[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Perinton 8-25-2010 by L.L. No. 7-2010. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Zoning — See Ch. 208.
The Town of Perinton recognizes the increased demand for alternative energy-generating facilities and the need for the reduced pollution and less expensive power that wind turbine facilities can provide. Often these facilities require the construction of single or multiple wind turbines. The purpose of these regulations is to protect the community's interest in properly locating wind turbine towers in a manner consistent with sound land planning, while also allowing private and commercial providers to meet their power-generating objectives.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- LARGE WIND ENERGY CONVERSION DEVICE (LWECD)
- A WECD which primarily generates power on-site to be transferred to a transmission system for distribution to offsite customers or for sale to a distribution company. The definition of LWECD shall also include WECDs erected and used for private use if the maximum height of any system component is greater than 200 feet from the ground surface.
- LEQ(60) dBA
- The constant sound pressure level in dBA that, over the period of an hour, represents the energy equivalent of the actual sound pressure level in dBA measured over the same period.
- MEDIUM WIND ENERGY CONVERSION DEVICE (MWECD)
- A WECD which can have a rated capacity more than 10 kW, but is not more than 200 feet in total height from the ground surface to the maximum height of any component of the system, and which is intended to primarily reduce on-site consumption of utility power.
- PURE TONE
- Exists if the one-third-octave band sound pressure level in the band, including the tone, exceeds the arithmetic average of the sound pressure levels of the two contiguous one-third-octave bands by five dBA for center frequencies of 500 Hz and above, by eight dBA for center frequencies between 160 Hz and 400 Hz, or by 15 dBA for center frequencies less than or equal to 125 Hz.
- SMALL WIND ENERGY CONVERSION DEVICE (SWECD)
- A WECD which has a rated capacity of not more than 10 kW, is not more than 65 feet in total height from the ground surface to the maximum height of any component of the system, and is intended to primarily reduce on-site consumption of utility power.
- WIND ENERGY CONVERSION DEVICE (WECD)
- A machine that converts the kinetic energy in the wind into a usable form of electrical or mechanical energy, commonly known as a "wind turbine" or "windmill."
- WIND ENERGY CONVERSION FACILITY (WECF)
- Any installation of one or more WECDs including all related infrastructure, electrical lines and substations, access roads and accessory structures.
A SWECD may be constructed and operated within all zoning districts, with a special use permit from the Town Board, site plan approval from the Planning Board and a building permit.
An MWECD may be permitted within nonresidential districts or within RT 1-2-5, RT 2-5 and Residential Sensitive districts with a special use permit from the Town Board, site plan approval from the Planning Board and a building permit.
An LWECD may be permitted in Industrial, RT 1-2-5, RT 2-5 and Residential Sensitive districts, with a special use permit from the Town Board, site plan approval from the Planning Board and a building permit.
No WECFs shall be located within a Limited Development District.
No WECD shall be installed in any location along the major axis of an existing microwave communications link where its operation has a likely potential to produce electromagnetic interference in the link's operation.
No WECD shall be installed in any location where its proximity to existing fixed broadcast, retransmission or reception antenna (including residential reception antenna) for radio, television, wireless phone or other wireless communication systems would produce electromagnetic interference with signal transmission or reception.
WECDs with a maximum component height greater than 400 feet above the ground surface shall not be permitted in any zoning district.
No special use permit shall be granted for a WECD facility unless it is determined by the Town Board that the proposed use meets all of the following criteria, in addition to the site plan and special use permit review criteria found in §§ 208-53 and 208-54 of the Town of Perinton Code.
No experimental, homebuilt or prototype wind turbines shall be allowed without acceptable documentation from a New-York-State-licensed professional engineer estimating the probable radius of tower collapse and probable blade or ice throw distance in the event of failure, a submittal of the complete design specifications and calculations and an acceptance by the Town Board of setbacks which the Town Board may require to be greater than the minimums established elsewhere in the code.
Each SWECD shall be set back, as measured from the center of the SWECD, a minimum distance of:
One and five-tenths times the maximum height of any SWECD component above ground surface from: any other SWECD, overhead utility lines, public roads, any onsite dwelling or other onsite building or structures that can be occupied, or any agricultural building, with the exception that SWECD designed for installation on the roof of a building shall have the setback to that building waived, provided that the facility is designed and stamped by a New-York-State-licensed professional engineer. A New-York-State-licensed professional engineer or his or her designated representative must observe the design and installation of the SWECD and provide documentation to the Town that the installation was performed in accordance with the design.
Three times the maximum height of any SWECD component above ground surface from any neighboring property line.
Each MWECD shall be set back, as measured from the center of the MWECD, a minimum distance of:
One and five-tenths times the maximum height of any MWECD component above ground surface from any onsite dwelling or other onsite building or structure than can be occupied, agricultural building, overhead utility lines, or public roads;
One thousand feet from any adjacent property line;
One hundred feet from state or federal wetlands.
Each LWECD shall be set back, as measured from the center of the LWECD, a minimum distance of:
One and five-tenths times the maximum height of any LWECD component above ground surface from any onsite dwelling or other onsite building or structure than can be occupied, agricultural building, overhead utility lines, or public roads;
One thousand seven hundred feet from any adjacent property line;
One hundred feet from state or federal wetlands.
No WECD tower shall be lit except to comply with Federal Aviation Administration requirements. Minimum security lighting for ground level facilities shall be allowed provided that no such lighting shall be erected, operated or maintained in such a manner as to create an annoyance to surrounding properties or that create a public safety hazard due to glare. No lighting with a greater intensity than 1/2 footcandle, measured at five feet above the ground at the property line, shall be installed. Security lighting shall be designed to minimize light pollution, including the use of light hoods, low glare fixtures, and directing lights at the ground.
No advertising signs shall be posted on any part of a WECF. No brand names, logo, or advertising shall be placed or painted on the tower, rotor, generator, or tail vane where it would be visible from the ground, except that a system or tower's manufacturer's logo may be displayed on a SWECD or MWECD generator housing in an unobtrusive manner.
At least one sign shall be posted on the WECD tower at a height of five feet warning of electrical shock or high voltage and harm from revolving machinery.
WECFs shall be finished with an unobtrusive, nonreflective, matte-finished color or camouflage scheme.
The sound pressure level generated by a WECD shall not exceed a six A-weighted decibel (dBA) increase over ambient noise level measured at the adjacent property lines. Ambient noise shall be measured as the lowest LEQ(60) dBA observed over a twenty-four-hour period, during which windspeed is below the cut-in speed of the proposed WECD. Multiple sets of twenty-four-hour measurements may be combined to obtain a set of twenty-four-hour measurements for which the wind speed is below the WECD cut-in speed, provided that the lowest ambient noise level of the data set is picked for each individual hour.
The WECD operating sound pressure level used for comparison to the ambient noise level shall be the maximum sound pressure level generated by the WECD.
For MWECDs and LWECDs, independent measurements and certification shall be provided before and after construction demonstrating compliance with this requirement according to a noise study whose methods are approved by the Town as part of the special use permit.
For SWECDs, a noise assessment based on manufacturer's noise data as certified by the Small Wind Certification Council or other documentation acceptable to the Town and conducted in conformance with the guidance provided by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's Program Policy "Assessing and Mitigating Noise Impacts" (DEP-00-1) shall be provided unless the Town requests additional measurements. For this assessment ambient noise levels can be measured, or can be assumed to be LEQ(60) 25 dBA in residential zoning districts and LEQ(60) 50 dBA in other zoning districts. Regardless of the results of such analysis, SWECDs are required to comply after construction and during operation with the requirements of Subsection G(1) of this subsection.
In the event audible noise due to WECD operations contains a steady pure tone, such as a whine, screech, or hum, the noise generated by the WECD, as measured at the adjacent property lines, shall not exceed the ambient noise level.
Ambient noise levels shall be measured at adjacent property lines. Ambient noise level measurement techniques shall employ all practical means of reducing the effect of wind generated noise at the microphone.
No WECDs shall be permitted that lack an automatic braking, governing, or feathering system to prevent uncontrolled rotation, overspeeding, and excessive pressure on the tower structure, rotor blades, and turbine components.
The minimum distance between the ground and any part of the rotor blade system shall be 30 feet.
Power transmission lines from the WECD or other components of a WECF to on-site substations or the property boundaries shall be underground to the maximum extent practicable.
A digital viewshed map showing the impact of topography upon the visibility of the project from locations throughout the region, to a distance of five miles from the center of the project, shall be provided for LWECDs. The viewshed map shall be constructed in accordance with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation guidance document "Assessing and Mitigating Visual Impacts" (DEP-00-2). The scale used shall depict a three-mile radius no smaller than 2.7 inches, and the base map shall be a published topographic map showing cultural features and other landmarks.
Color photographs, at least eight inches by 10 inches, taken from locations selected by the Town within a three-mile radius of the boundaries of the facility site, shall be provided for all WECDs (not including SWECDs). Said photographs shall simulate the appearance of the as-built aboveground site facilities as such would appear from said locations. The number of photographs to be submitted shall be determined by the Town, but shall in no event be less than the number of proposed individual wind turbines plus three. All WECDs shall be designed and located in such a manner to minimize adverse visual impacts from public viewing areas (e.g., public parks, roads, and trails). To the greatest extent feasible, WECFs shall use natural landforms and vegetation for screening from public viewing areas and neighboring residential areas.
WECD towers shall have either: tower-climbing apparatus located no closer than 12 feet from the ground; a locked anticlimb device installed on the tower; tower-climbing apparatus located internally to the tower and accessible only through a locked door; or a gated and locked protective fence at least six feet high.
No MWECD or LWECD shall be supported with guy wires. MWECDs and LWECDs shall be of a monopole design.
The applicant shall conduct an assessment of potential shadow flicker due to any WECD in the area defined as a circle centered on the location of the WECD up to and including a distance of 10 times the WECD blade diameter. The study shall identify locations where shadow flicker may be caused by the WECD and the expected durations of the flicker at these locations. The assessment shall identify areas where shadow flicker has the potential to interfere with the use of residences or other habitable structures and describe measures that shall be taken to mitigate the effects of shadow flicker.
For LWECDs, a preconstruction study shall be conducted to establish the likely impacts on birds, bats, and other wildlife as well as possible mitigations. The applicant shall provide surveys of the biological resources, migration patterns and determination of the protection status in an area where turbines are being considered. Data shall be commensurate with the size of the proposed project and reflect loss of habitat and vegetation, including potential bird and bat collisions with any LWECD components.
WECD construction or ground disturbance involving land in agricultural districts shall comply with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets' publication titled "Guidelines for Agricultural Mitigation for Wind Power Projects."
The Town Board may modify the required setbacks and other area requirements during its review of special use permit applications if and when it determines that such modifications are consistent with the intent of this ordinance and still meet the criteria set forth in § 208-54 of the Perinton Town Code.
Prior to issuance of a building permit for a WECD and continuing after construction until such facility is removed from the site, on an annual basis the applicant shall provide documentation satisfactory to the Town of the existence of liability insurance coverage with reasonable limits, as set by the Town Board in consultation with the Town's insurance advisor, for property damage, injury or death resulting from the construction, placement, use, maintenance or operation of a WECD by the owner of the site.
Upon approval of a special use permit for the construction of a LWECD, the applicant shall provide and maintain a performance letter of credit issued by a surety provider licensed in New York State in a form acceptable to the Town or such other security acceptable to the Town for the removal of the LWECD and associated facilities and property restoration in an amount acceptable to the Town Board.
When a special use permit is renewed or modified, the Town Board may adjust the required amount of the letter of credit to adequately cover increases in the cost of removal of the LWECD and property restoration.
The owner of the site shall notify the Town in writing 30 days prior to the discontinuance of the use of such facility. Failure to notify the Town and/or remove the obsolete or unused WECD or facility in accordance with these regulations shall be a violation of this law and shall be enforced in accordance with Chapter 115 of the Town Code. Unused WECD and accessory structures shall be removed from any site within six months of the discontinuance of the use thereof.