Mary Burns — Olean Times Herald — November 6, 2012
The EverPower wind farm proposes 29 turbines, 494 feet tall, towering over homes on Chipmonk Road, Four Mile Road, Knapp Creek and Birch Run.
Many other homes and businesses in Allegany, Olean and Carrollton, including St. Bonaventure University, Rock City Park and St. Elizabeth’s Motherhouse will have a view of the turbines for decades ahead.
The Allegany Town Board members have been apprised of the concerns of property owners surrounding the wind energy facility.
A National Research Council (NRC) study submitted to the Allegany Town Board showed that of existing property value studies near wind energy facilities, few studies focus on non-farm, residential property in close proximity to (not bordering, but in the vicinity of) a wind farm, and “forecasts of property values in prospective host areas that are based on comparisons with existing host areas are of questionable validity, especially if there are significant differences between the areas.”
However, studies in Wisconsin and Ontario, Canada, show alarming drops in the value of residential real property near turbines. Therefore, the NRC recommends wind energy project sponsors “provide property-value guarantees to property owners within a specified distance from the facility when they want to sell their properties.”
EverPower has never proposed doing this.
Homeowners are legitimately alarmed by the prospect of the loss of value in their primary investment. Residents also submitted to the board a study performed by the Appraisal Group One, Wind Turbine Impact Study, in Wisconsin, where property in “bordering proximity” to wind-energy facilities lost a whopping 39 percent to 43 percent. Losses continue in property that is in “close proximity” with up to 36 percent loss, while property in “near proximity” saw a negative impact of 24 percent to 29 percent.
The study further found that having a turbine within view caused the property value to plummet 30 percent.
While many property owners did not receive official assessment reductions this past year because the wind-energy facility is not yet constructed, real property values in the area have already suffered. Recent letters in this paper have brought this fact to the attention of our representatives.
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