The Falmouth Zoning Board of Appeals declined to call a privately owned wind turbine a nuisance Thursday night, saying that claims of detrimental health effects because of its operation were insufficient.
The turbine at 82 Technology Park Drive in East Falmouth is owned by Notus Clean Energy LLC. Ed and Sue Hobart, formerly of 476 Blacksmith Shop Road, complained last year about the turbine’s noise and the subsequent effects on their health. Building Commissioner Eladio Gore found the turbine did not constitute a nuisance, and the Hobarts appealed his ruling to the zoning board.
Zoning Administrator Sari Budrow said the four members of the board who participated in the discussion Thursday night, which was the conclusion of a hearing that began in March, unanimously found the health complaints were not persuasive.
The Hobarts have sold their house and argued the loss they took on the sale was a direct result of the turbine; however, other factors, including mold and radon on the property, also were found to be at work, Budrow said the board determined.
The Hobarts can appeal the decision to Barnstable Superior Court, but Sue Hobart said Friday she wasn’t sure if they could afford to keep fighting. She said she was “floored” by the zoning board’s decision, given its recent rulings in favor of residents who live near the two town-owned turbines at the Falmouth wastewater treatment plant.
“I think I just want to go away. I never did a thing to make this happen to me,” she said. “Nothing in Falmouth is worth doing anymore.”
The town’s turbines have been the source of constant controversy since they began operation.
Twice the Zoning Board of Appeals has ruled that those devices, which are larger than the Notus turbine, are a nuisance to neighbors.
In both cases the town has appealed the rulings in court. A judge ordered the turbines’ operation curtailed while one of the cases is pending.