Thursday, June 7, 2007

Put yourself in our shoes. Would you want protection to keep it from happening to you?

The following was submitted by Sheryl Butler to the Hays Daily News in June 2007

Wow, what a mess this wind controversy has become. Two and a half months ago, we were starting to concentrate our efforts on remodeling our home. Now, I’m not sure if we are even going to stay in it.

There seems to be some question as to whether or not property sales would be effected.

That’s right — property sales not property values. The property values term is used by industrial wind companies to try to convince everyone that the home values won’t be affected.

The tax value of our homes in this effected area, I’m sure, will remain the same. An appraised value will probably not change much because, as most people are aware, appraisals focus on square footage, the age of the home, general condition, number of bedrooms, baths, etc. and then the appraiser does a “comp” analysis on similar properties that have been sold in the county.

What will change, if this complex is allowed to come in, is the “sale-ability” of our properties.

For example, the appraisals that we had done on our property, did not include the very nice Wick horse barn that we have, that when originally built cost $38,000 in and of itself. The barn has eight stalls, wash rack, tack room, cement center aisle, etc. We were told that outbuildings, including barns, did not add value to the appraised value of the property but would add to the sale-ability of our property. In other words, the barn did not add to the price tag on an appraisal but would be a selling point of the property.

The same would hold true true for the negative effect of having a home within a quarter-mile of a 139-plus wind turbine complex. The appraised value would continue to focus on square footage, age of the home, etc.

But when putting the property on the market — the potential buyer pool would be limited — thereby reducing the “value” of the property. The wind complex also provides potential buyers of properties in the affected area, a bargaining chip to reduce the sale price.

It seems that when it comes to property in the country — property rights and infringement does not exist.

For example, for those of you in town, imagine that you were living in your dream home in Hays, Ellis, Victoria, etc. with the neighborhood views and common neighborhood sounds that were there when you purchased the home.

Now imagine that your neighbor is approached by a convenience store chain to purchase his property, which is started, unknown to you, and about 20 days prior to the zoning meeting, you are made aware of the situation. The convenience store is thought to be in a perfect place for people to by gas, snacks, drinks, etc. in spite of the inconvenience that it causes those living around it such as parking lot lighting, increased traffic and people, noise, etc. Yet it is the perfect location for this store.

Next, imagine that in addition to dealing with the frustration of the idea of living next to a convenient store, those out in the country or in other parts of town are wondering what your problem is. After all, the area could use a convenient store in this location. Some people, across town or out in the country even think you are selfish and as being jealous of the neighbor who made money off of his property. Some people will even tell you that they would love living next to this convenient store and don’t see what your problem is. Now, do you see what we “country bumpkins” are dealing with?

It is the same concept out here in the country — we just have bigger yards and the stores are about 400 feet tall and spin.

Please try to put yourself in our shoes and ask yourself if you would want protection from this happening to you.

Submitted by Ellis County Resident:

Sheryl R. Butler
779 Golf Course Road
Hays, Kansas 67601

To Sign the Petition:
If you are an Ellis County, Kansas, resident and you wish to support a petition to prevent this wind farm from being constructed next to Hays, Kansas, you can follow this link and leave your name, real address, and a single comment about your support of this petition. Click here now!

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