Powerful ally: Wind opponents hail election of local activist as head of real estate board
Sarnia This Week
GRAND BEND – For months, Grand Bend Realtor Doug Pedlar has been voicing concerns about property values near industrial wind turbines. Now, he has a larger podium to speak from. Pedlar, who researched just how much homeowners lose when wind farms set up shop next door (about 30 per cent) is now the president-elect of the London/St. Thomas Real Estate Board. One of his first tasks was an eight-minute YouTube video about wind turbines and property values.
Pedlar says the London/ St Thomas board has been very worried about the issue, even pressing the provincial real estate association to speak to the province about the matter. “We’re quietly working away at this,” he says. But the volume is going up. The YouTube video had 500 hits in the first weekend and other real estate boards are posting the information session on their website. And Pedlar is pleased.
“The unfortunate thing about it is people are just not aware of what is going on,” he says. “If you don’t see them, if they’re not in your face, you don’t know. “The thing that I’m really afraid of is not just the property values but the perception of going to an area filled with turbines,” says Pedlar, fearing people will discount living in rural areas because of the turbines. “I drive through Chatham-Kent (the municipality with 300 turbines either built or on the books) and I get a sick feeling…it is not the most pleasant thing in the world.”
Pedlar plans to continue talking about the damage industrial wind development can cause. “I’ve done my presentation 15 times, I don’t think I’m going to give up now.”
That pleases Dave Griffiths, the spokesman for Bluewater Against Turbines. “We’ve had so many people saying it is not going to affect property values at all and now we have a large group saying, ‘Oh yes it does!’” says Griffiths saying it is especially powerful coming from a larger urban area.
“The more people we have on the bandwagon the better.”