Town of DeWitt, NY
Onondaga County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of DeWitt 5-9-2011 by L.L. No. 5-2011. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Zoning — See Ch. 192.
The purpose of this chapter is to allow the construction of solar energy conversion systems in the Town of DeWitt in a manner that preserves the health, safety and welfare of the Town while facilitating the production of renewable energy. In so doing, this chapter establishes procedures for the use of generated energy by the principal user of a parcel with only ancillary sale of any excess energy to the public utility.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ACCESSORY STRUCTURES
All ECS are accessory structures and are only allowed in rear yards, as defined in Chapter 192, unless mounted on the roof of the principal building as provided for herein.
DEPARTMENT
The Town of DeWitt Department of Development.
ENERGY CONVERSION SYSTEMS (ECS)
A system whereby solar or wind energy is converted to other energy forms.
SOLAR COLLECTION SYSTEM (SCS)
A device or system to absorb, accumulate or convert or otherwise use the sun's energy as a source of heat or electriCity. A facility is only allowed in the Town if it supplies electrical power or heat solely for on-site use, except that when a parcel on which a SCS is installed also receives electrical power supplied by a utility company, excess electrical power generated by the SCS and not currently needed for on-site use may be used by the utility company in exchange for a reduction in the quantity of electrical power supplied by that company to the parcel for on-site use, as long as no net revenue is produced by such electrical power.
TOWN
Town of DeWitt, outside the Village of East Syracuse
WIND ENERGY CONVERSION SYSTEM (WECS)
A WECS is a system, which may or may not include a monopole tower for mounting, designed to use wind for the on-site conversion to energy for the sole use of the owner or tenant(s).
This law shall apply to all ECS proposed in the Town, provided such generated energy is used primarily by the principal user of the property where the ECS is located. Commercial energy generation for sale off-site is prohibited.
All proposed uses of an ECS shall obtain a development permit prior to construction pursuant to the rules of Chapter 192. Unless otherwise provided for in this chapter, the applicant shall first obtain site plan review approval from the Town Planning Board pursuant to § 192-122. The Planning Board may schedule a public hearing following the rules of § 192-122. When site plan review is approved, a development permit may be issued.
SCS are permitted in the following districts subject to these specific regulations:
A. 
Roof- and wall-mounted.
(1) 
Allowed in all districts.
(2) 
The size shall be limited to the roof area.
(3) 
Site plan review is not required for single-family dwellings, except as noted in Subsection A(4) below.
[Amended 1-21-2015 by L.L. No. 1-2015]
(4) 
In all districts, SCS that are wall-mounted shall only be mounted on the rear wall of the principal building. If the solar panel is integral with a building material, it may be placed on any wall of the principal building, subject to site plan review and all other provisions of this Code.
[Amended 1-21-2015 by L.L. No. 1-2015]
(5) 
Site plan review is not required for roof-mounted systems on buildings where the installation of such systems does not otherwise impact the physical site outside the visual impact of such system, and where such systems meet all of the requirements and standards set forth in this chapter.
[Added 2-6-2015 by L.L. No. 2-2015]
B. 
Freestanding.
(1) 
In Residential, Hamlet, Hamlet Overlay, SBT, and BT districts: not allowed.
(2) 
In all other districts:
(a) 
The maximum SCS area allowed is based on the lot size as follows:
[1] 
Less than three acres: 700 square feet.
[2] 
Greater than three acres and less than six acres: 1,400 square feet.
[3] 
Greater than six acres: 3,300 square feet.
(b) 
The maximum height of any portion of the SCS above the ground is 10 feet when adjusted to the maximum tilt angle from horizontal of 12°.
ECS are subject to the following requirements:
A. 
All ECS shall generally use neutral nonreflective colors (grey, white or beige) or, in the case of SCS, shall match the roof or wall color mounted thereon.
B. 
All utility services and electrical wiring shall be underground and otherwise be placed within the walls or unobtrusive conduit. No conduits or feeds can be laid on the roof. Feeds to the inverter shall run within the building and penetrate the roof at the solar panel location.
[Amended 2-6-2015 by L.L. No. 2-2015]
C. 
No signing, except for safety issues, is allowed.
D. 
Lot coverage: The area occupied by the free standing SCS shall be included in lot and building coverage.
E. 
The location of free standing SCS shall be at least 50 feet from:
(1) 
Any property line.
(2) 
Any public road right-of-way.
(3) 
Any overhead utility wires, unless otherwise approved by the utility company.
F. 
Standards.
(1) 
The equipment shall be Underwriters Laboratory (UL) or equivalently listed.
(2) 
The energy generating equipment shall be approved by NYSERDA.
(3) 
SCS shall be approved for grid connection.
(4) 
The energy generating equipment shall have its input/output ratings verified by a recognized independent third party.
(5) 
Contractors installing SCS shall be certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). Contractor's information shall be submitted with the development permit application.
(6) 
Proposed projects shall identify the locations of all trees that may have to be topped or removed so that they do not shade the solar panels.
[Added 2-6-2015 by L.L. No. 2-2015]
G. 
Variances to the distance and equipment requirements of this chapter are not permitted.
H. 
Development permit application for non-single-family-dwelling roof-mounted SCS. The following information shall be provided with a permit application:
[Added 2-6-2015 by L.L. No. 2-2015]
(1) 
Verification of the standards as enumerated in § 80-6F. Verification of the standards shall be demonstrated by submission with the permit application of clear and concise documentary evidence establishing compliance with the standards in § 80-6F.
(2) 
A detailed site plan indicating the location of the proposed solar panels.
(3) 
A detailed plan showing the location of the proposed solar panels on the roof, as applicable. The plans shall be clearly and completely dimensioned, including:
(a) 
The dimensions of all panels, spacing of panels, distances to walls or roof edges.
(b) 
The heights of the panels, including angle from horizontal.
(c) 
The degree, if any, that the panels deviate from a due south orientation.
(d) 
A clear indication that the output is connected to the power company grid.
(4) 
A detailed bill of materials including:
(a) 
A list of each item including: manufacturer, catalog number, quantity, rating, and colors.
(b) 
A catalog cut sheet with the applicable item indicated on the sheet if more than one item or size is indicated.
(5) 
Roof drains shall be located on the plan where panels are to go on the roof.
(6) 
An engineer’s verification that roof structure can handle additional load, including any additional drifting snow.
WECS are not permitted in the Town.
Recognizing that ECS are rapidly changing technologies, the Planning Board shall prepare and modify as necessary, additional guidelines, rules and regulations in order to carry out the spirit and intent of this chapter and incorporate them in the design guidelines as provided for in Chapter 192, after their acceptance by the Town Board pursuant to § 192-117F of the Town Code.
If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section or part of this chapter shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment is rendered.