Survey Finding Home Values Decline when Solar Fields Introduced Next Door Does Not Apply to Planned 1133 Westchester Avenue Installation.

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1133 WESTCHESTER Ave. November, 2021

WPCNR REALTY REALITY. By John F. Bailey. January 31, 2022:

White Plains Community opposition to the planned installation of solar panels on canopies planned to cover parking spaces for the new apartments and the office building at 1133 Westchester Avenue has centered on a survey by the University of Rhode Island conducted two years ago on the effects of solar panel fields adjacent to homes on real estate values.

WPCNR asked a professional who happens to be familiar with both the University of Rhode Island survey and the project as to what the survey says. He wrote me the following opinion:

“We are aware of the URI 2020 study of the impact of ground-mounted solar arrays on home value. This study examined the impact on home values within a 3 mile radius of large-scale ground-mounted solar arrays located in MA and RI. These solar farms were all located on either greenfield or rural locations with a minimum of 1 megawatt capacity occupying 4 to 6 acres of land  or larger.  

The community solar proposal for 1133 Westchester Avenue is entirely different as it compromises a significant roof-mounted component (that is not visible from the street level) coupled with new parking canopies that will cover existing impervious surface lots. 

No green space is being lost whatsoever. The view changes from a sea of cars to canopies over cars, a much less dramatic change than a greenfield becoming acres of solar arrays.

Therefore, the URI study is not applicable to the 1133 Westchester Avenue proposal.  We know of no study on the impact of parking lot canopies, generally considered an amenity, not a nuisance, whether mounted with solar arrays or not, on the value of nearby homes.  

To the question of noise from the equipment associated with the solar arrays proposed at 1133 Westchester Avenue, we know that G&S Solar, the developer, has already conducted an analysis using a leading acoustic engineering firm.

The major point here is that the level of ambient noise for the residents of the two closest streets, McGuiness Lane and Woodbrook Road, far exceeds any peak projected sound from the solar equipment. The existing ambient noise is largely due to the proximity of these residential areas to the highways.”

The project is scheduled for a public hearing on February 7.

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