Library filed under Property Values from Massachusetts
A bid to push along the town’s commitment to buy power from a proposed wind turbine project in Plymouth has stalled because the Board of Selectmen wants more information about the town’s costs and savings as well as the lawsuits surrounding the proposal.
Realtor Susan Whitehead said she has been trying to sell a property on Weeden Road for two years. That property was put on the market for reasons unrelated to the turbines, but Whitehead said buyers ask about the machines, which are visible across Little Bay, "100 percent of the time." "They ask about the noise, they ask about the flicker, and then they don't put in an offer," she said.
Realtor Nadine Krasnow of Falmouth Fine Properties said she has no doubt that the turbines have affected property values ..."In my opinion, it's had a noticeably chilling affect and it has definitely become more difficult to sell houses there; and the reason is, if people have other choices, which they do, why are they going to buy in a place where value has gone down and it's unclear what will happen in the future?"
"Old King's Highway is about views and vistas as well as paint chips and shingle colors," she said. "I felt ARC had other options where to put the turbines." Austin said as the appellant she represents 92 people from Dennis and Yarmouth who formed an organization called Save Our Beaches in opposition to the proposed turbine.
"Industrial-style wind turbines change the essential character of the area," McCann told a packed room, which included residents of Bourne and Falmouth who are also dealing with wind turbine projects. He estimated $70 million to $112 million in market value could be lost in the town, based on the number of homes that could be affected.
The state of Massachusetts through the Green Communities Act is about to set standards for responsible development of land-based commercial wind turbines. The current standards for setbacks are the least protective in the world. Many of the communities south of Boston have seen concerned citizens' groups spring up in protest of the placement of commercial wind turbines too close to residential property.
In the Williams/Whitcomb world of tabloid journalism, there is no room for thoughtful discussion, for weighing costs against benefits, for understanding that self-interest is at work on both sides of the issue or for any kind of honest discussion. Such thoughts would get in the way of the facile thinking and cynical blather that fills their book and that is now commonplace on TV, radio and the Internet. Do you find yourself bored now that Don Imus and Rosie O'Donnell are off the air? Does the Internet no longer meet your need for trash talk? Then read this book. You won't learn anything substantive from it, but it'll be great entertainment.
As a tourist who visits the area, I notice what is transparent to most locals, and for me the skyline of Fairhaven is priceless. If the citizens of Fairhaven allow the wind power project to be built at the current proposed location, I believe you will be making a terrible mistake. The town may gain some money in taxes and offset some electrical energy costs, but it will not offset the loss in green space and, more importantly, the beauty of Fairhaven's historic charm.
When considering local bylaws regulating wind turbine development, towns need to consider whether and to what degree they should be encouraged. The question of how much revenue they might generate for the town will be among the first issues raised. To determine this, there are many things a town with land suitable for commercial wind development needs to consider. Particular attention needs to be paid to long-term trends as well. This paper explores some of these factors and their implications.
The Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University has studied the Cape Wind proposal in considerable detail, and offers the following comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) Reference file no. NAE-2004-338-1: 1. A systematic cost-benefit analysis – missing from the DEIS – shows that, with 90% confidence, the costs of the project outweigh the benefits by between $83 million and $333 million, with a mean measure of net cost of $209 million (equivalent to 2.0 cents/kWh produced). 2. The DEIS conclusion of “no adverse impacts to tourism and recreation” is not supported by the data. 3. The DEIS conclusion that the project would not adversely affect property values is based on a flawed study, ignores other research, and is untenable. 4. The DEIS estimates of the value of health improvements are greatly exaggerated (at $53 million annually). Our own estimates show health improvements of $7 million, and even this may be overstated.
The Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University has studied the Cape Wind proposal in considerable detail, and offers the following comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) Reference file no. NAE-2004-338-
Written by Douglas Giuffre, Jonathan Haughton, David Tuerck and John Barrett, this report analyses in economic terms the costs and benefits of a proposed 130 turbine wind plant in Nantucket Sound. It concludes that the economic costs substantially exceed the associated economic gains. This is a follow-up study to one published by Beacon Hill in October 2003 entitled "Blowing in the Wind: Offshore Wind and the Cape Cod Economy"
Researched and written by Eleanor Tillinghast of Green Berkshires Inc. this is a comprehensive study of the probable impact of industrial wind plants on the rural character, quality-of-life and economy of the Berkshires in western Massachusetts. Specific issues addressed include visual aesthetics, tourism, property values, public roads and public safety.
Written by Jonathan Haughton, Douglas Giuffre and John Barrett, this report addresses the prospective impact on the Cape Cod economy of 130 wind turbines in Nantucket Sound. The study includes the responses of tourists and residents to the aesthetics of the proposed project as well as the result of a survey among tourists on the degree to which the project would influence their desire to visit the area. The authors conclude that 'caution' is in order. A follow-up study entitled "Free but Costly" An Economic Analysis of a Wind Farm in Nantucket Sound" was published in March 2004.