City OKs cryptocurrency site regulations | News

TIFTON — Tifton City Council recently approved an amendment to the Land Development Code regulating the possibility of cryptocurrency facilities coming to the city.

After thoroughly discussing how cryptocurrency mining facilities would be regulated within city limits, as well as extensively researching cryptocurrency itself, City Council proposed adding an amendment to the Table of Uses section of its Land Development Code.

Council also proposed creating a list of standards and regulations for cryptocurrency facilities to ensure the city could properly regulate them.

Crystal Gaillard, community improvement director, noted at the March 7 City Council meeting that the research conducted by the city revealed cryptocurrency facilities could take all manner of shapes and structures. And without proper regulations, it could set up as anything.

The major requirement is that cryptocurrency facilities of any kind would only be allowed on land parcels designated heavy industrial. Only five parcels with this designation exist in Tifton, limiting the locations these facilities can be placed.

The facilities would have to be a minimum of 50 acres, with setbacks of 150 feet on all sides. With these requirements, only two of the five heavy industrial zones in Tifton could be used for a cryptocurrency facility.

Other requirements for the property would include a fence, minimum of six feet enclosing the facility, with a sign listing the name or names, addresses and telephone numbers of all facility owners and operators at the facility entrance, and a 25-foot buffer on the outer perimeter of fencing landscaped with vegetation that must be at least 10 feet and full opacity within five years of the installation.

Existing vegetation could be used to fill the requirement, so long as it met the conditions but the property must be maintained under International Property Maintenance Code and the City of Tifton Code of Ordinance.

All servers, processors, materials and equipment would be required to be kept within the building, and cargo containers, railroad cars and semi-truck trailers would be prohibited in any part of the facility operation.

Applicants wishing to build a cryptocurrency mining facility would be required to submit written verification from their power provider before receiving a building permit.

The verification would state the maximum potential electrical consumption for the proposed facility was calculated and the utility supply equipment and related electrical infrastructure is large enough and safe enough to accommodate the facility during peak consumption hours of the power provider.

City leaders expressed concern about fire and electrical safety.

Multiple requirements were suggested to ensure any proposed facilities would be constructed to be fire safe, include the necessary systems and protocol to avoid electrical and fire hazards, such as high-sensitivity smoke alarms and an electrically grounded structure, and that the building would be in accordance with all fire safety codes and standards as designed by a licensed Georgia engineer.

Last, cryptocurrency mining facilities would be prohibited from producing noise levels exceeding 90 decibels from a distance of 25 feet from the property line.

At the March 7 meeting, District 2 Council member Jack Folk said current owners of the heavy industrial-designated parcels could simply sell their properties to cryptocurrency facilities and skip over the council.

However, when the topic was further discussed at the following meeting, council determined limiting where these facilities could be placed, as well as the long list of requirements that must be met, serve as enough of a restriction on cryptocurrency facilities that applicants would not need to come before council for anything but requesting the rezoning of another district to heavy industrial.

Council unanimously approved the amendment of the Land Development Code and the institution of the cryptocurrency mining facility regulations.

The facilities would have to be a minimum of 50 acres, with setbacks of 150 feet on all sides. With these requirements, only two of the five heavy industrial zones in Tifton could be used for a cryptocurrency facility.


Donovan Larsen

Donovan is a columnist and associate editor at the Dark News. He has written on everything from the politics to diversity issues in the workplace.

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