The wind industry has required subsidy at the federal, state, local and individual levels by demanding federal production tax credits, state mandates, local tax abatement and setbacks from neighboring residences instead of neighboring property lines. Measuring setbacks from neighboring residences results in the uncompensated taking of property, because neighbors’ land is not protected from the intrusion of wind turbine project hazards such as ice throw, thrown blade fragments, noise and vibrations, and flickering shadows.
Today Ohio Governor Kasich has restored the balance of power to rural citizens and communities by requiring setbacks to be measured from property lines, not nearby residences. If a wind developer wants to locate turbines closer than the new setback allows, the developer must negotiate easements and compensate rural landowners for the intrusion of wind turbine project impacts.
The wind industry disputes these project impacts, but routinely requires turbine leaseholders to waive their rights to object to those impacts. Matched pair studies have shown significant property devaluation where turbines are sited too close to neighboring properties. Yet the industry rejects the use of property value guarantees. Wind developers can’t have it both ways. If there are no property value impacts, there is no risk in a property value guarantee.
The Strickland Administration promised to address siting issues when SB 221 was passed, but they never did. Senator Seitz asked that Ohio’s minimum standards not default to the maximum. They did. Rural Ohio communities agreed to local zoning pre-emption on the belief they would be protected and they were not. Today Governor Kasich has righted that wrong and given back to thousands of Ohio families the right to the peaceful and safe enjoyment of their property.