An appeal regarding lack of enforcement by Falmouth zoning enforcement officer Eladio S. Gore to cease-and-desist operation of Wind 1 turbine was granted last night by the Falmouth Zoning Board of Appeals.
The zoning board voted on the matter after opening three separate appeals hearings regarding the Blacksmith Shop Road turbines, zoning administrator Sari D. Budrow said. Although two of the appeals involve the Wind 2 turbine, she said, the board decided to deal specifically with an appeal by neighboring resident Brian Elder and others relating to Wind 1.
Both turbines have been operating on a reduced schedule per a 2013 Barnstable Superior Court order.
Discussions relating to Wind 2 appeals have been continued to October 29, the same day that a hearing on the town’s application for a special permit to continue operation of Wind 1 will be continued. Unless the town appeals Thursday’s decision, the turbine will have to be shut down while it obtains permitting.
Christopher Senie, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said that while it was a tough decision for the board, he is concerned that there are still two turbines in town that are not permitted.
“The right thing to do is to shut them down until they get their permits,” he said by phone on Friday.
However, Mr. Senie said, the appeals hearing allowed for a valuable two-part discussion of the turbines’ history and the laws relevant to the issues at hand.
“There was a lot of discussion about how we got here,” he said.
The board voted 4-1, with Chairman Kimberly Bielan as the only “nay” vote, to grant the appeal and overturn Mr. Gore’s lack of enforcement against the turbine.
As with any other appeal handled by the board, Ms. Budrow said that the Town of Falmouth has 20 days after the decision is written, signed and filed with the town clerk to either shut down the turbine while it completes the permitting process or appeal the decision. She said that the decision will likely be filed within the next week.
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