Documents filed under Property Values
An interesting letter from Noble Environmental Power that suggests by implication that there must be some 'downside' to being the neighbor of a wind plant.
Because time seems to be running out on fossil fuels and the lure of non-polluting windpower is so seductive, some people are now promoting windpower initiatives at any cost, without investigating potential negative consequences-- and with no apparent knowledge of even recent environmental history......Throughout my experience, I could not substantiate a single claim developers made for industrial wind energy, including the one justifying its existence: that massive wind installations would meaningfully reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. When you understand this, you realize the wind business is not really that complex. But there are a lot of complicated issues swirling around it that obscure and distract from this main point, issues such as global warming, property values, the nature of wind leases, local revenues and taxes, wildlife, natural views, and a host of others. So how does one know the truth of it all? How does one go about separating the reality from spin?
Project Report Submitted to the Faculty of the Bard Center for Environmental Policy..in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Environmental PolicyEditor's Note: There are two recurring themes in this study: (1) the results are applicable only to Fenner and (2) much more research is needed. What is clearly missing is a ‘sense of place’, a variable acknowledged by the author as important but left unaddressed. What we’re told is that Fenner is a ‘rural farming community’. We have no sense of what drives residents/prospective residents to live in (or, for that matter, to leave) Fenner. We have no sense of ‘public attitudes’, another variable the author clearly ties to property values but leaves unaddressed. What is noticeably missing are house sales within 0.75 miles of the wind plant, i.e. those that would presumably be most impacted by noise and shadow flicker. In the absence of more authoritative studies, we know from press reports associated with wind plants and wind plant applications that ‘opposition’ appears to be lowest in ‘farming’ communities in which farmers view the turbines as a ‘cash crop’ and local municipalities covet the related taxes. We also know from these sources that opposition is greatest in communities that have something to ‘protect’, i.e. treasured/scenic natural assets (ridgelines, shorelines, unique/sensitive habitats), tourist/second home based economies and/or wildlife. Where these are issues, it is hardly a ‘leap of faith’ to surmise that property values will fare comparatively worse than in communities where these issues don’t exist and that properties specifically impacted by the turbines (view/noise/shadow flicker, etc) will fare the worst. As the author readily concedes, ‘public attitudes’ is an important determinant of property values and the opposition within these communities often reflects the prevailing public attitude towards wind turbines. After all, LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION is what real estate is all about. Lastly, Hoen offers a useful critique (available below) of the REPP report that is often pointed to by wind turbine developers as evidence that wind plants do not adversely affect property values.
Background: One month after the plaintiffs purchased defendants' 133-acre Otsego County property, they learned that plans were in the works for the construction of large wind turbines on the adjacent parcel. They thereafter commenced this action seeking rescission of the contract and money damages stemming from alleged fraud and misrepresentation on the part of defendants in conjunction with the sale. At issue was an order of the Supreme Court denying summary judgment to the defendants. Summary judgment is when the court rules against a party without a trial) to defendants. The court upheld the denial of summary judgment. The ruling can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
"The main idea of wind power is to produce electricity without air pollution and without using exhaustible natural resources. However, wind power involves certain costs. These costs are among other things due to the fact that windmills stand as a foreign element in the open landscape. Some people are of the opinion that windmills in an open landscape impinge on the recreative element of the landscape. In addition to this, windmills give off noise that, depending on the wind direction and distance from the windmill, can be a nuisance for those living in the vicinity. The purpose of this study is to evaluate how great the costs are from the visual effect and noise of the windmills. In order to make it possible to compare these costs with other costs and gains in relation to windmills, these costs are reckoned in cash terms. This has been done partly on the basis of the willingness to pay for getting rid of the windmills of people living in the vicinity (the interview method or contingent valuation), and partly using a survey of house prices in the vicinity of the windmills (the house price method or hedonic pricing) as a starting point."
Compliments of Andrew Chapman, the attached pdf files contain extensive documentation particularly with respect to the impact of wind turbines on wildlife as part of an ongoing effort to prevent the construction of the Bald Hills Wind Farm, South Gippsland, Victoria. While it has been approved by the Victorian State Government the presence in the Bald Hills area of migratory species of national and international significance that are protected by treaties with Japan and China in the Bald Hills has placed the final decision in the hands of the Federal Government. This decision is pending.
Tom Hewson takes a very comprehensive look at the development issues associated with the proposed Baileyville Wind Farm in Illinois.
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.
Jon Boone is a intervenor in a Maryland Public Service Commission windpower case (No. 9008). On September 16, 2005, he formally submitted his direct testimony in this case. His testimony and attachments cover the gamut of issues surrounding the wind industry.
Jon Boone's response, published in The Caledonian Record in August 2005, to those who challenged the authenticity of his DVD "Life Under a Windplant".
"Is the 'jury' still out on the impact of WTGs on property value? Yes, though there does appear to be several indications that a loss in value to neighboring properties is a real possibility."
Q. Even considering all of those factors or weaknesses, what is your conclusion regarding the impact on residential property values from the proposed project? A. Under certain circumstances as described in my report, the negative impact may be similar. Also, in significant view loss situations, as described in my report, I would conclude that, within a reasonable degree of professional certainty, land values may be negatively impacted 17% - 20%. Editor's Note: Mr. Zarem argues that the appropriate methodology for estimating the 'view' impact of industrial wind turbines on property values is 'paired data analysis'- defined in the The Dictionary of Real Estate Appraisal as: “A quantitative technique used to identify and measure adjustments to the sale prices or rents of comparable properties; to apply this technique, sales or rental data on nearly identical properties are analyzed to isolate a single characteristic’s effect on value or rent.” In the absence of relevant view/turbine data, he derived an alternative paired data analysis for determining view impacts on property values due to wind turbines from Transmission Line view impacts on the prices of single-family residential lots in subdivisions...as...sufficient paired data isolating the effects of view loss due to Transmission Lines exist in the marketplace to reach reasonable conclusions as to market tendencies. This data isolates impacts due to view loss associated with Transmission Lines.
BBC Research & Consulting's 2005 report for the National Wind Coordinating Committee that studies 9 wind plant sitings in an effort to identify circumstances that distinguish welcomed projects from projects that were not accepted by communities.
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-
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.
It is noteworthy that this study does not answer the basic question of how wind turbines affect property values. George Sterzinger, executive director of REPP, admitted as much in response to critics who stressed that the study contains no proof that wind farms were the reason for the changes in property values: “ We have no idea”…noting REPP did not have enough time or money to answer that question. (Cape Cod Times 6/20/03).
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.
I have reviewed Beacon Hill’s two reports, i.e. 'Free But Costly: An Economic Analysis of A Wind Farm in Nantucket Sound" (March 2004) and ‘Blowing in the Wind' (October 2003) which focused primarily on tourism and property values. The complete reports are available from www.beaconhill.org. The following consists of two parts. Part I addresses some key findings as well as some thoughts on methodology. Part II focuses on what may or may not be applicable to Glebe.
Q. In your experience, do adjacent land uses affect property values? A. Yes. It's been my experience property values are directly affected by neighboring land uses. For example, property uses that create noise, light, glare, and other such nuisances often negatively affect property values.