Quantcast

Vermont wind farm blows down home values - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vermont wind farm blows down home values

Posted: Updated:
GEORGIA, Vt. -

Scott and Melodie McLane own 15 acres on the north side of Georgia Mountain.

"It's just the perfect place," Scott said.

Up until last year, they thought of it as their little piece of paradise.

"It used to be a quiet, peaceful-- the place that we wanted to retire in and spend out whole lives in," Melodie said.

They can see and hear the four turbines from the new Georgia Mountain wind project from their home. And while they are first to admit the noise isn't omnipresent, it can-- on occasions-- keep them up at night.

"At 2 o'clock in the morning it's like a jet's going overhead and never leaving sound or a rumble, rumble like a train is coming up over the mountain," Melodie said.

Since the four turbines came online last year, the McLanes and another couple appealed their town assessed property value. Last month, the Georgia Board of Civil Authority agreed, lowering the assessed value on the $400,000 home by more than $50,000, lowering their taxes but also affecting the homes resale value.

By regulation, the project is required to keep outside sound levels no higher than 45 decibels and project officials insist they are staying within those levels.

"The project is completely in compliance," said Martha Staskus of Georgia Mountain Community Wind. "All of the post operational monitoring that has been conducted to date has been in compliance with the board's ruling."

"They have challenged and raised questions that I don't think are reasonable from the get go," Staskus said.

Without any recent home sales to compare, Georgia's six-member Board of Civil Authority was hard pressed to come up with an accurate yardstick for the reassessment.

"I think I spent anywhere from four to six visits to the McLanes, very early in the morning having coffee on their porch," said Don Vickers of the Georgia Board of Civil Authority.

In the end, the members unanimously agreed that the sound of the turbines-- any sound-- was enough.

"It's a noise that's a constant sort of noise. I once described it as if you're on a coastline and way off in the distance, there's a freighter going by and you hear the engine going-- chug, chug, chug. That's the kind of noise that you experience," Vickers explained.

The board used a recent study of noise impacts on homeowners near the Burlington airport as a model to determine the reassessment.

State officials say there are no examples of homeowners in proximity to Vermont wind farms that have had their properties lose value after being reassessed. And industry officials cite national studies that also back that up.

With the towers not going anywhere, the McLanes admit there are not a lot of options they have.

"It's nice to have somebody of some authority finally acknowledge the fact that property values are affected-- adversely effected," Melodie said.

The other couple's home near the McLanes lost about $30,000 of its assessed value.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • New fundraising numbers in the race for Vt. Governor

    New fundraising numbers in the race for Vt. Governor

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 11:03 PM EDT2014-09-03 03:03:04 GMT
    Fundraising numbers are in from the candidates running for Vermont's top public office. Governor Peter Shumlin continues to out-raise his Republican opponent Scott Milne. Since August 15th, Governor Shumlin running for his third term in office has added 34 thousand dollars to his war chest. He's now raised over 600 thousand dollars this campaign. Scott Milne raised just 10 thousand dollars bringing his total to 53,000. The Milne campaign has now spent 8 thousand more dollars than it has broug...
    Fundraising numbers are in from the candidates running for Vermont's top public office. Governor Peter Shumlin continues to out-raise his Republican opponent Scott Milne. Since August 15th, Governor Shumlin running for his third term in office has added 34 thousand dollars to his war chest. He's now raised over 600 thousand dollars this campaign. Scott Milne raised just 10 thousand dollars bringing his total to 53,000. The Milne campaign has now spent 8 thousand more dollars than it has broug...
  • Mechanic accused of illegal car inspection ring

    Mechanic accused of illegal car inspection ring

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 11:03 PM EDT2014-09-03 03:03:01 GMT
    A Springfield mechanic is accused of operating an illegal car inspection sticker ring. 29 year old Benjamin Millay allegedly stole around 30 inspection stickers from his former employer the Springfield Auto Mart and sold them on the side to cars that otherwise would not have passed inspection. Tuesday he pleaded not guilty to a single count of embezzlement. After providing police with a written confession Millay was released to await trail. Vermont inspectors are now working to track down tho...
    A Springfield mechanic is accused of operating an illegal car inspection sticker ring. 29 year old Benjamin Millay allegedly stole around 30 inspection stickers from his former employer the Springfield Auto Mart and sold them on the side to cars that otherwise would not have passed inspection. Tuesday he pleaded not guilty to a single count of embezzlement. After providing police with a written confession Millay was released to await trail. Vermont inspectors are now working to track down tho...
  • Arson investigation underway for Dummerston church

    Arson investigation underway for Dummerston church

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 11:02 PM EDT2014-09-03 03:02:53 GMT
    An arson investigation is underway at a church in Dummerston.
    An arson investigation is underway at a church in Dummerston.
  • Autopsy confirms gender of body found in Massena

    Autopsy confirms gender of body found in Massena

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 11:02 PM EDT2014-09-03 03:02:57 GMT
    New information about a dead body discovered in Massena last week.
    New information about a dead body discovered in Massena last week.
  • Former CVU english teacher dies in Hawaii

    Former CVU english teacher dies in Hawaii

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:02 PM EDT2014-09-03 02:02:12 GMT
    A former Champlain Valley Union High School english teacher has died in Hawaii.
    A former Champlain Valley Union High School english teacher has died in Hawaii.
  • ISIS claims it beheaded another US journalist

    ISIS claims it beheaded another US journalist

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 7:24 PM EDT2014-09-02 23:24:15 GMT
    ISIS claims it has beheaded another United States journalist with ties to our region.
    ISIS claims it has beheaded another United States journalist with ties to our region.
  • 2nd trial begins for Vt. prison guard

    2nd trial begins for Vt. prison guard

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 12:25 PM EDT2014-09-02 16:25:40 GMT
    A prison guard accused of sexually assaulting a female inmate was back in court Tuesday.
    A prison guard accused of sexually assaulting a female inmate was back in court Tuesday.
  • Bicyclist dies after injury in Waterbury

    Bicyclist dies after injury in Waterbury

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 6:24 PM EDT2014-09-02 22:24:11 GMT
    A bicyclist has died after being injured in Waterbury.
    A bicyclist has died after being injured in Waterbury.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.