoecool.wordpress....

MAR 5 2016
back to top