A Good Zoning Decision

Falmouth's Firetower Wind

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The existing friction regarding Wind 1’s permitting process involves competing interests.

It’s undeniable that one of the primary interests of Falmouth’s Board of Selectmen is the community’s fiscal management and health. Yet, this particular zoning hearing’s primary interest isn’t about balancing competing interests.  It’s soley about the principled provision of protecting the nearby turbine neighbors per the ’81 Windmill Bylaw.

Is there a conflict of interest?
A widely used definition: “A conflict of interest is a set of circumstances that creates a risk that professional judgement or actions regarding a primary interest will be unduly influenced by a secondary interest.” Put in context, the interest of harmful fiscal fall-out can’t be treated as wrong. However, it must be treated as objectionable should it rise to a level effecting the Windmill Bylaw’s primary interest of protecting neighbors.

A conflict of interest therefore, exists when a fiscal harm argument (made by the…

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