SHELBURNE FALLS – Do large-scale wind turbine facilities decrease property values for nearby homes? Are they noisy for those in closest proximity?
Real estate appraiser Michael McCann and environmental acoustic expert Robert Rand will discuss these topics Saturday, in a free program called “Industrial Wind Impacts and the Fate of Shelburne: Declining Property Values and Noise Pollution.” Their talk begins at 7 p.m. in Memorial Hall.
The program is the third in a series of informational events hosted by Friends of Mount Massaemet, a group of Franklin County residents with concerns about what the impact of a large-scale wind turbine electricity generating facility would have on the community.
What effects windmills may have on nearby property values and whether the noise windmills make affects neighbors have been raised as issues by those who oppose installation of windmills in West County. A wind farm proposal for Shelburne’s Mount Massaemet was withdrawn after many such objections were raised in initial local hearings.
Michael McCann of Chicago, owner of McCann Appraisal LLC, has been appraising property for 30 years. Since 2005, he has evaluated at least 20 wind energy projects, with regard to their impacts on neighboring residential and agricultural property, according to the local sponsoring anti-windfarm group.
The organizers say McCann will provide insights on the likely negative real estate impacts in relation to the recently proposed Mount Massaemet Wind Project.
Ashfield Planning Board member Walter Cudnohufsky, a member of the Friends of Mount Massaemet group, says McCann estimates the impact of commercial-scale wind turbine results in 25 to 40 percent drop in property values for homes within a two-mile radius, although there is no evidence that would or would not happen in Shelburne.
In testimony regarding the siting of a large wind turbine project in Illinois, McCann said: “The approval of wind energy projects within close proximity to occupied homes is tantamount to an inverse condemnation, or regulatory taking of private property rights, as the noise and impacts are in some respects a physical invasion.”
Robert Rand is a professional environmental acoustics specialist and a member of the Institute of Noise Control Engineering. In 2009, he and business partner Stephen Ambrose became concerned about negative comments coming from residents living near wind turbine site, and what they considered to be lack of regulatory action to address potential health effects from wind turbine generator noise in Mars Hill, Maine. They did their own evaluation and concluded that wind turbine sites should be at least a mile away from residential areas and further for sites with more than one turbine.
Rand and Ambrose also conducted acoustic field measurements in Falmouth, where health concerns were raised after a 400-foot town-owned turbine was installed. Their December 2011 report found that “large industrial wind turbines can produce real and adverse health impact.” They argued there was a need for “epidemiological and laboratory research by medical health professionals” and for “more effective and precautionary setback distances for industrial wind turbines.”
A question-and-answer session will follow their talks.
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