Neighbors at odds over noise from wind turbines

Susan Dennison, spokeswoman for Invenergy, the Chicago company that built the 86-turbine wind farm here, says it hasn't received any complaints about health problems in the area.

The turbines here, which are 389 feet tall including blades, must be 440 feet from property lines and at least 1,000 feet from homes, she says.

Concerns over home values

Eric Rosenbloom of National Wind Watch, an information clearinghouse, says noise and health concerns are the top issues in communities considering them. The group recommends 1-mile setbacks from homes.

Rick James, an acoustical engineer from Okemos, Mich., suggests keeping turbines 1¼ miles from homes.

That makes sense to Larry Wunch, a firefighter who lives a few miles from the Meyers. Turbines encircle his property, and when the wind tops 15 mph, he says, they "just scream." The closest is 1,100 feet from his house.

Wunch says he and his wife, Sharon, "have lost sleep and are irritated." He worries his home's value has declined and says the wind farm has created tension between opponents and those who have them on their property in exchange for annual payments that Dennison says are about $5,000 a year. "It's really turned our township upside down," Wunch says.

"If it's affecting your health," Meyer says, "it's hard to ignore."

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