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Hammond wind panel OKs property guarantee

The town's Wind Committee voted 9-1 Tuesday evening to adopt the controversial Residential Property Value Guarantee and move it on to the Town Council as part of its proposed wind zoning law. ...With the move, the committee appears to have taken direct aim at the company most interested in locating a wind farm in Hammond.

TURBINE ZONING: Iberdrola counsel says proposed law likely will prevent development

HAMMOND - The town's Wind Committee voted 9-1 Tuesday evening to adopt the controversial Residential Property Value Guarantee and move it on to the Town Council as part of its proposed wind zoning law.

Committee member and wind farm leaseholder Michele W. McQueer cast the lone dissenting vote.

With the move, the committee appears to have taken direct aim at the company most interested in locating a wind farm in Hammond.

In a recent letter from Iberdrola Renewables to the committee, Mark Epstein, senior counsel, wrote, "We believe that if the Committee chooses to pursue the RPVG, it will prevent any development of windpower facilities in Hammond."

In a Wednesday e-mail, Iberdrola Communications Manager Paul Copleman wrote, "We are disappointed in the Committee's decision to recommend the Residential Property Value Guarantee in its current form. While we appreciate and welcome the Committee taking a close look at the concerns expressed by some community members, we have explained the significant and potentially prohibitive burden such a RPVG would place on both members of the community and any company... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

TURBINE ZONING: Iberdrola counsel says proposed law likely will prevent development

HAMMOND - The town's Wind Committee voted 9-1 Tuesday evening to adopt the controversial Residential Property Value Guarantee and move it on to the Town Council as part of its proposed wind zoning law.

Committee member and wind farm leaseholder Michele W. McQueer cast the lone dissenting vote.

With the move, the committee appears to have taken direct aim at the company most interested in locating a wind farm in Hammond.

In a recent letter from Iberdrola Renewables to the committee, Mark Epstein, senior counsel, wrote, "We believe that if the Committee chooses to pursue the RPVG, it will prevent any development of windpower facilities in Hammond."

In a Wednesday e-mail, Iberdrola Communications Manager Paul Copleman wrote, "We are disappointed in the Committee's decision to recommend the Residential Property Value Guarantee in its current form. While we appreciate and welcome the Committee taking a close look at the concerns expressed by some community members, we have explained the significant and potentially prohibitive burden such a RPVG would place on both members of the community and any company wishing to open a business in Hammond."

"We look forward to continuing to working with the Committee, but most likely won't reach any decision about the project's viability until Hammond adopts zoning laws governing wind energy."

The agreement, drafted by Richard K. Champney, committee member and real estate attorney, was reviewed over the past several weeks by all committee members, who offered their suggestions. Many members of the public also were consulted, according to Mr. Champney, who said he had received a horde of phone calls and e-mails, none of which offered opposition to his proposal.

After a lengthy discussion, a motion to incorporate the value guarantee into the final committee report was made by Merritt V. Young and seconded by Ronald R. Papke.

The revised document includes changes in Section 13, "Exclusive option of any residential property owner living within close proximity (2 miles) to a wind turbine," where a property owner has a once-in-a-lifetime right to be reimbursed for his or her real property and 5 acres surrounding that residence at the appraised value, if he or she follows the provisions listed in the document, including:

■ Property owners must notify guarantor within 90 days of issuance of an industrial wind farm permit.

■ Property owners must have been the legal owner of real property at the time permit was issued.

■ Property owners and the guarantor will enter into a 30-day cooling-off period where property owner discusses entering into a good-neighbor program; if it is not possible, they will continue to complete the agreement application.

■ Guarantor will consider relocating wind turbines out of a 2-mile radius of the property owner's residence.

■ If property owner and guarantor have not reached agreement within 60 days, the property owner orders a certified property appraisal that can be used as cost replacement value.

■ If still no agreement, a second and/or even a third appraisal can be ordered that then will be averaged with the first to determine the final controlling value the property owner will receive as a buyout from the guarantor.

This option cannot be used in conjunction with any future guarantee of the sale of a residence.

In further discussion before moving on to the next issue, there was mention made of a good-neighbor agreement that Iberdrola representative Jenny Burke had just made available to committee members, which apparently was offered as an alternative to the value guarantee.

Good-neighbor agreements are made between non-participating land owners in the vicinity of wind turbines and the wind company, according to Ms. Burke, and can involve either monthly or annual payments in exchange for closer proximity. In response to a question from committee member Frederick Proven, Ms. Burke said such agreements typically apply to anyone living within 3,000 feet of a wind turbine but that it hadn't been decided for this particular project because a turbine layout has not yet been established.


Source: http://www.watertowndailyti...

DEC 30 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/29503-hammond-wind-panel-oks-property-guarantee
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