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The 1983  Mountain Ridge Protection Act, also called the “North Carolina Ridge Law,” was enacted by the NC General Assembly in 1983 in response to a high-rise resort that was built on Sugar Top Mountain in Avery County. This huge blight on the ridge of sugar top mountain led to public outrage. The public outrage led to a law being written and passed that would protect the highest ridges from ever having that happen again.  The law protects ridges at or above 3,000 feet elevation or which are 500 feet or more above an adjacent valley floor, limiting building heights to 40 feet on protected ridges.

The Ridge Law has a provision which specifically exempts “windmills” from the restrictions.   This exemption is for windmills, not wind turbines.  The exemption is for windmills that generate mechanical energy.  Wind industry proponents have tried to weaken this law by stating that the word windmill included wind turbines.  In the law it states that each windmill has to be next to a house or structure.  Commercial wind turbines are not attached to homes, and they are not slender in nature, they are HUGE. 

The 1983 Mountain Ridge Protection Act is written to protect the highest ridges from industrialization.  A wind plant is just that, an industrial plant. 

I like to point this out to the wind industry.  Why would a law give an exemption for the very thing it was trying to prevent?   


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