A member of the Multi Municipal Wind Turbine working group says an assessment of property values confirmed a 25% property devaluation due to industrial wind turbines.
Dave Hemingway says he had confirmation from the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation of a steep drop in property values. However, Hemingway was told by the assessor that his MPAC boss did not want wind turbines considered in property value.
Hemingway adds he has been having trouble getting any official information released since he started dealing with MPAC on the issue in 2011. He says he has had hearings with 7 different chairs during that time. Read article
Canadian Real Estate Wealth, Jenifer Paterson
A recent study by the University of Guelph, which found wind turbines do not have an impact on nearby property values, might have earned a big sigh of relief from investors – but the study’s results have been strongly criticized by members of the real estate industry.
“I have had several deals fall apart in this area because, in the appraisal report, it has been mentioned that there are windmills visible or adjacent to the property and, once a lender gets wind of that (forgive the pun), they will not fund a mortgage,” said Angela Jenkins, a mortgage agent at Dominion Lending Centres, who lives and works in the Melancthon region, where the study was conducted.
“If a person cannot get financing due to windmills, then how can this be a positive thing?” The study, which was published this month in the Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics, analyzed more than 7,000 home and farm sales in the area, and found that at least 1,000 of these were sold more than once, some several times.
John Leonard Goodwin, who has been a real estate broker for more than 10 years in the Grand Bend, Ont. market, asserted that wind turbines absolutely do affect property values. “Turbines complicate your property enjoyment, period,” he said. “That alone spells depreciated value(s). Read article
A professor at Queen’s University is raising concerns about a recent study that found that wind farms have a minimal impact on property values.
Chad Walker, Jamie Baxter, Sarah Mason, Isaac Luginaah, and Danielle Ouellette
Department of Geography, Western University, London, ON N6A 5C2, Canada Environmental Science Program, Western University
This paper focuses on public concerns about real estate value loss in communities in the vicinity of wind turbines. There are some conflicting results in recent academic and non-academic literatures on the issue of property values in general—yet little has been studied about how residents near turbines view the value of their own properties. Using both face-to-face interviews (n= 26) and community survey results (n= 152) from two adjacent communities, this exploratory mixed-method study contextualizes perceived property value loss. Interview results suggest a potential connection between perceived property value loss and actual property value loss, whereby assumed property degradation from turbines seem to lower both asking and selling prices. This idea is reinforced by regression results which suggest that felt property value loss is predicted by health
concerns, visual annoyances and community-based variables. Overall, the findings point to the need for greater attention to micro-level local, and interconnected impacts of wind energy development. Read article
Wellington Times, Rick Conroy
CCSAGE Naturally Green has opened another front in the battle to defend Prince Edward County from industrial wind turbines—and has recruited a phalanx of worthy soldiers ready to resist the invading developers.
Taking their cue from a successful litigation in Ottawa, nearly 400 businesses and property owners in PrinceEdwardCounty have signalled their intention to seek financial compensation if they suffer loss of value as a result of turbines constructed nearby.
Many fear that the arrival of massive 40- storey turbines looming over their homes and business will lead to a loss in revenue and a drop in property values. CCSAGE Naturally Green has spent the past few weeks informing property and business owners of their rights to claim compensation. Read article
By Ted Booker, Watertown Daily Times
[Excerpt] Cape Vincent Assessor Denise J. Trudell said the value of high-end waterfront properties on Tibbetts Point Road has gradually slid in recent years because of an undesirable view of Wolfe Island Wind Farm. As an example, she cited a home at 32519 Tibbetts Point Road that was sold for $700,000 in 2007; it sold in March for $510,000.
“Homeowners don’t think their property is worth as much because the view is not as desirable as what it used to be,” Ms. Trudell said. “I would say there has definitely been a decline in people looking for that type of high-end property. It has certainly had an effect on the property values along that area. But it all depends on how you want to look at it. I had a property owner two weeks ago tell me they find (the turbines) enchanting and like the view.”
Lesa M. Plantz, broker for Prudential 1000 Realty of Clayton, said that some buyers are attracted to homes on Tibbetts Point Road because prices have sharply fallen since turbines were erected on Wolfe Island. But until recently, there haven’t been many buyers interested in the waterfront property.
“When the windmills were first out there, absolutely nothing sold,” Mrs. Plantz said. “And with the continuing controversy going on with the windmill issue in the Cape, there was definitely a steady decline in sales. We had property sit for a couple of years that would have normally been sold in a couple of months.” Read article
John Miner, London Free Press
Chalk up a win for wind energy proponents. In the heated debate over whether industrial wind farms damage property values, the latest Ontario study concludes the giant turbines have “no statistically significant impact” on the sale prices of residential properties.
The study by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC), the government-appointed body that administers the province’s property assessment system, contradicts other studies that found the turbines knocked as much as 35% off the value of surrounding homes. In reaching their conclusion, MPAC used 2012 as a base year and examined 15 market areas with industrial wind turbines, including Elgin, Middlesex, Oxford, Huron, Perth and Lambton counties and Chatham-Kent.
To back their study, MPAC asked an outside expert to review their conclusions. The analysis by Robert J. Gloudemans, a property tax and assessment consultant from Phoenix, Ariz., found the presence of wind turbines had a minor impact on property values with properties within one kilometre of a wind turbine tending to be about 4% lower. Read article
Notwithstanding an initial review of the MPAC report Abstract and policy support statements, when you look a little deeper and see the sale and assessed values displayed on D2, it appears the raw sale prices for the whole study are about 25% lower values within 1km vs. > 5km. In fact, the graph confirms that impacts are significant out to at least 5km (3 miles).
Based on D2, it would also appear they (MPAC) are in a good position to defend that they have generally not overvalued homes near turbines, since the Current Value Assessments (CVA) are consistent with time adjusted actual sale prices. But their opinion of no (statistically significant) impact near vs. far is at war with the factual sale price proximity trends found in the study.
Further, for environmental impairment analysis, the IAAO Standards discourage regression and instead recommend use of paired sales methodology, with direct, detailed comparisons of individual sale data, near and far from the environmental disamenity in question. They heavily cite the IAAO, as is appropriate, but seemed to have missed that most relevant standard regarding use of regression and limitations for exactly this kind of analysis.
As copied below the D2 bar chart, and found buried way back in Exhibit E, is an important conclusion. MPAC internally, directly contradict the Abstract opinion they have expressed on wind turbine impacts.
Many of the regression studies keep showing roughly 25% lower values near turbines when the raw data is sorted by distance, yet the statistical significance ends up indicating to the authors no impact on value. Perhaps they should consider use of recognized appraisal methodology for measuring proximity impacts from turbines.
Michael S. McCann
McCann Appraisal, LLC
See also: Wind Turbines Devalue Falmouth Home 22 Percent Official
Refusal of Old Leighlin wind farm lists property devaluation among reasons for turning down development
Daily Mail, by Sanchez Manning
The presence of wind turbines near homes has wiped tens of thousands of pounds off their value, according to the first major study into the impact the eyesore structures have on house prices.
The study by the London School of Economics (LSE) – which looked at more than a million sales of properties close to wind farm sites over a 12-year period – found that values of homes within 1.2 miles of large wind farms were being slashed by about 11 per cent.
This means that if such a wind farm were near an average house in Britain, which now costs almost £250,000, it would lose more than £27,000 in value. In sought-after rural idylls where property prices are higher, the financial damage is even more substantial. In villages around one of Southern England’s largest onshore developments – Little Cheyne Court Wind Farm in Romney Marsh, Kent, where homes can cost close to £1 million – house values could drop by more than £100,000. Read article
KINGSTON – A Wolfe Island couple learned late in 2013 that a re-evaluation of their cottage property, based in part on their proximity to wind turbines, would not result in an assessment reduction. It was a last ray of hope for Ed and Gail Kenney, who had also unsuccessfully challenged the property value of their home before a Municipal Property Assessment Corporation tribunal, claiming it had been devalued since the construction of the 86-turbine project on the island.
The couple have not been alone in their efforts. In the west end of the province, Goderich landowner Dave Hemingway got a similar letter from MPAC concerning a reassessment of 80 acres of his family farmland. Hemingway, who is also chairman of the anti-turbine group SWEAR (Safe Wind Energy for All Residents), was skeptical of the review all along. A University of Waterloo study released last October, he said, found that health and sleep problems were more prevalent in people the closer they live to turbines.
MPAC, on the other hand, uses “regression modelling” in its assessments. It looks at the sale prices of similar homes within a certain distance of the property being assessed — then widens that search to assemble a large enough sampling. “When you go further away from the turbines, the issues aren’t as great,” said Hemingway. Read article
Landowners and homeowners have the option for reassessment submissions to MPAC for property devaluations in proximity of industrial wind turbines.
Deadlines are approaching. You may have to search out last year’s notices as new notices may not have been sent if there were no changes to the previous assessment. This can be done online also at About My Property Link, 1-866-296-MPAC (6722) orwww.mpac.ca.
Send in pictures, distance of turbines, and the peer reviewed health studies, etc. to support your documentation in a Request for Reconsideration.
MPAC is being reviewed by the provincial ministry and there is also a review on the impacts of industrial wind turbines on property value that is not completed as of yet. Read article
It is now a reality as you are all aware. The turbines are in and here to stay. I have had many calls and emails concerning what our next course of action should be. So, on Thurs. Oct. 3, 2013 at 7.p.m. at the Selkirk Centennial Hall there is going to be an information meeting.
I have contacted Eric Gillespie (lawyer) and Ben Lansink ( property appraiser) and they are willing to come and discuss our property devaluations as well as any legal options we may have. I would appreciate you putting the word out there and letting everyone being affected by the turbines know about this meeting. Continue reading
The Kingston Whig
KINGSTON – A Wolfe Island couple fighting to have the negative economic effects of wind turbines factored into their house assessment will have to wait several more weeks for a final ruling on their appeal. Ed and Gail Kenney claim important information about other property assessments on the island that resulted in reductions were not available at their original hearing.
In 2012, a Municipal Property Assessment Corporation tribunal upheld the increase on their property value, which rose from $200,000 to $357,000 between 2008 and 2010. The Kenneys’ appeal is based on information showing that between 2008 and 2012, a total of 78 properties on Wolfe and Simcoe islands had their assessments dramatically reduced. That, they say, resulted in $3 million in lowered assessments that should have been factored into their case.
“Those are the properties within 2,000 metres of the wind turbines. They are similar to our property,” said Gail Kenney, following Wednesday’s three-and-a-half-hour hearing in the council chambers at Kingston City Hall. Wind turbines were not listed as a reason for lowering the assessment in any of the 78 cases. “If you present to MPAC wind turbines, MPAC won’t listen,” she said. Read article
A recent Superior Court decision in late April has possibly given homeowners an edge in fighting Industrial Wind Turbines in their area. That’s at least what lawyer Eric Gillespie and some Haldimand County residents believe. Gillespie represented the Wiggins in Clearview Township when the couple took wind company WPD Canada to court. They claimed that they listed their 48-acre property for sale, and when the wind project was announced, all interested potential buyers disappeared. In this case, the plaintiffs had filed appraisal evidence to indicate that the property had devalued by between 22 to 50 per cent or more because of the wind project.
The evidence submitted also included evidence from a medical doctor stating that the project could cause adverse effects including sleep disturbance, headache, dizziness, vertigo, nausea, problems with concentration/memory and panic episodes. The Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissed the case and ruled that the group couldn’t fight the project until it received its Renewable Energy Approval (REA) from the Ministry of Environment, but accepted the evidence into the record, as unchallenged by the wind company. The wind company in that case had stated that if a trial did proceed, the wind company planned to dispute the plaintiff’s claims.
Gillespie said the result of that particular lawsuit is a win for homeowners. He stated that the court decision has done two things, which included accepting the evidence that turbines devalue properties by 22 to 50 per cent as well as opening the door for homeowners to file claims against turbine companies and the landowners who sign the agreements with the companies. Read article
Heather Wright, Sarnia Lambton Independent
A local insurance broker says a recent decision to allow neighbours of wind farms to sue for lost property value may make it harder for farms with wind turbines to get liability insurance. Greg Cameron of Cameron Insurance was one of the speakers at yesterday’s meeting held by CORE – Conserve Our Rural Enniskillen. CORE organized after three wind companies began moving throughout the area asking farmers to host wind turbines on their property. Up to 51 turbines are planned in the three projects
But Cameron is warning farmers they need to be careful about signing lease agreements because it may affect their insurance coverage. Cameron says a recent Ontario Court decision in which a judge ruled property owners around a proposed development in Collingwood could go to court to look for damages to cover the devaluation of their property once the project was built.
Cameron says the insurance industry, which does not have uniform policies on liability insurance for farms with industrial turbines, is closely watching the situation. “As more and more turbines go up and more and more liability suits are presented, you will be able to tell the appetite of the insurance companies, whether they will cover farms (with turbines),” says Cameron. Read article
Wiggins v. WPD Canada decision
By Elliot Ferguson, Kingston Whig-Standard
KINGSTON – Gail Kenney welcomed a court ruling last week that supports landowners’ right to seek compensation if their property values are lowered by wind turbines. But she admitted the ruling will likely not help the couple’s property assessment battle.
Last Tuesday, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissed a lawsuit by landowners seeking compensation for lowered property values caused by a proposed wind energy development. The decision stated that residents could not sue for lost property values before a wind project is approved but they could pursue legal action once a project is approved. “It is absolutely wonderful, the decision that came down,” Gail Kenney said Monday morning of the new court ruling. “It’s a fair decision, hopefully it will help people in getting a fair assessment of their property.
“People who are adjacent to wind turbines or live close by have much more issues than just the viewscape. There certainly is the the noise issue and now there is a lot more attention being paid to people who are saying ‘I’m not feeling well.’” Read article
Goldhawk Fights Back Interview: Lawyer Eric Gillespie says an Ontario court decision has established, for the first time, that wind farms can reduce property values by as much as 50 percent.
By Bob Boughner, Chatham Daily News
A Toronto lawyer representing clients in areas where wind turbine projects have been approved is elated by this week’s court decision. A ruling by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has specifically recognized that claims against wind companies and against landowners who agree to host wind turbines are possible as soon as projects receive approval.
“There are many people who have been waiting to see how the courts would respond to these types of claims,” said Eric Gillespie. He called it a major step forward for people with concerns about industrial wind projects across the province. Gillespie told The Chatham Daily News Thursday the court decision will significantly advance the claims filed in Chatham-Kent. He said it now seems clear that as soon as a project is approved residents can start a claim.
“Dozens of plaintiffs who have already started actions appear to have had the right to bring claims validated,” he said. “We can definitely expect more claims now that this door has been opened.” Several Dover Township residents have brought a $9 million legal claim against International Power Canada Inc. and East Lake St. Clair Wind Inc., the wind companies that constructed turbines in Dover and the landowners who have leased their land to allow the turbines to be built. Read article
Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer
Wind turbine opponents in Lambton County are celebrating a silver lining they see in a court ruling that dismissed a claim against a wind project near Collingwood. The Ontario Superior Court of Justice this week dismissed a claim made by neighbouring property owners against the eight-turbine Fairview wind project WPD Canada is seeking provincial approval to build near the Clearview Township community of Stayner. The decision was based on the fact approval hasn’t been given yet.
But Eric Gillespie, a lawyer representing neighbours who brought the court action, says the ruling recognizes that claims against wind projects are possible as soon as projects receive approval. “There are many people who have been waiting to see how the courts would respond to these types of claims,” Gillespie said. “It now seems clear that as soon as a project is approved residents can start a claim.” Gillespie said that appears to be a major step forward for people concerned about industrial wind projects. “We can definitely expect more claims now that this door has been opened.”
Gillespie is currently also defending Plympton-Wyoming’s wind turbine bylaws against a legal challenge by the Suncor Energy, the company seeking provincial approval to build up to 62-turbines as part of its Cedar Point wind project in Lambton County. Wind opponents are also celebrating that the court accepted evidence indicating turbines could devalue neighbouring properties by 22% to 50% or more, and also impact the health of neighbours. Read article
In a decision released late yesterday, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has determined that while residents of Clearview Township cannot bring claims for a proposed industrial wind project at this time, the ruling is “without prejudice to the plaintiffs’ rights to commence an action for identical or similar relief when and if the Fairview Wind Project receives the necessary approvals to be constructed”.
The court has specifically recognized that claims against wind companies and against landowners who agree to host wind turbines are possible as soon as projects receive approval. “There are many people who have been waiting to see how the courts would respond to these types of claims,” said lawyer Eric Gillespie, whose firm acts for the plaintiffs in the actions. “It now seems clear that as soon as a project is approved, residents can start a claim. This appears to be a major step forward for people with concerns about industrial wind projects across Ontario.”
In addition, Gillespie’s firm acts for other clients in areas where wind projects have been approved. “Dozens of plaintiffs who have already started actions appear to have had the right to bring claims validated,” he said. “We can definitely expect more claims now that this door has been opened.” Read article
The Bay Observer
Driving through Haldimand County south of Highway 3, the farmland is flat and the smokestacks of the Nanticoke generation station can been seen from miles away. But now, as one approaches the shores of Lake Erie, new structures dot the horizon — wind turbines. The pretty farming hamlet of Fisherville is largely unchanged over the years, but just outside of the community it is a different picture, as dozens of wind turbines are either going up or are already erected.
It’s all part of the Ontario Government’s Green Energy Program aimed at replacing carbon-based fuels with renewables like solar and wind power. But recently, Ontario’s push for wind power has been running into increased resistance from rural communities across the province. In Chatham-Kent the issue has crossed political lines where former Liberal MP Rex Crawford recently joined forces with Conservative MP Bev Shipley to denounce the turbines. Crawford says a deal to sell his home recently fell through when the purchaser found out a wind turbine was going to be erected nearby. Read article
Cunningham & Gillespie LLP, Canada Newswire
Court Accepts 22% to 50% Loss of Property Values is Occurring Today; Court and Wind Company also Acknowledge Health and Noise Issues in Context of Motion
TORONTO, April 23, 2013 /CNW/ – In a decision released late yesterday, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has determined that while residents of Clearview Township cannot bring claims for a proposed industrial wind project at this time, the ruling is “without prejudice to the plaintiffs’ rights to commence an action for identical or similar relief when and if the Fairview Wind Project receives the necessary approvals to be constructed.” [Para. 6]
The court has specifically recognized that claims against wind companies and against landowners who agree to host wind turbines are possible as soon as projects receive approval. [Para. 37] “There are many people who have been waiting to see how the courts would respond to these types of claims” said lawyer Eric Gillespie, whose firm acts for the plaintiffs in the actions. “It now seems clear that as soon as a project is approved residents can start a claim. This appears to be a major step forward for people with concerns about industrial wind projects across Ontario.”
In addition, Gillespie’s firm acts for other clients in areas where wind projects have been approved. “Dozens of plaintiffs who have already started actions appear to have had the right to bring claims validated” he said. “We can definitely expect more claims now that this door has been opened.” Read article
By Monte Sonnenberg, Simcoe Reformer
NORFOLK – An estimated 14,000 giant turbines stand abandoned at former wind installations in the United States. For a variety of reasons, the companies that put them up are not in a position to dismantle them. Some have gone bankrupt, leaving the problem for someone else to resolve. Norfolk council was asked this week to think about that happening here.
Appearing as a deputation on behalf of her neighbours, Suzanne Andrews of Port Ryerse asked council what safeguards it has in place to ensure Norfolk isn’t left holding the bag when wind turbines within its boundaries reach the end of their useful life. She expressed similar concerns about worn-out infrastructure at solar farms. “Where is the assurance the money will be in place?” Andrews asked. “Can you be certain anyone will take responsibility for them? The abandonment of these structures is a distinct possibility.”
The estimated life of a wind turbine is 25 years. The Green Energy Act requires companies to file decommissioning plans with their wind turbine proposals. The province, however, does not insist on a bond to back them up. Three Ontario municipalities – Tiny Township, the Municipality of Bluewater and West Grey – have responded by imposing steep development charges on wind developers to cover such contingencies as decommissioning. Read article
NORTHUMBERLAND – Residents throughout Northumberland County should be worried about industrial wind turbines being built in their area, say opponents of the Clean Breeze Wind Park proposed for Alnwick-Haldimand Township. “These are two projects in one township but the risk is that they could come to any of the townships in the county,” said Gwyer Moore, a member of the Alliance for the Protection of Northumberland Hills, a citizens’ group that’s fighting to prevent a pair of 10-megawatt wind energy generation facilities proposed near Grafton and Centreton. “It’s a nightmare waiting to happen.”
Mr. Moore and another Alliance member, Tyne Bonebakker, appeared before County council March 20 to summarize the “serious threats to the social and economic fabric of our community and the health of our citizens” that wind turbines represent. They include “huge health issues” caused by the emission of low frequency sounds inaudible to the human ear, a potential decline in property values, and the adverse effect wind turbines could have on the county’s robust tourism industry. Read article
By Bob Boughner, Chatham Daily News
[Excerpt] “I know how many good people there are in our rural farm communities and I believe farmers do care about their neighbours,” she said. ‘We can do better together.” Thompson said she considered selling her home in south Chatham-Kent because of nearby turbines but has been told she would have to list it for 50 to 55% of her investment or 30 to 40% of replacement value.
Thompson has also asked the Power Authority and Ministry of Environment to not allow the two closet turbines to her home to be activated until there is proof they won’t interfere with her husband’s ICD heart implant and until her other concerns have been satisfactorily addressed and resolved.
Thompson said she is opposed to any cash payments to municipalities, local residents and community trust funds by wind turbine companies. “If they believe something has to be done to address identified or perceived adverse impacts and feel some obligation to do something, any money made available should be used for physical protection and enhancement of the rural environment and rural family heritage,” she said. Read article
Janet Grace, Real Estate Agent, Royal LePage: “All it takes is just saying well there is a project that has been proposed that entails bringing 33 to 37 huge wind turbines and people just say oh no no no we’ll walk away from that.” This is the second time Best’s home has been put on the market and without a buyer she is left with few options.
Open Letter to MPAC Dan Mathieson February 18
Dear Mr. Mathieson,
I have addressed this open letter to you as you are listed as the chair of the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC).
It is my understanding MPAC is conducting a study of the real estate value impacts of industrial wind turbine (IWT) facilities in Ontario. 1 I am writing to you in order to:
- request full disclosure of MPAC IWT study data and methodology; and
- provide knowledge which can help inform MPAC about the impacts of IWTs.
Request for full disclosure and audit
I request that MPAC confirm to me if the MPAC IWT study intends to distinguish between the real estate values of participating property (i.e. properties which attract income as a result of IWT hosting agreements which compensate for effects such as nuisance, noise, signal interference, casting of shadows and other inconveniences or damage) and non participating property (i.e. properties which do not attract income as a result of IWT hosting agreements and are exposed to nuisance, noise, signal interference, casting of shadows and other inconveniences or damage from IWTs).
If the MPAC IWT study intends to distinguish between participating and non participating properties please disclose exactly how this will be accomplished. Please disclose to me if MPAC has full knowledge of all contracts or agreements between IWT developers and participating property owners. I note that MPAC’s website states its “customers are all Ontario property taxpayers” 6 and its values include “Openness and transparency” and “Accountability” 7. As a professional accountant and one of MPAC’s customers I am prepared to conduct an audit of the MPAC IWT study once it is complete. Please confirm to me if MPAC is prepared to disclose to “all Ontario property taxpayers” 8 the raw data and methodology used for MPAC IWT study so that the study can be evaluated using standard audit procedures. MPAC’s cooperation in this audit would be consistent with MPAC’s stated values of openness, transparency and accountability. Read full Letter