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Posts Tagged ‘property values wind turbines’

We’re hearing that the wind power generation project for the North Gower-Richmond area of the City of Ottawa is “on hold.”

This is not quite true: at the moment, as the Ontario government’s Feed In Tariff or FIT program has been revised, all projects without a FIT contract and that are proposed for more that 500 kW, must reapply for a contract. That said, the date of their original proposal stands.

So, as we understand it, Prowind has to reapply for a FIT contract.

That’s not really “on hold,” they’re just waiting for the next step in the process.

What would be wonderful, of course, is that the company would see that the community does not want this project, that there are all kinds of liability from locating giant, noise-producing wind power generators so near to hundreds of homes, and abandon the idea.

But when there are millions and millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidy to be had, as is the case with the Ontario government’s FIT program ($500,000 per turbine, per year) the only word in Prowind’s mind is: profit.

Email us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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The news arrived on Monday that the appeal of the assessment on a Wolfe Island property owned by Ed and Gail Kenney had failed, and MPAC–Ontario’s assessment agency–declared there to be no effect on property value from the proximity of industrial wind turbines.

The Kenneys have several turbines within a kilometer of their waterfront property and 36 within several kilometers. They sought to have the assessment of their property reduced, which would mean a reduction in taxes.

Te reaction of a normal, sensible person would be that to claim NO effect on value is preposterous.

But there was a lot at stake here. Here are the facts of the case:

-the Kenneys represented themselves; on the other side, MPAC had a slew of expensive lawyers and the wind power developer hired similar talent for the township

-the Kenneys tried to call witnesses to attest to the environmental noise, i.e., a negative factor in the property value, but these witnesses such as Dr John Harrison, were disallowed

-if the Kenneys’ case had succeeded, it would have opened the floodgates to a torrent of assessment appeals, as hundreds of properties throughout war-torn Ontario are now seeing diminuition of property value. Therefore, it could NOT succeed.

The Kenneys say they are regrouping and considering their next steps, but at the Town Hall hosted by MPP Todd Smith in Picton recently, Mrs Kenney appealed to everyone to file an assessment appeal. At the least, such a flood of appeals would clog the system, but at best, someone, somewhere will succeed.

The truth is on our side.

Email us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

 

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From the last edition of Ontario Farmer, Tom van Dusen’s Eastern Limits column, excerpted here.

Powerful people

Power of the People seems to have played a crucial role in the minority Liberal government outcome of the provincial election. Power of the anti-wind people, that is.

An advocacy group called Wind Concerns Ontario (WCO) says it targeted 10 ridings where existing or planned wind farms have become controversial, with an eye to defeating sitting Liberal members who supported the projects, or to getting opposition candidates elected where vacancies existed due to retirement.

It’s hard to know if WCO should get all the credit…but, in fact, Grits were shut out of those ridings.

Some prominent rural Liberals who backed wind and solar energy bit the dust on election day, including two former OMAFRA ministers, Carol Mitchell, who held the post in the last government, and Leona Dombrowsky, the province’s most recent education minister. Both went down to spectacular defeat. Also blown out of his riding was the pre-election environment minister, John Wilkinson, also an outspoken supporter of his government’s green energy policy which offered some subsidies and high energy generation payments to wind and solar power entrepreneurs.

…At the east end of the province, it looks like turbine opponents helped elect Tory Jim McDonell in Stormont-Dundas-South Glegarry which had been vacated by Liberal MPP Jim Brownell. McDonell’s stock seemed to go up after he called upon Dalton McGuinty to stop the proposed South Branch Wind Farm at Brinston before it got to the construction phase. A collection of 14 turbines, South Branch has been promoted by Prowind Canada dating back to 2008. Over the intervening years, there have been scores of meetings and studies about the impact of the project.

For WCO, Prowind is similar to all industrial turbine installations: the advocacy group claims they all threaten human and animal health, habitat, and property values as well as cause noise and aesthetic concerns.

WCO says it set its sights on toppling Liberal candidates because the government “denied science” indicating turbines could be harmful, and refused to accept “local democracy” by pushing forward with turbine projects against the will of residents.

The anti-wind turbine lobby appears to have registered a big blow to the McGuinty Grits. Retaining only a few of the lost 10 seats would have made a difference between majority and the premier’s so-called “major minority”. … the WCO campaign proves resoundingly that taxpayers can have an impact on voting day even if it’s not the ultimate outcome of defeating a government.

“The Liberals have an opportunity to change their course during this minority parliament, act on our concerns and put the interests of people ahead of special interests behind the industrial wind lobby which cost them their majority,” WCO gloated in a news release.

… There’s nothing wrong with modestly encouraging development of new energy sources. However, the last Liberal government seemed to want to make it happen right now at whatever cost, and damn any side effects such as the potential health hazard.

E-mail us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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A report from the London Free Press on a meeting held in Goderich last Saturday. What the economics professor didn’t mention is the potential for legal action from “involuntary” neighbours of industrial wind projects who find they are experiencing health effects and that their property value has dropped. This was predicted by Toronto lawyer Eric Gillespie.

See the Free Press story here.

Land owners could face huge turbine costs | London | News | London Free Press.

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Local MPP Lisa MacLeod held a press conference to counter Premier Dalton McGuinty’s claims that his “green” energy agenda is creating jobs. In fact, it will destroy jobs and negatively affect the economic outlook.

Here is the story, from today’s London Free Press (thanks to one of our members for passing it along):

Tory says green deal costly

The McGuinty government has blown the chance to scrap a bad green energy deal with Samsung and consumers will pay, an Opposition critic warns.

Conservative MPP Lisa MacLeod said McGuinty’s Liberal government “is sticking it to Ontario families who pay the price for his expensive energy experiments.”

Her comments came at a news conference Monday in London with other Conservative candidates in the Oct. 6 election, as Premier Dalton McGuinty visited a Tillsonburg plant — hooked to the government’s Samsung deal — that will build turbine blades.

Standing in front of a transformer station, flanked by Tory candidates Nancy Branscombe, Cheryl Miller and Ali Chahbar, MacLeod said the government could’ve walked away from the “untendered sweetheart” deal at no cost when Samsung fell behind schedule in implementing it.

The deal was renegotiated with some company concessions.

MacLeod repeated vows the Tories would scrap the Samsung deal if they win the election.

She said provincial taxpayers would pay a huge price for the 900 jobs — including 300 in Tillsonburg — that the Samsung deal is supposed to create.

“It’s not a good deal for taxpayers. When you’re paying 80 cents per kw/hour for something that cost five cents, there’s only one group of people paying for that — the Ontario taxpayer.”

MacLeod said the Tories would remove HST and debt-retirement charges now applied to power bills, recouping lost revenue through spending cuts.

http://www.lfpress.com/news/london/2011/08/08/18527401.html

What’s not calculated here is the economic cost of the lack of productivity as a result of the environmental illness due to exposure to industrial wind turbine noise and vibration; more than 130 people are very ill, or have been made ill enough to move, and 30 some families have been forced from their homes—those are only the deals we know about, as the wind developers make homeowners who have settled sign non-disclosure or “gag” agreements. Also not calculated is the economic loss due to the loss of property value, which can be as much as 40 % … if not 100%. And, what is the cost of the “sterilization” due to the industrialization of rural communities forced to have industrial wind power plants in their midst? No new housing developments. And the wind business thinks all that is just fine: Prowind’s managing director Cathy Weston claimed that wind power generation projects are “protecting” rural communities from urbanization. You bet they are.

E-mail us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca and please check http://windconcernsontario.wordpress.com for news through the day, and to donate to the wind power awareness campaign ongoing this summer.

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Yesterday we countered a wind developer’s claims that property values do not decline near industrial wind power projects and we referred to a number of real estate appraisers’ opinions that they do. Here is a letter to The Ottawa Citizen from Michael McCann of the U.S., which lays out the case pretty well.

From:  McCann Appraisal, LLC

To:  The OttawaCitizen.com

January 25, 2011
I am writing regarding the Ian Hanna case being heard presently in Ontario, and to offer a little more information and insight than was described in Lee Greenberg’s article today (1-24-11).

My expertise is not in health issues, but there is a direct relationship between those impacts and my professional studies of real estate impacts.

For example, numerous families have been forced to abandon their homes due to the factual impacts to health, sleep disturbances and the like, which the Canadian Wind Energy Association and the American Wind Energy Association prefer to dismiss as “concerns.”  Many others have been unable to sell their homes due to the presence of nearby turbines, and which a growing list of realtors and estate agents report as being the deciding factor in would-be buyer’s decisions to look elsewhere.

There is a measurable and significant loss of values within 2 to 3 miles, and noise impacts have been broadcast as far as 5 miles or more, in some instances, with 1 to 2 miles being commonplace. Value losses have been measured at 20% to 40%, with a total loss of equity in some instances.

Wind developers have been known to buy out the most vocal neighbors who refuse to roll over and play dead when they are initially ignored, and then turn around and sell those same homes for 60% to 80% below the appraised value—thus confirming value losses by their own actions.

Other developers have avoided future liability by bulldozing the purchased homes.

In fact, wind developers and the existing Canadian setback are even inadequate to protect neighbors from ice throw or from sections of turbine blades, which are documented as occurring up to half a mile from the turbines, and I have personally heard of a blade throw (piece) that went about 1 mile.

Regardless of these facts, the wind industry often tries to convince the siting decision makers that safety issues are satisfied by setbacks of 1.1 X the height of turbines (550 meters in Canada), as if preventing a toppling turbine from landing on a neighbors house is the correct standard.

It is obvious what is happening here: The wind industry is playing a numbers game, under the assumption or actuarial calculations that it is less costly for them to fight a number of lawsuits from citizens who do not have deep pockets, than it is to buy out the property they need to create huge projects.

The solution is simple, also: Mandate that all property they seek to encompass with industrial overlays be purchased outright, so people have an option as to whether they choose to live in a large, noisy industrial setting.

I am quite certain any of your staff can confirm my factual comments by simply driving to any number of projects and counting the abandned and for sale homes, talking with a few remaining neighbors, etc. Maybe start with the Clear Creek project, where a dozen homes are reported abandoned, due to proximity of about 3 dozen turbines. The list will grow as large as time devoted to research of this issue will allow.

Like most other people, I initially assumed that wind energy would be a good trend. Unlike most people, I have expended something on the order of 2,000 hours looking into it, and my findings are quite contrary to the “positions” of the wind industry and their lobbyists. However, even the wind industry’s counterpart to my profession, Mr. Ben Hoen, has now gone on record saying that Property Value Guarantees should be used for nearby homeowners, and that “if wind developers won’t guarantee that, then they really don’t have a leg to stand on.”

Your publication can do much to bring the truth to public view, and I am available to answer any questions you may have. Also, you have my permission to publish this letter as you see fit.

Incidentally, if you Google my name + Adams County, Illinois, you will find a lengthier report which provides more details of property value impacts, along with public documents on buyouts made by Canadian Hydro of turbine neighbors homes.

Respectfully,

Michael S. McCann
McCann Appraisal, LLC
500 North Michigan Avenue, Suite # 300
Chicago, Illinois 60611

Real Estate Appraisal & Consulting

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Tim Hudak announced today that if elected, he will cancel the Samsung contract and end feed-in tariff contracts for industrial wind power generation. See the story here: http://www.cp24.com/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20110510/110510_Green_Energy/20110510/?hub=CP24Home

Our response:

 

NEWS RELEASE

May 10, 2011

North Gower-Richmond citizens laud Hudak’s  plan to cancel wind contracts

Residents of a rural Ottawa community applaud Ontario Conservative Party leader Tim Hudak’s pledge today to cancel the feed-in tariff program for industrial wind power generation projects. A $20-million industrial wind project is proposed for North Gower and Richmond which, citizens say, would have transformed the quiet community into a power factory.

“This was never about the environment or jobs or stability of the power system,” says Jane Wilson, chair of the North Gower Wind Action Group, which represents several hundred local families. “These contracts for industrial wind power generation were about profits for the developer, nothing more. We know from other communities in Ontario that property values decrease by as much as 50 per cent for homes within two kilometers of a wind power project. For North Gower and Richmond, that would have meant a sacrifice of more than $45 million for our young families and senior citizens.”

Ontario’s feed-in tariff program rewards industrial wind developers with a subsidized payment rate for the power they produce, which is adding to Ontario’s climbing electricity bills. “Take the higher power bills and add the property value decline throughout Ontario,” Wilson says, “and you have a multi-billion-dollar taxpayer ripoff. We’re glad someone sees it for what it is.”

The North Gower Wind Action Group Inc. is a community group concerned about the potential for reduced property values and negative health effects from a proposed industrial power generation project that would be located close to hundreds of homes. The group is a corporate member of Wind Concerns Ontario, a coalition of more than 50 Ontario communities.

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