Beware the “good neighbor!”
If you live near a proposed wind turbine site, you may be approached by the developer, a neighbor, relative, or leaseholder to sign a “good neighbor” agreement.
Although it may be called by another name, it offers landowners (without turbines) payments to sign away their rights to file complaints, sue for damages, or publicly speak out when problems arise.
A contract we have reviewed removes protections for problems from noise, shadow flicker, vibration, air turbulence, ice throw, electromagnetic hazards, television or telecommunication interference, as well as construction dangers and impacts. It also allows turbines to be sited closer to a home than local laws would otherwise allow.
We have warnings from someone in a neighboring county who was coerced by relatives into signing one of these contracts.
The wind developer promised if they would sign this agreement, they would only be able to see one turbine from their property.
In reality, they are surrounded by six turbines, the closest of which is only 400 feet from their property line.
Since the turbines went in, they have been bombarded with increased noise, vibration, and shadow flicker.
To add insult to injury, their homeowner’s insurance premium increased by $900 annually because of the proximity of the nearest turbine to their beautiful Adirondack camp retreat. And do you know how much they received for their troubles last year? A check in the amount of 50 cents.
When they questioned the amount of the check, the wind developer stated that the payment was based on production, and the turbine did not produce enough electricity.
The moral of this story? Industrial wind turbines do not make good neighbors.
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