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Public Hearing on Proposed Ordinance: Solar and Wind Energy

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON
ZONING ORDINANCE CHAPTER 36 AMENDING
SOLAR AND WIND ENERGY CONVERSION SYSTEM REGULATIONS 

YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED that the Paynesville Planning Board has scheduled a public hearing to consider amending the ordinance regarding Amending Article III Entitled “Solar Energy Regulations”, And Article IV Entitled “Wind Energy Conversion System Regulations”; And By Adopting By Reference City Code Chapter 1, Section 1-11, Entitled “Violation A Misdemeanor Unless Otherwise Stated” Which, Among Other Things, Contains Penalty Provisions.

The public hearing has been set for Monday, July 20, 2020 at 6:15 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers at which time the Planning Board will hear public comment for or against amending the Solar and Wind Energy System Regulations.   

A copy of said amendment is available for review by any person during regular city office hours (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday) or on the website at www.paynesvillemn.com.

All interested parties are invited to attend said hearing and/or submit written comments prior to the public hearing day to the Planning Board, 221 Washburne Ave., Paynesville, MN 56362 prior to the public hearing.

Dated this 22nd day of June, 2020.

CITY OF PAYNESVILLE

                                                                                   

Jennifer Welling,
 Administrative Assistant/Zoning Administrator

NOTICE OF PROPOSED ORDINANCE

YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED that the City of Paynesville Planning Board is considering the following proposed Ordinance at 6:15 p.m. on July 20, 2020 at their Regular Planning Board meeting:

ORDINANCE NO. 17, 3RD SERIES

            AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF PAYNESVILLE, MINNESOTA, AMENDING CITY CODE CHAPTER 36 ENTITLED “ZONING”, BY AMENDING ARTICLE III ENTITLED “SOLAR ENERGY REGULATIONS”, AND ARTICLE IV ENTITLED “WIND ENERGY CONVERSION SYSTEM REGULATIONS”; AND BY ADOPTING BY REFERENCE CITY CODE CHAPTER 1, SECTION 1-11, ENTITLED “VIOLATION A MISDEMEANOR UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED” WHICH, AMONG OTHER THINGS, CONTAINS PENALTY PROVISIONS.

            THE CITY COUNCIL OF PAYNESVILLE, MINNESOTA ORDAINS:

            Section 1.  City Code, Chapter 36, entitled “Zoning” and Article III thereof entitled “Solar Energy Regulations” is hereby to read as follows:

            ARTICLE III. – SOLAR ENERGY REGULATIONS

            Sec. 36-89 – Authority; purpose.

            This article is enacted pursuant to the authority granted by the Municipal Planning Act, M.S.A. 462.351 et seq.  The intent of this article is to ensure public health, safety and general welfare in accordance with adopted goals, plans and policies of the city; to enhance privacy and the quality of the physical environment of the city; to protect and maintain property values; and to preserve and develop the economic base within the city.

            Sec. 36-90. – Definitions.

            The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this article, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

            Integrated solar energy system means an integral part of a principle or accessory building rather than a separate mechanical device, replacing or substituting for an architectural element or structural component including, but not limited to, photo voltaic or hot water solar energy systems contained win roofing materials, windows, skylights and awnings.

            Solar energy system means an apparatus capable of converting solar energy into electricity or capturing solar energy without transforming it into another form of energy or transferring the heat via a heat exchanger.

            Solar farm means a solar array composed of multiple solar panels on ground mounted racks or poles, which is not directly connected to or designed to serve the energy needs of the primary use, but rather for the primary purpose of wholesale sales of generated electricity.  Solar farms include, but are not limited to, community solar gardens, which are defined as a solar electric (photovotalic) array that provides retail electrical power (or a financial proxy for retail power), to multiple community members or businesses residing or located off-site from the location of the solar energy system, consistent with Minnesota Statute 216B.641 or successor statute.  A community solar system may be either an accessory or principle use.

            Sec. 36-91. – Permitted solar energy systems.

            Solar energy systems, except solar farms, are allowed in all zoning districts, subject to the following:

                        (1)  System standards, electrical.

                                    a.  All electrical shall be installed underground.

                                    b.  An exterior disconnect switch shall be installed at the electrical meter serving the property.

                                    c.  The system shall be grounded to protect against natural lightning strikes in conformance with the National Electrical Code.

                                    d.  No solar energy system shall be interconnected with a local electrical utility company until the company has reviewed and commented upon it. The interconnection of the                                              solar energy system with the utility company shall adhere to the National Electrical Code.

                        (2)  Maximum area.

                                    a.  Ground-mounted solar energy stems.  Ground-mounted solar energy systems shall be limited to a maximum area of:

                                                1.  Residential Uses – 240 square feet

                                                2.  Non-Residential Uses – ten percent of lot area.

                                    b.  Roof-mounted solar energy systems.  Roof-mounted solar energy systems must:

                                                1.  Use colors that are the same or similar with the color of the roof material of the building.

                                                2.  Comply with the maximum height requirements applicable to the zoning district.

                                                3.  Not extend beyond the roof perimeter or exterior walls of the building on which it its mounted.

            Sec. 36-92. – Permitted solar energy farms.

            Solar energy farms may be permitted as a conditional use in “I-1” Light Industrial District or “I-2” Heavy Industrial District, under the requirements of City Code Section 36-53.

            Sec. 36-93.  – Ground-mounted solar system requirements.

            Ground-mounted solar systems must:

                        (1)  Meet the location and setback requirements for an accessory building under the provisions of this chapter.

                        (2)  Meet any setback and screening requirements for the zoning district within which the solar energy system is located.

            Sec. 36-94. – General requirements.

            All solar energy systems must:

                        (1)  Be certified by the Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., and comply with the requirements of the International Building Code.

                        (2)  Be removed if the system becomes inoperable for 12 successive months or fails to meet the conditions and requirements of this section.  The city may order the system to be                                        dismantled and removed under such circumstances.  If the owner or person responsible for the solar energy system does not maintain or comply with all requirements of this                                      chapter, the city may take such steps as are necessary to achieve compliance. The costs of such work, including administrative costs, shall be a lien against the property and may                                  be collected as a special assessment. The city may sell salvaged and valuable materials at public auction on ten days’ notice.

                        (3)  Obtain a building permit as may be required by the Building Code for any solar energy system prior to installation.

            Section 2City Code, Chapter 36, entitled “Zoning” and Article IV thereof entitled “Wind Energy Conversion System Regulations” is hereby to read as follows:

            ARTICLE IV. – WIND ENERGY CONVERSION SYSTEM REGULATIONS

            Sec. 36-126. – Authority; purpose.

            This article is enacted pursuant to the authority granted by the Municipal Planning Act, M.S.A. Section 462.351 et seq.  The intent of this article is to ensue public health, safety and general welfare in accordance with adopted goals, plans and policies of the city; to enhance privacy and the quality of the physical environment of the city; to protect and maintain property values; and preserve and develop the economic base within the city.

            Sec. 36-127. – Definitions.

            The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this article, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

                        Wind energy conversion system or windmill means an apparatus capable of converting wind energy into electricity.

                        Wind energy farm means a group of wind energy conversion systems or windmills capable of converting wind energy into electricity, which are not directly connected to or designed to serve the energy needs of the primary use on the property, but rather for the primary purpose of wholesale sales of generated electricity.

            Sec. 36-128. – Permitted wind energy systems. 

            Wind energy systems, other than wind energy farms, may be permitted as a conditional use in any zoning district, following the requirements of Section 36-53.

            Wind energy farms may be permitted as a conditional use in “I-1” Light Industrial Districts or “I-2” Heavy Industrial Districts, in accordance with Section 36-53.

            Sec. 36-129. – Requirements and qualifications to obtain a conditional use permit.

            In order to qualify for a conditional use permit, a wind energy conversion system, or wind energy farm, in addition to the other requirements of Section 36-53, must meet the following criteria:

                        (1)  Wind energy conversion systems shall be set back from the nearest property line a distance equal to the height of the tower plus one-half the diameter of the rotor.

                        (2)  Wind energy conversion systems shall be certified by a professional engineer as being of a design adequate for the atmospheric conditions in the area.

                        (3)  Wind energy conversion systems shall be equipped with over speed or similar controls designed to prevent disintegration of the rotor in high winds.

                        (4)  Wind energy conversion systems shall be in compliance with all building and electrical code requirements of the city, noise regulations of the state pollution                                                                              control agency (MPCA), and rules and regulations of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

                        (5)  The conditional use permit shall provide that if a wind energy conversion system has not been operated for a period of one year or fails to meet the conditions required in this                                      section, the city council may order it dismantled and the site restored to its original condition.

                        (6)  The conditional use permit shall further provide that if the owner or person responsible for a wind energy conversion system does not maintain it or comply with all                                                             requirements of this article, the city may take such steps as are necessary to achieve compliance. The cost of such work, including administrative costs, shall be a lien against                                         the property and may be collected as a special assessment. The city may sell salvaged and valuable materials at public auction on ten days’ notice.

                        (7)  Wind energy conversion systems shall not have exterior lights that illuminate or glare upon or into adjoining parcels of real estate.

            Section 3.  This Ordinance shall take effect and be in force upon its passage, adoption and publication.

            Section 4.  City Code, Chapter 1, entitled “General Provisions”, and Section 1-11 entitled
“Violation a Misdemeanor Unless Otherwise Stated” are hereby adopted in their entirety by reference, as though repeated verbatim herein.

            A copy of said Ordinance is available for review by any person during regular City Hall office hours (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday).

Posted this 22nd day of June, 2020.