Proposal would require military approval of tall structures in Pamlico

Published: Friday, March 1, 2013 at 12:39 PM.

BAYBORO — A draft ordinance for constructing tall structures in Pamlico County has provisions that require builders to get written approval from Cherry Point on projects.

The need for an ordinance was fueled by requests from at least one wind energy company to build 500-foot tall wind turbines in the county, which covers 350 square miles. Most of Pamlico County is under flight patterns for the nearby Marine base.

In an earlier presentation to the county commissioners, military representatives said some training flights across the county go as low as 200 feet. The military spokesmen from Marine Corps Installations East said tall structures such as wind turbines present problems for aviation radar and pose potential collision dangers.

Nick Santoro, the planning board first vice chairman, said military concerns were among the key issues.

“Basically, there is a clause that they (builders) will have to get the blessing of the military in order to place them anywhere in the county,” he said. “The military has their own requirements of where their flight paths are, and we didn’t want to get in the middle between the military and the applicant with our ordinance.”

Planning board member Carl Ollison, also a county commissioner, said military approval would be the starting point for tall structure developers.

“Whoever does a windmill is going to have to get it cleared through the military,” he said. “That’s the first hoop they have to jump through. If the military says no, then there is no need for them to come to us.”

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