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Could property values drop with wind turbine development? If so, Wolfe Island paints a grim picture  

Credit:  Paul Cluff | The Goderich Signal-Star | http://www.goderichsignalstar.com 26 September 2012 ~~

A real estate agent who owns a cottage in Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh warned council that property values could drop significantly with further wind turbine project development.

Paul Shantz told council of 78 assessment reductions since 2008 at properties on Wolfe Island, totaling $3 million in lost value.

The largest reductions were closest to the turbines, part of Ontario’s second largest wind farm, and ranged from $101,000 to $143,000.

The proposed K2 Windpower project is a 270-megawatt project that follows K1, which is already up and running in the township.

Some 138 wind turbines are proposed and discussion about the project dominates ACW council meetings. Shantz presented the information to council and provided a copy to the Signal Star.

Shantz said the MPAC information should worry ACW councilors for a number of reasons. “You are pulling money out of my pocket and pulling money out of people’s pockets who rely on property for retirement,” Shantz said. “If you continue to allow this to happen you are negatively affecting more people in the township than the people that are going to sign a lease. Council is supposed to represent the rate payers of ACW.”

Shantz said he spoke to a K2 representative about reduction in property values. He was told there wasn’t and asked to provide proof.

“There is proof here,” Shantz said. Problems with K1 ACW resident Chris Brockelbank said there could be problems on the horizon for the K2 leaseholders. Brockelbank has a lease on his farm and has dealt, he said, with four different companies since his great uncle signed the lease in 2005. He is trying to remove title.

“Anyone in this room that is signed up as a lease holder, I will warn you if you think you are doing well now trust me, if you want to do something on your terms it won’t happen. I have dealt with this, I am dealing with it right now.” Brockelbank said he favours wind power but, “it’s tearing the community apart.”

How many are opposed, for Wind Turbines?

ACW resident A n i t a F rayne addressed council about a 791-signature petition signed by residents opposed to the K2 project.

There has been discussion, she said, about the validity of the petition and how clearly it represents the overall municipality has been debated.

“Contrary to what some have said, no one was pressured or forced into signing it,” she said. There has been suggestion that the silent majority favour the project and do not need to come to council for meetings, she told council. “We would suggest that is speculation, we know for sure that 791 signed and oppose it.”

No one in favour has taken the time to undergo a survey, she noted.

Later in the meeting, Jennifer Miltenburg said there is “no place to go” with a petition of people in favour of the project.

“Council can’t assume most people are against it, it is pure speculation,” Miltenburg said.

“There is speculation that people who don’t sign are for it – or people that are content don’t bother to show up. There are people here (at the meeting) to show support. Not because we have something on the agenda. I would suggest it’s half and half. We keep coming every week so it shows we support it, we just don’t have a lot to say about it because we support it.” Open forum could move Lawrence Hogan asked council if they have heard any negative responses to the K1 project. The number three came up, but one person has since died and the two others moved away.

Frayne asked if the open forum portion of meetings could be moved closer to the end when council is finished discussion about the agenda. Council agreed to look into changing its procedural bylaw to allow that. Under the current format, discussion continues amongst councilors after the open forum and residents can’t ask questions.

[rest of article available at source]
Source:  Paul Cluff | The Goderich Signal-Star | http://www.goderichsignalstar.com 26 September 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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