Earlier this week, on Monday night, the Newport Town Council considered new recommendations for strengthening the town’s Tall Structures Ordinance (TSO). The following are the highlights of the modifications that the council members then voted to adopt:
Requiring that the developers of renewable energy facilities apply for a special-use permit from the town before beginning construction of a wind turbine farm or other facility.
Reducing the allowable noise level from 45 down to 35 decibels.
Reducing the maximum allowable height to the uppermost end of a blade tip down to 275 feet from 550 feet.
Doubling the setback from neighboring property lines to 5000 feet from 2500 feet, and establishing a 1000 foot setback from property lines adjacent to the Croatan National Forest.
Requiring a $500K surety bond per wind turbine to ensure that turbines are demolished and removed after they are no longer operable or operating.
Requiring a $50K escrow deposit to help offset the cost to the town of consulting fees or other expenses associated with the process of reviewing and issuing a permit.
Requiring a Property Value Guarantee.
Kudos to the Newport Town Council, and to all who worked to see this process through.