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Planning Board hopes to talk to Selectmen about turbines  

Falmouth Planning Board members discussed a letter from the Barnstable County Commissioners regarding a request to make all land-based wind turbines on the Upper Cape a district of critical planning concern on Tuesday.

Board members wrote a letter to the commissioners in December requesting support for the idea, which would effectively create a moratorium on all new land-based wind turbines on the Upper Cape.

But County Commissioner Mary (Pat) Flynn replied that she and the other commissioners felt they could not support the idea without a request from the Falmouth Board of Selectmen and the selectmen from the other Upper Cape towns.

Ms. Flynn is also a member of the Falmouth Board of Selectmen, which planning board member Kenneth W. Medeiros II pointed out, without further comment.

The planning board and the board of selectmen are scheduled to hold a joint meeting next week, but wind turbines are not on the agenda.

Board member Robert P Volosevich Jr. asked if wind turbines could be scheduled to be on the agenda, and was told that Selectmen Chairman Brent. V.W. Putnam sets the agenda.

“The town manager is certainly aware of the issue,” said Town Planner Brian A. Currie.

Board member Ralph E. Herbst said he had looked into whether any residents living near wind turbines in Falmouth had filed for a tax abatement and was told no one had.

The reason. he said. is that abatement applications are unavailable. The town has issued estimated tax bills, he said, but there has been no value placed on Falmouth properties this year.

When the assessed value of properties is determined, abatement applications will be available.

In other business, the board denied a request to subdivide 2.12 acres on Tobey Lane in Waquoit into two parcels on Tuesday.

Applicant Robert V. Rice submitted a definitive plan to subdivide the land, which was heard at three public meetings in the past two months.

Neighbors opposed the project because they said the road was too narrow to support the additional traffic. Only one car can travel down the road at a time, neighbors said.

Board members closed the hearing a week ago and discussed the application Tuesday. At first the majority opinion was that the project would be difficult to approve, although no one said the project should be denied.

Robert J. Leary said he wanted to hear what others thought about the project. Mr. Herbst said he wrestled with the application, because it seemed to conflict with the subdivision control law. Mr. Volosevich said he thought the applicant could work with planning staff to improve the project. Mr. Medeiros said the road was inadequate for the additional traffic.

But Chairman Patricia H. Kerfoot said she opposed the plan.

“I’m opposed to this application. I’m definitively saying l can’t go for this project,” she said.

She said Tobey Lane is too narrow and too long to support the additional traffic.

Board members agreed with Ms. Kerfoot and asked Town Planner Brian A. Currie to draft a negative decision.

Board members also discussed whether to revise their minutes as part of the regular meeting or through e-mail before the meeting.

Mr. Herbst said he would like to discuss revisions during the meeting, but the other board members said they would prefer to e-mail their revisions to the clerk, Mr. Volosevich.

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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