FALMOUTH – A Zoning Board of Appeals hearing on the town’s application for a special permit to run one of its twin wind turbines has been continued to Dec. 10.
The Zoning Board of Appeals met Thursday and heard testimony on the matter but did not finish the hearing, Zoning Administrator Sari Budlow said.
The town is applying for the permit on the turbine known as Wind 1 five years after it began spinning, after the state’s Appeals Court ruled earlier this year that the 397-foot-tall tower at the town’s wastewater treatment plant should have received a permit before it was constructed. Building Commissioner Eladio Gore had ruled that, since the turbines were owned by Falmouth and being installed on town land, zoning laws didn’t apply.
While the special permit application process is under way, the turbine is shut down following the zoning board’s issuance of a cease-and-desist order against the town.
The board closed two other wind turbine-related hearings Thursday, Budrow said. Testimony related to complaints by neighbors Neil and Elizabeth Andersen against the operation of both Wind 1 and Wind 2 and Linda Ohkagawa against Wind 2 was finished and the hearings were closed by a 5-0 vote. The board will deliberate the matters at a future open meeting before making a ruling, Budrow said.
The twin turbines have been a source of controversy since they were installed. Neighbors have complained about health effects from their operation and have used a number of avenues to try to shut them down, while the town has warned of dire financial consequences should either device be deactivated.