A large number of homeowners in Greenville Township are objecting to the construction of a wind farm in their backyards. These homeowners have submitted a citizens’ petition objecting to the approval of the wind farm construction in Greenville Township to both the Bureau County Board of Zoning Appeals and the Bureau County Board. In addition, the large attendance of Greenville Township homeowners objecting to the wind farm at the Zoning Board hearings is evidence of the strong opposition to the proposed wind farm.
These homeowners are not against reasonable environmental measures. However, they contend these wind turbines and generators will adversely affect the value of their homes and quality of life.
Ten of the 19 proposed turbines would violate Bureau County Zoning ordinances, mostly on being too close to homes, property lines and housing communities like Normandy. The developers have asked for variances to these ordinances. It is curious that developers could not find other spots for these 10 turbines in the thousands of surrounding acres. Homeowners are concerned that putting a 500-foot wind turbine next to a home would have an impact on the property value and the resale potential for that home. Who would want to pay for a home that is surrounded by wind turbines with flashing red lights at night and light flicker during the day?
Research studies show that wind farms do: 1. Create increased noise levels for homes near the turbines; 2. Interfere with broadcast television, radio, cellular telephone and wireless computer Internet transmissions; 3. Cause light flicker effects; 4. Affect the value of homes located near the turbines; and 5. Produce other negative effects. The difference between the pro-wind farm and anti-wind farm research studies and reports is the interpretation of the degree of these negative impacts.
Who wants to fall injuring themselves to discover that he or she cannot call for help from their cell phone because there is wind turbine interference that day? What parent wants to find their child cannot complete their homework because the turbine near their home is interfering with wireless computer Internet reception? Who wants to sit down to watch their favorite television program and discover the wind turbine interference is bad? Who wants to apply for a home loan to find that the nearby wind turbines have negatively affected his home value?
There are hundreds of research studies and testimonies on the effects of wind farms. (See the Library of Congress website.) Professional researchers know it is extremely difficult to construct an unbiased study. Those studies paid for or done by pro-wind farm elements tend to hold that these effects are minor. Those paid for or done by anti-wind farm elements tent to hold that these effects are significant or major. All research holds that there are negative effects. The difference between researchers is over the degree. The difference between people depends upon whether or not a turbine is located next to one’s home.
Paul F. Gerbers
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