The Zoning Board of Appeals gave its final approval to plans for a new wind turbine in Falmouth on Thursday evening.
The board’s unanimous vote to grant special permission for the project cleared the way for JK Scanlan Company’s plans to construct a 179-foot turbine in Technology Park.
The board’s approval carried some 20 conditions. A security fence will be required around the site of the turbine, as will signs warning of falling ice. Annual inspections will be carried out throughout the turbine’s projected 20-year lifespan to ensure that it remains in compliance with the board’s requirements.
Matthew McNamara, chairman of the Zoning Board, called the package of conditions “representative of all the issues that were brought to us.”
Recognizing the still-controversial nature of wind turbines in Falmouth and across the Cape, McNamara said, “I want to thank everyone who helped us with this, including those with concerns and those who were in favor.”
The board’s approval comes in time to exempt Scanlan from new regulations concerning wind turbine siting and construction currently under consideration by the Cape Cod Commission. The new rules, if approved, are expected to make it substantially more difficult to obtain permission to construct and operate new turbines throughout the Cape.
Those regulations are based, in part, on complaints filed by Falmouth residents concerning several turbines already in operation in the town. Residents whose properties abut the Wind 1 turbine at the Wastewater Treatment Facility on Blacksmith Shop Road have complained of a variety of health and quality of life issues brought about by the noise and light-flicker effect of that turbine, including headaches, stress, and loss of sleep.
At the same meeting on Thursday night, the board dealt with complaints concerning the Notus turbine in Technology Park, near the site of the planned Scanlan turbine. Residents near the Notus site have charged the turbine with “interfering with the use and enjoyment of their property.”
The board will consider those complaints further at its meeting on Thursday, April 14.
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