The high cost of being a ‘Good Neighbor’ to Big Wind
As representatives from “Big Wind” companies in our area go door to door, consider the following before signing a lease on the hood of your car.
• “Good Neighbor Agreement” is a wind lease which allows the developer to place the turbines closer to occupied structures and property lines than current Ohio regulation allows. Typically, the GNA will pay a leaseholder $500 per year after the project is operational. The lease is permanent, whether the turbines are installed or not.
• Some local residents are unaware that when they enter a GNA, it places a permanent lease on their property that transfers with the sale of the property. If they are in a conventional mortgage, the underwriter for their mortgage may not allow leases as a condition of their mortgage, because it will affect their lien position, the possible value and salability of the property.
• Some local residents are unaware that when they enter a GNA, it places a permanent lease on their property as part of the “wind farm.” If damages to their home or another property were to arise from the “wind farm” such as blade throws, stray voltage, fire, vibration, noise, shadow flicker, ice throws, some homeowner’s insurance policies may not cover damages related to this lease on your property or others property. Some insurance companies may require that the homeowner obtain an additional commercial insurance policy to cover such damages related to that commercial exposure. A commercial policy may cost $500 or more per year
• Because the GNA transfers with the sale of the home, it may affect the salability. When a potential buyer applies for a typical loan, the underwriters may decline the loan if there is a lease on the property. This essentially limits the pool of buyers for a home in a lease. They may have to sell the property for cash at auction.
• Home values within proximity to industrial wind turbines can be impacted negatively. The wind companies will report statistics which average home values in a very large area and land without homes. Attached are some articles and studies which confirm this loss in home values. It is noteworthy that one of the studies is from our neighbors to the west, Van Wert. They have turbines which are less than 500 feet high and have documented substantial home value decline. Having a wind lease attached to the home may further reduce the value.
For more information concerning wind development in our region, please consider attending the next SAWU meeting at Camden Falls Tuesday; doors open at 5 p.m. Guest speakers State Rep. Bill Reineke and Seneca County Commissioner Mike Kerschner will weigh in along with a main presentation given by Greg Smith.