March 6, 2013

Wind turbines not impacting property assessments: MPAC

By Sarah Frank | Mar 06, 2013 |

A wind project on the books in Norwood might not have an impact on local property values, according to the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC).

At a meeting last month regarding the possible health implications of living near wind turbines, some Norwood residents brought up concerns over decreased property values where the project is planned along County Rd. 2.

While Carmen Krogh, a retired pharmacist who spoke on the subject, says lower resale value of homes located near wind turbines is a major source of stress, MPAC hasn’t seen a positive or negative impact on assessments across the Ontario.

In her presentation, Ms Krogh suggests properties near wind turbines have decreased by roughly 23 to 58 per cent.

Judy Piggott, a municipal relations representative for MPAC, says the corporation is examining existing wind farms in the province and at this point isn’t noticing an effect on assessments.

“We have been reviewing the sales and continuing to monitor what’s going on in those areas,” she says, adding MPAC doesn’t look at the listing price of houses, it compares the assessment value to what the house actually sold for.

Property assessments have gone out to owners for the 2013-2016 assessment period, Ms Piggott says. The assessment is the value of the property as of Jan 1, 2012, she says.

When and if the Norwood project is up and running in 2014, MPAC will continue to monitor property values in the surrounding area, says Ms Piggott.

Zero Emission People, who currently have eight wind farm projects operating or in the works, are planning to build “Wind Farm Collie Hill,” which will consist of three wind turbines on County Road 2 between Hastings and Keene. The towers will be at least 100 metres (more than 30 stories) high.

Norwood Mayor Doug Pearcy says proposed legislation to allow municipalities to block wind turbines might be too late for the Township.

While the Township has passed a resolution to put a moratorium on any wind farm projects, current regulations allow companies like Zero Emissions People to by-pass gaining support for projects from municipal government.

At a meeting with the Minister of Energy last week, Mayor Pearcy says the Minister spoke about new legislation to allow communities to declare themselves as unwilling hosts for wind projects.

The only problem, he says, is the legislation won’t be retroactive.

Mayor Pearcy, who isn’t supportive of wind power, says he has some concerns over the local project.

“I’ve had a quick education on wind turbines,” he says. “I’m a little concerned about the knowledge available on health implications.”

Currently, the Province regulates wind turbines must have a 550 metre setback from any nearby residences.

The setback was created back when the turbines were a lot smaller, says Mayor Pearcy.

A petition was available for residents to sign at the meeting in Norwood last month.

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