After more than a year of discussion about windmills and related topics, the Carroll County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted June 10 not to pass a tall structure ordinance.
Carroll supervisors discussed the topic for over a year after EDP Renewables/Horizon Wind Energy proposed a wind farm on Stoots Mountain early in 2012. The county previously tabled a proposed windmill ordinance that the board worried could hinder economic development in Carroll County. Earlier this year the board looked at a tall structure ordinance that was more regulatory in nature and would have prohibited construction of any structure over 100 foot tall on protected mountain ridges in Carroll County.
Board Chairman David Hutchins opened the discussion June 10 by saying it was time to put the matter to rest one way or the other.
“What is the wishes of the board on the tall structure ordinance? We need to either pass it or put it to bed,” Hutchins said. “It has slumbered probably long enough, so I would ask the motion that we either adopt it or that we not adopt it.”
Pipers Gap District Supervisor Dr. Tom Littrell then made the motion not to adopt a tall structure ordinance. Fancy Gap District Supervisor Phil McCraw seconded the motion.
“Durned if you do and durned if you don’t,” Supervisor Bob Martin said before voting not to pass the ordinance. “It’s a hard place. It’s like a landfill. It doesn’t matter until you announce the landfill is going to go beside somebody’s house or the land beside them, and then they are definitely opposed to it. I don’t think the people want zoning.”
Laurel Fork District Supervisor Joshua Hendrick said he thinks the county does need an ordinance to protect adjoining property owners, but not the ordinance the board held a public hearing on relating to tall structures.
“For adjoining property owner’s safety, I believe we could do something, but this won’t work, so I vote yes,” Hendrick said.
McCraw, Littrell and and Sam Dickson also voted to not pass the ordinance before Hutchins made it unanimous.
“I have heard a lot of different discussion back and forth, although I have heard less and less opposition in the last two or three months than I did before,” Hutchins said. “I tend to agree with Mr. Hendrick that we need to look at setbacks or something. I’m not sure what we can do in that situation, but I would have to vote yes. It’s gone.”
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