BOURNE – The Future Generation wind turbine project at cranberry grower Keith Mann’s Head of the Bay tract in South Plymouth may be hauled into superior court, likely in Barnstable.
The Bourne Board of Health is asking selectmen to authorize Town Counsel Robert S. Troy to request a court injunction – expressly to halt wind-farm construction.
The request comes from neighboring Morning Mist Lane residents in Buzzards Bay. They say they will be “directly impacted” by at least one of four turbines now going up.
The residents cite concerns related to flicker, noise, harmonics and low-frequency impacts and the health board has listened, even as Future Generation attorney Jon Fitch of Sandwich argues the Bourne board cannot apply its turbine review bylaw to a Plymouth project.
If there is an enemy for the group, it is time. One turbine can already be seen from the Route 25 connector and Head of the Bay Road.
Bourne Health Board Chairman Kathy Peterson said members are “following the best option left open to us,” notably a court injunction ordering turbine construction to cease and desist while possible impacts are sorted out.
Peterson said Future Generation has sidestepped all board requests to file for Bourne variance review under the town’s turbine bylaw. “We’ve asked repeatedly for sound data to review about what’s being put up but we haven’t received it,” she said Nov. 18.
Peterson told the Buzzards Bay residents that, even if Troy is directed to seek injunctive relief against Future Generation, it would still take time to prepare a case and “get before a judge.” Meanwhile, construction continues.
“They have an attorney guiding everything they do,” Peterson said. “We don’t have that.”
Fitch attended the Nov. 18 discussion with the health board but he did not comment on unfolding developments.
It was unclear when selectmen might meet again to discuss the health board request. An injunction to the extremely spending-conscious board may not seem so modest an objective. The health panel will continue its wind farm discussions Dec. 9.
The Mann-tract wind farm plan has caused a stir in Bourne to an extent that the selectmen’s vote to permit nightly turbine-equipment transport through Buzzards Bay Village via trucks was 3-2, with board members Peter Meier and Michael Blanton opposed to what was a detailed and straightforward – if not routine – special permit application.
In another respect, an injunction – should it be granted – might serve to shift some Cape Cod anti-turbine sentiment from Falmouth to Bourne. Indeed, a Falmouth resident urged the Bourne health board on Nov. 18 not to let the Head of the Bay wind farm happen.
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