The Ontario Assessment Review Board has ruled that there is no
evidence the presence of a wind farm affected the value of Ed and
Gail Kenney's waterfront property on the west end of Wolfe
Island, a rural community located in the Township of Frontenac
Islands on Lake Ontario.
The Municipal Assessment Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC)
assessed the Kenney property at $357,000 for the 2009, 2010 and
2011 taxation years, a valuation that the Kenney's objected to
due to their proximity to the Wolfe Island Wind Project, the second
largest wind farm in Canada, which has been in commercial operation
since June 2009. The Kenney's property is located within 1 km
of three turbines, 2 km of 14 turbines and 3 km of 27 turbines. The
Kenney's argued that the existence of the wind farm reduced the
value of their property because of the various nuisances or
annoyances that it caused.
The Board rejected the Kenney's arguments. In
particular, the Board found that:
the noise from the wind turbines has not restricted the
there was no direct link between Ms. Kenney's complaints
about tinnitus and the wind farm;
neither "shadow flicker" or lighting on the turbines
interferes with the Kenneys' enjoyment of the property;
the Kenney's view of the waterfront from their property (a
view which could affect property value) was unaffected;
there was no evidence presented to show that industrial traffic
from the farm causing increased wait-times for the island ferry
reduced the value of properties on Wolfe Island; and
there was no evidence presented to demonstrate that the wind
turbines caused a degradation of the natural environment on the
Because MPAC has not yet developed a category in its assessment
formula for proximity to wind turbines, the only way for the Board
to assess whether the property was over-valued was through
analysing sales of similar property on Wolfe Island. The Board
examined listings and sales of property on the island, focusing on
sales of waterfront property, and found that sales of such property
following the approval, construction and operation of the wind farm
had not slowed and that the selling price of the properties did not
indicate that the wind farm had any depreciative effect on
As a result of these findings, the Board concluded that there
was nothing to indicate that the value of the Kenneys' property
had been negatively affected by the creation or operation of the
wind farm and confirmed MPAC's assessment of the property at
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