Do wind turbines cause land value to fall?

A recent article by Liz Cotton in the Australian (reprinted at the anti-wind website Wind Watch) quotes a range of opinions to the effect that wind farms cause property values to plummet. Apparently, Sarah Laurie of the Waubra Foundation has been looking for further material on this topic for the journalist.

The article interviews South Australian farmer Richard Paltridge, from near Allendale, who makes a number of assertions including:

  • “with a wind farm on the doorstep, the land value drops by up to 40 per cent”
  • “At a recent auction, he says, a dairy property with land worth about $3000 an acre received a bid of just $800. He blames Spanish Energy giant Acciona’s proposed wind farm as a major detractor”
  • On another tangent, “there is good evidence to suggest wind farms cause increased evaporation and drying of the land, which would lead to increased irrigation and more water use”
  • “The proposed wind farm would prohibit the town’s ability to expand, which would lead to a decline in housing values – if people are even able to sell at all”

The article also regurgitated claims from Elders Rural Services sales manager Shane McIntyre made in a private email to the Landscape Guardians, made public in February. One wonders what value these comments really have, given that the article also acknowledges “McIntyre later said the email was intended for the personal use of the recipient, was made public without his consent and did not represent Elders’ view on wind farms.”

We do have an unretracted comment from one person in real estate, on the public record, from the letters pages of the Goulburn Post.

Dear Editor,
I have been a real estate agent working in Tarago and East of Tarago for 4 years. Over this time we have seen projects progressing and applications in our area including:
1. The Veolia waste site at the old Woodlawn mine
2. The Capital wind farm project
3. The N92 road linking the South coast to Nerriga which impacts on road use through our area
4. Hi Quality’s application to expand building waste at Windellama
5. TriAusMin pending application to re-work tailings dams at Woodlawn mine site

My experience is that local business has benefited from these companies working in our area with the influx of contractors and employment opportunities.

The contractors have also impacted on demand for rental properties giving an opportunity for local residents to generate income. In general the major concern with all of these projects has been the impact on our local roads.

While the Capital wind farm project has made extensive upgrades to the Taylors Creek road, the community continues to bring wider road issues to the attention of council and politicians.

Real estate prices have seen an upward trend in our area due to our close proximity to Canberra. As the Capital continues to grow, those wanting a rural lifestyle are able to settle here and commute to work each day.

I do not believe that either the Veolia or wind farm developments have greatly impacted on buyers decision to purchase in our area.

Judy Alcock

(Goulburn Post, Tuesday July 12, 2011)

For our part at Friends of the Earth, we are unaware at this stage of any statistical studies showing wind farms leading to falling property values, as outlined in our submission to the Senate Inquiry into the Social and Economic Impact of Rural Wind Farms.

32 thoughts on “Do wind turbines cause land value to fall?

  1. “The proposed wind farm would prohibit the town’s ability to expand, which would lead to a decline in housing values”

    So preventing an increase in housing supply causes a drop in house prices?

    Hmmmmm

  2. The Clarkson University study published in July 2011 tracked over 10,000 sales during a 9 year period. The data on Table 9 are compelling, and clearly illustrate that values do indeed fall 40%. If the 3 groupings of data are compared, it indicates there is a significant impact even well beyond 3 miles.

    Clarkson was not funded by wind energy proponents or opponents, and is far more reliable than the contingently worded dismissals of property value losses commissioned by the US government, which is pushing wind development with support of carefully massaged “evidence”.

    Face it…people sell low when their peace & quiet, aesthetics and health are adversely impacted. That is. If they CAN sell. Some have just outright abandoned their homes, as the double whammy of nearby turbines and the sputtering economy have made their property completely unmarketable.

    I have been studying this issue for 6 years, and as a professional real estate appraiser, I can and do state with professional conviction that wind developments reduce nearby values and homeowner equity. Buy outs and value guarantees should be mandatory, if projects are to be approved. Anything less than that is tantamount to a ‘regulatory taking” of homeowner property rights and equity.

    Michael McCann
    McCann Appraisal, LLC
    Chicago, Illinois

      1. Mr. Donaldson:

        Excellent question. The short answer is yes.

        To understand a few examples, as well as the dynamics and principles a little better than your question implies, …please read on.

        1. I have personally worked on a couple surface mining zoning applications where I have recommended that my client’s offer such value guarantees. They have followed my advice, built goodwill in the local communities, and shouldered the responsibility for their project’s impacts…if any. They have even offered well guarantees, in case their excavations created a “cone of depression” in the ground water tables, and adversely impacted any neighboring residential potable water wells.

        2. I recall a community-scale shopping center development in Oak Lawn Illinois, where the developer claimed at the Zoning hearing that the adjacent homes would not lose value. So the local authorities essentially said “put up or shut up”, and the developer indeed guaranteed in writing the neighboring value of homes. In the event any neighbors wanted to move away from the new shopping center they were guaranteed the appraised value “as if” the shopping center were never developed.

        3. The waste disposal industry has found that value guarantees are effective tools to manage the risk of their landfills, and the industry leader, Waste Management, has offered property value guarantees at the outset of numerous applications for siting approval of their waste disposal facilities. I know of a few homes that have actually been adversely affected by the neighboring landfill, and have been bought out and resold for the value the market would pay for a house next to a landfill. The facility I am most familiar with that had such buyouts was also a facility emanating odor impacts on the neighbors sometimes… Not unlike the adverse impacts that are broadcast over property near 400-500 foot turbines in the sense of being a bona-fide nuisance!

        4. Going back a few decades, the City of Chicago instituted a value guarantee for certain neighborhoods that were experiencing racial change, and the values of homes in large population neighborhoods were guaranteed and it helped stem the tide of “white flight” from those very neighborhoods.

        5. Neither last nor least, I can also name several Counties in Illinois who have faced wind development applications, and who approved the developments CONDITIONED upon such values guarantees. Google DeKalb County, Illinois, where Florida Power & Light (via NextEra subsidiary) finally agreed to such a guarantee, even though they initially said they would abandon the project if such a requirement were put into effect as part of the approval. Other Counties and political subdivisions in the USA have also required or have Ordinances that require value guarantees. Several other ZBA’s recommended PVG’s to the full County Board(s)…unfortunately, only to have politics trump common sense and protection of the public health, safety & welfare (i.e., property values). It is unfortunate than many people in charge of implementing or enforcing zoning regulations have little knowledge or concern for the purpose and intent of zoning laws and other basic, protective ordinances…that being to protect the public health safety & welfare.

        6. A new program recently reported in the USA would guarantee lenders 95% of the mortgage loans made, in order to stimulate the real estate sale and mortgage markets and alleviate lender’s fears of declining value of their collateral.

        This example (6) has nothing to do with turbines or other LULU’s (Locally Unwanted Land Uses), but I must ask, if banks with Billions in assets are to be guaranteed their loan amounts, where is the “equal protection” under the law for homeowners who are facing a significant loss of equity, due to no poor decision of their own or otherwise prevalent market conditions? Are wind developers to be given a blank check for the entire project, with government funding (taxpayer funding) on one hand, and no responsibility for financial ruin they bring upon a sizable number of people residing in the host communities?

        7. Easements and portions of private land and property rights are often appropriated by government for projects that are intended to be for the “public good”. Just compensation must be and has been paid to 10’s or hundreds of thousands of property owners, for reasons such as pipelines buried in their property, loss of trees and thin strips of land from frontage of their property, bringing highways and the attendant noise closer to their residential dwellings, power lines, schools, hospitals, sewerage treatment plants, etc. Their rights have been at least partially protected under the law, and compensation paid when even a nominal (much less 40%) of value reduction has occurred. While this form of “value guarantee” is commonplace, wind development has been essentially exempted, thus far, from mandatory payment for reduced values, even though such developments adversely impact light, peaceful enjoyment of property and cast uncompensated easements (Easements in Gross) across thousands and thousands of properties.

        Face it, in these times, most homeowners are very near being upside down on their mortgages as it is, if not already there, and another 25% to 40% devaluation of their homes is devastating to them both financially and as a quality of life issue. More often than not, they can’t simply pack up the truck and put a for sale sign on the old farmstead, since buyers are far and few between for such properties.

        The concepts are simple: Since nearby properties often become impacted in a variety of ways (noise, shadow flicker, sleep deprivation and health issues materializing after operations commence, …home abandonment due to the preceding in some of the most severe cases…world-wide, I might add)..then the developers can and should easily absorb the cost of their impacts and STILL realize a significant and “fair” return on their investment.

        In fact, if their claims of “no impact on value” are to be believed, then the test of their willingness and commitment to being good neighbors is a simple matter of reselling any homes that nearby owners elect to vacate with appropriate payment for the property, and the developers can then presumably resell at or very near the same price as they just paid….or absorb the loss they caused.

        If my son broke a neighbors window, the home is probably still valuable, but you can bet your pension that I would require my son to mow lawns & shovel driveways to earn the money to pay back the cost of repair. It is a simple matter of responsibility for one’s actions, …one that the wind development community seems to ignore in favor of their maximization of profits. Easy to see what is wrong with this picture, unless you think it is OK to sacrifice bystanders for the financial gain of mostly multi-national corporations (or politically well connected local developers.)

        Wind turbine developments are unprecedented in size, scale, visual, aesthetic, noise and adverse health experiences. They operate 24/7 when the wind blows, and operations cannot be buffered by placement within enclosed buildings…like most industrial uses.

        Declining property values are a symptom, & often suffer as a direct result of the “market” aversion to live near such facilities…on both the existing owner and potential buyer side of the equation.

        While the declining residential real estate market of recent years can be analogously compared to a car with a flat tire, the indiscriminate scattering of nails on the roadway, flattening even more tires for some vehicles, is compounding the problem for many citizens.

        So to answer your question Mr.Donaldson, Yes ….many large scale land uses that change the character of residential neighborhoods…including mixed use rural residential/agricultural neighborhoods,…have either voluntarily, or have conditionally been required to guarantee neighboring property values, in order to accomplish their profit-driven goals.

        Beyond negative value impacts clearly indicated by numerous individual case studies and thousands of sale data crunched in at least two separate regression analyses, fundamental fairness dictates that industrial scale wind developments should not be given the “right” to deprive people of their hard earned equity, without just compensation to the neighbors. Please read the conclusion of Heintzelman, which ends with comments to the effect of compensation to neighbors is justifiable. Although he is not a seasoned property valuation specialist, even his academic background could not miss the fairness of making people “whole”, when projects such as these are injurious to their property values.

        My question to you is this: How does anyone who is not profiting from wind development justify exclusion of value guarantees? Or setbacks that would prevent such a need?

        To avoid the need for guarantees, setbacks must be considered and established in terms of miles and kilometers, instead of the feet and meters that ease the way for uncompensated wind project easements.

        Best wishes,

        Michael McCann
        McCann Appraisal, LLC
        Chicago, Illinois

    1. Thank you Michael. It’s more than a little curious that the claimed land devaluations in this area haven’t occurred around the Toora windfarm and surrounding areas. Comparing property sale prices from pre-windfarm days to now, approximately 6 years later, prices now are more than 40% higher. In short, the windfarm has had no effect.

      Maybe you should face the fact that wind energy in the US is growing rapidly, Texas being the current largest producer of electricity from wind. The state lawmakers clearly know a good thing when they see it even if the anti-wind cranks at the federal level can’t see it.

      Of course some people will be convinced that they can’t live with wind farms or any other development near the property and will sell for any price. Even so, experience he has shown that any initial devaluation has evaporated within a year or so of the project’s completion.

      Given that landholders here in Australia have been offered fair compensation and that there are no practical ways to determine what any setback should be. Picking some arbitrary distance out of the hat is ridiculous. The fact of the matter is that no matter what distance is legislated. Some people will never be happy.

      1. Blair,
        I understand and recognize the claims made by wind industry rep’s…I have heard them at over a dozen hearings. Unfortunately, those claims are false, and you repeat them by rote as if they are facts. I agree about arbitrary setbacks…that is exactly what wind developers seek and often get, on the basis of “industry” standards, for which none actually exist. It is a shame that wind energy proponents simply deny all examples of negative impacts, rather than encourage or even commission true independent health studies, noise evaluations, etc. It is these very impacts that have an adverse impact on mammals, including the people who truly suffer from a range and variety of symptoms.

        I do not recall if any homeowners have abandoned their homes in close proximity to the Toora project you mention, but I am well aware of a growing number of such cases by Wabura. What is the difference in setbacks between the two? That may be a relevant indication of how far the turbine impacts are broadcast.

        If there are no value impacts, then tell me what is the harm of requiring developers to bond such a guarantee, or buy out those whom they have erected huge power plants adjacent? After all, to accept their claim as valid, it would follow that they could easily resell homes and property they purchased, and even their profit margin would not decline.

        Simply stated…In my experience, they talk the talk, but do not walk the walk.

      2. Michael, you have no conclusive evidence to prove there is any long-term property valued appreciations due to wind farms.

        I can tell you for a fact that at least two people were offered and accepted “compensation” to move from the Toora windfarm, one chose to move to a property less than 2 km from the windfarm, another has moved further away.

        You’ll probably happily ignore the fact that another person bought land when news of the proposed windfarm was first raised, presumably he hoped to host some turbines and was apparently quite supportive of the project until he discovered his property would not be required.

        In any case, there are several people who have since bought properties right next to the windfarm and have absolutely no problems with it.

        If gullible people want to be convinced that wind farms are detrimental to their health and choose to have a fire sale, you can’t blame others for buying cheap.

        What you fail to demonstrate is that property owners hosting windfarms have any issues with property values or their health. That is the conundrum windfarm opponents have yet to address.

  3. Thankyou for posting the reference. It is an interesting study. In particular, the conclusions reached are at variance with the conclusions you draw.
    (The report can be downloaded here: http://friendsofjohnbyrne.com/pdfreports/reporttwovalues.pdf)

    “In a study recently accepted for publication in the journal Land Economics, Heintzelman and Tuttle find that property values declined following the development of new wind facilities in Clinton and Franklin Counties in Northern New York, but that, in Lewis County, property values were unaffected, and possibly increased.” (Clarkson University website)

    “By and large, I was not surprised,” Mr. Heintzelman said Monday afternoon. “Anti-wind groups have a lot of complaints, and if those issues are perceived to persist, it is going to affect property values.” http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/article/20110720/NEWS03/707209999

    Not exactly a ringing endorsement of the anti-wind farm campaigns. Perhaps they ought to be the ones charged for compensation?

  4. “Going back a few decades, the City of Chicago instituted a value guarantee for certain neighborhoods that were experiencing racial change, and the values of homes in large population neighborhoods were guaranteed and it helped stem the tide of “white flight” from those very neighborhoods.”

    Sad….Thank God I don’t live in Chicago where racists have their homes subsidised.

    1. Leeroy,

      That program ended long ago. Sad that was all you gleaned from the numerous examples of other property value guarantees. Ironic that you apparently don’t find it equally sad that rural homeowners are forced to subsidize industrial wind development with their evaporated home equity.

      P.S.
      Before you erroneously assume all of Chicago is racist, maybe you should ask how many indigenous people you count among your friends and neighbors, eh?

      Michael

      Moderator’s note: this is not the forum to discuss racism, lets keep to the topic people. (from Ben)

  5. Around here there was clearly a shift away from any property sales while there was a windfarm being touted by the new hawthorn football club president newbold.
    While its very hard to say there was a fall in price – because nothing could be sold there was certainly no rise.
    Prehaps it could be said the price fell by 100% because no one would buy anything?
    The majority of people have no wish to live next to something that is large, moving and making noise, some do not like the view of them, others dont care. There are many factors here that if applied to any other situation would drive down prices so I see no reason that windfarms would not scare of potential buyers. Any reduction in demand will cause a reduction in price.

    1. Good points Peter.

      Property prices and values move slower, but otherwise similarly to other commodities. Human emotion, access to jobs and amenities (or lack thereof) and the principle of expectation affect supply and demand, and sometimes when NO property sells near turbines, that is the best evidence that the buyer’s market finds it “valueless”.

      Abandoned homes are a clear illustration of the seller side of the market finding their investments to be valueless as well, and even someone who is upside down in their mortgage will continue to live in a tenable home unless they are evicted by the lender. Getting “constructively” evicted by turbine nuisances, however, is the actual cause of so many cases of abandonment.

  6. I wonder why no-one has resonded to this comment:
    “By and large, I was not surprised,” Mr. Heintzelman said Monday afternoon. “Anti-wind groups have a lot of complaints, and if those issues are perceived to persist, it is going to affect property values.”
    http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/article/20110720/NEWS03/707209999

    If anti-wind campaigning is the source of the attitudes that cause property values to drop then anyone worried about their property values might be best off running the anti-wind campaigners out of town!

    1. Reporting facts is the cause? That is utterly ridiculous and does not merit any more of my attention.

      You probably blame other victims for being robbed, raped conned too, eh?

      No reply to dozens of points I made is all the evidence I need of your intent.

      Buh bye :>)

      1. Reporting what facts? “Facts” like the medically unrecognised, invented disease “wind turbine syndrome”? I did see that you made a point about it, but this website has dealt with that issue at length elsewhere so I didn’t bother to respond; search for posts under the category “wind farms and health”.

        I am responding to the study that you yourself mentioned, as you seem to derive a different conclusion than the authors of the study. They do not speak of an across-the-board 40% drop in value anywhere that I can see. In fact they said that in one case of three, land values increased not decreased.

        The issue I’m addressing is not whether wind developers ought to offer guarantees against the value of properties; I’m questioning how accurate it is to say that wind farms in and of themselves cause a loss in value.

  7. Ben, it makes no difference if they are facts or not, simple put a potential buyer of a property is free to believe what he or her wants to. You obviously think that all anti wind groups are not telling the truth about negative effects – therefore you would not be deterred.
    But the majority of people have no reason to beleive they are dishonest and are therefore deterred, it is their choice what to perceive.
    It does not matter what the “cause” of devaluation is, if it was purely asthetic then there would still be a reduction as not everyone likes the look of them, I personally have no gripe about the visual aspect of a couple of turbines for example, but I know people who hate them and those who love them.
    Im not aware of any study that claims there is no effect on values, its really much the same as any other nuisance industry, railway line, high voltage power, coal seam gas, coal mine etc – all are perceived as bad by certain people and they will choose not to want to purchase nearby thus reducing demand and value.

    1. Unbelievable, so facts don’t matter? No wonder windfarm opponents love anecdotes but abhor evidence that refute their claims. We can’t have the facts getting in the way of a good story eh?

      “You obviously think that anti-wind groups are not telling the truth about negative effects…”

      You’ve got that right, they are the masters of distortion, innuendo, misdirection and the occasional threat but honestly and openness are not among their positive traits.

  8. MMcC – You’re the one providing examples of property value guarantees – not me.
    If it concluded long ago or if it’s irrelevant – don’t use it to support your arguments.

  9. I was responsible for the development of the Toora wind farm. Something that I continue to be proud of today.

    The wind farm area was already zoned as suitable for a wind farm in the town plan but during the development we offered to purchase two nearby neighbours properties and pay full moving costs etc. They had purchased next to a zoned wind farm area but we wanted to give them the opportunity to move at no cost to them if they did not like the idea of living with the wind farm. One of them accepted, and we used the property as accommodation during construction with intention to sell after the wind farm was complete so people would know what they were buying in to. However we had so many enquiries that we sold during construction and made a profit – even after transaction and moving costs were taken into account!

    The other neighbour decided to stay and protest for a number of years, despite a good offer to move since before the wind farm was built. They were rolled around various opposition group functions to show case the evils of wind farms.

    This experience and others like them have taught me:
    1. property values are affected by many other factors that usually overshadow the presence of a wind farm.
    2. the motives of people objecting to wind farms is often unclear. Why would anyone choose to stay in a place they found too noisy or they think is devalued when they could move away from the wind farm at no cost to them?

  10. Its a sad situation when developers think that they can buy families up and have them relocate regardless of their background and hertitage to the land.
    The situation at Daylesford appears to becoming worst…

  11. Tom is correct. Many homeowners I have personally interviewed are loathe to be chased out of thier homes, even when they are being adversely impacted. If Mr. Mackie has paid any compensation to a homeowner without being sued and settling under a confidentiality clause, then he is indeed a rare and unique developer, as most would rather deny that there are any impacts of any kind, at ANY distance. Then they sell thier LLC and never have to deal with keeping all the promises and assurances they gave to garner approval.

    Many issues affect property values. True. Adding a nuisance of varying degree into any housing market location simply makes bad matters worse.

    I have worked on dozens and dozens of zoning/development projects over the last 30 years, and have NEVER found one that resulted in so many people abandoning their homes, their biggest investment, or their roots in a community. Wind projects are singularly unique in that regard.

    I have no way of knowing for sure if Mr. Mackie paid a fair market value price or if the owners that sold to them did so at a discounted price/value, to avoid the impacts of the wind project. If you resold at a profit, that would be the first example I heard of, as I know of several examples where developers bulldozed the purchased homes to avoid future liability, or resold at 40% to 80% losses below the fair market price they paid….and sold with buyer required to sign a waiver of liability against any noise, health or valuation loss claims.

    Mr. Mackie would understand this concept a little better, even without being a real estate expert, if he envisioned a development 500 meters from his family home of dozens of 40-50 story high rise buildings with heli-pads on the roof, and which have flashing lights and helicopters operating all hours of the day and night and 2-acre speakers broadcasting low frequency announcements of the coming and going of the helicopters in the direction of his childrens bedroom windows. Would he tell his wife and kids to “put on headphones”, or “close the blinds”, or “turn up the volume on your T.V.”, as I have heard so many other homeowners were told when complaining of similar impacts to wind developers? Or, would he call the cops and file a complaint about the nuisance of the all night noise and sleep disturbances?

    I guess it would depend on if he was making the money from those 50 story buildings…that is where the differences in view seem to mostly divide people. Those who make money claim “no problems”, and those who experience the problems must move away to end the problem…and they lose money….from the sound of it, like Mr. Mackie’s example.

    P.S. I am not a wind opponent. I am a professional appraiser, and my opinions have been developed on empirical evidence and unbiased analysis of facts. I have no stake in any wind project’s outcome, and am not on anyones payroll, as I am self employed. So, call me a “wind opponent” if you wish. But saying it don’t make it any truer than other wind “proponent” claims of no impacts on health, values, scenery, aesthetics, etc.

  12. A few years back we had a wind farm developer offer us and around 5 neighbours turbines, predictably everyone around protested etc when they learned of this.
    About this time we looked into things a bit more, at this stage there was a long standing drought and money was tight, the money from the turbines would have been nice.
    One of my children has a partner in a law firm who contacted the developer regarding issue surrounding land values and certain aspects of the contract.
    When she suggested the land values would fall and cited a few examples the developer basically dropped all communications with us, I suspect as they knew we had family members in law and were not just going to take their word for everything.
    Soon after the development fell through and we’ve never heard anything again.
    To me the land value issue is important if your thinking of selling for retirement in the near future, It wouldnt take a vast amount of brain power to know a large moving noise structure would have a negative effect on value.
    Maybe it wouldnt be a problem if you owned many thousands of acres and had no intention of selling in the future.

  13. Dear Michael,

    If you are telling people that the turbines are like having 40-50 high rise buildings 500m from the house with helipads on them constantly operating and with 2 acre speakers on them then I’m not surprised nearby property values are falling. I certainly wouldn’t want to live in that environment, but would have no problem living at a distance from a wind turbine that meets the noise regulations.

    I have no problem with a healthy discussion on genuine effects of wind turbines, but gross exageration doesnt help.

  14. Richard Mackie is very selective with facts. I remember when he was project managing the Sidonia Hills wind farm project just out of Kyneton, he announced in the newspaper that after wind testing the project was unlikely to proceed as it would not be commerciaslly viable due to a lack of wind – this is when the then federal government announced no increase in MRETS. Then when the MRETS were increased, magically, the winds were back and the project was on again. Richard you know what Michael means when he uses the metaphor of 50 storey buildings and and helicopters and like your no wind story at Sidonia Hills I do not believe you would willingly live within 500m of turbines.

  15. Richard,

    My analogy is about as close to the experience of thousands of turbine neighbors as conventional descriptions can allow. The wind industry has done a very thorough job of using PR campaigns to deny the extent and frequency of negative impacts, so any claim by you of me exaggerating is…shall we say…just a bit hypocritical and disingenuous ~

    I do not drive down property values, as you seem to want others to believe. I simply REPORT the actual instances of this growing trend, and which is well documented by numerous other unbiased real estate professionals, as well as individuals who have been chased off their property by untenable living conditions. (Shoot the messenger, eh?)

    Noise standards are far from standard, and as I have learned from the unbiased acoustic engineers, most industry preferred ‘standards” completely fail to address the low frequency noise levels, even though they KNOW this is where most complaints and health-impact links derive from.

    Why not just buy out anyone who chooses to regain their rural, quiet environment and lifestyle, and resell those properties, at the profit you claim you can achieve? Simple formula: Developer and homeowner each select appraiser/valuer; if within 10%, average the two opinions, and if not, let the 2 original appraisers select a 3rd to arbitrate the value basis. Then pay the owner the fair market value, and turn around and resell to one of the many people you undoubtedly know of who find wind turbines to be an enhancement to the character of their area, and make that profit on the resale? I mean, if what you say is true, then moving around money a couple times is just being a “good neighbor”. But if what I say is true then tell me what justifies your project causing people to lose equity for your sake?

    This is the point in the debate when wind developers usually claim it is not fair to require them to pay anyone for any value loss…or they just go silent in the face of the unarguable fairness of paying for one’s own impacts. Is a 25% project investment return not adequate while being a good neighbor, rather than a 30% ROI while disregarding other people’s rights? Again, if you are right, it is 30% either way.

    With all due respect, I say put up or shut up. It is unfair to force folks to hire lawyers they can’t afford, especially when developers have a team of lawyers ready to consume the rest of any individuals savings with the “insurance defense method”.

    P.S. That is another observable trend, and is SOP for developers being sued by neighbors who can’t sleep…sell their home, or who have had health problems AFTER the wind project went on line (and which dissipates when they move away).

    As a real estate appraiser, I endeavor to research the motivation of any sale of property. I don’t tell people to sell because of this or that impact. They tell me why they did.

    Not spin. Facts!

    Regards,

    Michael McCann

    1. Michael the scenario you describe is so unfamiliar to me that I have no way to comment further. Peter you seem to have diverged in topic, but yes I would happily live 500m from a wind turbine. It would be alot quiter than the busy road with heavy traffic that I live next to now! Would you mind sending me a copy of the Leader article? I’d like to see if you’re misquoting me.

      1. If what you find acceptable is true, I can put you in touch with dozens and dozens of people in the US, from Cape Cod to California, Illinois to New Hampshire, Wisconsin to Texas, and just about any climate, price point, elevation, etc you may desire… people who have lovely homes near turbines that they would happily sell to you…as no one else wants them.

        Interestingly, the Clarkson study shows 35-40% decline in values at 1/10 to 1/4 mile…in the range of your 500m “lack of impact” distance.

        It’s OK Richard…I know your livelihood depends on you NOT understanding the reality of turbine impacts. I won’t waste any more of your time trying to get you to understand facts, as industry claims are clearly good enough for you to sleep well at night. Presumably, NOT within 500 meters of a turbine project…right? Silent night for you,..but your project neighbors??

        Merry Christmas, sir.

      2. Richard I am not misquoting you (as you probably already know). You are journeyman wind farm developer moving from company to company (as is your right to do). However like most developers (and this is what amazes me with true believers like Cam and Ben) you will do and say anything to get your project through- which is an admirable quality. But like the snake oil salesmen and carpet baggers of old you will bend the truth to get what you want (a salary for you and the job achieved for the developer) I guess what sticks in my craw is that the likes of Cam and Ben who would be critiical of a developer in Melbourne that want to erect a 40 storey apartment block in a suburban area that would change the character of a neighbourhood fully endorse a developer that wants to erect wind turbibes in a rural landscape within 800m of homes as in the Sidonia Project. I know you will say that the turbines are for the greater good as would the developer of the suburban high rise say that urban consolidation is for the greater good.

  16. Despite writing such long posts, Michael really hasn’t addressed the issue raised by the study he referred us to: in one case (out of three) land values may have actually increased when the wind farm was built. Yet he keeps referring us to a “35-40% decline in values” which the report did not mention anywhere.

    Nor has he really addressed the issue that land value is partly based on very subjective considerations, so for example a concerted campaign to convince people that wind farms are damaging to your health (as we have here in Australia) could in fact impact itself on those land values. This was also alluded to in the study he mentioned.

    It seems that citing evidence accurately is a low priority when you are running a campaign? As an environmentalist, I can’t afford to take that attitude.

    Certainly people may sell up near wind farms that have been built. That’s fair enough, they can do what they want. But I’m not convinced you can make the wind developer liable necessarily; not as a general rule anyway. If the government builds social housing down the road from me, I could decide it’s destroyed the character of the area or whatever and sell up – but I don’t think my prejudice against welfare recipients entitles me to compensation! The analogy may not be entirely accurate but close enough I think.

    1. Ben,

      See Table 9 on page 37 of July 16, 2011 Clarkson report. You will see the 35%-40% at the close in setbacks, which Richard would be willing to live next to, so long as it met the antiquated noise level ordinance. He may be one of the folks who is not disturbed by low frequency noise, but there are a sizable percentage who are in fact disturbed. To the point of elevated blood pressure, sleep deprivation, and other measurable violations of the World Health Organizations standards and guidelines.

      Clarkson – The 1 out of 3 that did not show any decline was an area with a national forest as a buffer between wind farm & homes, and very few home sales in the closer range. Sometimes a lack of sale data is strong evidence of a lack of marketability or liquidity of any investment…even a house. A common impact.

      Yes, land and home values include subjective considerations. And in real estate, those subjective considerations are all part of the “market”…the very same market that establishes patterns and trends that set market value.

      Your public housing analogy appears to be some kind of “bait”, but I will confirm that when the “market” has an aversion to living near a high-crime location, if that is the reputation of the projects, then values do indeed suffer from that aversion to living in or near such a location.

      Why do you deny that people actually suffer health impacts near turbines? Has not the preponderance of evidence, unbiased health studies (not industry propaganda) been of any concern to you or your “position”? Are not “people” part of the environment you wish to protect? Do you really think there is such a conspiracy or campaign that stretches from Australia, to Britain to Germany, to Denmark to the USA and Canada…to Japan, Taiwan, etc? THAT would really be something Ben, if all these thousands of unconnected people were able to keep their “conspiracy” a secret…with none of their smoking gun conspiracy emails showing up in a wind proponents in-box.

      I never claimed that there was a 40% “across the board” impact on values, as a prior pro-wind commenter inaccurately misquoted me. Clarkson (and my own studies) have found a definitive proximity link, however, and at 3 miles, the impact is still double-digit significant and commonplace.

      To use another analogy…if 200 people are on a plane that crashes and 2 survive somehow, that does not give the pro-aviation industry the right to claim that plane crashes are survivable… it’s just plain misleading. Much like the attempts to discredit my comments. Much like the lack of response to the legitimacy of Property Value Guarantees as an effective tool to mitigate value impacts, and put the responsibility for those losses on the companies and people who cause them.

      But if you do not believe people have a right to influence development patterns or land uses near them into “zones” that protect the health safety and welfare of their families, maybe you would not mind a hazardous waste dump placed on the lot next to your family home. Some developer would be willing to do that to make a buck…

  17. There have been four major studies which contradict the findings of the study referenced here. This study is specifically in a hot-bed of anti-wind activism. Towns in this region were the case studies in the anti-wind documentary Windfall. Lisa Linowes, anti-wind activist with ties to the Heartland Institute and the Koch Brothers (relatively notorious funders of astroturfing) is active in this region, and was the only technical advisor to the Windfall documentary.

    In other words, it is more likely that anti-wind activism is causing problems than wind turbines, just as with health effects.
    http://www.quora.com/Wind-Power/Do-wind-turbines-reduce-the-value-of-nearby-properties

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