Two local residents speaking out Monday against some aspects of a proposed Craven County tall structures ordinance prompted commissioners to push it aside again for further review.
Zach Taylor of Trent Woods and Henry “Bud” Stilley of New Bern did not speak against having an ordinance to regulate wind energy and cell phone towers or the importance of making sure the structures don’t harm military air traffic.
In separate comments, however, both said they believe the proposed ordinance goes too far.
Speaking after Landon Holland of Holland and Associates Consulting spelled out changes incorporated into the proposed ordinances following the first public hearing, Stilley said he thinks the ordinance is a “solution looking for a problem.”
“Lumping wind with broadband is a mistake,” said Stilley.
And, with the importance of broadband, some aspects of the proposed ordinance make it appear commissioners are relegating it to the back stage, according to Stilley
The way it is written, approval has to comply with comments of the military, allowing commissioners to relinquish some of the power Craven voters gave them, Stilley said.
With other concerns highlighted, Stilley said, it “shows me we’ve gone too fast.”
Taylor said that given the economy, business events or delays in equipment availability could cause delays in completion or use of a structure longer than the 180 days the ordinance allows before it is determined abandoned.
He urged commissioners to redefine non-participating landowner in the language of the ordinance and said a surety bond of 125 percent of the cost of demolition and removal of a tall structure, held for years and years, would “run businesses away from Craven County.”
Stilley and Taylor encouraged the board to at least wait until after a symposium on tall structures scheduled for New Bern’s Doubletree hotel on April 24 before voting on the proposed ordinance.
Chairman Scott Dacey said, “I never viewed the military review as stepping on the toes of the commissioners. From the outset, protecting the military’s interest is why we did the ordinance. And, the wind energy industry did not take issue with bonding or other issues the men brought up.”
Commissioner Steve Tyson said, “I think we should drop back and punt and look into some of these concerns.” He moved, and Commissioner Jeff Taylor seconded the motion, to spend more time developing the ordinance.
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