“I predict a series of rural ghettos–abandoned, unmaintained homes” (Ill)

Oct 16, 2010


In 30 years of appraising, studying and consulting on all types of real estate and development projects, I have never seen the effects, impacts and reactions of the magnitude or severity that turbine neighbors and their property rights are subjected to.  Short of a nuclear reactor meltdown (e.g., Chernobyl), nothing has caused so many people to experience the physical and health-driven need to relocate.  It is amazing that industry and government both are doing absolutely nothing to address this trend, and correct it before it is too late for even more residents.

If this continues unchecked, I predict a series of rural “ghettos”—of abandoned, unmaintained homes, and an economically disadvantaged class of people finding these devalued homes to be the only place they can afford. Great places to hide illegal operations—few neighbors, cheap structures and the ability to vacate in a hurry if the heat gets turned up—much like the old buildings in poor neighborhoods in the cities.  Who else is going to want them?

Wind companies should be required to offer buy-outs at market value (pre-project value) within 2 miles of projects, and certainly within the massive footprints.  In this manner they can prove they are not destroying value by reselling for the same price.  However, in each instance I know of when a wind developer did indeed buy and resell a neighboring home, they re-sold for 60% to 80% below their purchase price.

Thus, an erosion of homeowner equity has in fact been proven by the cause—the wind industry itself.

Any readers who have factual information or personal accounts of this nature are invited to email details contact me to discuss.

Mike McCann
McCann Appraisal, LLC
500 North Michigan Avenue
Suite 300
Chicago, Illinois 60611
(312) 644-0621
(312) 644-9244 fax


  1. Comment by Randy L Knop on 10/18/2010 at 10:50 am

    Thank you for your effort to expose what must be one of the singular most negative impacts of wind projects on property values.

    As one who is engaged in mediation with one developer “Horizon Wind Energy, LLC” regarding their proposed Antelope Ridge Wind Farm in Union, Oregon. This project if built will ultimately demonstrate the negative value this type of facility has on real property value rates.

    Is there no model existing within the appraisal industry that readily or in some manner exposes the negative costs associated with wind farm development on residential properties?

  2. Comment by Mike McCann on 10/18/2010 at 12:29 pm


    I wish I could answer that there are numerous journal articles and treatises addressing this specific subject, but there is not (yet).

    However, appraisal methodology for addressing similar questions can include “paired sales”, or comparables near and far from wind projects, to isolate the impact to that issue. (Comparables should be as similar as possible in every respect, except proximity to wind projects. I suggest going way beyond the view shed for the “control” comp(s), and as near to the turbines as possible for “target” comp(s)….if any have even been able to sell.

    Check with local Realtors and plot on a map and a graph how long marketing times have been (cumulative) at the varied distances from turbines. (If you do this, please email results to me)

    “Case studies” are also accepted methodology. Despite wind developers claiming that “anecdotal” cases are not relevant, the fact is that about 98% of appraisals used to justify home loans totaling into hundreds of Billions of dollars are based on as a few as three “anecdotal” comps to demonstrate value.

    A third methodology that can be used…with varying relevance….is a regression analysis. If done properly, it should statistically reveal the value of the dependent turbine proximity variable. However, this method can also be used to “paint targets around bullet holes”, so to speak, if the author/analyst is so inclined or directed. See the Hoen study prepared with the backing of Berkeley and the USDOE. No doubt, Horizon is aware of it and will cite it. But, in reality, it is irrelevant except where it almost is honest about the very close proximity…(almost, because authors excluded sale-resales to/from developer, with 2nd sales being at huge discounts. Also Google my name and Al Wilson, separately, to find written reviews of the Hoen/Berkeley study and the flaws in their approach, methodology and focus.

    Also look for McCann Adams County testimony on-line. Appendix C contains data that shows 25% value diminution on its face, without doing any statistical manipulations. I believe all these documents are posted on windaction.org

    A reliable noise study….meaning, not commissioned by wind developers….would also reveal that there will be audible effects on the use and enjoyment of homes within close proximity. In order to leave a property owner in the same condition after a project (ignoring for the moment stigma and views), a home would need to be insulated or re-constructed to a costly degree, and THAT is a tangible effect that I believe is relevant, and that fits with the appraisal practice of using cost to measure damages.

    Go to the Appraisal Institute website AI.org and look for the book on appraising contaminated properties. The cost, use and stigma effects are thoroughly addressed and methods of measuring same are explained. I cited these recognized categories in my Adams County testimony.

    If memory serves me correctly, there are at least 3 projects built and/or proposed in that Oregon location. Be careful to cross-check the locations so as to avoid assuming sales outside your project location are not affected by any other wind project.

    I hope this is helpful.

    Best wishes,

    Mike McCann

  3. Comment by Johana on 10/23/2010 at 12:31 pm

    Dear Mike,

    I can only “stand it” for ~ an hour being here.

    Have just finished breakfast and have to get out.

    (Editor’s note: This was written by Stephana Johnston.)

The comments are closed.