An expert witness called by The United Citizens of Livingston County testified the majority of Tuesday evening during the ongoing Livingston County Zoning Board of Appeals hearing at the Walton Centre.
Michael McCann, of McCann Appraisal, LLC, a Chicago-based company, testified about property values and how they are negatively affected when wind turbines are installed.
He said he has 33 years experience in appraising many types of commercial real estate, land and special use properties. He also has extensive litigation experience, qualified as an expert witness in over 20 states, and has testified at federal and state trials, zoning hearings, utility siting boards and arbitration. He has also done work for other wind farm projects throughout the United States.
McCann presented a slide show with many maps and figures. He also illustrated reasons for people to sell property with a turbine on or near it include health impacts.
He said it’s [not] a “conspiracy theory” among neighbors when it comes to those health impacts, but he affirmed those events do occur.
He also listed issues he called “more physical in nature.” These included trespass or intrusion, excessive noise, vibrations, odor, contaminants and flicker.
After describing the numerous studies done throughout recent years, including sale and resale analysis and [regression] studies, McCann said overall results showed a 25 percent lower value within three miles of the turbines as compared to control sales more than three miles away from turbines.
Property impact studies have been done throughout the world and one he described showed assessed values indicated a 20 percent deviation from assessed sale value.
McCann also said he came to some conclusions, including having a setback of less than three miles can cause a significant loss of value, as well as many of the health problems people have described to him in the past that qualified experts have agreed with.
“They (doctors) do find it happens,” McCann said. “It doesn’t happen to everybody.”
McCann also noted that people should hire appraisers that comply with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisers Practice, especially in cases like this.
He also said it wasn’t his job to decide what conditions are appropriate for turbines, but his suggestions include having hours of operation and not 24/7 operation. He said this would lower many of the complaints of noise, flicker or vibrations caused from a running turbine.
The next hearing will take place at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb, 17, at the Walton Centre. Continuing testimony from people representing The United Citizens of Livingston County will take place, as will cross-examination and further questions.
A complete list of meeting dates, as well as a link to live streaming can be found at livingstoncountyil.gov.
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