Devaluing of Your Property

Devaluing of Private Property

Proposed Distances (Setbacks) Between Well Pads and Water Wells and Other People’s Property Are infinitesimal:

  • Setbacks are the distances between gas drilling well pads adjacent property, water wells, schools and the like. The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s proposed setbacks from the nearest house and the nearest drinking water well are inconsistent with quality of life expectations and possibly water quality protection.
  • The proposed setback distances noted below are from NYS DEC’s dSGEIS. The ones related to water are extracted in NYS DEC’s 2011 dSGEIS – Section 7.1.11.
  • The setback currently proposed between the edge of a well pad and an adjacent property line is 0 feet.
  • The setback currently proposed between the edge of a well pad and the nearest house is 150 feet.
  • The setback currently proposed between the edge of a well pad and the nearest drinking water well is 500 feet.
  • The setback currently proposed between the edge of a well pad and the nearest stream is 150 feet.
  • The setback currently proposed between the edge of a well pad and an adjacent land owner’s possible future drinking water well is 0 feet.

How Marcellus Shale Gas Drilling Will DEPRESS Your Property Values

Imagine this: You lease your land to a gas drilling company, then, before or after drilling, you decide that you want to sell your land. You find plenty of prospective buyers—the problem is that none of them can find a bank to finance a mortgage, because most banks and insurance companies consider gas-leased land to be an unacceptable risk.{‘

.Where does this leave you? Most likely stuck. And what does it do to the value of your property? Most likely depreciate it, and the value of neighboring properties, too.

Or, imagine this: You have not leased your property, but your neighbors have, and— because your property is within -300 feet of theirs—banks also balk at financing your property—because of volatile property values and environmental hazards.                                                                                                                                             .

Or, imagine this: You own a farm or a lake cottage in an area where gas drilling is taking place and the value of your home and land has become so depreciated by the number of unmortgageable properties around you that your investment is no longer worth what you owe on it.

These are not just hypothetical examples. Ask your local bank or credit union.

FHA, HUD, GMAC and most major banks and credit unions hold exactly these policies on gas-leased property and the properties near them.

Reportedly, Wells Fargo, First Place, Fidelity, First Liberty and Bank of America all consider financing such mortgages excessively risky. HUD, for instance (in its Handbook, 4150.2, page 2.7) puts it this way:

Operating and abandoned oil and gas wells pose potential hazards to housing, including potential fire, explosion, spray and other pollution.

  • No existing dwelling may be located closer than 300 feet from an active or planned drilling site. Note that this applies to the site boundary, not to the actual well site.
  • The appraiser must examine the site for the existence of or any readily observable evidence of a well.

For anyone trying to sell property in leased or drilled areas, buyer will not be able to obtain mortgages. This could eliminate 90% of potential purchasers. This will lead to a price drop in property values. Time is running out. We need to wake up. Fight to protect our values (both property and otherwise) before it’s too late.

From an article by Steve Coffman, Dundee NY

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