Following a failed attempt to reach a negotiated settlement with neighbors of Falmouth’s Wind 1 and Wind 2 turbines, a Barnstable Superior Court judge has ordered the turbines be operated 12 hours a day except on Sunday.
Judge Christopher Muse issued the preliminary injunction last week. It calls for operation of the turbines between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Muse also said the turbines may not operate on Thanksgiving day, Christmas day and New Year’s day.
The judge issued his ruling two weeks after lawyers for the town and turbine neighbors agreed to a plan calling for the turbines to operate 12 hours a day, rather than the 16 hours a day that selectmen had approved. After the agreement was announced, however, selectmen declined to alter the schedule they had set.
The negotiations over the hours of operation are related to a court case in which the town is appealing the Falmouth Zoning Board of Appeals ruling upholding Neil and Elizabeth Andersen’s claim that the turbines are a nuisance.
In his order, Muse wrote, “the Andersens have a substantial likelihood of success on the merits of their position that the ZBA’s decision that both turbines created a nuisance prohibited by Code of Falmouth 240-110 at the property in question, and its direction that the ‘Building Commissioner take all necessary steps to eliminate the nuisance caused by the operation of the wind turbines,” was based on a legally reasonable ground that was sufficiently supported by facts contained within the record.”
Muse also wrote that he will not “undercut” the ZBA’s finding that the turbines cause a nuisance for the Andersens.
“The Andersens have submitted affidavits and medical records supporting their claim that the nuisance produced by the turbines has resulted in substantial and continuous insomnia, headaches, psychological disturbances, dental injuries, and other forms of malaise.”
Selectmen have 30 days in which to appeal Muse’s order.
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