Township of Upper Uwchlan, PA
Chester County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Upper Uwchlan 11-19-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-03. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 71.
Stormwater management — See Ch. 152.
Subdivision and land development — See Ch. 162.
Water — See Ch. 183.
Zoning — See Ch. 200.

§ 77-1 Systems permitted; exempt systems.

Accessory structures and systems that provide alternative energy sources ("systems") shall be permitted, but only as follows:
A. 
Applications for alternative energy system permits shall include information demonstrating compliance with the provisions in this chapter.
B. 
Alternative energy systems generating less than 100 watts' equivalent power, or less than four square feet in size, in aggregate, and not connected to the commercial power system, are exempt from the provisions of this chapter.

§ 77-2 Permitted and prohibited district uses.

Solar energy systems and wind energy systems shall be an allowed accessory uses in all Districts, except where specifically prohibited.
A. 
Solar and wind energy systems are specifically prohibited in:
(1) 
All areas designated as public open space, whether general public or homeowner association, or as specified in the Comprehensive Plan.
(2) 
Waste water reclamation areas.
(3) 
Greenways, as designated in the Comprehensive Plan.
(4) 
Riparian buffer areas.
B. 
Wind energy systems are specifically prohibited in:
(1) 
C1 Village Districts, designated historical districts, and executed overlay areas.
(2) 
Wind energy systems shall be allowed in Commercial, Limited Industrial, R-1, R-2, R-3 and R-4 Districts as an accessory use following conditional use approval and subject to the criteria in § 77-6, Wind energy systems, of this chapter.

§ 77-3 Compliance with other codes and standards required.

A. 
All systems are subject to permits under the Township Building Code in effect at the time of application and construction.
B. 
The system shall provide power for principal use on the property whereon the system is to be located. It shall not be for the principal use of generation of power for commercial purposes.
C. 
The design of the alternative energy system shall conform to applicable industry standards, including those of the American National Standards Institute, and shall have certificates of design compliance obtained by the equipment manufacturers from Underwriters Laboratories.
D. 
All electrical components of the system shall conform to relevant and applicable local, state and national codes, and relevant and applicable international standards.

§ 77-4 General provisions.

A. 
Systems may be installed in the side or rear portions of the property.
B. 
Systems shall be a nonobtrusive, in a nonreflective color, use reduced or antiglare coatings, and otherwise constructed in such a manner as to be sympathetic to neighboring properties and adjacent public or private streets.
C. 
Systems shall not be artificially lighted, except to the extent required by the Federal Aviation Administration or other applicable authority that regulates air safety.
D. 
Systems shall not display advertising, except for reasonable identification of the system manufacturer or owner and not readable from any public road.
E. 
On-site transmission and power lines between the system and point of use, to the maximum extent practicable, shall be placed underground, or suitably armored.
F. 
All ground-mounted or ground-accessible electrical and control equipment shall be labeled and secured to prevent unauthorized access.
G. 
Any substantial upgrade, modification or structural change that increases the size or relocates an existing system must comply with this section.

§ 77-5 Solar energy systems.

A. 
Glare from solar arrays shall not impinge on any road or public motorway.
B. 
Rooftop solar energy systems.
(1) 
To minimize visual impact, rooftop arrays shall be placed on the side of the roof away from any road.
(2) 
Rooftop arrays shall not be higher than the peak of the roof, or higher than 15 inches above the roof surface at any point.
C. 
Ground-mounted systems.
(1) 
Ground-mounted solar arrays shall be placed in side or rear yards only.
(2) 
The maximum height of a ground mounted solar array shall be 15 feet to its highest point, and all portions of the solar array shall be within the side and rear yard building setbacks applicable to accessory structures but no less than 15 feet from the property line.
(3) 
The area of the array shall be calculated and added to the maximum building area coverage that is permitted on the subject property.
(4) 
Adequate drainage and infiltration of rainwater shall be provided for, to eliminate additional runoff from the property.
(5) 
Ground-mounted assemblies must be screened in accordance with § 200-77 of the Township Zoning Ordinance, but not to an extent which precludes adequate and efficient operations.
(6) 
Access to the ground-mounted system shall be controlled in accordance with § 200-88, Fences and walls.
(7) 
Solar arrays shall not exceed 20% coverage on otherwise unoccupied property area.

§ 77-6 Wind energy systems.

A. 
There shall be only one wind energy system per lot.
B. 
Maximum height of the wind energy system shall be the same as the maximum height permitted by right in the district and shall be measured with the blade in maximum vertical position from the tip of the blade to the ground.
C. 
All wind energy systems shall be mounted on a single pole system with no guide wires or other supports except its foundation.
D. 
The wind energy system shall not be climbable up to 15 feet above ground surface.
E. 
All wind energy systems shall be designed and installed to meet maximum wind speeds of Category 1 hurricanes.
F. 
The wind energy systems shall be placed within the side and rear yard setbacks as applicable to accessory structures or at least a distance of 1 1/2 times its height away from the property lines and any occupied structure, whichever is greater.
G. 
Wind energy systems shall be set back from the nearest occupied building located on an adjacent landowner's property a distance of not less than three times the height, as measured from the center of the wind turbine base to the nearest point on the foundation of the occupied building.
H. 
All wind energy systems shall be set back from the nearest public road a distance of not less than 1 1/2 times the Height, as measured from the right-of-way line of the nearest public road to the center of the wind energy system base.
I. 
No windmill blade in any position shall be closer than 12 feet to the ground.
J. 
Sound levels generated by the wind energy system shall comply with sound level limits specified in The Code of Upper Uwchlan Township, § 200-82, at the property line. Methods for measuring and reporting acoustic emissions from the wind energy system shall be equal to or exceed the minimum standards for precision described in "AWEA Small Wind Turbine Performance and Safety Standard (AWEA Standard 9.1 - 2009)[1] The American Wind Energy Association."
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 152, Stormwater Management.
K. 
All wind energy systems shall be equipped with a redundant braking system. This includes both aerodynamic over-speed controls (including variable pitch, tip, and other similar systems) and mechanical brakes. Mechanical brakes shall be operated in a fail-safe mode. Stall regulation shall not be considered a sufficient braking system for over-speed protection.
L. 
The wind energy system owner shall make reasonable efforts to minimize shadow flicker to any occupied building on an adjacent landowner's property.
M. 
Wind energy systems shall have a maximum nameplate capacity of 20 kilowatts.

§ 77-7 Geothermal systems.

A. 
All geothermal installations shall be in accordance with the Township Stormwater Ordinance provisions.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 152, Stormwater Management.
B. 
In-ground bed/tank systems require a Township grading permit.
C. 
All liquid slurry products of well drilling shall be properly drained so any water leaving the site or entering the Township stormwater system, waterway or wetlands will be absent of solids/particulates.
D. 
No waste or overflow from the system shall be permitted to be discharged to the Township sanitary sewer system.
E. 
No geothermal system shall degrade the quality or performance of well or septic systems or water infiltration areas.

§ 77-8 Decommissioning of systems.

A. 
Except for geothermal systems, the alternative energy system owner shall, at its expense, complete decommissioning of the system within 12 months after the end of the useful life of the system, or after 12 months of nonuse. The system will presume to be at the end of its useful life, or nonuse, if no electricity is generated for a continuous period of 12 months.
B. 
Decommissioning shall include removal of equipment, buildings, cabling, electrical components, roads, foundations to a depth of 36 inches, and any other associated facilities.
C. 
Disturbed earth shall be graded and reseeded, unless the landowner requests, in writing, that the access roads or other land surface areas not be restored.
D. 
If the system owner fails to complete decommissioning within the periods prescribed above, Upper Uwchlan Township may, at its discretion and with notice provided to the owner, take such measures as necessary to complete decommissioning and receive compensation, or place a lien upon the property, of costs for the decommissioning from the owner.

§ 77-9 Exceptions.

Exceptions to these requirements may be considered through the conditional use process.