Using the state's lone wind farm in Tucker County as an example, Jay Goldman told the PSC Tuesday that the proposed project for Greenbrier County would only affect five parcels closest to the project.
Goldman, a former Charleston mayor who owns property about 12 miles from Beech Ridge Energy's planned Greenbrier County project, said "it's far more objectionable to see scrap yards and a refrigeration business, but no one is complaining about those."
"It would be better to look at a wind farm from a distance than a scrap yard," he said.
The PSC is holding hearings on whether to grant Beech Energy a permit to develop the $300 million project.
The Tucker County project, which is operated by Mountaineer Wind Energy Center, has 44 turbines. Based on interviews with nearby property owners, and a review of tax records, Goldman said, "it is my opinion that the project did not adversely impact land values.
"I talked to the assessor in Tucker County and he said no one in Tucker County has requested any tax relief or changes in tax assessments for properties around the project," said Goldman, who was paid by Beech Ridge Energy to conduct the study.
Diana Everett, attorney for the anti-wind farm group Friends of Greenbrier, produced a document which purportedly came from land books at the Tucker County clerks office showing property tax assessments have decreased by 9 percent since 2003.
Goldman said Tucker County's assessor told him property assessments actually increased 7 percent. The Tucker County wind farm went online in 2002.
Residents and businesses opposed to Beech Ridge's wind farm have claimed it would hurt property values and destroy the county's scenic views.
The Greenbrier resort and its affiliated real estate development, The Greenbrier Sporting Club, have filed letters with the PSC opposing the project. The two are about 20 miles from the proposed wind farm.
"I don't think The Sporting Club is close enough for the turbines to have any effect," said Goldman. "I don't see why The Greenbrier or The Sporting Club has any part in this case."
The PSC must issue a decision on Beech Ridges application by Aug. 28.