Letter: The impact on property values

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By Irene Wachtel

Industrial wind developers like to dismiss local community residents as NIMBYs (not in my back yard), when they object to development within a few hundred feet of their homes.

Certified appraiser Michael McCann provided a detailed explanation of the impacts he has found when he testified in Illinois. Residential property values are adversely affected by close proximity, and many ground-zero homes have been completely unmarketable. Real estate sales data reveals a range of 25 percent to 40 percent of value loss, with some instances of complete loss as measured by abandonment and demolition of homes, some bought out by wind developers. People are on record confirming they have rented other dwellings for use on nights when noise levels are increased well beyond the ambient background noise. The appraiser describes a $6.5 million value reduction for the residential properties located within two miles of the pending Illinois project.

The San Miguel County wind energy ordinance has the potential to institute a three-mile setback between turbines and dwelling, with no recourse to a variance. This is an excellent first step in protecting the well-being and livelihood of our communities.

Irene Wachtel