Village of Central Square, NY
Oswego County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Central Square 7-18-2011 by L.L. No. 2-2011. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Communications antennas and towers — See Ch. 87.
Noise and disturbances — See § 170-1.
Zoning — See Ch. 250.
This chapter shall be known as "Local Law No. 2 of 2011, A Local Law for Wind Energy Conversion Systems and Energy Conservation Devices for the Village of Central Square."
The Village Board of the Village of Central Square adopts this chapter to promote the effective and efficient use of wind energy conversion systems (WECS) and energy conservation devices (ECDs), to regulate such systems so that the public health and safety will not be jeopardized.
A. 
The Village Board of Village of Central Square finds and declares that wind energy is an abundant, renewable and nonpolluting energy resource 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 Village Board of the Village of Central Square further finds and declares that:
(1) 
Wind turbines that convert wind energy to electricity are currently available on a commercial basis from many manufacturers.
(2) 
The generation of electricity from properly sited wind turbines can be cost effective, and in many cases existing power distribution systems can be used to transmit electricity from wind-generating stations to utilities or other users.
(3) 
Regulation of the siting and installation of wind turbines is necessary for the purpose of protecting the health and safety of neighboring property owners and the general public.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ENERGY CONSERVATION DEVICES (ECDs)
An energy conserving device that receives a leadership in energy and environmental design (LEED) credit, including, but not limited to, a solar energy or geothermal energy device, that is utilized by a structure certified by the U.S. Green Buildings Council as LEED certified.
OVERSPEED CONTROL
A mechanism used to limit the speed of blade rotation to below the design limits of the WECS.
SITE
The plot of land where the WECS is to be placed. The site could be publicly or privately owned by an individual or a group of individuals controlling single or adjacent properties.
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.
TOTAL HEIGHT
The height of the tower and the farthest vertical extension of the WECS.
WIND ENERGY CONVERSION SYSTEMS (WECS)
A machine that converts the kinetic energy in the wind into a usable form (commonly known as a "wind turbine" or "windmill"). The WECS includes all parts of the system except the tower and the transmission equipment; the turbine or windmill may be on a horizontal or vertical axis, rotor or propeller.
A. 
Building permit application for a WECS or ECD. Building permit applications for a wind energy conversion system or energy conservation device shall be accompanied by a plot plan drawn in sufficient detail to clearly describe the following:
(1) 
Property lines including all easements and physical dimensions of the site.
(2) 
Location, approximate dimensions and types of major existing structures and uses on site.
(3) 
Location and elevation of the proposed WECS or ECD.
(4) 
Location of all aboveground utility lines on site or within one radius of the total height of the WECS or ECD.
(5) 
Location and size of structures and trees above 35 feet within a five-hundred-foot radius of the proposed WECS. (This is to help diagnose sufficient air flow. For purposes of this requirement, electrical transmission and distribution lines, antennas and slender or open-lattice towers are not considered structures.)
(6) 
Show the zoning designation of immediate and adjacent sites.
(7) 
Include make, model, picture and manufacturer's specifications, including noise decibels.
B. 
Compliance with National Electrical Code.
(1) 
Building permit applications shall be accompanied by a line drawing identifying the electrical components of the wind system to be installed in sufficient detail to allow for a determination that the manner of installation conforms to the National Electrical Code. The application shall include a statement from a New York State registered professional engineer indicating that the electrical system conforms with good engineering practices and complies with the National Electrical Code. This certification would normally be supplied by the manufacturer. All equipment and materials shall be used or installed in accordance with such drawings and diagrams.
(2) 
Where the electrical components of an installation vary from the standard design or specifications, the proposed modifications shall be reviewed and certified by a New York State registered professional engineer for compliance with the requirements of the National Electrical Code and good engineering practices.
A. 
Energy conservation devices (ECDs) shall be permitted in all zoning districts, subject to the following requirements. The primary purpose of an energy conservation device will be to provide power for the principal use of the property whereon and shall not be used for the generation of power for commercial purposes.
(1) 
No ECD shall be located in any required front yard area.
(2) 
No ECD shall be installed in a location where the impact on the neighborhood character is determined by the Village Planning Board to be detrimental to the general neighborhood character.
(3) 
No ECD shall be attached to the front facade or roof area of any structure or building, wherever practical, given the requirements for said equipment such as solar access.
(4) 
When any ECD is located within 20 feet of adjoining property, it shall be screened with plant material to the extent practical to reduce unsightly appearance without affecting performance.
(5) 
No ECD shall be permitted which causes interference or problems for adjoining properties' communication equipment or reception of television, radio or other communication signals.
(6) 
Wherever practical and possible, any ECD shall be so located on a property so as not to be visible from the street.
(7) 
An installed ECD must be in compliance with all electrical codes and engineering standards for ECDs.
(8) 
No ECD may be installed without compliance to Building Code permits and also requires a special use permit.
(9) 
If an ECD is to be interconnected to an electric utility distribution system, the applicant shall provide evidence of approval of the proposed interconnect by National Grid or current Village energy provider.
B. 
Wind energy conversion systems shall be permitted in all zoning districts, subject to the following requirements. The primary purpose of proposed windmill(s) will be to provide power for the principal use of the property whereon said windmill(s) 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 the principal use.
(1) 
WECS size. This chapter covers those WECS whose swept area is 1,000 square feet or less. (For conventional propeller WECS, this would be approximately 35 feet or less in diameter.) No WECS whose swept area is over 1,000 square feet will be located in the Village of Central Square.
C. 
General provisions. Installation of all wind energy conversion systems shall comply with the following requirements:
(1) 
Compliance with Uniform Building Code.
(a) 
Building permit applications shall be accompanied by standard drawings of the structural components of the wind energy conversion system, including support structures, tower, base and footings. Drawings and any necessary calculations shall be certified, in writing, by a New York State registered professional engineer that the system complies with the New York State Fire Prevention and Building Code. This certification would normally be supplied by the manufacturer.
(b) 
Where the structural components or installation vary from the standard design or specification, the proposed modifications shall be certified by a New York State registered professional engineer for compliance with the seismic and structural design provisions of the New York State Fire Prevention and Building Code.
(c) 
All power transmission lines from WECS to any building or other structure shall be located underground.
(d) 
No television, radio or other communication antenna may be affixed or otherwise made a part of a WECS.
(2) 
Rotor safety. Each wind energy conversion system must be equipped with both manual and automatic controls to limit the rotational speed of the blade below the design limits of the rotor. The application must include a statement by a New York State registered professional engineer certifying that the rotor and overspeed controls have been designed and fabricated for the proposed use in accordance with good engineering practices. The engineer should also certify the structural compatibility of possible towers with available rotors. This certification would normally be supplied by the manufacturer and include the distance and trajectory of the thrown blade from an exploding turbine or propeller according to the Loss of Blade Theory.
(3) 
Guy wires.
(a) 
All guy wires and anchors shall be located at least 15 feet from property lines.
(b) 
Guy wires may not cross any aboveground electric transmission or distribution line.
(c) 
The point of ground attachment for the guy wires shall be clearly marked for safety or be enclosed by a fence six feet high.
(4) 
Tower access. Towers should have either:
(a) 
Tower-climbing apparatus located no closer than 12 feet from the ground;
(b) 
A locked anticlimb device installed on the tower; or
(c) 
The tower shall be completely enclosed by a locked, protective fence at least six feet high.
(5) 
Noise.
(a) 
Prior to the issuance of a building permit, the WECS manufacturer shall provide sufficient data and documentation to establish that the WECS will not produce noise levels in excess of those stipulated in the following table:
Ambient Reading Without Windmill
(decibels)
Maximum Permitted Readings 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 WECS.
(c) 
After the WECS has been approved and installed, sound measurement shall be performed to determine ambient and operating decibel levels paid for by the property owner. The sound level shall be measured on a sound level meter using a A-weighing network.
(d) 
Upon the complaint of an abutter, ambient and maximum permitted decibel measurements shall be performed by an agent designated by the Village Planning Board. The agent shall submit recorded sound measurements to the Village Planning Board for review and evaluation. A fee for the service shall be established by the Village Planning Board. The fee shall be paid for by the complainant unless maximum permitted decibel readings have been exceeded, in which case the WECS owner shall pay the fee.
(e) 
If maximum readings are exceeded, the installation shall be considered a public nuisance in violation of § 170-1B. The violation shall be corrected within 90 days from the date of notification, and if the noise violation cannot be remedied, the WECS shall be removed or relocated at the expense of the WECS owner.
(6) 
Air flow. All sites proposed for windmills shall have sufficient access to unimpeded airflow for adequate operation in accordance to the Siting Handbook for Small Wind Energy Conversion Systems, PNL-2521, or other current nationally recognized reference.
(7) 
Neighborhood impact.
(a) 
No windmill shall be located in any required front yard area and no associated service building may be located in the front yard.
(b) 
Any windmill constructed shall have blades of uniform color in white or light gray.
(c) 
No windmill shall be installed in a location where the impact on the neighborhood character is determined by the Village Planning Board to be detrimental to the general neighborhood character.
(8) 
If the windmill is to be interconnected to an electric utility distribution system, the applicant shall provide evidence of approval of the proposed interconnect by National Grid or current Village energy provider.
(9) 
Electromagnetic interference. The wind energy conversion system shall be operated such that no disruptive electromagnetic interference is caused. If it has been demonstrated to a Village Building and Zoning Inspector that a wind energy conversion system is causing harmful interference, the operator shall promptly mitigate the harmful interference.
(10) 
Signs. At least four signs shall be posted on all sides/posts of the base of the tower warning of electrical shock or high voltage.
(11) 
Height.
(a) 
To assure adequate air flow, the minimum height of the lowest part of the WECS shall be 30 feet above the highest existing major structure or tree within a two-hundred-fifty-foot radius. For purposes of this requirement, electrical transmission and distribution lines, antennas and slender or open-lattice towers are not considered structures.
(b) 
To assure safe ground clearance distance, the minimum distance between the ground and any part of the rotor or blade system shall be 30 feet.
(12) 
Setbacks.
(a) 
The WECS shall be set back from any structure, property line, aboveground utility line or other WECS a distance 20 feet greater than its overall height, including blades.
(b) 
Contiguous property owners may construct a WECS for use in common, provided the WECS shall be erected within the common open space area and shall be set back from any structure, property line, aboveground utility line or other WECS a distance 20 feet greater than its overall height, including blades.
(c) 
In the case of cluster development, the separation of one WECS from another WECS shall be a distance equal to or greater than 1 1/2 times the tip diameter or are as measured along the wind wall (i.e., the direct lines between two WECS units).
(13) 
Utility notification (for those WECS which will be interconnected to a utility grid). No wind turbine shall be installed until evidence has been given that the utility company has been notified, in writing.
(14) 
Abatement. If a wind energy conversion system or systems is not maintained in operational condition for a period of one year and pose a potential safety hazard, the owner or operator shall take expeditious action to remedy the situation. The Village of Central Square reserves the authority to abate any hazardous situation and to pass the cost of such abatement on to the owner or operator of the system. If Village of Central Square determines that the WECS has been abandoned and poses a safety hazard, the system shall be removed within 45 days of written notice to the owner or operator of the system.
(15) 
Liability insurance. The applicant, owner, lessee or assignee shall maintain a current insurance policy which will cover installation and operation of the wind energy conversion system at all times. Said policy shall provide a minimum of $1,000,000 property and personal liability coverage.
(16) 
Lighting of tower. Lighting of the tower for aircraft and helicopters will conform with FAA standards for wattage and color.
(17) 
Environmental impact. The project must be viewed for visual pollution and for a possible environmental impact statement including, but not limited to, for migratory bird fly zones.
A. 
Installation. Installation of wind energy conversion systems shall require the granting of a special use permit.
[Amended 10-27-2014 by L.L. No. 3-2014]
(1) 
The Planning Board shall review and submit to the Village Board of Trustees a recommendation to approve, approve with modifications or disapprove applications for special permits for wind energy conservation systems requiring same under this chapter. Special permit applications shall be submitted to and reviewed by the Planning Board pursuant to the criteria of this chapter. The Planning Board may impose conditions and/or restrictions to such permits to accommodate the requirements of this chapter.
(2) 
No wind energy conservation systems or accessory structure shall hereafter be used, erected, changed or altered except after obtaining a special use permit in conformity with this chapter.
(3) 
The Village Board shall have the authority to impose such reasonable conditions and restrictions as are related to and incidental to the proposed wind energy conservation systems or accessory structure in order to accommodate the requirements of this chapter.
B. 
Application. Every application for a special use permit shall be made, in writing, to the Planning Board in accordance with the requirements of the Village, shall be accompanied by a filing fee as set forth in the Village's Standard Schedule of Fees and shall include the following information:
(1) 
Name and address of the applicant.
(2) 
Evidence that the applicant is the owner of the premises involved or that the applicant has written permission of the owner to make such an application.
(3) 
A survey and development plan drawn in sufficient detail to clearly describe:
(a) 
Property line and all easements and physical dimensions of the proposed site;
(b) 
Location, approximate dimensions and types of major existing structures and uses of the site;
(c) 
Location and elevation of the proposed WECS;
(d) 
Location of all aboveground utility lines and other WECS on site or within one radius of the total height of the proposed WECS, including the farthest vertical extension of the rotor assembly;
(e) 
Location and size of structures or trees above 35 feet within a five-hundred-foot radius of the proposed WECS. For purposes of this requirement, electrical transmission and distribution lines, antennas and slender or open-lattice towers are not considered structures;
(f) 
Where applicable, the location of all transmission facilities proposed for installation; and
(g) 
Where applicable, the location of all road and other service structures proposed as part of the installation.