I am Deb Murphy. I live on Jersey Road east of Deer Grove. My home is the one that would have three wind turbines and a proposed substation directly across from it.
I am responding to the Sauk Valley Media editorial on Aug. 8: “Mainstream plan: Positives prevail for local economy.” Your editorial states that one of the main concerns is the “aesthetic sensibilities of people who find the appearance of turbines objectionable.”
My issues with the proposed wind farm are many, but that is not one of them.
1. John Martin, Mainstream’s representative, stated at the April 4 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting that with three proposed turbines directly in front of my house, along with the additional substation (800 feet from my front door), my house would be the one most affected by the noise. The PZC recommended that the substation be moved from that location. I hope that happens.
2. Michael Crowley, Mainstream’s expert appraiser, stated on April 18 that five things affect property values: if you can see it, feel it, hear it, smell it, or read about it. You can certainly see three turbines and a substation, Mr. Martin already stated that I would be affected by the noise, and people have definitely been reading about it.
I am not a wealthy woman. If I would decide to move, I would have to sell my house first. Does anyone think that my property value and market size (those who want to live in a rural setting, but not by a wind farm) has decreased?
3. The rights of rural homeowners are not the same as for those in town. In town, restrictions keep you from putting up anything within a certain distance of the neighbor’s property line. The wind farm setback begins from the house’s foundation, whether that’s 30 feet or 3,000 feet from the property line. I pay my mortgage and my property taxes, and the last time I checked, I was taxed on all land that I owned up to my property line.
The people who have signed with Mainstream do not live where turbines are being put up, and the wind farm permits are being approved by people who don’t live there. As long as they don’t have to look at them, and there is money to be made, and it makes them feel good about doing something green, then who cares?
About 12 of the 27 county board members attended all the PZC meetings combined. I hope board members read the testimonies and weigh both sides equally before making such a huge decision.
It is admirable to want to save our environment, but if people do something on their property that affects the property value and quality of life of someone else, it is wrong. In our rush to embrace alternative energy, we can’t (and shouldn’t) overlook and walk away from rural residents who ultimately have to take a loss on all that’s important to them – their family homes and their way of life.
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