[ exact phrase in "" • results by date ]

[ Google-powered • results by relevance ]


Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

when your community is targeted

Get weekly updates

RSS feeds and more

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Donate via Stripe

Donate via Paypal

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links


Press Releases


Campaign Material

Photos & Graphics


Allied Groups

Wind Watch is a registered educational charity, founded in 2005.

News Watch Home

Neighbors oppose town’s appeal of wind ruling 

Credit:  By Sean F. Driscoll | Cape Cod Times | Mar. 30, 2015 | www.capecodonline.com ~~

FALMOUTH – Neighbors of the town’s controversial wind turbines say the appeal of a zoning lawsuit should not reach the state’s highest court because it does not involve issues that could affect the entire Commonwealth.

Last month, the Massachusetts Court of Appeals overturned a 2013 ruling by Barnstable County Judge Robert Rufo, who ruled that the town didn’t need a special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals to erect Wind 1, one of Falmouth’s twin wind turbines located at the town wastewater treatment facility. The town is asking the Supreme Judicial Court to review that decision.

But Christopher Senie, a Westborough attorney representing the neighbors, said the town’s petition doesn’t meet the bar set for such appeals. The case neither substantially affects the public interest nor does it run counter to the interests of justice, he wrote in a legal brief filed last week.

“This case involves nothing more than the Appeals Court’s correction of an erroneous interpretation of a local zoning By-law,” Senie wrote. “The case involves no issue which extends beyond the parties themselves and certainly not through the Commonwealth in general. It is simply a zoning case governed by well settled law.”

(To read the full brief opposing the town’s petition to the Supreme Judicial Court, click here.)

The town has long contended that it has the right to use its land for all municipal purposes, including running wind turbines, and doesn’t need a zoning permit to do so. The Falmouth building commissioner ruled that the town didn’t need the Zoning Board of Appeals’ permission before the 2009 installation of Wind 1, but neighbors of the turbines disagreed and took the matter to court.

Rufo ruled in the town’s favor, but the Court of Appeals overturned that ruling. Although turbines don’t have to be named to be covered by the municipal use exemption in the town’s zoning bylaw, the Court of Appeals wrote that since the town has a wind turbine bylaw, it is reasonable to conclude that the devices were not intended to be exempt from the zoning process.

The ruling was based on two lawsuits that were merged at the lower court: one by Elizabeth and Neil Andersen, and another by Todd Drummey and other neighbors.

After the town lost its appeal, selectmen voted unanimously to petition the SJC for further review of the case. If the SJC does not agree to accept the case, or if it lets the Court of Appeals decision stand, the turbines likely will have to go through the zoning process. But it is still unclear which version of the turbine bylaw will be applicable.

In 2013, town meeting approved a revised bylaw that prohibits turbines with a capacity of more than 250 kilowatts anywhere in town. Both Wind 1 and its mate, Wind 2, have capacities of 1.65 megawatts, more than six times what’s permitted by the newer restrictions. The bylaw also limits to 6 decibels the noise levels audible to neighbors.

Source:  By Sean F. Driscoll | Cape Cod Times | Mar. 30, 2015 | www.capecodonline.com

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

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Contributions
   Donate via Stripe
(via Stripe)
Donate via Paypal
(via Paypal)


e-mail X FB LI M TG TS G Share

News Watch Home

Get the Facts
© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.


Wind Watch on X Wind Watch on Facebook Wind Watch on Linked In

Wind Watch on Mastodon Wind Watch on Truth Social

Wind Watch on Gab Wind Watch on Bluesky