Falmouth ZBA Unanimously Decides Wind Turbines a Nuisance - Town Ordered to Eliminate It
Doctors' Statements Regarding Deterioration In Medical Condition and Appraisals showing Significant Property Value Loss Supported Board's Action
Contact: Malcolm Donald 508.566.5830 MD@Zefarus.com
FALMOUTH, MA - Falmouth Zoning Board of Appeals [ZBA] overturned the Falmouth Building Commissioner's denial of Nusiance Compliant by Barry and Diane Funfar citing deteriorating health and loss of property value. The Town was ordered to eliminate the nuisance.
Submitted as testimony were four letters from of Veterans Administration doctors addressing Mr. Funfar's health degradation since the Falmouth Turbines became operational since March of 2010.
Falmouth Town Counsel Frank Duffy suggested that the Falmouth Nusiance By-Law does not apply to people with pre-existing health conditions. He cited PTSD and cancer as examples.
Mr. Duffy suggested to the Board that Mr. Funfar is not a "normal" person since he suffers from PTSD having served as a US Marine in Vietnam.
Barry Funfar, Sergeant, USMC (now retired)
The Board Chairman Mathew McNamara pointed out that the Nusiance By-Law does not mention anything about normality. He stated that "If pre-existing conditions excluded citizens from qualifying then, given a potentially long list of pre-existing conditions, the great majority of citizens would be ineligible to receive relief" from any nuisance complaint.
The Funfars' real estate appraisals comparing current value to pre-turbine 2008 showed a loss of $289,000 (-40%) in value of their Craggy Ridge home. Additionally their home value has fallen $158,900 (-28%) below the Town's assessed value.
A local realtor testified that the Falmouth real estate market is good and that West Falmouth is a very desirable location. She compared the North Hill development located in a similar position as Craggy Ridge between Routes 28 and 28A but not close to the wind turbines. She stated that homes in North Hill are selling quickly at good prices but homes in the Craggy Ridge are "lingering", "hanging around" and "blemished".
She told the ZBA that "people don't want to go up there" to look at homes for sale.