Enviro Summit_Day2_Hatfield.Labout

Under All Is the Land, But What If It’s Under Water?

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  1. Mike Sanderson

    Wow, what a stretch to connect selling real estate with being an environmental activist. We also drive clients in our cars- should we learn about the auto industry too? This organization has gone off the deep end with its advocacy that’s gone way outside of the practice of real estate and is just wasting our dues money.

  2. I believe in the basic principal that Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness are inalienable rights for all of us. Along with this, we have a right to a clean healthy environment as the basis of all life. Finding ways to apply these ideas is the great challenge we face as human beings.

  3. Bill Gilmour

    agree with you Mike – the greenie’s are within us and will gladly waste our money and as for you Muriel, yes we all want a clean environment as that is each of our roles here on earth BUT it is not to be pawns for the rich elite to gain more power over us and end our livelihood, which UN Agenda 21, of which this is all based on, is about – look it up and read, this is propaganda designed to control, limit property rights, and turn you into what the want you to be – here in Florida we have been in a test program, 7-50, to take away local government control and put it in the hands of an unelected bureaucracy – thankfully my county and two others have opted out but the bigger, more densely populated counties to the south are pushing their agenda regardless – this is NOT what I want my professional association to do with my dues that I have to pay – check it out, there is much more to these programs than meets the eye

  4. Mark McCOlgan

    I don’t think I could say it any better than Mike Sanderson. Lets stay with being real estate professionals not environmental experts or activists.

  5. Wayne Gardner

    Out here in the White Mountains Of Arizona we have been faced with massive wildfires that burned in areas that the so called environmentalists filed lawsuit after lawsuit to halt multiple use of the Forest Service Lands. Mother nature took over and cleansed the land but in the process some forested areas were swept clean of any and all trees that will not come back for 100s of years. We have to learn to react with clear thinking and not emotions. As the old saying goes you could not see the forest for the trees.

  6. Lou Barbee

    Agreed! This is such biased baloney. NAR should find a better way to spend our cash.

  7. “Honorable retreat” from “sensitive coastal areas”? Seriously? Here in NC we began losing our private property rights when the state and the US Army Corps of Engineers confiscated “high marsh” (marsh above the mean high water mark) back in the early ’70′s without compensating the rightful owners. They haven’t looked back since, confiscating vast “wetland areas” and “buffers” with impunity. NAR should stand for private property rights as defined in the Constitution and demand compensation to owners for government confiscation. If wetland areas are so important every taxpayer should have the opportunity to share in their protection. As it is, only a select few bear the cost of environmental protection and are treated with contempt for doing so. This is a travesty. Are my dues paying for this?

  8. Arlen Crotchett

    NAR has plenty of “real” issues to address…not to become a tool for environmentalists. It’s our money they squandered on this. It is not our responsibility as REALTORS® to enter the arena of water conservation, sea levels, global warming/cooling (depending on whom you believe) and all the other radical environmental talking points. Get with it NAR and stay focused on doing what you should be able to do best and represent those who pay your salaries.

  9. Marie Stamos

    Because we all need to know, I really must ask what this means: “How do you balance your desire to be environmentally responsible with your staunch belief in property rights?”

    I am an activist. I am an anti industrial wind turbine activist and I need to know the answer to that question. “How do you balance your desire to be environmentally responsible with your staunch belief in property rights?”
    Think about it…………an industrial sized wind turbine in a rural community. A rural community is a lifestyle choice. Think about it…………an industrial sized wind turbine in a suburban residential community. The “burbs” is a lifestyle choice.

    But, the industrial wind turbine machine has been unleashed with little recognition of its destructive impact on rural and suburban locations And, the industrial wind turbine agenda moves forward not considering lifestyle. In my state, Massachusetts, the DEP is allowing a machine to exceed DEP Noise Standards, there is no enforcement of DEP Noise or Air Pollution Standards. In essence those impacted are being “abused” by a state agency whose job it is, whose commitment it is to protect the citizenry at their residence. This is not being done. I have asked repeatedly that the Realtor group stand beside home owners and protect their private property rights.

    Is it right to force an industrial use, think industrial wind turbine of 400 feet to the new “models: 600+ feet, in a rural residential community or a suburban residential community or an urban community for that matter. I think not. As Realtors, we are champions of private property rights. Realtors have agreed that the “obligations of the law must take precedence” and, yet, our state and community enforcement officers, officials, boards, agencies are not enforcing their obligations to the people under the law. Through non-enforcement, they are allowing an industrial use in rural and residential neighborhoods.

    I agree with Mike and with Bill and with Murial (life, liberty, the pursuit of….) and Mark……..as Realtors we should not have to be activists or environmental experts because we, the Realtor groups, have committed to live by the “Golden Rule” and we do that really well.

    My issue is industrial wind turbines improperly sited and allowed to continue to negatively impact people, property values, quality of life. We each and all, have “issues” and I share mine with you.

    I await an answer to: “How do you balance your desire to be environmentally responsible with your staunch belief in property rights?”

    My answer to the rhetorical question: I staunchly believe in property rights. I am environmentally responsible. What exactly is to be questioned? What exactly does “desire” have to do with it? Each is practiced separately.

  10. Minneapolis Agent

    NAR, this is a completely unnecessary claim. We’re not all environmentalists.
    This is Pure drivel.

    There is a significant difference between being an ‘environmentalist’ and a ‘conservationist.’

    Environmentalism is a over-used, catch-all, trendy word, which really masks the prime directive of the environmentalists: hatred of capitalism and the advancement of statism/socialism/communism (see global-warming + environmentalist beginning’s during Thatcher years in Great Britain). The call (last week) of 130 different environmentalist groups, for the end of Capitalism tells us all we need to know. These people have a long history of cooked data to fit their political philosophical bent. And science (a long view of it, not a short, 30 year span) shows hundreds of cycles of cyclical heating and cooling of our planet, over about 4.5 billion years. And most lefty’s (including the author of this article) fall for this chicken-little, junk-science baloney.

    Where I stand (as I type) used to be under 1-2 miles of ice (glaciers), advancing and retreating in 4 separate cycles, over about a hundred thousand years. Today it’s 82 degrees out.

    At one point, the Gulf of Mexico used to span into what is now Nebraska. And we’re freaking out about the oceans rising a few feet?

    The Sahara desert used to be forest. The earth is constantly changing, heating and cooling, advancing, shifting and retreating. Our earth temperature is affected primarily by solar activity, combined with space particulate and cloud activity/coverage. If you’d like to see the cause of ‘global warming’ Google ‘The Cloud Mystery.’

    There is a level-headed alternative: conservationism. It’s a basic, common-sense approach to good stewardship of our land and natural resources.

    The cult of Environmentalism and the haters who direct their followers along this path have one thing in mind; down with Capitalism. They hate business, industry, and the human race. They’re kooks.

  11. In fairness to summit participants, I don’t believe many would call themselves “environmental activists” and even the term “environmentalist” in the newsletter was used figuratively. They are real estate professionals, some grappling with issues that affect the quality of life in their communities. “Loss of property rights” was their #1 concern. As for NAR, like all organizations, it has to look ahead at what may threaten the industry and property owners in the years ahead. In advocacy, it remains squarely focused on those constituents.

  12. Marie and Nelson, thank you for your thought-provoking comments. Many summit participants had similar stories – and I didn’t do justice to the discussion of protecting property rights in the face of changing regulations (or over-regulation). No, the question of how you square environmental responsibility and private property rights doesn’t have an easy answer. “Environmental responsibility” may not even be the right term because it’s so broad. As your example shows, Marie, the two aren’t necessarily at odds. I like Minneapolis Agent’s suggestion of focusing on “conservationism.” Promoting good stewardship was really at the heart of this summit.

  13. As a Broker and a LEED Green Associate, there are certain things Realtors can do in their business that are simple and make sense. You do not have t drill down to make small changes individually and as an added service to and for your clients. Small steps and changes by individuals and make cultural shifts as a community.
    Property values increase in a healthy, clean, environmental conscious community.
    Guides to reducing what I call your “Life Print” – like providing your clients with information on LED Bulbs, green cleaning products, NO VOC’s paint, stain and sealers, retrofitting and or at new construction to use cellulose paper for insulation and a high R factor in the 50’s and 60’s ( good for both hot and cold climates), renewable wood flooring when you can, energy star appliances, rain barrels, swales for runoff, allow grass to grow in between your pavers, landscape design for indigenous plant and reduce evasive plants, reduce, recycle, reuse, repurpose.
    All simple things we can do to be a part of the solution in a sustainable way. Now with deregulation in 11 states and growing, homeowners (we are homeowners as well) you can tell your energy / utility supplier that you want to choose clean and green renewable energy. You now have a choice and a voice to choose solar, wind, clean gas, REC’s and offsets, at no cost to you, to have your current utility company source and supply from renewable energy sources.
    Other healthy activity is to use alternative transportation like, walking, riding a bike, electric car, hybrids, mass transit and stop engine idling as much as possible. There are so many little things we can do to reduce GHG’s and our life print for People, Planet and Prosperity. That’s where being a realtor has added value in being part of a better way and or agents of change, all within our profession.
    There is value for increasing your business because the evidence is all around us that “be green to save green and to make green”. People, Planet and Prosperity…is always a choice.

  14. Lloyd Parnell

    NAR is trying so hard to be in proper agreement with the extreme global warming and environmentalist groups. The dues Realtors pay NAR could be placed to much better use. Your agenda is not working in this area. Give it up!
    Realtors are not as stupid as you think!

  15. Stacey, it seems odd that you discuss “environmental responsibility” and give it the same level of importance as “property rights”. The guiding legal document forming this nation does not mention “environmental responsibility”. The ambiguity of the concept of “environmental responsibility” is typically used to subvert private property rights and undermine capitalism. Realtors are the essence of capitalism. You need to find another group to promote this agenda.

  16. Sorry, my comment about what the group did and their discoveries on property rights seemed to be cut for length – Realtors can be as aggressive as they want to be in investigating and learning anything that has to do with real estate. With that said, 95% of all realtors, commercial and residential will never have to engage to that depth to the group’s findings and areas of concern. Realtors will someday have an obligation to have certain knowledge in certain areas of practice like brown field purchases, land mitigation, wetland mitigation, level 1 and 2 EPA knowledge in order to be part of the deal and it would do us all well to be a part of what is clearly happening in the market right now: Greener Homes and renewable energy movement. Each state and many builders in each state along with state government are building right now energy efficient homes. From solar and micro wind arrays to smart HVAC systems, solar hot water and other energy saving products. Micro wind turbines can be as light as 70 pounds and still generate enough electricity to offset 10% of current cost. The micro turbines are called Vertical Access Turbines, quite efficient and visually not obtrusive in anyway. California, Texas, Arizona, New York and New Jersey are leading the way with tax benefits and programs to offset costs and or even eliminate upfront costs (with a solar lease) when a home is being built new and in retrofit of changing energy source. Knowing these products and offering energy saving guides can only increase your ability to gain clients and differentiate your value added proposition when a client chooses you as their realtor. Remember for better or worse there were those that said “no one would ever buy a car or a home from the internet” – and going back a bit more, “that automobile will never replace the trusted horse and buggy”. Cell phones were only for the Nuevo Rich and computers never in the home. Healthy and safe homes create healthy and safe communities and with that comes prosperity and well being.

  17. Nelson, REALTORS are the essence of capitalism! Yet, one of the foundational documents of this organization does mention environmental responsibility. It’s the preamble to the Code of Ethics. (The preamble is aspirational, of course.) We all know the term “Under all is the land,” which opens the preamble. Here’s what follows: “Upon its wise utilization and widely allocated ownership depend the survival and growth of free institutions and of our civilization. Realtors® should recognize that the interests of the nation and its citizens require the highest and best use of the land and the widest distribution of land ownership. They require the creation of adequate housing, the building of functioning cities, the development of productive industries and farms, and the preservation of a healthful environment.”

  18. Hi Stacey, I am a former regulator with the NC coastal management program. I believe in the responsible use of our natural resources, otherwise I would not have served time in that vocation. I appreciate aspirational theory regarding environmental issues, however, the reality of the culture of environmental regulators is far removed from the aspirational theory. There is much more I can say about the reality of environmental regulations and environmental regulators based on actual experiences, but it would be too much for either you and the audience reading this exchange. You would find these things to be difficult to accept without demanding immediate action.

  19. Honestly, reading some of the comments by uninformed climate change deniers makes me sick to my stomach. Mike Sanderson and Bill Gilmour, you too are the good examples of people who will not deal with scientific reality and who think you have an inalienable right to destroy the planet for your own selfish pursuits. Sorry to have to inform you that you are in the minority of people with this myopic view of the world and the damage human behavior has and is causing to our home–our planet.

  20. Stacey, one more thing. Wetland mitigation is a concept whereby individuals provide replacement wetland resources that are lost through permitted (or un-permitted) wetland impacts. Tell me how government entities can require replacement of “lost” wetland resources unless those same government entities had previously confiscated those same wetlands? Isn’t the requirement of wetland mitigation an admission of confiscation?

    Everyone talks a good game when it comes to the environment, but they are not willing to share in the costs. That is all the Constitution is saying. If government thinks something is worth protecting, then there is a process whereby government can put their money where their mouth is. However, because there is no requirement to pay for regulatory confiscation, government regularly confiscates property with impunity.

    So seriously, what is NAR doing to protect our property rights? That is the primary responsibility to your members! Aspirational theory doesn’t pay my dues!

  21. The REAL vs THE VIRTUAL WORLD

    Now that the big guys & gals of the billion dollar + digital world have decided that there is money to be made by building a 3D virtual world it’s time to asking questions about just what liability for accuracy is to be bestowed on these efforts.

    My name is John Veatch and to add some small amount of context and creditability to my questions and observations let me say that I have over 50 years of professional experience in providing accurate Real World information. You see in addition to my experience as a Professional Realtor (with several millions of dollars of sales ) I am also an Urban Planner, a Professional Land Development Engineer, a Professional Land Surveyor and I suppose, because the Federal Government has issued me a patent for the digital mapping process I have developed, you could call me a mapping inventor.

    One of my companies was the first in this country to develop and sell or license high resolution 3 D aerial maps which we marketed to Federal, State, and Local Government agencies ( about $40 million dollars worth ). In addition another of my companies has produced over 40,000 land title surveys and has provided our patented Satellite Surveys for major commercial real estate transactions from Baltimore Md. to Palm Springs Calf.

    OK big deal right? So what about liability in the Virtual World? It seems to me obvious that in our very litigious society that, much sooner rather than later, the big guys are going to be sued over providing information that is fundamentally “incorrect”. I am referring here to the 2 centuries of land title law that applies to the delineation of land title interest in the real world. To my knowledge the only people in this country who are legally qualified to provide land title information as it relates to the delineation of property lines are Professional Land Surveyors. Oh I am sure the Virtual World guys are going to say that the boundary lines they show on this digital files are not meant to be “Certified Correct”. Well I am equally sure that once someone uses that information to, say build a building and it ends up on property they do not own or on top of some public or private easement not shown in the online Virtual World, the lawyers will be out in force.

    As obvious as this is to me, it remains a monumental puzzle as to why the Professional Land Surveyors of the world and their related organizations are not up in arms about the false boundary line information that is everywhere in public and private online Geographic Information Systems (GIS). See attached

    Let me finish my diatribe by saying “PLS Guys & Gals let’s get it together there is a lot of land surveying work to be done in the Virtual World and as it stands now we are the only ones legally qualified to do it. But if we wait too long, to put our stake in the ground in the Virtual World (please pardon the surveyors joke) they are going to run right over us.”

    John W. Veatch PLS & other things

  22. Marie Stamos

    I have come to realize from reading this article and the “How do you balance your desire to be environmentally responsible with your staunch belief in property rights?” question why the NAR Field Guide to Wind Farms…… leans so heavily pro wind and so lacking in current information. It is written with an “environmentalist” slant. The majority of “information” contained there is DOE (Department of Energy) supplied and supported. They are heavily endowed to expand the use of “renewable” energy, which makes me question their ability to be objective and makes me question the objectivity of reports that are forthcoming from those they pay to research and prepare them.

    I have taken issue with the Field Guide’s content for nearly two years; little of it has changed. The 2014 “updating” was minimal even though there are new findings every day regarding health issues, property value issues, destruction of environmentally fragile and significant habitats issues, and the true economics of the industrial wind turbine. There are references that are dated and useless except for historical tracking of the coming of the industrial wind turbine.

    I have requested that my name be placed under the heading “Opposition”: Marie Stamos, Realtor opposes the industrial wind turbine agenda. My hope being that other Realtor members would follow suit. I asked that the Realtor group oppose the PTC, Production Tax Credit. I asked that the Realtor group support MA H.2048 a bill mandating an industrial wind turbine health impact study and I asked that the coming of, or the permitting of, or the proposal for an industrial wind turbine in any given community or neighborhood be considered a disclosure issue. To me, we who are concerned about the environment and we who are supporters of private property rights (separate issues) owe this information to the consumers on both fronts. Here in Massachusetts and other of the New England states, there are people who have abandoned their homes, have to leave their homes during certain wind or flicker conditions, have become physically ill. And, enforcement of Noise Standards and Air Pollution is sadly lacking.

    I am pleased that this Realtors Environmental Summit has taken place. It opens a door that has been closed due, perhaps, to conflict and inability to separate “environmentalist” from private property rights.

    Some reading suggestions:
    1. Field Guide to Wind Farms & Their Effect on Property Values (NAR site)
    2. http://cleantechnica.com/2014/08/04/greening-greenwashing-illinois-cities-use-recs-shows-challenges-local-energy-choice/
    3. Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs): A Costly Illusion

    There is much more out there, but this is good for starters.
    XXX

  23. Whenever I hear supposedly intelligent people say global warming is propaganda and the people have the right to life, liberty, pursuit of happiness while completely ignoring the rights of others to their pursuit of happiness because they may conflict with yours…I remember the words of the fictional character “Deacon”, leader of the smokers, played by the late Dennis Hopper in the 1995 movie WaterWorld where people are living on a planet covered by water searching desparately for dry land:

    And if there’s a river, we’ll dam it.
    And if there’s a tree, we’ll ram it.
    ‘Cause I’m talkin’ progress here.
    Yes, sir. I’m talkin’ development.
    Yeah!
    For we shall suck and savor…
    the sweet flavor of Dryland.

    Do these words portray the position of members of the REALTOR organization?
    Someone quoted a portion of the preamble of the Code of Ethics:

    REALTORS® should recognize that the interests of the nation and its citizens require the highest and best use of the land and the widest distribution of land ownership. They require the creation of adequate housing, the building of functioning cities, the development of productive industries and farms, and the preservation of a healthful environment.

    The highest and best use of some of this nation’s land is to LEAVE IT ALONE!
    IF we blindly develop every inch of dirt in this country, where will our children and their children play, fish, hunt, walk on the seashore and breath clean air?

    Scientists have long known and understood the most efficient way to terminate the life of any species is to drown it in it’s own excreta.

    Example: place a goldfish in a bowl of water and never clean or replace that water…the fish dies from the metabolic waste matter it creates and expels from it’s body…or simply tie a plastic bag over a human’s head and that human will die within minutes as a result of the carbon dioxide waste matter.

    On a larger scale, all humans live in a plastic bag…it is the atmosphere around our planet protected by the ozone layer. That layer is being depleted and the atmoshpere polluted by our own uncontrolled waste resulting from irresponsible development sucking and savoring the sweet flavor of money.

    “We haven’t inherited this world from our parents, we’ve borrowed it from our children.” When you borrow, you pay back, right? Or you should do that.
    We have been stealing and stealing and stealing from our children by short sighted development. It’s time we started to get together, involve our heads hearts and pay back instead of leaving the cleanup of our waste to our children.

    Development is unavoidable. Unreasonable development is Unconscionable. REALTORS can and MUST work together with other environmentally conscious citizens to wisely make the highest and best use of the land and promote the widest distribution of ownership so all citizens rights are respected and protected.

    If we cannot understand and embrace this, then in practice the REALTOR aspiration of the golden rule has already been thrown out the door and is pure fantasy…and if that is the desired course of our organization, let’s simply delete the current preamble and replace it with the words of the “Deacon”…at least we will not be promoting hypocrisy in our Code of Ethics.

  24. Marie Stamos

    To Danny Been:

    Yours is a most thought provoking statement. I brings to back to me that niggling little thought that hangs in the back of my mind: “And after they have destroyed the earth for the present and all who will come, where do THEY expect to spend their final days, where and how do they expect theirs’ who come after will survive?”

    Do THEY really believe this to be so: “And if there’s a river, we’ll dam it.
    And if there’s a tree, we’ll ram it. ‘CAUSE I’M TALKIN’ PROGRESS HERE….”

  25. gail carpenter

    I’m excited that NAR is recognizing the environment. …still waiting for them to reply to my questions pertaining to all the fracking around the country including:
    -the plans for mortgages as (1) signing a lease typically puts landowners in default of their mortgage
    -some lenders are avoiding granting mortgages where leases are involved
    -the Pa dept. Of insurance has confirmed you cannot obtain insurance for property damage which results from gas exploration related activities
    -communities water supplies are being negatively affected
    -500′ setbacks from homes is insufficient to most homeowners who purchased in residential areas and are now having these industrial operations pop up in their back yards
    -and that many local municipalities are actually changing their zoning…..your clients can be in the middle of their sale when this happens and they are unaware.
    I’ve written a Consumer Protection Notice regarding subsurface rights which can be used industry wide to protect realtors from litigation as a result.
    Why isn’t the NAR discussing this elephant in the middle of our room?
    Unfortunately our local and state association won’t address these questions -even tho PAR held a ‘gas summit’ this spring, they did not address the day to day logistics that we apply to our jobs as they are affected by fracking.

  26. Danny, thank you for your impassioned plea. I believe your convictions about highest and best use sometimes being no use are widely shared. Where people disagree is in how to get to a better place. Terry Anderson of Stanford’s Hoover Institution spoke to summit attendees. He calls himself a free-market environmentalist. I hope I can paraphrase him accurately: He says, although we are seeing changes in our climate, there’s nothing we can do from a regulatory standpoint that will have an appreciable effect. Left to their own devices (with minimal government regulation), he says, property owners will do the right thing because they want a healthy environment. I believe, for most people (though not the Deacons of the world), that’s true–if they know what the right thing is and they can afford to do it. That’s why a big part of the discussion at the conference was on becoming better educated and working to educate the community on issues of concern, as Marie Stamos is doing.

    Nelson and John, thank you for taking the time to share your real world experiences. At the summit, we talked about the proper use of eminent domain when land is taken. Another big topic, in discussing flood zones, was this: If we let people (or even require people) to build in the same place where flooding took out their property, who’s going to pay for the second or third flood?

    Marie, I’ll share your concerns about the field guides with the NAR Library, which compiles those collections. Thank you for sharing a few additional resources on the topic.

  27. Gail, I just saw your comments on fracking. I’ll check in with NAR Legal to see if there has been any guidance provided.

  28. Gail Carpenter

    Thank you, Stacey, I’d appreciate ANY credible conversation about this. To date, every real estate authority answers my questions by saying ‘we don’t want to take a side’ – which wasn’t even asked….this isn’t about taking sides. It’s about liability of realtors, zoning changes, insurability , property and constitutional rights and SO much more.
    I look forward to having a real conversation soon……there are real estate associations elsewhere in the country who have more hindsight on these concerns than the Pittsburgh area does. Perhaps someone else out there, with real experience, can chime in?

  29. Gail, this will not help you in the here and now, but the Risk Management Forum during the REALTORS Conference & Expo (New Orleans, Nov. 7-10, 2014) will focus on emerging environmental liability risks to real estate practitioners. In the first hour of the forum (scheduled for Nov. 7, 12:30-2:30), a prominent environmental attorney will address fracking from the perspective of the real estate professional’s potential exposure to liability risks. In addition to a general overview of fracking and the multiple legal issues fracking may present to industry practitioners, he will be discuss and take questions on potential disclosure pitfalls, as well as issues related to contractual rights – e.g., mineral liens, surface access rights, easements that may run with the land, etc. Following the fracking session, a panel of experts will discuss other risks to real estate practitioners related to the environment. Here’s a link to the session as it appears at the conference website: http://www.realtor.org/educsess.nsf/pageslunew/14confriskmgmt. You can see details are still sketchy at this point.

  30. Marie Stamos

    (“Why isn’t the NAR discussing this elephant in the middle of our room?
    -setbacks from homes is insufficient to most homeowners who purchased in residential areas and are now having these industrial operations pop up in their back yards
    -and that many local municipalities are actually changing their zoning…..your clients can be in the middle of their sale when this happens and they are unaware.”)

    Gail Carpenter’s fracking issue is quite similar to my industrial wind turbine issue: White Elephant being ignored, insufficient setbacks, industrial uses in residential (rural and suburban) locations, undisclosed zoning changes.
    I have been contacting NAR, MAR, Local Boards for nearly two years and
    there has been no acknowledgement of the need for Realtors to know everything there is to know about the true meaning of “green communities” and how it will impact their clients whether Seller or Buyer. I have taken issue with the Field Guide to Wind Farms & Their Effect on Property Values which is heavily laden with DOE supplied information and studies. I ask where are the independent opinions about the industrial wind turbine agenda.

    Minimally, Gail has gotten a response that Realtors do not want to take sides. There can be no sides if all the information known is printed and dispersed equitably and the Realtors given educational and unbiased information about these issues to be able, once again, to share the information with the Client. Armed with good information, the Client will be free to make a decision about purchase or sale, they will know everything there is to know about the elephant in the back yard that they are about to sell or about to buy.

    If the present version of “Field Guide to Wind Farms & Their Effect on Property Values” is thought to be a reflection of the Realtor point of view, then I truly must be listed under “Opposition”, because it does not reflect my opinion, not because I oppose industrial wind turbines, but it does not reflect both sides of the story. I would never refer a client of mine to view the NAR Field Guide to Wind Farms, but how many persons who I or any other Broker may be working with are able to access it online?

    In January of 2014, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center held a webinar featuring the Ben Hoen/Polumbo study, “Do Wind Turbines Affect Property Vales?”. It was in part financed by DOE and Ben Hoen co-authored with Carol Atkinson-Polumbo (Assistant Professor of Geography, UConn). A Connecticut newspaper wrote a glowing article about the latest study and when I wrote a negative comment in response, the reporter wrote the following response, “The National Association of Realtors, a trade organization for real estate agents that is strongly interested in knowing of any effect on prices, has a good primer on the subject, which lists at least eight studies done on the subject” (with a link to the NAR Field Guide site). I immediately wrote to the National, Massachusetts, Local Board to let them know that this was the impression they were giving.

    There was no response. Need I say more?

    There are too many professional Licensed Appraisers who have a very different opinion of the industrial wind turbine and its effect on property values. Why hasn’t the Realtor community done their own research about property values and the industrial wind turbine using licensed, independent Appraisers? Whey does the Realtor community depend so heavily on DOE supplied information?

    It matters not that it is industrial wind turbines, fracking or any other issue that impacts private property rights, Realtors are looked upon as the guardians of those rights.

  31. Marie Stamos

    (“Why isn’t the NAR discussing this elephant in the middle of our room?
    -setbacks from homes is insufficient to most homeowners who purchased in residential areas and are now having these industrial operations pop up in their back yards
    -and that many local municipalities are actually changing their zoning…..your clients can be in the middle of their sale when this happens and they are unaware.”)

    Gail Carpenter’s fracking issue is quite similar to my industrial wind turbine issue: White Elephant being ignored, insufficient setbacks, industrial uses in residential (rural and suburban) locations, undisclosed zoning changes.

    I have been contacting NAR, MAR, Local Boards for nearly two years and
    there has been no acknowledgement of the need for Realtors to know everything there is to know about the true meaning of “green communities” and how it will impact their clients whether Seller or Buyer, I have taken issue with the Field Guide to Wind Farms & Their Effect on Property Values which is heavily laden with DOE supplied information and studies, I ask where are the independent opinions about the industrial wind turbine agenda.

    Minimally, Gail has gotten a response that Realtors do not want to take sides. There can be no sides if all the information known is printed and dispersed equitably and the Realtors given educational and unbiased information about these issues to be able, once again, to share the information with the Client. Armed with good information, the Client will be free to make a decision about purchase or sale, they will know everything there is to know about the elephant in the back yard that they are about to sell or about to buy.

    If the present version of “Field Guide to Wind Farms & Their Effect on Property Values” is thought to be a reflection of the Realtor point of view, then I truly must be listed under “Opposition”, because it does not reflect my opinion, not because I oppose industrial wind turbines, but it does not reflect both sides of the story. I would never refer a client of mine to view the NAR Field Guide to Wind Farms, but how many persons who I or any other Broker may be working with are able to access it online?

    In January of 2014, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center held a webinar featuring the Ben Hoen/Polumbo study, “Do Wind Turbines Affect Property Vales?”. It was in part financed by DOE and Ben Hoen co-authored with Carol Atkinson-Polumbo (Assistant Professor of Geography, UConn). A Connecticut newspaper wrote a glowing article about the latest study and when I wrote a negative comment in response, the reporter wrote the following response, “The National Association of Realtors, a trade organization for real estate agents that is strongly interested in knowing of any effect on prices, has a good primer on the subject, which lists at least eight studies done on the subject” (with a link to the NAR Field Guide site). I immediately wrote to the National, Massachusetts, Local Board to let them know that this was the impression they were giving.

    There was no response. Need I say more?

    There are too many professional Licensed Appraisers who have a very different opinion of the industrial wind turbine and its effect on property values. Why hasn’t the Realtor community done their own research about property values and the industrial wind turbine using licensed, independent Appraisers? Whey does the Realtor community depend so heavily on DOE supplied information?

    It matters not that it is industrial wind turbines, fracking or any other issue that impacts private property rights, Realtors are looked upon as the guardians of those rights.

  32. Barbara Durkin

    If you sell a home to me without disclosing plans for wind turbines near it, I will sue you. There is a dearth of evidence, including Peer Reviewed, and scientific journal published, that wind turbines harm human health. You can call yourself a, “Green Realtor”, but if my family’s health and property value are compromised by wind turbines, and I can demonstrate that you should have reasonably known they were to be constructed near the home you sold to me, and you failed to disclose this before-the-fact, I will seek treble damages under Chapter 93A. I offer this narrative because I don’t want this to happen to you. NAR and MAR should act in you interest and require disclosure regarding wind turbines.

  33. Marie Stamos

    Something has just occurred to me. I made a reference to a webinar that the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center held January 2014. It is interesting to note that NAR supported that seminar on the NAR site which to me is a further indication that NAR is supporting the DOE/Hoen-Palumbo viewpoint to the general public and, more important, to the Realtor organization. There really, by all appearances, seems no balance, but, rather, a lot of bias. This is terribly unfair to the Realtor community which needs both sides presented equally in order to properly serve their client base.

  34. Gail Carpenter

    Stacey,
    Thank you for those details….sketchy, but actually the ONLY detailed reply I’ve gotten from ANYONE in this industry yet. I don’t believe there are any ‘pitfalls’ in disclosure – as it is what it is – but it MUST be FULLY disclosed; whatever it is.

    I’m also trying to recall where, in the Realtors code, that it calls for agents to actually have some knowledge of what’s going on in their area – as some are simply pretending they don’t know anything about this. NOT that they can express their opinions; they cannot……..but I’m trying to show them that they/we are required to have a certain degree of competency and knowledge about local issues (such as these….)

    To Barb and Marie, I appreciate your input as well.
    Best conversation I’ve had yet about any/all of this —-

  35. Marie Stamos

    Gail Carpenter, there is nothing to add to your comment. I feel Realtors know this and the consuming public expects this and the Realtor organization must support this.

    Gail states: “I don’t believe there are any ‘pitfalls’ in disclosure – as it is what it is – but it MUST be FULLY disclosed; whatever it is.”

  36. Stacey,
    I agree with your comment ” I believe, for most people (though not the Deacons of the world), that’s true–if they know what the right thing is and they can afford to do it. ” But unfortunately, the Deacons are often the most powerful, influential and wealthy…who seem to be able to get whatever they want without regard for environment and others. For this reason, I am encouraged NAR is taking an interest in this issue and perhaps will use some of the dues money the members pay to educate, preserve and protect our natural resources for our children’s future benefit and use. NOTHING could be more noble than long range planning using wisdom and resources to preserve and restore the environment. Working with nature to profit benefits all. Working against nature to profit benefits none.

  37. Marie Stamos

    Hi Danny Been.

    What would your plan be to preserve and restore the environment?

  38. AUGUST 7, 2014

    FEATURED STORY
    ‘”We Are All Environmentalists”
    How do you run a stable, profitable business when your area is experiencing
    mega-wildfires, severe storms, or long-term drought? How do you balance your
    desire to be environmentally responsible with your staunch belief in property
    rights? Those were the conversations at the first Environmental Summit, where
    REALTORS(R) explored how to confront a changing world.
    http://enews.realtor.org/a/aBT4$-dB8hVyFB87ph9AAFJhTRy/featstory

    Oklahomans file lawsuit over health concerns, property values against wind energy company

    Posted 12:03 pm, August 27, 2014, by KFOR-TV & K. Querry, Updated at 12:05pm, August 27, 2014

    “While declining property value was also cited in the lawsuit, the National Association of Realtors say there is very little evidence that shows property values drop when wind farms move to town.

    The association cited several studies across the United States with only one that supported the idea.”

  39. Marie Stamos

    To: Stacey Moncrieff

    This media has been printed today.
    I ask: Did NAR really comment on this story and allow a link directly to the NAR Field Guide to Wind?

    Minimally, they should have disclosed that they are pro wind and, therefore, the opinion on the Field Guide is biased in favor of wind.

    Also, how many Licensed Appraisers were asked for an opinion about regarding the industrial wind turbine and its effect on property value?

    Following is the article I reference:

    Oklahomans file lawsuit over health concerns, property values against wind energy company

    Posted 12:03 pm, August 27, 2014, by KFOR-TV & K. Querry, Updated at 12:05pm, August 27, 2014

    “While declining property value was also cited in the lawsuit, the National Association of Realtors say there is very little evidence that shows property values drop when wind farms move to town.

    The association cited several studies across the United States with only one that supported the idea.”

  40. Marie, NAR didn’t comment to anyone. The link in the KFOR story is to the Field Guide but it actually quotes not NAR but a Department of Energy study. Our director of media relations spoke with KFOR about the story. They confirmed they were inaccurately citing the field guide as NAR research. A correction will be made soon. Thank you for pointing this out!

  41. I am always thought that how do you move a stay or a stable business when your place is experiencing mega-wildfires, severe storms, and lot of more disturbing thing.

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