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Property values will be impacted by wind farm

The Feb. 13 article about the Honey Creek Wind Farm touches on the topic of property values. As a semi-retired law librarian, I researched that issue for my statement at the public hearing last Aug. 20 for the Emerson Creek Wind Farm. I also filed supplementary material for that hearing.

Big Wind tends to rely on the “Berkeley” study referenced in the article. That study is used to say that the presence of turbines has a minimal effect on property values. One Berkeley author, Ben Hoen, asked independent forensic appraiser Michael McCann to critique the report. Among other things, McCann stated, “With all due respect, the final report falls short of being a truly objective and reliable real estate value study of the issue at hand, in my professional opinion….”

McCann advocates that wind companies supply property value guarantees to affected landowners. lf Big Wind truly believed the effects of their projects were negligible with respect to property values, they would have no problem offering those guarantees.

There’s been no rigorous study of property values in Ohio, but a study in upstate New York, done by Clarkson University in 2011, looked at 11,000 property transfers and concluded that the presence of turbines decreases property value. A study in Wisconsin by Appraisal Group One in 2009 found that if a property was 600 feet from a turbine (two football fields), the negative impact would be 39-43%. If a residence was 1,000 feet (three football fields) from a turbine the negative impact would be 33-36%, and if a residence was a half mile from a turbine (8 football fields), the negative impact would be 24-29%.

This information may be useful to concerned citizens.

Anne Southworth, Esq., Monroeville