Town of Colden, NY
Erie County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Colden as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Zoning — See Ch. 108.
[Adopted 3-12-2009 by L.L. No. 1-2009]
A. 
The Town of Colden finds and declares that wind energy is an abundant, renewable and nonpolluting resource of the Town and that its conversion to electricity will reduce our dependence on nonrenewable energy sources and decrease the air and water pollution that results from the use of conventional energy sources.
B. 
The Town of Colden further declares that the primary purpose of a proposed windmill will be to provide power for the principal and private use of the property whereon said windmill is to be located and shall not be for the generation of power for commercial purposes, although this provision shall not be interpreted to prohibit the sale of excess power generated from time to time from a windmill designed to meet the energy needs of private use.
A. 
Special use permit. A special use permit is required in accordance with the provisions of Article XXII of Chapter 108, Zoning.
B. 
Building permit. A building permit is required in accordance with the provisions of Article XX of Chapter 108, Zoning.
A. 
A site plan must be submitted containing and describing the following:
(1) 
Property lines and physical dimensions of the site.
(2) 
Location and dimensions of existing structures on the site.
(3) 
Location and elevation of proposed windmill with description of tower.
(4) 
Location of all aboveground utility lines on site (e.g., electric, gas, communications, etc.).
B. 
The minimal lot size required for erection, construction or placement of a windmill on a property shall be five acres.
C. 
A minimum distance of 200 feet from boundaries or habitable buildings is required.
D. 
The wind energy conversion system must be equipped with both manual and automatic controls to limit the rotational speed of the blade to below the design limits of the rotor. The application must contain a statement certifying that the rotor and overspeed controls have been designed and fabricated for the proposed use in accordance with good engineering practices. This certification would normally be supplied by the manufacturer.
E. 
The requirements for the tower shall be subject to all applicable provisions of Chapter 96, Telecommunications Facilities, of the Code of the Town of Colden.
A. 
Prior to the issuance of a building permit, the wind energy conversion system manufacturer shall provide sufficient data and documentation to establish that the wind energy conversion system will not produce noise levels in excess of those stipulated in the following table:
Ambient Readings Without Windmill
(decibels)
Maximum Permitted Reading With Windmill Operating
(decibels)
45
55.4
50
56.2
55
61.0
60
61.2
65
65.4
B. 
Decibel level readings shall be measured at the closest property line to the wind energy conversion system.
A. 
After the wind energy conversion system has been approved and installed, sound measurements shall be performed to determine ambient and operating decibel levels. The sound level shall be measured on a sound level meter using the A-weighting network, with measurements being done by a professional normally engaged in this type of work. Such reports shall be filed with the Town Clerk by June 1 of each biennial year after construction.
B. 
If a wind energy conversion system is not maintained in an operational condition for a period of one year and poses a potential safety hazard as determined by the Town of Colden Code Enforcement Officer, the owner shall take expeditious action to remedy the situation. The Town of Colden reserves the authority to abate any hazardous situation and to pass the cost of such abatement on to the owner of the system. If the Town of Colden determines that the wind energy conversion system has been abandoned and poses a safety hazard, the system shall be removed within 45 days of written notice to the owner of the system.
A. 
Electromagnetic interference.
(1) 
The wind energy conversion system shall be operated such that no disruptive electromagnetic interference is caused. If it has been demonstrated to a Town Building and Zoning Inspector, or designated agent of the Town, that a wind energy conversion system is causing harmful interference, the operator shall promptly mitigate the harmful interference.
(2) 
Upon complaint of an abutter citing electromagnetic interference, an investigation shall be performed by an agent designated by the Town. The agent shall submit his findings to the Town Board for review and evaluation. After the review and evaluation of the report, the Town Board shall determine if the installation causes electromagnetic interference to any abutter. The cost for the report shall be paid for by the complainant unless the Town Board determines that there is electromagnetic interference with an abutter, in which case the wind energy conversion system owner shall pay the cost.
(3) 
If electromagnetic interference is caused by the installation of the wind energy conversion system, the installation shall be deemed a public nuisance in violation of this Subsection A. The violation shall be corrected within 90 days of the date of notification. If the electromagnetic interference cannot be remedied, the wind energy conversion system shall be removed or relocated.
B. 
Upon complaint of an abutter, ambient and maximum permitted decibel measurements shall be performed by an agent designated by the Town. The agent shall submit recorded sound measurements to the Town Board for review and evaluation. The cost shall be paid for by the complainant unless maximum permitted decibel readings have been exceeded, in which case the wind energy conversion system owner shall pay the cost.
Small private-use windmills available from retail outlets shall be considered personal-use machines. These machines are defined as those producing fewer than 5,000 watts and are less than 75 feet in total height. They will be subject to all the above requirements, with the exception of the following:
A. 
Minimum lot size of five acres.
B. 
Maintenance records.
C. 
Special use permit.
D. 
Setback. The required setback for a personal-use machine shall be 1 1/2 times the total structure height.
[Adopted 5-13-2010 by L.L. No. 2-2010]
A. 
The purpose of these regulations for utility-scale wind energy conversion systems (WECS) is to ensure that development of these facilities will have a minimal impact on adjacent properties and to protect the health, safety and welfare of residents of the Town.
B. 
The Town of Colden recognizes that wind energy is an abundant, renewable and nonpolluting energy resource of the Town and that its conversion to electricity will reduce dependence on nonrenewable energy resources and decrease air and water pollution that results from the use of conventional energy sources.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
HEIGHT
When referring to a tower or other structure, the height shall be measured from existing or natural grade, whichever is lower, to the highest point on the tower or other structure, including the base pad and any antennas. The height of a WECS shall be measured from such grade to the apex of the blade in the vertical position.
SITE
The physical location of a WECS, including the related tower and transmission equipment.
SMALL-SCALE (NONCOMMERCIAL) WIND ENERGY CONVERSION SYSTEM
A wind energy conversion system consisting of one wind turbine that is incidental and subordinate to another use on the same parcel and that supplies electrical power solely for on-site use, except that when a parcel on which a small-scale WECS is installed also receives electrical power supplied by a utility company, excess electrical power generated by the small-scale WECS and not presently needed for on-site use may be used by the utility company in exchange for a reduction in the cost of electrical power supplied by that company to the parcel for on-site use, as long as no net revenue is produced by such excess electrical power.
SWEPT AREA
The largest area of the WECS which extracts energy from the wind stream. In a conventional propeller-type WECS, there is a direct relationship between swept area and the rotor diameter.
TOWER
The support structure, including guyed, monopole and lattice types, upon which a wind turbine or other mechanical device is mounted.
TOWER HEIGHT
The height above grade of the uppermost fixed portion of the tower, excluding the length of any axial rotating turbine blades.
UTILITY-SCALE (COMMERCIAL) WIND ENERGY CONVERSION SYSTEM
A wind energy conversion system that is intended solely to generate electrical power for sale to the power grid.
WIND ENERGY CONVERSION SYSTEM (WECS)
Any mechanism designed for the purpose of converting wind energy into electrical energy. A WECS may include one or more wind turbines, towers, associated control or conversion electronics, transformers, and/or other maintenance or control facilities or other component used in the system. A WECS may be either a utility-scale wind energy conversion system or a small-scale wind energy conversion system.
WIND ENERGY FACILITY
Any wind energy conversion system or wind measurement tower, including a related infrastructure, electrical lines and substations, access roads and accessory structures.
WIND ENERGY SYSTEM
The equipment that converts and then stores or transfers energy from the wind into usable forms of energy and includes any base, blade, foundation, generator, nacelle, rotor, tower, transformer, turbine, vane, wire, substation, maintenance or control facilities or other component used in the system.
WIND MEASUREMENT TOWER
A tower used for the measurement of meteorological data such as temperature, wind speed and wind direction.
Land use tables referenced herein shall include utility-scale wind energy conversion systems in the AG District requiring a special use permit.
Height shall be in compliance with all fall-zone limitations set forth in Chapter 96, Telecommunications Facilities.
A. 
Prior to construction of any utility-scale WECS, the project proponent shall first obtain special use permit and site plan approval from the Town of Colden Town Board and a building permit from the Town Building Inspector. A detailed host agreement must also be submitted.
B. 
Initial application materials. All applications for a utility-scale WECS shall include the following information:
(1) 
Name and address of the applicant.
(2) 
Evidence that the applicant is the owner of the property or has the written permission of the owner to make such an application.
(3) 
A site plan drawn in sufficient detail to show the following:
(a) 
Location of the tower(s) on the site and the tower height, including blades, rotor diameter and ground clearance.
(b) 
Utility lines, both above and below ground, within a radius equal to the proposed tower height, including the blades. Utility lines currently in place must be shown in the site plan.
(c) 
Property lot lines and the location and dimensions of all existing structures and uses on site within 1,000 feet of the wind energy conversion systems.
(d) 
Surrounding land use and all off-site structures within 1,000 feet or 2.25 times the tower height, whichever is greater, of the wind energy conversion systems.
(e) 
Description of the various structural components of the tower construction, including the base and footing.
(f) 
Existing topography.
(g) 
Proposed plan for grading and removal of natural vegetation.
(4) 
A utility-scale WECS shall be treated as a Type I action under the State Environmental Quality Review Act and shall require the use of a full environmental assessment form.
(5) 
Notification of application for WECS to neighbors residing within 2,500 feet of proposed location. Such notification must be made by certified mail or hand-delivered with the signature of the resident.
(6) 
Such additional information as may be reasonably required by the Town Engineer, Town Board and Planning Board for an adequate assessment of the proposed project.
C. 
Studies and information required prior to decision on the application. After a review of the environmental assessment form and the proposed project, the Town Board, with recommendation from the Planning Board, shall provide direction to the applicant on the methodology and parameters of the studies to be provided, below:
(1) 
Proposed plan for site restoration after construction, prepared according to New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation guidelines.
(2) 
Plan for ingress and egress to the proposed project site, including:
(a) 
A description of the access route from the nearest state-, county-, and/or Town-maintained roads.
(b) 
Road surface material, stating the type and amount of surface cover.
(c) 
Width of a minimum of 30 feet and length of access route.
(d) 
Dust control procedures during construction and transportation.
(e) 
A road maintenance schedule or program.
(3) 
Detailed construction plan including but not limited to construction schedule; hours of operation; designation of heavy haul routes; a list of material equipment, and loads to be transported; identification of temporary facilities intended to be constructed; and contact representative in the field with name and phone number.
(4) 
Erosion and sediment control plan (a stormwater pollution prevention plan [SWPPP] will meet this requirement).
(5) 
Specific information on the type, size, height, rotor materia, rated power output, performance, safety, and noise characteristics of each utility-scale wind turbine model, tower, and electrical transmission equipment.
(6) 
Photographs and detailed drawings of each wind turbine model, including the tower and foundation.
(7) 
Visual assessment, including a detailed or photographic simulation showing the site fully developed with all proposed wind turbines and accessory structures. The Town Board, with recommendation from the Planning Board, shall determine which viewpoints the visual assessment shall include.
(8) 
Noise analysis. A noise analysis shall be furnished, which shall include the following:
(a) 
A description and map of the project's noise-producing features, including the range of noise levels expected, and the tonal and frequency characteristics expected. The noise report shall include low frequency, infrasound, pure tone, and repetitive/impulsive sound.
(b) 
A description and map of the noise-sensitive environment, including any sensitive noise receptors, i.e., residences, hospitals, libraries, schools, places of worship and similar facilities, within 1,000 feet or 2.25 times the height of the proposed facilities.
(c) 
A survey and report prepared by a qualified professional that analyzes the preexisting ambient sound level (including seasonal variation), including but not limited to separate measurements of low frequency and A-weighted noise levels across a range of wind speeds (including near cut-in), turbulence measurements, distance from the turbines, location of sensitive receptors relative to wind direction, and analyses at affected sensitive noise receptors located within 1,500 feet of the turbine, as identified by the Town Board, with recommendation from the Planning Board.
(d) 
A description and map showing the potential noise impacts, including estimates of expected noise impacts from both construction and operation and estimates of expected noise levels at sensitive receptor locations.
(e) 
A description of the project's proposed noise-control features, including specific measures proposed to protect workers and specific measures proposed to mitigate noise impacts for sensitive receptors consistent with the requirements of this article.
(f) 
Manufacturers' noise design and field testing data, both audible [dB(A)] and low frequency (deep bass vibration), for all proposed structures.
(9) 
A geotechnical report shall be furnished which shall at a minimum include the following:
(a) 
Soils and geologic characteristics of the site, based on on-site sampling and testing, to provide an assessment of the soil suitability for construction of the proposed WECS.
(b) 
Foundation design criteria for all proposed structures.
(c) 
Slope stability analysis.
(d) 
Grading criteria for ground preparation, cuts and fills, and soil compaction.
(10) 
An engineer's report, prepared by a professional engineer licensed in New York State, which provides information regarding the following potential risks. The results of the engineer's report shall be used to determine the adequacy of setbacks from the property line to mitigate any effects from potential ice throw, tower failure, or blade throw.
(a) 
Ice throw calculations: A report that calculates the maximum distance that ice from the turbine blades could be thrown and the potential risk assessment for inhabitants and structures. (The basis of the calculation and all assumptions must be disclosed.)
(b) 
Blade throw calculations: A report that calculates the maximum distance that pieces of the turbine blades could be thrown and the potential risk assessment for inhabitants and structures. (The basis of the calculation and all assumptions must be disclosed.)
(c) 
Catastrophic tower failure: A report from the turbine manufacturer stating the wind speed and conditions that the turbine is designed to withstand and the potential risk assessment for inhabitants and structures (including all assumptions).
(d) 
Certification by a registered New York State professional engineer that the tower's design is sufficient to withstand wind loading requirements for structures as established by the New York State Building Code.
(11) 
Lighting plan. The applicant shall submit a lighting plan that describes all lighting that will be required, including any lighting that may be required by the FAA. Such plan shall include, but is not limited to, the planned number and location of lights, light color, whether any such lights will be flashing, and mitigation measures planned to control the light so that it does not spill over onto neighboring, properties.
(12) 
Shadow flicker study. The applicant shall conduct a study on potential shadow flicker. The study shall identify locations where shadow flicker may be caused by the WECS and the expected durations of the flicker at these locations. The study shall identify areas where shadow flicker may interfere with residences and describe measures that shall be taken to eliminate or mitigate the problem.
(13) 
Study of potential impacts to birds and bats, using methodology approved by the New York State Department of Conservation or another agency acceptable to the Town Board, with recommendation from the Planning Board.
(14) 
Decommissioning and site restoration plan and decommissioning bond plan.
(15) 
FAA notification: A copy of written notification to the Federal Aviation Administration.
(16) 
Utility notification: Utility interconnection data and a copy of a written notification to the utility of the proposed interconnection.
(17) 
Notification to microwave communications link operators. An application that includes any wind turbine which is located within two miles of any microwave communications link shall be accompanied by a copy of a written notification to the operator of the link.
(18) 
Other information: Such additional information as may be reasonably required by the Town Engineer, Town Board and Planning Board for an adequate assessment of the proposed project.
(19) 
The Town Board, with recommendation from the Planning Board, may determine that not all of these application materials are necessary for a particular proposed project.
D. 
State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR). Pursuant to Section 617.13 of New York State Environmental Quality Review Regulations, the Town may hire consultants to assist the Planning Board in its review of the potential impacts of a proposed project and the assessment of impacts provided by the applicant. The Town will charge the applicant for the cost of such consultant to the extent allowed in Section 617.13.
The Town Board, with recommendation from the Planning Board, shall use the following criteria to evaluate all utility-scale wind energy conversion systems:
A. 
Setbacks. All utility-scale WECS shall comply with the following setbacks:
(1) 
All wind turbines and towers shall be set back from property lines a minimum of 1.5 times the height of the structure, including to the tip of the blade, excluding adjoining lot lines where both lots are part of the proposed project.
(2) 
All wind turbines and towers shall be set back a minimum of 2,500 feet from the boundaries of any R1 and/or R2 Zoning District.
(3) 
All wind turbines and towers shall be set back a minimum of 1,000 feet or 2.25 times the tower height, whichever is greater, from any residence that exists at the time that an application for a WECS is made to the Town. For purposes of this subsection, a residence shall be considered to be in existence if a building permit for such structure has been issued by the Town's Building Inspector, even if construction is not yet completed and the residence is not yet occupied.
(4) 
All wind turbines and towers shall be set back from all structures and buildings, other than residences, that are in existence at the time of the application, or for which a building permit has been issued, a minimum of 1.5 times the height of the tower, including to the tip of the blade. The Town Board, with recommendation from the Planning Board, may, at its discretion, exempt minor structures such as walls, fences, tool sheds and similar minor structures from this setback requirement.
(5) 
All wind turbines and towers shall be set back from any public road right-of-way a minimum of 1.5 times the height of the structure, including to the tip of the blade.
B. 
Noise. A utility-scale WECS shall not be approved unless the applicant demonstrates that the proposed project complies with the following noise requirements. In order to enable the Town Board, with recommendation from the Planning Board, to make this determination, the applicant shall submit the noise assessment required in § 106-12C(8).
(1) 
Audible noise standards:
(a) 
Audible noise due to wind turbine operations shall not exceed 45 dB(A) for more than five minutes out of any one-hour time period or exceed 50 dB(A) for any time period at the boundary of the proposed project site.
(b) 
The sound level from the operation of a utility-scale WECS shall not increase by more than 3 dB(A) the nighttime or daytime ambient sound level at any sensitive noise receptors, i.e., residences, hospitals, libraries, schools, places of worship and similar facilities, within 2,500 feet of the turbine and/or at other sensitive receptor points that may be identified by the Town Board, with recommendation from the Planning Board.
(2) 
Low-frequency noise. A utility-scale wind energy facility shall not be operated so that impulsive sound below 20 Hz adversely affects the habitability or use of any dwelling unit, hospital, school, library, nursing home, or other sensitive noise receptor.
(3) 
Noise setbacks. The Town Board, with recommendation from the Planning Board, may impose a noise setback that exceeds the other setbacks set out in this section if it deems that such greater setbacks are necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare of the community.
(4) 
Within one year of commencement of commercial operation, the project proponent shall submit a noise study of operational conditions to ensure that the project is in compliance with the standards of this section. The study shall be based on receptor points identified during the application review process. In addition to this noise study, the Town Board, with recommendation from the Planning Board, may require periodic additional noise studies.
C. 
Noise and setback easements. In the event that a utility-scale WECS does not meet a setback requirement or exceeds the noise criteria above, the Town Board, with recommendation from the Planning Board, may grant a waiver of the setback and/or noise criteria. except for the setback required in the following circumstances:
(1) 
Each application shall be accompanied by proof of service of notice of the requested permit upon all the landowners immediately adjacent to the subject premises extending 500 feet therefrom in all directions, stating that the noise and/or setback limitations contained in the Zoning Code may exceed the maximum limits otherwise allowed.
(2) 
In order to advise all subsequent owners of the burdened property, the consent, in the form required for an easement, shall have been recorded in the Erie County Clerk's office describing the benefited and burdened properties. Such easements shall be permanent and shall state that they may not be revoked without the consent of the Town Board, with recommendation from the Planning Board, which consent shall be granted upon either the completion of the decommissioning of the benefited WECS in accordance with this article or the acquisition of the burdened parcel by the owner of the benefited parcel or the WECS.
D. 
Interference with television, microwave and radio reception. The applicant must submit information that the proposed construction of the utility-scale WECS will not cause interference with microwave transmissions, cellular transmissions, residential television interference or radio reception of domestic or foreign signals. The applicant shall include specific measures proposed to prevent interference, a complaint procedure, and specific measures proposed to mitigate interference impacts.
E. 
Interference with aviation navigational systems.
(1) 
The applicant shall provide documentation that the proposed WECS will not cause interference with the operation of any aviation facility.
(2) 
The applicant shall provide documentation that the proposed WECS complies with all Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations.
(3) 
Locking mechanisms to limit radar interference required. All utility-scale WECS shall include a locking mechanism which prevents the blades from rotating when not producing power, in order to limit airport radar interference. This provision does not apply while the WECS is "free-wheeling" during start-up and shut-down. The Town Board with recommendation from the Planning Board may modify or eliminate the requirement for a locking mechanism if sufficient evidence is presented that no significant airport radar interference will be caused by the utility-scale WECS.
F. 
Safety and security requirements.
(1) 
Safety shutdown. Each wind turbine shall be equipped with both manual and automatic controls to limit the rotational speed of the blade within the design limits of the rotor. A manual electrical and/or overspeed shutdown disconnect switches shall be provided and clearly labeled on the wind turbine structure. No wind turbine shall be permitted that lacks an automatic braking, governing, or feathering system to prevent uncontrolled rotation, overspeeding and excessive pressure on the tower structure, rotor blades, and turbine components.
(2) 
Grounding. All structures shall be grounded according to applicable electrical codes.
(3) 
Wiring. All wiring between the wind turbines and the wind energy facility substation shall be placed underground unless the Town Board, with recommendation from the Planning Board, determines that this is not prudent or practicable due to site-specific constraints. The applicant is required to provide a site plan showing the locations of all overhead and underground electric utility lines, including substations for the project.
(4) 
Ground clearance. The blade tip of any wind turbine shall, at its lowest point, have ground clearance of not less than 30 feet.
(5) 
Climbability. Wind turbine towers shall not be climbable up to 25 feet above ground level.
(6) 
Access doors locked. All access doors to wind turbine towers and electrical equipment shall be lockable and shall remain locked at all times when operator personnel are not present.
(7) 
Signage. Appropriate warning signage shall be placed on wind turbine towers, electrical equipment, and wind energy facility entrances. Signage shall also include two twenty-four-hour emergency contact numbers to the owner of the wind turbine in accordance with local, state, and federal codes.
G. 
Ice throw. The Town Board, with recommendation from the Planning Board, shall determine the acceptable ice throw range based on the activities in the area, location and calculations of the ice throw.
H. 
Fire hazard protection. The applicant shall submit a fire control and prevention program that is appropriate and adequate for the proposed facility. The proposed program may include, but is not limited to, the following:
(1) 
Fireproof or fire resistant building materials.
(2) 
Buffers or fire retardant landscaping.
(3) 
Availability of water.
(4) 
An automatic fire-extinguishing system for all buildings or equipment enclosures of substantial size containing control panels, switching equipment, or transmission equipment, without regular human occupancy.
(5) 
Provision of training and firefighting equipment for local fire protection personnel and or other emergency responders.
I. 
Impact on wildlife species and habitat. Development and operation of a utility-scale wind energy facility shall not have a significant adverse impact on endangered or threatened fish, wildlife, or plant species or their critical habitats, or other significant habitats as identified in the Town of Colden Master Plan and/or the studies and plans of other regional agencies, based on criteria established by the federal or state regulatory agencies, as determined by the Town Board, with recommendation from the Planning Board, during SEQRA review. The impact of a utility-scale WECS on migratory birds and bats shall be evaluated and mitigated based on SEQRA findings.
J. 
Visual impact.
(1) 
No advertising sign or logo shall be placed or painted on any part of any utility-scale WECS.
(2) 
Wind turbines shall be painted a nonobtrusive (e.g., such as white, gray or beige) color that is nonreflective. In order to reduce any daytime lighting requirements by the FAA, the Town Board, with recommendation from the Planning Board, may require consultation with the FAA to determine an appropriate color for the structures.
(3) 
Where more than one wind turbine is proposed, the project shall use wind turbines whose appearance is similar throughout the project, to provide reasonable uniformity in terms of overall size, geometry and rotational speed.
(4) 
Unless required by the FAA or by the Town Board, with recommendation from the Planning Board, no lighting shall be installed on the WECS turbine or tower, except for ground-level security lighting.
K. 
Shadow flicker. The WECS shall be designed such that the project shall minimize shadow flicker onto adjacent existing residences. Mitigation measures, which may include landscaping, shall be incorporated into any special use permit approval. The required shadow flicker study shall identify areas where shadow flicker may interfere with residences and describe measures that shall be taken to eliminate or minimize the problem.
A. 
The applicant shall submit a decommissioning and site restoration plan, including cost estimate, to the Town Board with recommendation from the Planning Board for its review and approval, prior to the approval of any special use permit. The restoration plan shall identify the specific properties it applies to and shall indicate removal of all buildings, structures, wind turbines, access roads and/or driveways and foundations to 3.5 feet below finish grade; road repair costs, if any; and all regrading and revegetation necessary to return the subject property to the condition existing prior to establishment of the utility-scale WECS. The restoration shall reflect the site-specific character, including topography, vegetation, drainage, and any unique environmental features. The plan shall include a certified estimate of the total cost (by element) of implementing the removal and site restoration plan. The decommissioning plan shall include information regarding the anticipated life of the project. Any variation from the submitted decommissioning plan must be approved by the Town Board, with recommendation from the Planning Board.
B. 
As a condition of special use permit approval, the Town Board, with recommendation from the Planning Board, shall require the project sponsor to execute and file with the Town Clerk a bond or other form of security acceptable to the Town Board and Town Attorney as to the form, content and manner of execution, in an amount sufficient to ensure the faithful performance of the removal of the tower, wind turbine, and other components of the WECS and the restoration of the site subsequent to such removal, in accordance with the approved decommissioning and site restoration plan.
C. 
The sufficiency of such bond shall be confirmed at least every five years by an analysis and report of the cost of removal and site restoration, such report to be prepared by a New-York-State-licensed engineer. The project sponsor/operator shall pay the cost of such report. If said analysis and report determines that the amount of the bond in force is insufficient to cover the removal, disposal and site restoration costs, the bond shall be increased to the amount necessary to cover such costs within 10 days of the applicant's receipt of such report. The report and increased amount of the bond shall be filed with the Town Clerk.
D. 
All bond requirements shall be fully funded before a building permit is issued.
E. 
The decommissioning and site restoration bond shall be in effect for the entire duration of the special use permit.
F. 
The applicant and his/her successors or assigns in interest shall maintain the required bond funds for the duration of the special use permit.
A. 
Construction of a WECS poses potential risks because of the large size of construction and transport (delivery) vehicles and their impact on traffic safety and their physical impact on local roads. Construction and delivery vehicles shall use traffic routes established as part of the application review process. Factors in establishing such corridors shall include minimizing traffic impacts from construction and delivery vehicles; minimizing WECS-related traffic during times of school bus activity; minimizing wear and tear on local roads; and minimizing impacts on local business operations. Permit conditions may limit WECS-related traffic to specified routes and include a plan for disseminating traffic route information to the public.
B. 
The applicant is responsible for remediation of damage to public roads caused by WECS-related traffic, after completion of the installation of the WECS. To ensure that this remediation occurs, prior to the issuance of a building permit, the project sponsor shall post a public improvement bond in an amount, as determined by the Town Board, Highway Superintendent and Town Engineer, sufficient to repair any damage that occurs to Town roads during the construction phase of the project and up to six months following the construction phase. The Town Attorney shall approve the form of the bond.
C. 
In the event that any post-construction maintenance or replacement of components, which could affect Town roads, is necessary, the project owner/operator shall notify the Town and a new bond for any potential damage to Town roads shall be posted.
The applicant shall provide the following certifications:
A. 
Certification of structural components. The foundation, tower, and compatibility of the tower with the rotor and rotor-related equipment shall be certified in writing by a structural engineer registered in New York. The engineer shall certify compliance with good engineering practices and compliance with the appropriate provisions of the Building Code that have been adopted in New York State. This shall be provided prior to the issuance of the special use permit.
B. 
Certification of post-construction. After completion of construction of the WECS, the applicant shall provide a post-construction certification from a licensed professional engineer registered in New York State that the project complies with applicable codes and industry practices and has been completed according to the design plans. This certification shall be provided to the Building Inspector and Town Engineer and shall be maintained in a permanent file.
C. 
Certification of electrical system. The electrical system shall be certified in writing by an electrical engineer registered in New York. The engineer shall certify compliance with good engineering practices and with the appropriate provisions of the Electric Code that have been adopted by New York State. This shall be provided prior to the issuance of the special use permit.
D. 
Certification of rotor overspeed control. The rotor overspeed control system shall be certified in writing by a mechanical engineer registered in New York State. The engineer shall certify compliance with good engineering practices. This shall be provided prior to the issuance of the special use permit.
E. 
Certification of seismic design the applicant shall provide post-construction certification from a licensed professional engineer registered in New York State that the design and construction protects against anticipated seismic hazards.
A. 
Prior to the issuance of a building permit, the project sponsor shall provide proof, in the form of a duplicate insurance policy or a certificate issued by an insurance company, that liability insurance has been obtained to cover damage or injury which might result from failure of the tower, turbine or other component of the WECS. Such policy shall provide coverage of not less than $5,000,000 and shall name the Town of Colden as co-insured. The sponsor shall provide the Town annually with proof of continuing coverage in compliance with this requirement.
B. 
Liability insurance shall be carried for the life of the project, through decommissioning. Proof of liability insurance shall be filed annually with the Town Clerk. Such policy shall provide coverage of not less than $5,000,000 and shall name the Town of Colden as co-insured. The sponsor shall provide the Town annually with proof of continuing coverage in compliance with this requirement.
A. 
If the ownership of the WECS facility changes, the new owner shall present proof to the Town Clerk that all the required bonds and insurance policies remain in full force and effect. The new owner shall provide a written statement that he/she is aware of the conditions and requirements of the special use permit, which continue to govern the operation of the facility.
B. 
In order to ensure compliance with this provision, the person/company to whom the special use permit is originally issued, and subsequent owners, shall provide notification to the Town Clerk 90 days prior to the change of ownership.
Unless waived by the Town Board, with recommendation from the Planning Board, wind turbines or towers over 150 feet in height shall be inspected by a New-York-State-licensed professional engineer, who has been approved by the Town, annually or at any other time, upon a determination by the Town's Building Inspector and Town Engineer that the wind turbine, tower or pole may have sustained structural damage. A copy of the inspection report shall be submitted to the Town's Building Inspector. Any fee or expense associated with this inspection shall be borne entirely by the permit holder.
A. 
A WECS shall be maintained in operational condition at all times, subject to reasonable maintenance and repair outages. Operational condition includes meeting all noise requirements, all other standards and requirements of this article and other permit conditions.
B. 
Should a WECS become inoperative, or should any part of the WECS be damaged or become unsafe or should a WECS violate a permit condition, or violate a standard or requirement of this article, the owner/operator shall remedy the situation within 90 days after written notice from the Code Enforcement Officer. The Code Enforcement Officer or Town Board may extend this period by another ninety-day period, for a total period not to exceed 180 days.
C. 
Upon notice from the Code Enforcement Officer or Town Board that the WECS is not repaired or made operational or brought into permit compliance after said notice pursuant to § 106-20B above, the Town Board shall hold a public hearing at which both the public and the owner/operator are given the opportunity to be heard and present evidence, including a plan to come into compliance. Following the close of the public hearing, the Town Board may either:
(1) 
Order compliance within a stated timeframe; or
(2) 
Revoke the special use permit and order removal of the WECS within 90 days and site remediation pursuant to the approved decommissioning and site restoration plan.
A. 
Nonfunctional and/or inoperative WECS.
(1) 
If any utility-scale WECS remains nonfunctional or inoperative for a continuous period of one year, the permittee shall remove the WECS at his/her own expense and restore the site, in accordance with the approved decommissioning and site restoration plan. A utility-scale WECS shall be deemed nonfunctional and/or inoperative if it has not generated power within the preceding twelve months.
(2) 
The Code Enforcement Officer requires that the applicant submit documentation quarterly reporting the power output generated by each WECS.
B. 
Use of decommissioning bond.
(1) 
Any nonfunctional or inoperative WECS, or any WECS for which the special use permit has been revoked, shall be removed from the site and the site restored in accordance with the approved decommissioning and site restoration plan within 90 days of the date on which the facility becomes nonfunctional or inoperative, as defined above, or of the revocation of the special use permit.
(2) 
If removal of the WECS is required and the applicant, permittee or successor fails to remove the WECS and restore the site in accordance with the approved decommissioning and site restoration plan, the Town Board may contract for such removal and restoration and pay for the removal and restoration from the posted decommissioning and site restoration bond.
(3) 
If the bond is not sufficient, the Town shall charge the permit holder for the costs over and above the amount of the bond.
(4) 
If bond funds are used in reference to § 106-21B, the original bond amount must be restored within 90 days.
All fees shall be determined by the Town Board. Nothing in this article shall be read as limiting the ability of the Town to enter into host community agreements with any applicant to compensate the Town for expenses or impacts on the community. The Town shall require any applicant to enter into an escrow agreement to pay the engineering and legal costs of any application review, including the review required by SEQRA.
A. 
The Planning Board may recommend to the Town Board to grant the special use permit, deny the special use permit, or grant the special use permit with written stated conditions. Denial of the special use permit shall be by written decision based upon substantial evidence submitted to the Board. Upon issuance of the special use permit, the applicant shall obtain a building permit for each tower.
B. 
Prior to issuing a special use permit for a utility-scale WECS, the Planning Board shall make all of the following findings:
(1) 
The proposed utility-scale WECS project is consistent with the Town of Colden Code.
(2) 
The proposed utility-scale WECS project will not unreasonably interfere with the orderly land use and development plans of the Town of Colden.
(3) 
The benefits to the applicant and the public of the proposed utility-scale WECS project will exceed any burdens to the Town and residents therein.
(4) 
The proposed utility-scale WECS project will not be detrimental to the public health, safety or welfare of the community.
(5) 
The proposed utility-scale WECS project complies with all required provision of the Town's Zoning Ordinance, or will comply with those requirements based on conditions that may be attached to any approval, unless variances have been properly granted by the Town of Colden Zoning Board of Appeals.
Any changes or alterations to the WECS after approval of the special use permit and site plan shall require amendment to the special use permit. Such amendment shall be subject to all the requirements of this article.
The Town of Colden reserves the right by local law to provide that no exemption pursuant to the provisions of New York State Real Property Tax Law (RPTL) § 487 shall be applicable within its jurisdiction.