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Judge rejects wind turbine motion to intervene

Judge Cornelius J. Moriarty II rejected a motion to intervene regarding the court order to shut down Falmouth’s two wind turbines as a nuisance.

Filed by The Green Center Inc. of Hatchville and 12 Falmouth residents, the motion requested Judge Moriarty to reconsider the complete shutdown of the turbines and replace that order with what they view as a “more equitable remedy for all parties.”

In his rejection, Judge Moriarty stated: “The motion is denied. The underlying case presented as an appeal pursuant to C. 40A, sec. 17 and it is unlikely that the proposed intervenors could establish standing. Moreover, the motion is untimely.”

Falmouth Town Counsel Frank K. Duffy Jr. described “standing” as a term used to determine if a party has a legally protected interest affected by litigation, compared to the general interest shared by the community. A motion to intervene might be allowed if standing could be established; without it, a denial is more likely, Mr. Duffy wrote.

“The untimely comment refers to the fact the litigation had been previously terminated by judgment with no appeal,” Mr. Duffy wrote.

This case, The Town of Falmouth vs. Funfar and the Falmouth Zoning Board of Appeals, dates back to March 2013, when Barry A. Funfar and Diane C. Funfar argued the turbines’ operation violated the town’s nuisance bylaws. The zoning board of appeals agreed with this assertion, shutting the turbines down. This decision was upheld by Judge Moriarty earlier this year. On July 10, Falmouth selectmen voted against appealing this decision.

Falmouth residents listed on the motion to intervene are Dr. George M. Woodwell, Ronald D. Zweig, Christina C. Rawley, Earle A. Barnhart (the principal officer of The Green Center), John Carlton-Foss, Rhona N. Carlton, James Churchill, Hilde Maingay, Pamela D. Pelletreau, Robert H. Pelletreau Jr., Allison B. White and Katharine R. Woodwell.