Selectmen have less than two weeks to decide how they will proceed following a recent court ruling stating the town erected Wind Turbine 1 in error.
The board met in executive session with town counsel Frank A. Duffy Jr. to weigh its options but did not reach a decision. The town has until March 18 to file an appeal with the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.
“We had a lot of discussion on our options, but we’ll have to take it up again,” said selectmen chairman Mary (Pat) Flynn.
She said they will either meet on March 16, their regularly scheduled meeting night, or before in a special meeting.
A state appellate court ruled on February 26 that Falmouth was required to obtain a special permit before it put up Wind 1, one of two turbines at the wastewater facility off Blacksmith Shop Road.
Mr. Duffy said if the town decides against an appeal, it can apply for a special permit from Falmouth’s zoning board of appeals. There is no guarantee the court will take up the case should Falmouth opt to appeal to the highest court in the state.
The turbine was erected in 2009 and since then has prompted many residents living near the structure to complain of mental distress and poor health caused by sound pressure and noise. Nine abutters joined together in the suit against the town. Last week’s appeals court decision overruled a 2013 Barnstable Superior Court ruling that upheld town building commissioner Eladio S. Gore’s decision to install the turbine without a special permit.
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