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Trespass zoning gives right to infringe on neighbor’s property

Trespass zoning gives one neighbor the right to infringe on their neighbor’s property. Industrial wind energy installations are an example of trespass zoning. In Palo Alto and Kossuth Counties, Supervisors wrote ordinances that allows a landowner to erect a wind turbine as close as 330 feet from their neighbor’s property line and 600 feet from public roadways.

GE, a company that manufactures wind turbines, states that the ice throw zone for a wind turbine is 1.5 x (hub height + rotor diameter). For the Vestas V112 3.0 MW that has a rotor diameter of 367 feet, a hub height of 276 feet that means that a safe distance for ice throw (or anything else) is at just shy of 1000 feet.

Even the manufacturers will require their own employees stay 1300 feet from turbines unless necessary.

This is a warning from the Vestas Mechanical Operating & Maintenance Manual for V90-3.0 MW turbines.

If a 400-500 foot tall turbine is then located within 1300 or so feet from their neighbor’s property line then they are limiting the use of their neighbor’s land. Should a person erect a building within 1300 feet of a wind turbine? Probably not. Should a person work within 1300 feet of a wind turbine? No. Should you allow your children to play within 1300 feet of a wind turbine? Definitely not.

How is it legal then for a wind company to render up to 1000 feet of a nonparticipating landowner’s property as unsafe, almost unusable? It should not be.

If a landowner does not have enough room on their property to properly and safely site a turbine of any size then they should not be allowed a turbine. Even a 50 foot wind turbine would be very controversial and likely not allowed in an urban setting. If the safety or peace of neighbors was in jeopardy I doubt they would be allowed.

Wind companies will likely say that ice throw and catastrophic turbine failure is rare but within the last year there were many turbine failures including blade throw, fire and tower collapse that have been reported and often we see turbines that are not working for one reason or another. At 400-500 feet tall turbine with blades that can weigh up to 13 tons each moving at speeds of 180- 220 MPH we have every right to be skeptical of their safety especially when erected in large numbers and sown right into the fabric of our communities.

People who want to use wind energy could buy personal generators and put no one but themselves at any sort of risk. Landowners who sign wind contracts for industrial generators should understand the risks that they take by farming underneath turbines but have no right to extend that risk to their neighbors. Companies that are collecting tax credits from the government for renewable energy production should not be allowed to put the general public at risk in their own homes and on their own property. Wind energy is something that can be freely utilized without infringing on the rights and safety of others.

Janna Swanson
Ayrshire Iowa
Coalition for Rural Property Rights