Property rights vs. wind farms
(10-23-12) This month a significant Canadian case study was published which examined real property sales and the impact of wind turbines on price.
The erection of a wind turbine creates apprehension in the general public, which makes the property less desirable and thus diminishes the prices of neighboring property. Continuing scientific uncertainty over the adverse health consequences of wind turbines only serves to perpetuate the debilitating effect of wind turbines on property prices. more here
Wind farms DO hit house prices: Government agency finally admits that thousands can be wiped off value of homes
The Valuation Office Agency has been forced to re-band homes into lower council tax categories, confirming what most residents who live near the giant turbines already know: they are detrimental to property prices. more here
The following excerpt from the expert opinion of Michael S. McCann of McCann Appraisal, LLC regarding Adams County, Illinois, illustrates an appraiser’s opinion of the significant negative impact an industrial wind turbine facility such as the one proposed by US Mainstream, can have on a rural area such as Auglaize County:
“First and foremost, I understand very well that consideration of industrial scale wind energy projects is a unique situation for virtually every jurisdiction considering applications or requests from developers to build and operate such projects. They are intensive, large-scale projects with a decidedly industrial character, and most projects in Illinois are proposed to “overlay” existing mixed-use residential and agricultural areas. This type of overlay is also sought in Adams County.
This is significant in the evaluation of land use compatibility or typical zoning standard compliance, since it is virtually impossible to introduce such a large scale project among existing low intensity residential uses without dramatically changing the character of the neighborhoods that will be encompassed by the turbine’s land use overlay.” (emphasis added)
Mr. McCann further explains the manner in which the negative impact is measured by professional appraisers:
“The Appraisal Institute has developed methodology and techniques for evaluating the effects of environmental contamination on the value of real property. The three potential effects that contamination can have on real property: cost effects, use effects, and risk (stigma) effects. All three effects are recognized as being present with utility-scale wind energy projects, as summarized in my written testimony.
Cost effects can include neighboring owner costs to attempt to mitigate against sound intrusion, shadow flicker, medical costs to deal with sleep deprivation related conditions, as well as, in some instances, the cost to rent substitute housing and potential legal costs incurred to protect individual owner’s property rights, etc. For Agricultural property, there can be increased costs due to the loss of ability to retain aerial spraying services, which can result in increased cost for ground spraying methods and/or decreased crop yields.
Use effects include the loss of peaceful use and enjoyment of their homesteads for many turbine neighbors, and there is evidence that livestock has been adversely impacted by the noise from turbines, ranging from death (goats in Taiwan) to reproductive disorders (See Wirtz case in Wisconsin) and behavioral changes and irritability of horses and cattle. These may also represent cost effects, in some cases, or other forms of financial impact.
Stigma effects can range from loss of aesthetics, diminished views and character of neighborhoods, to fear of health issues and noise disturbance, etc. This effect is often manifest in the lack of marketability of homes in the “footprint” and nearby properties most impacted by active turbines, and to varying degrees the known and unknown cost and use effects are also contributing factors to stigma effects.
My opinions are also based on use of the recognized and generally accepted methods for valuing contaminated properties – paired sales analysis (i.e. Appendix C),environmental case studies analysis (i.e. Appendices B, D, E and F) and multipleregression analysis. (i.e. Appendix D). I have also reviewed studies conducted by other appraisers, which yield similar indications of property value impacts.
In the Adams County matter, my evaluation of the proposed wind turbine setbacks is conducted from a real estate valuation perspective with a land use impact focus, since every land use has some impact upon neighboring land uses and residents. The impact can be substantially positive, negative, or so minimal as to be immeasurable in terms of property values. As I understand it, governmental policies and land use decisions are intended to prevent “significant” negative impacts on property values and the peaceful use and enjoyment of existing property by area residents.
Further, I believe the majority of my written testimony, and supporting basis thereof, is applicable to other locations characterized by residential uses interspersed with historically compatible agricultural land uses.”
To see the conclusions of this report by Mr. McCann, click here:
Discussion of Industrial Nature of Wind Turbine Developments
Why do wind turbine setbacks need to be measured from the property line?
This graphic, adapted from one created by CWESt [down load it here] shows that when the 1250 foot setback is measured from a neighboring home, some of that neighbors land becomes a ‘no-build’ zone.
Once the turbine is up on your neighbor’s land, you can’t build on your own land if it is within 1250 of the turbine.
Under current PSC siting regulations, a 500 foot wind turbine on your neighbors property can be built as close as 1250’ from the foundation of your home.
Farmer A collects the contracted payments from a wind developer and farmers B,C,D,and E lose the right to build on their own land.