Articles filed under Property Values from Illinois
The board’s five-member zoning committee drafted a proposed revision to the county’s ordinance regulating wind farms last Friday in order to protect the value of non-participating landowners’ property. Under the proposal, before a special-use permit is issued for a wind farm, the owner/operator of the wind farm must guarantee to pay the difference if any non-participating property within two miles of the wind farm ends up being sold for less than its fair cash value or assessed value.
He also illustrated reasons for people to sell property with a turbine on or near it include health impacts. ...He said it’s [not] a “conspiracy theory” among neighbors when it comes to those health impacts, but he affirmed those events do occur. ...Property impact studies have been done throughout the world and one he described showed assessed values indicated a 20 percent deviation from assessed sale value.
A wind "farm" creates an easement in gross over neighboring, non-participating property that impairs value. Thus, it is tantamount to an "inverse condemnation", or regulatory taking of private property rights.....an uncompensated taking.
Concerned Lee County residents spent most of Wednesday night's wind hearing taking apart an appraiser's report.
For most of the 2 1/2-hour meeting, Crowley was cross-examined by Rockford attorney Rick Porter, who is representing Hamilton Township and a number of private landowners fighting the wind farm. Crowley conceded he didn't know the proposed height or width of the turbines.
A proposal to protect the property values of homes near wind turbines is gaining support. Two of the five members of the Lee County Zoning Board of Appeals, which is reviewing the county's wind energy ordinance, said at their meeting Thursday that they backed a home seller protection program for residents near turbines.
The ordinance details a complex appraisal process, in which the homeowner and the wind energy company each would choose an appraiser. In the end, if appraisers find that a home sold for less because of nearby turbines, then the wind energy company would pay the difference.
Use effects include the loss of peaceful use and enjoyment of homesteads for many turbine neighbours, and there is evidence that livestock has been adversely impacted by the noise from turbines, ranging from death (goats in Taiwan) to reproductive disorders (in Wisconsin) and behavioral changes and irritability of horses and cattle. Those may also represent cost effects, in some cases, or other forms of financial impact.
ZBA board members Michael Cornale and Joan Huisman wanted Gamesa to include a "good neighbor plan" in its project. It would ensure property owners in the area will be compensated if property values drop because of the wind farm. The county's attorney, Tom Blakeman, said such a requirement is not currently in the county's ordinances.
Since Houston-based Horizon Wind Energy has proposed putting up 29 wind turbines in Logan County, along with 37 turbines in Tazewell County, many arguments have surfaced regarding whether the construction might have a negative impact on some local residents. ...The first zoning board of appeals' public hearing will be Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in the Hartsburg-Emden High School gymnasium, where Horizon will present its testimony and call witnesses in support of its evidence. Porter will call his witnesses and cross-examine Horizon's testimony at a zoning board of appeals meeting, which will follow Horizon's on a separate day. "We have hired an appraiser, Michael McCann, who has done a study specific to the proposed Logan County Turbine Facility. Mr. McCann has extensive experience with valuing affects of proposed projects on nearby properties," said Porter. "Unlike Mr. Poletti, Mr. McCann has no pre-study biases that impact his decisions.
The Tazewell County Zoning Board of Appeals has been holding public hearings since April 1, getting public input on the proposed Rail Splitter Wind Farm by Houston-based Horizon Wind Energy LLC. ...Spanos presented an acoustical engineer from Michigan who said the wind towers would create noise that could affect nearby residents and a real estate appraiser who said property values near the farm could drop. "These wind farm turbines surround the properties," said Michael McCann, a real estate appraiser from Chicago who said homes near the proposed farm could drop in value between 20 percent and 30 percent.
The people affected by a future wind farm in Tazewell and Logan counties had a chance Tuesday night to meet employees of Horizon Wind Energy and ask tough questions about the giant turbines going up in their backyards. The small, serious crowd of visitors to the Emden Community Center's basement brought to the meeting a mix of optimism and skepticism. Horizon Wind Energy, which already has a wind farm in McLean County, is planning to build another wind farm that will stretch from Emden in Logan County to Delavan in Tazewell County. "I don't like it. It ain't gonna be win-win for me," said Gene Aper. Aper's home is going to be surrounded by wind turbines. Aper said he has talked to real estate agents who told him that his property value will go down 10 to 20 percent because of the nine wind turbines that will be visible from his front door.
As the debate over "Wind Farms" continues, and is now into court, I cannot help but wonder why it has progressed this far dividing neighbors, friends and families. I also reflect on how the whole ordeal, which has put much undue stress on all parties involved, could have been avoided had our County Board followed normal protocol regarding the granting of Special Use Permits. Last fall, when the hearing for Special Use Application was in front of the County Zoning Board of Appeals, there were several long nights of testimony from both sides. After all testimony was heard, the Zoning Board of Appeals voted 3-1 to deny the application. At that point, in normal county procedure, the issue is over and the applicants must wait a year to apply again. However, in this case, our County Board leadership decided to be above the norm and overturn the Zoning Board of Appeal's recommendation forcing themselves and the county into imminent litigation.
After an executive session Monday night, the Stephenson County Planning and Development Committee approved motions recommending that the county not require a homeowner protection plan for the local wind farms. In a unanimous vote, the committee endorsed removing the stipulations in the wind farm special-use permits that require the county to create a protection plan. The full County Board will likely vote on this issue at its next meeting at 6:30 p.m. May 9.
Terry Groves, director of planning and zoning for the county, said he wouldn't be surprised if the plan gets laid over for another 30 days. But he's unsure what will happen Monday. The plan is designed to set up terms by which the wind-farm companies would compensate adjacent homeowners who experience a loss in property value due to the wind towers. The plan has been the subject of considerable debate, but a final version of the document has not yet been approved. The lawsuits, filed in late February, have delayed the county's approval of the protection plan. The suits seek to invalidate the special-use permits that would allow two companies to build wind farms in Stephenson County.
The uptrend in prices will continue in 2007, according to 83% of survey respondents. "Their responses tell us that the pace will be at a 5% rate or higher in the upcoming 12 months," Brorsen notes. "This will be the 21st year of expanding farm values in Illinois. There is a lot of cash flowing into Illinois farm real estate." The prospects for ethanol and bio-diesel production in the Midwest is the catalyst that has sparked commodity markets, says Mac Boyd, Farmers National Company, Arcola. "Ethanol and bio-diesel plants are being constructed and planned in several areas of the state and premiums are being paid for land close to proposed or existing plants. Wind turbines and coal gasification developments are also happening in several parts of Illinois. This overall energy focus bodes well for the longer term prospects of renewable resources being used for fuel."
So, those of us who purchased our property from a farmer, at his price, and who were warned by the county zoning board to never complain about the smell, or the dust, or the noise, or the manure that are inherent in “farm” operations, have every right to object to these enormous machines that will loom over their homes forever. The board never forbade us to complain about non-farm business conducted on farm land.
We cannot avoid the fact that some people will suffer from the wind farm projects, but we can ensure that the wind farm companies adequately compensate the damaged individuals for their losses. No reason exists that a farmer who happens to own the specific property on which the company will place its turbines will earn hundreds of thousands of dollars of revenue from the project, while a simple family with a small home adjacent to the wind farm will lose tens of thousands of dollars of property value from the same project. County officials can and should insist that corporations obtaining permits for wind farms agree to a legal process whereby individuals whose property values are damaged will be compensated for this loss. Many Americans, including the majority of conservative Central Illinoisans, reacted with anger when the Supreme Court ruled that a city could take an individual’s home and give the land to a private developer. But at least in that case, the homeowners were receiving compensation for the taking. The wind farm situation, where no compensation for damaged homeowners is offered, presents a far worse scenario. We need not, and must not, tolerate it.
FREEPORT - Attorneys Monday debated the merits of a homeowner protection plan for the two wind farms proposed for the area at a meeting of the Stephenson County Planning and Development Committee. At issue Monday was a draft version of the plan, which is designed to set up terms by which the wind-farm companies would compensate adjacent homeowners who experience a loss in property value due to the wind towers. After discussing the plan with attorneys representing the wind-farm companies and objectors to the project, the committee voted Monday to lay the issue over until next month’s meeting. Jeff Mikkelsen, chairman of the committee, recommended committee members take a month to review the draft version of the plan, and also to consider amendments offered by various parties.
As Stephenson County officials work to create a homeowner protection plan for the two proposed wind farms for this area, some objectors to the project are concerned a draft version of the plan does not sufficiently protect residents who experience property value loss. Currently, the plan is in draft form and may be changed as participants continue to discuss the terms of the document, said Terry Groves, director of planning and zoning for the county. The plan, which is also known as a “home-seller protection agreement,” will be discussed at the next county Planning and Development Committee meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Feb. 5 at the county courthouse. County officials, the wind-farm companies, and landowners are providing input on the plan’s creation, officials said. Groves said it’s unclear whether the committee will approve the document at its next meeting, or whether it will undergo further revisions. To Groves, the document as it stands now is “fair” to all parties involved......... The main purpose of the plan is to set up specific terms by which the wind-farm companies would have to compensate adjacent homeowners who experience a loss in property value due to the wind towers. At this time, the plan only covers homes that are within 2,000 feet of a wind tower, but this figure has not yet been finalized, Groves said.