The Pitt County Board of Commissioners adopted amendments to the county zoning ordinance in March 2010 which classify wind energy systems as an accessory use and establish siting and permitting requirements for their installation. The ordinance applies to small to medium systems designed primarily for on-site use in conjunction with a principal dwelling unit or business. The ordinance does not apply to utility scale systems.
Blade Clearance: Wind turbine blades may not be closer than 15 feet from the ground.
Visual Appearance: Wind turbines must be a non-obtrusive color such as white, off-white or gray. Wind systems must also remain free from advertising, flags, streamers and other decorative items, as well as artificial lighting, except that which is required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Setbacks: The base of the wind turbine tower must be setback from all surrounding property lines a distance of 110% of the height of the wind turbine at its highest point. Further, it must be set back from an inhabited structure on an adjacent property a distance equal to 150% of the height.
Permitting Requirements: An application for a zoning permit must include:
- a narrative describing the proposed project;
- the type and height of the proposed system, its generating capacity, dimensions, manufacturer and a description of the ancillary facilities;
- a site plan which shows the proposed location, property lines, setbacks, substations, electrical lines, and the location of other ancillary devices;
- standard drawings of the wind turbine structure including the tower, base, and footings;
- an engineering analysis of the tower certified by a licensed professional engineer;
- evidence of compliance with FAA regulations;
- if the system is to be interconnected with the utility grid, evidence that the electric utility has been informed of the installation and approved it; and
- other relevant studies, reports, certifications and approvals requested by the county.