OPPOSITION TO WIND TURBINES IN BELL ACRES
We, the undersigned, notify the Bell Acres Borough Council that we are in opposition to the application for a Conditional Use and Land Development variance filed by Gary Reinert Sr. /Alternative Energy Center to allow Wind Turbines to be erected on property along Big Sewickely Creek Road across from the Wine Concrete plant or on any other property in Bell Acres. We demand that Borough Council REJECT the application for this or any other similar project. There is no communal benefit to outweigh the significant downside of this project. We expect our elected officials to represent and act upon the best interest of ALL Bell Acre residents, not just narrow special commercial interests of one or a few. We intend to hold our elected officials responsible for upholding their duties to us as their constituents. Our reasons for opposing the project include: NOISE ISSUES: Bell Acres is a beautiful rural area amidst growing suburban sprawl and commercial development. It is important to us that the character of the area, highlighted by peace and quiet, be maintained. In addition to the noise levels measured and documented for wind turbines, they can also emit low-frequency sounds. This type of noise travels greater distances than high-frequency sound. While these sounds may be inaudible to humans, they can still cause negative effects which include headaches, sleep problems, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), mood problems (irritability, anxiety), concentration and memory problems, and issues with equilibrium. Children tend to be even more sensitive to noise than adults. Emerging science describes the various health effects on those that live too close to such installations as Wind Turbine Syndrome which can affect people living as far as two miles away. Given the relatively small geographical area that comprises Bell Acres, the noise could have a negative effect on many residents. WILDLIFE DAMAGE: The site is very close to a blue heron colony rookery, Big Sewickley Creek, and in the Heron's flight path to the Ohio River. This rookery in Bell Acres is the larger of only two existing in Allegheny County. It is considered a Unique Wildlife Habitat by the Pennsylvania Wildlife Commission and is therefore supposed to be protected. Birds and bats have been known to suffer damage and death due to wind turbine activity. HOME VALUE DECREASES: Property values will decline due to the proximity of the wind turbine installation. Over time, this will negatively impact the borough's residential desirability and property tax revenue. UNSUITABILITY OF SITE TO PRODUCE MEANINGFUL POWER: The applicant represents that the site is only for the purposes of demonstrating their equipment configuration and is not intended to produce usable energy for the borough or others. This is consistent with the area's wind rating which appears insufficient to sustain meaningful wind energy production. Therefore the benefit, from an alternative energy standpoint, does not justify the potential harm to the community, its citizens and wildlife. PRECEDENT FOR EXPANDED ACTIVITY: Once this small project is approved, precedent will be set for allowing other wind harnessing activities that may further erode the quality of life in the borough.