To be clear, the recent settlement of a lawsuit by 20 residents of Ubly Michigan with major wind developers is private and undisclosed. Anyone pointing to a single reason for the settlement on this particular case is speculating.
However it’s a now a matter of public record that the wind farm defendants in the Ubly case did unsuccessfully attempt to prevent the opinion of a local property assessment firm that showed that the plaintiffs suffered a reduction in property values approaching $1 million. This negative impact on property values mirror several landmark cases seen in Western Europe where wind energy has been growing over the last decade.
In a case in England in 2008 a homeowner prevailed in a lawsuit with her local government. Jane Davis was told she will get a discount on her council tax because her £170,000 ($268,000) home had been rendered worthless by a wind turbine 1,000 yards away.
Even the real estate mogul Donald Trump is not immune from the negative impact of wind farms. Trump is in the process of developing a golf and hotel resort in Scotland. Plans for development of 11 turbines near the resort in an offshore development have caused Trump to claim it will ruin the views from his new championship golf course north of Aberdeen Scotland. Trump wrote the authorities, “With the reckless installation of these monsters, you will single-handedly have done more damage to Scotland than virtually any event in Scottish history.” Trumps project is valued at $1.18B.
The Ubly case, while settled, may open up the proverbial can of worms as other nearby residents of established and projected wind farms attempt to sell their home or family farms in the months and years ahead.