[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the City of Woodbury as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Zoning — See Ch. 202.
[Adopted 3-26-2012 by Ord. No. 2157-12]
This article may be referred to as the "Small Wind Energy System and Solar Energy System Ordinance."
This article is adopted pursuant to City of Woodbury authority.
The primary purpose of a wind or solar energy system will be to provide power for the principal use of the property whereon said system 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 wind or solar energy system designed to meet the energy needs of the principal use. For the purposes of this subsection, the sale of excess power shall be limited so that in no event an energy system is generating more energy for sale than that which is otherwise necessary to power the principal use on the property.
Wind and solar energy systems shall only be permitted as an accessory use on the same lot or on an adjacent lot owned by the same owner as the principal use. All energy systems require approval from the Zoning Officer and Construction Office prior to installation. Applications for an energy system shall include information demonstrating compliance with the provisions of this subsection. In the event that the Zoning Officer or Construction Office does not believe the provisions of this subsection will be satisfied, an applicant may request a variance which may also be subject to minor site plan approval.
Applicability of section. This section shall apply to systems intended for the provision of the electrical or mechanical power needs of the owner/operator of the system; also, such a system shall be for one main building and its accessory buildings only. For systems intended for uses other than the ones stated, Planning/Zoning Board approval shall be required. Said approval shall cover the location of the system (shown on a survey of the property).
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The City of Woodbury Zoning Officer.
- The City of Woodbury combined Planning/Zoning Board or other authority having jurisdiction.
- FRONT YARD
- The area equal to the minimum required front yard setback for the zone or the actual principal building setback, whichever is greater.
- Equipment that converts energy from the wind and solar into electricity. This term includes all associated mechanical and electrical conversion components necessary to generate, store and/or transfer energy.
- METEOROLOGICAL TOWER or MET TOWER
- A structure designed to support the gathering of wind energy resource data, and includes the tower, base plate, anchors, guy cables and hardware, anemometers (wind speed indicators), wind direction vanes, booms to hold equipment, anemometers and vanes, data logger, instrument wiring, and any telemetry devices that are used to monitor or transmit wind speed and wind flow characteristics over a period of time for either instantaneous wind information or to characterize the wind resource at a given location.
- The individual or entity that intends to own and operate the small wind energy system in accordance with this article.
- ROTOR DIAMETER
- The cross-sectional dimension of the circle swept by the rotating blades of a wind-powered energy generator.
- SMALL WIND ENERGY SYSTEM
- A wind energy system, as defined in this section, that
- SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEM
- A solar generator and all associated equipment, including any base, foundation, structural support, wire, batteries or other components necessary to fully utilize the solar generator.
- TOTAL HEIGHT
- In relation to a wind energy system: the vertical distance from the ground to the tip of a wind generator blade when the tip is at its highest point.
- A monopole, freestanding, or guyed structure that supports a wind generator.
- WIND ENERGY SYSTEM
- A wind generator and all associated equipment, including any base, blade, foundation, nacelle, rotor, tower transformer, vane, wire, inverter, batteries or other component necessary to fully utilize the wind generator.
A small wind energy system shall be a permitted use in all zones, as an accessory structure, subject to the following requirements:
Minimum lot size: 1/2 acre, provided the lot size conforms to the height requirements below.
Minimum setbacks. For lots between 1/2 acre and three acres, wind turbines shall be set back from all property lines a distance equal to 10% of the height of the structure including the blades. For lots larger than three acres, wind turbines shall be set back from all property lines a distance equal to 100% of the height of the structure including the blades. No portion of the wind generator shall extend beyond any overhead utility lines, unless written permission is granted by the utility that owns and/or controls the lines.
Minimum distance to onsite structures. Wind turbines shall be set a minimum distance equal to 50% of the height of the structure from other on-site structures.
Wind turbines shall not be permitted in any front yard.
Maximum height. Freestanding wind turbines shall not exceed a height of 50 feet on lots of 1/2 acre to one acre and 80 feet on lots between one acre and three acres. On lots of three acres or more, a maximum height of 150 feet is permitted. The maximum height shall include the height of the blades at their highest point.
No more than one wind turbine shall be permitted per property.
Wind turbines shall not be permitted as a rooftop installation.
Wind turbines on residential properties shall have a nameplate capacity of 100 kilowatts or less.
Noise. All wind energy systems shall comply with the following:
Between any use or zone, sound levels of the wind energy system shall not exceed 55 dBA at a common property line or 55 dBA at the closest occupied structure, whichever is more restrictive.
These levels may be exceeded during short-term events such as utility outages and/or severe windstorms.
Wind turbines shall be designed with an automatic brake or other similar device to prevent overspeeding and excessive pressure on the tower structure.
Wind energy systems shall not be artificially lighted, except to the extent required by the FAA or other applicable authority.
All ground-mounted electrical and control equipment shall be labeled and secured to prevent unauthorized access.
The tower shall be designed and installed so as not to provide step bolts, a ladder, or other publicly accessible means of climbing the tower for a minimum height of 12 feet above the ground.
All moving parts of the wind energy system shall be a minimum of 15 feet above ground level.
The blades on the wind energy system shall be constructed of a corrosive-resistant material.
All guy wires or any part of the wind energy system shall be located on the same lot as the energy system.
Appearance, color, and finish. The wind generator and the tower shall remain painted or finished in the color or finish that was originally applied by the manufacturer, unless a different color or finish is approved by the administrator.
Solar energy systems.
Solar panels shall be permitted as a rooftop installation in any zoning district. The solar panels shall not exceed a height of eight inches from the rooftop. In no event shall the placement of the solar panels result in a total height including building and panels than that which is permitted for the principal building in the zoning district in which they are located.
Solar panels shall be permitted as ground arrays in accordance with the following:
All ground arrays shall be set back a distance of 20 feet from all property lines in a residential zoning district or in conformance with the bulk standards for accessory structures in commercial districts as provided herein.
Ground arrays shall not be permitted in a front yard.
Ground arrays shall be located so that any glare is directed away from an adjoining property.
Ground arrays shall not exceed a height of 10 feet.
Wind and solar energy systems shall not be used for displaying any advertising except for reasonable identification of the manufacturer or operator of the system. In no case shall any identification be visible from a property line.
The design of wind or solar energy systems shall, to the extent reasonably possible, use materials, colors, textures, screening and landscaping that will blend into the natural setting and existing environment.
All applications for a wind or solar energy system shall conform to any landscaping requirements of the City of Woodbury ordinances. Any trees and/or shrubs to be removed to accommodate the installation of a wind or solar energy system shall be accompanied by a plan demonstrating the need to remove the trees and replacement of the trees. To the extent practical, an applicant shall locate a wind or solar energy system so that tree removal is not required.
The installation of a wind or solar energy system shall conform to the National Electric Code as adopted by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs.
The installation of a wind or solar energy system is subject to all utility provider (for that area) requirements for interconnection.
Signs. There shall be no signs that are visible from any public road posted on a small wind generator system, solar system or any associated building, except for the manufacturer's or installer's identification, appropriate warning signs, or owner identification.
Utility notifications and interconnection. Small wind energy and solar systems that connect to the electric utility shall comply with New Jersey's Net Metering and Interconnection Standards for Class I Renewable Energy Systems at N.J.A.C. 14:8-4.9.
Editor's Note: See now N.J.A.C. 14:8-5.6, effective 1-4-2010.
Met towers. A met tower shall be permitted under the same standards, permit requirements, restoration requirements and permit procedures as a small wind energy system.
Additional standards for the regulation of small wind energy systems.
Construction. Tower construction shall be in accordance with the appropriate sections of the Basic Building Code, as adopted by the State of New Jersey, and any future amendments and/or revisions to same. Small wind energy systems shall also be built to comply with all applicable Federal Aviation Administration requirements, including 14 CFR Part 77, Subpart B, regarding installations close to airports and all applicable airport zoning regulations.
Electromagnetic interference (EMI). Wind energy conversion system generators and alternators shall be filtered and/or shielded so as to prevent the emission of radio frequency energy which would cause any harmful interference with radio, television broadcasting or reception, telephone and/or wireless telecommunications and shall comply with the provisions of Section 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 15, and subsequent revisions governing said emissions.
The structural design shall be signed and sealed by a professional engineer, registered in the State of New Jersey, certifying that the structural design complies with all of the standards set forth for safety and stability in all applicable codes then in effect in the State of New Jersey and all sections referred to hereinabove. The support tower shall be designed to survive a wind of 120 miles per hour with a three-second gust of 140 miles per hour.
The design calculations shall include a soil boring at the tower location and a soil analysis. If the soils of the site are not satisfactory for the intended construction, the plans shall be designed to eliminate or overcome the poor soil conditions.
Labeling requirements. A minimum of one sign warning of high voltage shall be posted near ground level on the tower structure. In addition, the following information shall be posted on a label or labels on the generator or alternator of the small wind energy system:
Utility company notification. The utility company for the area in question shall be notified, in writing, of any proposed interface with that company's grid prior to installing such interface and shall conform to any legislated requirements governing installations of wind energy conversion systems so as to comply with the utility tariff specifications.
Safety. The wind energy conversion system manufacturers shall document that the wind energy conversion system model has operated safely in atmospheric conditions for a period of not less than three months and has provided energy not less than the equivalent of 25% of its predicted annual energy output under a twelve-mile-per-hour annual wind regime.
No solar panel shall be constructed or installed within the City of Woodbury's designated Historic District so as to be visible in any way from the street or the frontage of the property, and a certificate of appropriateness shall be required to be obtained.
Small wind energy systems are not permitted in the Historic District.
Installation of solar energy systems shall be in a manner that is reversible and nondamaging to the character of the structure, and same shall not be placed on character-defining features or rooflines of the primary elevation and shall be set back on flat roofs.
Solar panels are recommended to be placed on secondary structures first before placing on primary structures.
All electric lines/utility wires shall be buried under ground.
Any mechanical equipment associated with and necessary for operation, including a building for batteries and storage cells, shall be enclosed with a six-foot-high fence. The supporting tower shall also be enclosed with a six-foot-high fence unless the base of the tower is not climbable for a distance of 12 feet.
When a building is necessary for storage cells or related mechanical equipment, the building may not exceed 140 square feet in area nor eight feet in height and must be located from any property line at least the number of feet equal to the height of the tower.
A small wind energy system or ground array solar energy system that is out-of-service for a continuous twelve-month period will be deemed to have been abandoned.
The administrator may issue a notice of abandonment to the owner of a small wind energy or ground array solar energy system that is deemed to have been abandoned. The notice shall be sent return receipt requested.
The owner shall have the right to respond to the notice of abandonment within 30 days from the notice receipt date.
If the owner provides information that demonstrates the small wind energy or ground array solar energy system has not been abandoned, the administrator shall withdraw the notice of abandonment and notify the owner that the notice has been withdrawn.
If the administrator determines that the small wind energy or ground array solar energy system has been abandoned, the owner of the energy system shall remove the facility in its entirety at the owner's sole expense within three months after the owner received the notice of abandonment.
When an owner of a wind or solar energy system has been notified to remove same and has not done so three months after receiving said notice, then the administrator may remove such system and place a lien upon the property for the cost of the removal. If removed by the owner, a demolition permit shall be obtained and the facility shall be removed. Upon removal, the site shall be cleaned, restored and revegetated to blend with the existing surrounding vegetation at the time of abandonment.
Permit. A zoning permit shall be required for the installation of a small wind energy and/or solar energy system.
Documents. The zoning permit application shall be accompanied by a plot plan which includes the following:
Property lines and physical dimensions of the property;
Location, dimension, and types of existing major structures on the property;
Location, dimension, and type of the proposed energy system;
The right-of-way of any public road that is contiguous with the property;
Any overhead utility lines; and
Small wind energy system specification, including manufacturer and model, rotor diameter, tower height, and tower type (freestanding or guyed).
Fees. The application for a zoning permit for a small wind energy and/or solar energy system must be accompanied by the fee required.
An owner shall submit an application to the administrator for a zoning permit for a small wind energy and/or solar energy system.
If the application is approved, the administrator will return one signed copy of the application with the zoning permit and retain the other copy with the application.
If the application is rejected, the administrator will notify the applicant in writing and provide a written statement of the reason why the application was rejected. The applicant may appeal the administrator's decision to the City of Woodbury combined Planning/Zoning Board. The applicant may reapply if the deficiencies specified by the administrator are resolved.
It is unlawful for any person to construct, install, or operate a small wind and/or solar energy system that is not in compliance with this article.
Small wind and/or solar energy systems installed prior to the adoption of this article are exempt from the requirements of this article, except for the provisions regarding abandonment.
This article shall be administered by the administrator or other official as designated.
The administrator may enter any property for which a permit has been issued under this article to conduct an inspection to determine whether the conditions stated in the permit have been met.
The administrator may issue orders to abate any violation of this article.
The administrator may issue a citation for any violation of this article.
The administrator may refer any violation of this article to legal counsel for enforcement.
Any person who fails to comply with any provision of this article shall be subject to enforcement and penalties as stipulated in chapter and section of the appropriate zoning code.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the Mayor and Council of the City of Woodbury from using any other lawful means to enforce this article.