WEST BARNSTABLE – The appeals board of the Old King’s Highway Regional Historic District yesterday voted against a plan to install a wind turbine near Chapin Memorial Beach in Dennis.
The 3-1 vote reversed last month’s decision by a Dennis committee of the historic district to allow the 164-foot-tall wind turbine at a shellfish hatchery operated by the Aquaculture Research Corp. in Dennis.
More than 70 people, including shellfishermen who favored the turbine and opponents who wore “Save Our Beaches” stickers, crammed into the firehouse meeting room yesterday to hear arguments about the appeal by resident Rosemarie Austin, who said the turbine would spoil the historic beauty of the area and pose a safety risk.
“It’s in a sensitive wetland area,” said Austin, who, with about 20 other area residents, has formed a group called “Save Our Beaches.”
Centerville attorney John Kenney, who represented Aquaculture Research before the appeals board yesterday, said the 600-kilowatt single turbine would echo the historic use of windmills as energy generators as well as promote a traditional Cape livelihood, fishing.
The turbine would be used to power Aquaculture Research’s business on Chapin Beach Road and drastically reduce energy costs at the East Coast’s largest shellfish hatchery. It would be located “well away from any residential or other abutter,” Kenney said.
The appeals board reversed last month’s decision by the Old King’s Highway Regional Historic District Committee of Dennis to allow the turbine, which would hit 242-feet tall at the highest point of the windmill’s spinning blades.
The regional appeals board decided that the Dennis committee “made an error in judgment,” said Peter Lomenzo of Dennis, who is on the Dennis board and also chairs the regional appeals board.
He didn’t vote last night and the Orleans representative to the appeals board wasn’t present. Historic district committee members from Sandwich, Barnstable, Yarmouth and Brewster voted.
Lomenzo said Aquaculture Research can appeal the decision to Barnstable District Court.
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