Wisconsin REALTORS Association: Wind rules must balance energy and homeowner needs

William Malkasian, CAE

Statement by Wisconsin REALTORS Association President

Madison – Yesterday’s legislative hearing clearly demonstrates why homeowners and property owners oppose the pending wind turbine siting rules and why the legislature should direct the Public Service Commission (PSC) to fix them.

If left unchanged, these one-sided rules, written by wind developers over the objections of property owners, will allow large wind turbines – up to 500 feet tall – to be placed within 1,250 feet of a home and within 550 feet of a commercial or industrial building, regardless of local zoning laws or the desires of neighboring property owners. Despite studies to the contrary and all common sense, wind developers argue this will not harm human health or property values.

The concerns of homeowners were ignored by the PSC during the rule drafting process. The concerns of lawmakers, who rejected the PSC’s first proposal, were ignored in the second proposal, which was submitted for legislative review on the very last day allowed by statute, in a lame duck legislature, only weeks after the election and weeks before Christmas. Not a single elected official has voted on these controversial rules.

On behalf of homeowners and property owners throughout the state, we support Governor Walker and bipartisan legislative efforts to stop these rules from going into effect and to compel the PSC to rewrite them to better protect the health, safety and property values of Wisconsin property owners.

Wisconsin can promote and protect both wind energy and homeowners. If the PSC is unwilling or unable to do so, our elected state lawmakers should.