[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Pawling 3-5-2014 by L.L. No. 2-2014. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter may be cited as the "Town of Pawling Wind Energy Facility Law."
The purpose of this chapter is to provide for the construction and operation of wind energy facilities in the Town of Pawling, subject to reasonable conditions that will protect the public health, safety and welfare.
The Town Board of the Town of Pawling enacts this chapter under the authority granted by § 10 of the New York State Municipal Home Rule Law and the New York State Town Law.
The requirements of this chapter shall apply to all wind energy facilities proposed, operated, modified, or constructed after this effective date of this chapter, including modification of existing wind energy facilities and wind measurement towers erected for the purpose of testing feasibility of wind energy generation.
Permit requirements. No wind energy facility shall be constructed, reconstructed, modified, or operated in the Town of Pawling except by first obtaining a wind energy facility permit as provided under this chapter.
Exemptions. No permit or other approval shall be required under this chapter for mechanical, nonelectrical wind turbines utilized solely for agricultural operations. Replacement in-kind or modification of a wind energy facility may occur without Planning Board approval when there shall be:
Transfer. Neither the transfer of any wind energy facility or wind energy facility permit nor the sale of the entity owning such facility shall eliminate the liability of an applicant or of any party under this chapter.
The Planning Board may, after a public hearing, grant a waiver (which may be combined with other public hearings on wind energy facilities, so long as the waiver request is detailed in the public notice) from the strict application of the provisions of this chapter to improve the quality of any wind energy facility and better protect the health, safety and welfare of the Town. Area requirements (setbacks) and/or noise requirements shall not be waived by the Planning Board except as described in § 210-17 of this chapter. The Planning Board shall consider the impact of the waiver on the neighborhood, including the potential benefits or detriments to nearby properties, the benefits or detriments to the applicants, feasible alternatives and the scope of the request. The Planning Board may attach such condition as it deems appropriate to waiver approvals to ensure public health, safety and welfare.
The Town of Pawling Town Board shall designate a Code Enforcement Officer to enforce the provisions of this chapter and may employ such professional expertise as may be necessary to support these enforcement efforts and assist the Planning Board with application reviews. Such professional fees shall be the responsibility of the applicant to pay. (See § 210-24.)
Any person owning, controlling or managing any building, structure or land who shall undertake a wind energy facility in violation of this chapter or in noncompliance with the terms and conditions of any permit issued pursuant to this chapter, or any order of the Code Enforcement Officer, and any person who shall assist in so doing, shall be guilty of a violation of this chapter and subject to a fine of not more than $1,000. The Town of Pawling may institute a civil proceeding to collect civil penalties in the amount of $1,000 for each violation, and each week said violation continues shall be deemed a separate violation.
The Town may, in the case of any violation or threatened violation of any of the provisions of this chapter, including permit terms and conditions, institute any appropriate action or proceeding to prevent such unlawful erection, structural alteration, reconstruction, moving and/or use and to restrain, correct or abate such violation, to prevent the illegal act. This shall be in addition to other remedies and penalties herein provided.
Should any provision of this chapter be declared by the courts to be unconstitutional or invalid, such decision shall not affect the validity of this chapter as a whole or any part thereof other than the part so decided to be unconstitutional or invalid.
This chapter shall be effective upon its filing with the Secretary of State in accordance with the Municipal Home Rule Law.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ACCESSORY FACILITIES OR EQUIPMENT
- Any structure, other than a wind turbine, related to the use and purpose of deriving energy from such towers located on the wind energy facility site.
- The Town of Pawling's definition for the purposes of this chapter complies with the official New York State Agriculture and Markets legal definition relating to agriculture. The informational guide created by the Department of Agriculture and Markets titled "Guidelines for Review of Local Laws Affecting Small Wind Energy Facilities and Solar Devices" is available for review from the Town of Pawling Code Enforcement Officer.
- AMBIENT SOUND
- The background sound level (predevelopment) found to be exceeded 90% of the time over which sound is measured in a noise analysis.
- The entity or person seeking a permit for the siting of a wind energy facility.
- To physically remove, and shall include, but not be limited to:
- A. Removal of the entire wind energy facility, including the turbine, tower, all accessory facilities and equipment, transmission equipment, fencing and all other related above-grade structures and improvements.
- B. Removal of the foundations to a depth of no less than three feet below grade.
- C. Removal of project access roads (except for any roads that the project landowner wishes to retain).
- D. Restoration of the location of the wind energy facility to its natural condition, except that any landscape, grading or below-grade foundation may remain in the after-conditions.
- FINANCIAL ASSURANCE
- The reasonable assurance from a credit-worthy party, examples of which include a surety bond, trust instrument, cash escrow or irrevocable line of credit, which shall be acceptable to the Town Attorney.
- The owner of the land upon which wind energy facilities are located.
- NYISO (NEW YORK INDEPENDENT SYSTEM OPERATOR)
- A not-for-profit organization formed in 1998 as part of the restructuring of New York State's electric power industry. Its mission is to ensure the reliable, safe and efficient operation of the state's major transmission system and to administer an open, competitive and nondiscriminatory wholesale market for electricity in New York State.
- NYSERDA (NEW YORK STATE ENERGY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
- A public benefit corporation created in 1975 under Article 8, Title 9 of the State Public Authorities Law through the reconstitution of the New York State Atomic and Space Development Authority. Its mission is to help New York meet its energy goals, reducing energy consumption, promoting the use of renewable energy sources, and protecting the environment.
- The entity responsible for the day-to-day operation and maintenance of the wind energy facility, including any third-party subcontractor.
- The entity or entities with equity interest in the wind energy facility, including such entity's or entities' respective successors or designees.
- PLANNING BOARD
- The Planning Board of the Town of Pawling, as appointed by the Town Board.
- Any dwelling suitable for habitation existing on the date an application is received. A residence may be part of a multifamily dwelling or multipurpose building and shall include buildings such as hotels or motels, hospitals, day-care centers, dormitories, sanitariums, nursing homes, municipal buildings, senior housing, schools or other buildings used for educational purposes or correctional institutions.
- SHADOW FLICKER
- The visual effect of viewing the moving shadow of the wind energy facility rotor blades when they are in apposition between the receptor (person viewing them) and the sun and/or the strobe lighting effect of this condition as perceived by receptor either directly or indirectly (as in a reflection off a light-colored wall).
- The parcel(s) of land where a wind energy facility is to be placed. The site can be publicly or privately owned by an individual or a group of individuals controlling single or adjacent properties. Where multiple lots are in joint ownership, the combined lots shall be considered as one for purposes of applying setback requirements. Any property which has a wind energy facility or has entered an agreement for said facility or a setback agreement shall not be considered off site.
- SOUND PRESSURE LEVEL
- According to the NYSDEC Program Policy on Assessing and Mitigating Noise Impacts, sound pressure level is the sound pressure in the atmosphere, which pressure is expressed in decibels. The sound pressure is measured by the sound level meter satisfying the requirements of the American National Standards specification of sound level meter, S1.4-1971, according to a frequency-weighted decibel scale. The sound pressure can be determined according to the International Standard for Acoustic Noise Measurement Techniques for Wind Generators (IEC 61400-11), or other accepted procedure. Also, the perceived loudness of a sound as expressed in decibels (dB). For example, the A-weighted decibel scale, dB(A), represents those frequencies most readily audible to the human ear. The C-weighted decibel scale, dB(C), approximates response of the human ear to low-frequency sounds. The G-weighted decibel scale, dB(G), is designed for infrasound.
- TOTAL HEIGHT
- The height of the tower and the farthest vertical extension of the wind turbine rotor plane.
- TRANSMISSION OWNER
- The owner of the electric distribution networks. Examples include New York State Electric and Gas, National Grid and Con Edison.
- VERTICAL AXIS
- The vertical orientation of the rotation of the rotor cage on a WECS.
- The range of view from a point toward the horizon, including natural and man-made components.
- An elevated or unobstructed location, position or area that permits an unhindered panoramic vista of particular interest or pleasure or a unique view to or from a particular point.
- WIND ENERGY CONVERSION SYSTEM (WECS)
- Any wind energy conversion system consisting of any wind turbine, vertical or horizontal axis wind turbines, wind measurements tower or combination of these, including all but not limited to related infrastructure, electrical lines and substations, access roads and accessory structures or equipment.
- WIND ENERGY FACILITY
- Any wind turbine, small wind turbine or wind measurement tower or combination of these, including all related infrastructure, electrical lines and substations access roads and accessory structures.
- WIND ENERGY FACILITY PERMIT
- A permit pursuant to this chapter granting the holder the right to construct, maintain or operate a wind energy facility.
- WIND MEASUREMENT TOWER
- A temporary tower used for the measurement of meteorological data such as temperature, wind speed and wind direction.
- WIND TURBINE
- A wind energy conversion system consisting of a wind turbine, a tower and associated control or conversion electronics, which has a rated capacity of more than 100kW and which is intended to produce power for distribution on the utility grid.
- WIND TURBINE, SMALL
- A wind energy conversion system consisting of a wind turbine, a tower and associated control or conversion electronics, which has a rated capacity of not more than 25 kW and which is intended primarily to reduce consumption of utility power at that location.
A complete application for a wind energy facility permit shall include:
A site plan prepared by a licensed professional engineer, including:
Property lines and physical dimension of the site;
Location, approximate dimensions and types of major existing structures and uses on the site, public roads, and adjoining properties within 500 feet of the boundaries of any wind turbines or 1 1/2 times the total height of such turbines, whichever shall be greater.
Location and elevation of each proposed wind turbine.
Location of all aboveground and below-ground utility lines on the site, as well as transformers, the interconnection point with transmission lines, and other ancillary facilities or structures.
Location of all buffers as required by this chapter.
Location of the nearest residential structure(s) on the site and located off the site, and the distance from the nearest proposed wind turbine.
All proposed facilities, including access roads, electrical substations, storage or maintenance units, and fencing.
A view shed rendering: a vertical drawing of the wind turbine showing total height, turbine dimensions, tower and turbine colors, ladders, distance between the ground and the lowest point of any blade, location of climbing pegs, and access doors. One drawing may be submitted for each wind turbine of the same type and total height. The make, model, picture and manufacturer's specifications, including noise decibels data and material safety data sheet documentation for all materials used in the operation of the equipment shall be provided for each proposed wind turbine. A visual analysis of the turbine(s) as installed, which includes a computerized photographic simulation, demonstrating the visual impacts from nearby strategic vantage points, shall be provided. These vantage points will be determined by the Planning Board based on a site map to include a topographical and aerial simulation.
A lighting plan showing any FAA-required lighting and other proposed lighting. Lighting shall be directed up and out, not down.
A stormwater pollution prevention plan prepared to Town of Pawling, Town Code and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation standards as applicable and to such standards as may be established by the Planning Board on the recommendation of its Town Engineer or consultants.
A construction schedule describing commencement and completion dates, including a traffic analysis with a description of the routes to be used by construction and delivery vehicles and the gross weights and heights of those loaded vehicles.
An operations and maintenance plan providing for regular periodic maintenance schedules, any special maintenance requirements and procedures and notification requirements for restarts during icing events.
A decommissioning plan that addresses the anticipated life of the wind turbine, the estimated decommissioning costs, the method of ensuring funds shall be available for decommissioning and restoration, the method by which decommissioning cost shall be kept current, and the manner in which the wind turbine shall be decommissioned and the site restored, less any fencing or residential minor improvements requested by the landowner.
A list of property owners, with their mailing addresses, within 2,000 feet of the outer boundaries of the proposed site.
A complaint resolution process to address complaints from nearby residents. The process may use an independent mediator or arbitrator and shall include a time limit for acting on a complaint. The applicant shall make every reasonable effort to resolve any complaint, not to exceed 60 days.
A transportation plan (See § 210-15.) describing routes to be used in delivery of project components, equipment and building materials and those to be used to provide access to the site during and after construction. Such plan shall describe any anticipated improvements to existing roads, bridges or other infrastructure, as well as measures which will be taken to restore damaged/disturbed access routes following construction.
A full Environmental Assessment Form (EAF), as provided by the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), shall be prepared for the wind energy facility. This full Environmental Assessment Form (EAF) shall, at a minimum, include:
A study of potential shadow flicker, including a graphic to identify locations where shadow flicker may be caused by the wind turbines and expected duration of the flicker at these locations. The study shall identify areas where the shadow flicker may interfere with residences and describe measurements to be taken to eliminate shadow flicker problems. If shadow flicker impacts are of either high intensity or high duration (more than 25 hours per year), then a second level analysis of shadow flickers modeling will occur, including an on-site assessment of property conditions. If shadow flicker cannot be minimized to a shorter duration or intensity, project modifications may be required. It is desirable to have shadow flicker on off-site residences.
A visual impact study and its impact to the viewshed with the proposed wind turbines as installed, which may include a computerized photographic simulation and digital elevation models demonstrating visual impacts from strategic vantage points. Color photographs of the site accurately depicting existing conditions shall be included, as well as a map indicating areas where the wind turbines will be visible to a person at five feet above ground level. The visual analysis shall also indicate color treatment of system components and any visual screening to be incorporated into the project to lessen the system's visual prominence.
A fire protection and emergency response plan, created in consultation with the Fire Department(s), shall have jurisdiction over the proposed site, as well as Pawling Emergency Services, including but not limited to the Fire Marshal, Emergency Management and the Sheriff.
A noise analysis by a competent acoustical consultant, including:
A description and map of the project's noise-producing features, which will include but not be limited to the range of noise levels expected (A-weighted, C-weighted and G-weighted), the tonal and frequency characteristics expected, the duration of sound, frequency of occurrence, and the effects of changes in wind speed and direction;
The manufacturer's data and standards for all structures, including designed noise levels and the noise levels determined by testing in the field;
A survey and report prepared by an independent, qualified, New York State engineer that analyzes the preexisting ambient noise including seasonal and twenty-four-hour variations at residences within one mile of the site boundary;
The analysis must be accompanied by a topographic map showing, in increments of five decibels out to the level of 20 decibels, the noise level contours of the site vicinity, in order to visualize the cumulative noise impacts from the wind energy facility on surrounding properties. All residences within greater than one mile of the site boundary or the twenty-decibel contour shall be clearly shown;
Where noise can carry far and in unexpected directions, the study must consider sounds carried from hilltop to hilltop, hilltop to valley, and along valleys in a radius of 10 miles from a wind energy facility. The study must also produce analysis of cumulative noise impacts; and
The applicant shall submit a design for postdevelopment noise monitoring as well as a description of proposed noise-control features, including specific measures to protect workers, and to mitigate noise impacts to a level of insignificance off site. A summary of the applicant's proposed noise complaint resolution program must be included.
An assessment of potential electromagnetic interference with microwave, radio, television, personal communication systems, 911 and other wireless communication by an independent contractor as determined by the Planning Board, with the applicant paying the consultant fees.
An assessment of the impact of the proposed development on the flora and fauna, including migratory and resident avian species and bat species. The scope of such assessment shall be developed in consultation with the New York Department of Environmental Conservation and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and must at a minimum consist of a literature survey for threatened and endangered species and provide relevant information on critical flyways, and shall describe the potential impacts of any proposed facilities on bird and bat species, and an avoidance or mitigation plan to address such impacts, as well as plans for postinstallation studies.
An assessment of potential immediate and long-term impacts to local flora and fauna, micro and macro habitats, and groundwater and surface water related to, but not limited to, excavation, blasting, clear cutting and grading during the site-preparation phase, including construction of access roads.
An assessment of archaeological resources that may be impacted by the project. Such assessment shall be conducted in coordination with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
A report from an independent New York professional engineer that calculates the maximum distance that ice from the turbine blades and pieces of turbine blades could be thrown. (The basis of the calculation and all assumption must be disclosed.) The incidence of reported ice and blade throws and the conditions at the time of the ice and blade throw must be included.
An assessment, preinstallation and postinstallation, of possible stray voltage problems on the site and neighboring properties within one mile of the project boundary, to show what properties need upgraded wiring and grounding.
A geotechnical report that includes:
Soils engineering and engineering geologic characteristics of the site based on site sampling and testing.
A bedrock profile within one mile of the site.
Information on the depth of the well, average flow rate, and, with permission by owner, a test of water quality for all wells within two miles of the site.
Grading criteria for ground preparation, cuts and fills and soil compaction.
A slope stability analysis.
A statement signed under penalties of perjury that the information contained in the application is true and accurate.
Applicants must arrange a preliminary meeting with the Planning Board and the professional consultants retained by the Town for application review. The applicants will be responsible for any expenses incurred for this meeting with consultants.
Twelve copies of the complete application shall be submitted to the Planning Department Clerk. Payment of all application and escrow fees shall be made at the time of submission.
The Planning Board shall, within 45 days of receipt, or such longer time as may be accepted by the applicant, determine if all information required hereunder is included in the application. If the application is deemed incomplete, the applicant shall be provided with a written statement listing missing data. If the applicant fails to provide such data within 45 days, the application shall expire. Upon submission of a complete application, the Planning Board shall proceed with its review.
The Planning Board shall hold at least one public hearing on the application. Notice shall be published in the Town's official newspaper, no less than 14 or more than 31 days before any hearing, but, where any hearing is adjourned by the Planning Board to hear additional comments, no further publication will be required. All property owners within 2,000 feet of the property lines of the proposed wind energy facility shall be given notice of a public hearing via certified mail at the expense of the applicant. The mailing receipts must be submitted to the Planning Department prior to the Planning Board meeting.
Referral. The Planning Board shall comply with the provisions of Article 12-B, §§ 239-L and 239-M, of the General Municipal Law, as amended, and refer to the Dutchess County Department of Planning such site plans as are within its jurisdiction.
The following standards shall apply to wind energy facilities in the Town of Pawling:
All power transmission lines from the tower to any building, substation, or other structures shall be located underground in accordance with National Electrical Code standards.
No television, radio or other communication antennas may be affixed or otherwise made part of any wind turbine, except with approval by the Planning Board.
No advertising signs are allowed on any part of the wind energy facility, including fencing and support structures.
No tower shall be lit except to comply with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements. Minimum security lighting for ground-level facilities shall appear on the wind energy facility development plan indicating the direction of lighting and must be approved by the Planning Board and its consultants.
All applicants shall use measures to reduce the visual impact of wind turbines to the greatest extent possible. Wind turbines shall use tubular towers. All structures in a project shall be finished in a single nonreflective matte-finished color or a camouflage scheme. Wind turbines within a multiple wind turbine project shall be generally uniform in size, geometry, and rotational speeds. No lettering, company insignia, advertising, or graphics shall be part of the tower, hub or blades.
Guy wires shall not be permitted except to address unique safety issues, and then only with specific permission by the Planning Board in the form of a waiver.
No wind turbines shall be installed in any location where their proximity with existing fixed broadcast, retransmission, or reception antennas for radio, television, or wireless phone or other communication systems would produce electromagnetic interference with signal transmission or reception. If it is determined a wind turbine is causing electromagnetic interference, the operator shall take necessary corrective action to eliminate this interference, including relocation or removal of the facilities, or resolution of issues with affected parties. Failure to remedy electromagnetic interference is grounds for revocation of the wind energy facility permit for the specific wind turbine or wind turbines causing the interference.
All construction debris shall be removed from the site and disposed of in a legal manner under the county and local waste management regulations and recycling methods.
Wind turbines shall be designed to minimize the impacts of land clearing and the loss of important open spaces. Development on agricultural land shall follow the Guidelines for Agricultural Mitigation for Wind Power Projects, published by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.
Wind turbines shall be located in a manner that minimizes significant negative impacts on rare animal species in the vicinity.
The stormwater erosion and sediment control shall be managed in a manner consistent with all applicable state, federal, and Town laws, regulations and standards and shall be applied by the Planning Board with the advice of the Town Engineer and Stormwater Management Officer and other Town consultants.
Wind turbines shall be located in a manner that minimizes shadow flickers on off-site residences. It is desirable to have no shadow flicker on off-site residences.
Color: The WECS shall be a nonobtrusive reflecting color. Galvanized steel or metal is acceptable for support structures. The painting or coating shall be kept in good repair for the life of the wind turbine.
All wind turbines shall have an automatic braking, governing or feathering system to prevent uncontrolled rotation, overspeeding and excessive pressure on the tower structure, rotor blades and turbine components.
Accessory facilities or equipment shall be gated or fenced to prevent unrestricted public access to the facilities and reduce any attractive nuisance aspects of use.
Warning signs with a minimum size of two square feet shall be posted at the entrances to the wind energy facility and at the base of each tower warning of electrical shock or high voltage and must contain emergency contact information.
No climbing pegs or tower ladders shall be located closed than 15 feet to the ground level at the base of the structure for freestanding single-pole or guyed towers.
The minimum distance between the ground and any part of the rotor or blade system shall be 30 feet.
Wind energy facilities shall be designed to prevent unauthorized external access to electrical and mechanical components and shall have access doors that are kept securely locked at all times.
The applicant is responsible for remediation of damaged roads upon completion of the installation or maintenance of a wind energy facility. A public improvement bond shall be required prior to the issuance of any building permit in the amount, determined by the Planning Board, sufficient to compensate the Town, village, county or state for any damage done to the Town, village, county or states roads if any of these roads will be among the designated traffic routes. The applicant shall consult with the Town Highway Superintendent and/or the New York State Department of Transportation or Dutchess County Department of Public Works to obtain a written recommendation for bonding form and amount, which form and amount shall be approved by the Planning Board.
The applicant shall provide predevelopment and postdevelopment photographic evidence of the condition of any Town, village, state or county roads along the proposed route. These photos will be submitted to the Planning Board prior to the start of the project and also at the completion of the project for review.
Each wind turbine shall be set back as follows:
Residences: a distance no less than the greater of a) two times its total height or b) 1,000 feet.
Property lines: a distance no less than 1.5 times its total height.
Public roads: a distance no less than the greater of a) 1.5 times its total height or b) 500 feet.
State wetlands: a distance no less than 1,500 feet.
The statistical sound pressure level generated by wind energy facility shall not exceed the ambient level, both A-weight and C-weight, plus five decibels measured anywhere along the site boundary. Ambient sound level measurements shall employ all practical means to reduce or compensate for the effect of wind-generated noise artifacts at the microphone so as to measure the actual sound level most accurately. Ambient sound level measurements should be performed when wind velocities aloft are sufficient to allow wind turbines operation and should report ambient sound levels for wind speeds aloft corresponding to turbine cut-in as well as the wind speed aloft corresponding to production of the greatest noise. The sound pressure level at any off-site residence shall not exceed ambient sound plus five decibels, both A-weight and C-weight, as determined in accordance with the stipulation of § 210-11K(4) of this chapter. Independent verification by an acoustical engineer certified with the Institute of Noise Control Engineering shall be provided before and after construction demonstrating compliance with its requirements.
In the event a wind energy facility does not meet a setback requirement or exceeds noise or other criteria established in this chapter as it existed at the time the wind energy permit was granted, a waiver may be granted from such requirements by the Planning Board.
Such waiver shall be in the form required for filing of deeds, and the waiver shall be filed with the Dutchess County Clerk's office. The waiver shall include a statement of findings made by the Planning Board and all conditions required by the Planning Board for the issuance and continuation of the waiver. Such waiver shall be permanent and shall state that it may not be revoked without the consent of the Planning Board, which consent shall be granted upon either the decommissioning of the benefited wind turbine, in accordance with this chapter, or the acquisition of the burdened parcel by the owner of the wind turbine. No such waiver shall permit noise levels at any other location within or outside the areas prescribed to exceed the limitations of this chapter.
The Planning Board shall, within 120 days of determining the application is complete and upon consideration of the standards in this chapter and the record of the SEQRA review, issue a written decision with the reasons for approval, conditions of approval or disapproval fully stated. The time period may be extended for another 60 days at the request of the applicant and/or if the Planning Board deems it necessary for additional information, to seek expert and/or legal advice, or other legitimate reasons.
Upon written approval, the Planning Board shall direct the Town Code Enforcement Officer to issue a wind energy facility permit upon satisfaction of all conditions for the permit and upon completion of the New York State Building Code.
The decision of the Planning Board shall be filed within 15 days in the office of the Town Clerk and a copy mailed to the applicant by first-class mail.
If any approved wind energy facility is not substantially commenced within two years of issuance of the wind energy facility permit, the wind energy facility permit shall expire unless the Planning Board shall have granted an extension.
If any wind turbine remains inoperative for a continuous period of 12 months, the owner shall remove said system at the owner's expense, following the requirements of the decommissioning plan. Removal of the system shall include at least the entire aboveground structure, including transmission equipment and fencing, from the property. This provision shall not apply if the owner demonstrates to the Town Board that it has been making good-faith efforts to restore the wind turbine to an operable condition, but nothing in this provision shall limit the Town Board's ability to order a remedial action plan after a public hearing.
Lack of operation may be proven by reports to the Public Service Commission, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), or by lack of income generation. The applicant shall make available (subject to a nondisclosure agreement) to the Planning Board all reports to and from the purchaser of energy from individual wind turbines, if requested and necessary to prove the wind turbine is functioning, which reports may be edited as necessary to protect proprietary information.
The applicant, or successors, shall continuously maintain a fund or bond payable to the Town of Pawling, in a form approved by the Town Board, for the removal of inoperable towers and appurtenant facilities, in the amount to be determined by the Town Board, for the period of the life of the facility. This fund may consist of a letter of credit from a New York licensed financial institution. All costs of the financial security shall be fully described in the decommissioning plan.
Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed a guarantee against any future construction or Planning Board approvals of future construction that may in any way impact the wind flow to any wind energy facility. It shall be the sole responsibility of the facility operator or owner to acquire necessary wind flow or turbulence easements, or rights to remove vegetation.
The applicant shall fund periodic noise testing by a qualified independent third-party acoustical measurement consultant, which may be required as often as biannually, or more frequently upon request of the Code Enforcement Officer in response to complaints by neighbors. The scope of the noise testing shall be to demonstrate compliance with the terms and conditions of the wind energy facility permit and this chapter and shall also include an evaluation of any complaints received by the Town or Planning Board and Code Enforcement Officer. The applicant shall have 90 days after written notice from the Code Enforcement Officer to cure any deficiency. An extension of the ninety-day period may be considered by the Code Enforcement Officer for review, but the total period may not exceed 180 days.
A wind turbine shall be maintained in operational condition at all times, subject to reasonable maintenance and repair outages. Operational condition includes meeting all noise requirements and other permit conditions. Should a wind turbine become inoperable, or should any part of the wind turbine be damaged, or should a wind turbine violate a permit condition, the owner or operator shall remedy the situation within 90 days after written notice from the Code Enforcement Officer. The applicant shall have 90 days after written notice from the Code Enforcement Officer to cure any deficiency. An extension of the ninety-day period may be considered by the Code Enforcement Officer for review, but the total period may not exceed 180 days.
Should a wind turbine not be repaired or made operational or brought into permit compliance after said notice, the Town Board may, after a public meeting at which the operator or owner shall be given opportunity to be heard and present evidence, including a plan to come into compliance, order either a remedial action within a particular time frame or revocation of the wind energy facility permit for the wind turbine and require its removal within 90 days. If the wind turbine is not removed, the Town Board shall have the right to use the security posted as part of the decommissioning plan to remove the wind turbine and restore the property.
Installation of wind measurement towers, also known as anemometer towers, shall be permitted, upon the issuance of a wind energy facility permit, to determine the wind speeds and the feasibility of using particular sites. The distance between a wind measurement tower and the property line shall be at least 1 1/2 times the total height of the tower. A wind energy facility permit for wind measurement towers shall be issued for a period of two years and shall be renewable upon application to the Planning Board. An application for a wind measurement tower shall include:
Name, address, telephone number and signatures of the applicant and agent for the applicant, if any.
Name, address, telephone number and signature of the property owner, along with written authorization by the property owner to submit the application.
Proposed development plan.
Decommissioning plan, including a security bond for removal, should the tower not be converted to permanent use for wind energy generation.
Other development standards as set forth above for wind energy facilities shall be applied to the maximum extent practicable, as determined by the Planning Board, recognizing the temporary nature of wind measurement towers.
The Planning Board is hereby authorized to approve, approve with conditions, or disapprove small wind turbine applications designed for residential, farm, institutional and business use on the same parcel. Such applications shall be processed in the same manner as those prescribed above for all wind energy facilities, but may be appropriately modified by the Planning Board to reflect the scale of the proposed facility. All small wind turbines shall comply with the following standards and with all other requirements of this chapter not in conflict herewith.
A system shall be located on a lot a minimum of one acre in size; however, this requirement can be met by multiple owners submitting a joint application.
Small wind turbines shall be used primarily to reduce the on-site consumption of electricity.
Total heights shall be a maximum of 100 feet on parcels between one and five acres, and 150 feet or less on parcels of five or more acres.
A small wind turbine shall be set back 1.5 times the height of the tower.
The maximum combined turbine power output is limited to 25 kW.
Tower-climbing apparatus shall be located no closer than 12 feet from the ground, a locked anti-climb device shall be installed on the tower, or a locked, protective fence of at least six feet in height that encloses the tower shall be installed to restrict tower access.
Anchor points for any guy wires for a system tower shall be located within the property that the system is located on and not on or across any aboveground electric transmission or distribution lines. The point of attachment for the guy wires shall be enclosed by a fence six feet in height or sheathed in bright orange or yellow covering from the ground up to a minimum of eight feet.
If any wind turbine remains inoperative for a continuous period of 12 months, the owner shall remove said system at the owner's expense, following the requirements of the decommissioning plan. Removal of the system shall include at least the entire aboveground structure, including transmission equipment and fencing, from the property. This provision shall not apply if the owner demonstrates to the Town Board that it has been making good-faith efforts to restore the wind turbine to an operable condition, but nothing in this provision shall limit the Town Board ability to order a remedial action plan after public hearing.
The Town Board shall, by resolution, establish and from time to time modify a schedule of fees for wind energy facility permit applications.
The Planning Board may hire any consultants and/or experts necessary to assist the Code Enforcement Officer in reviewing and evaluating the application, including, but not limited to, site inspections, the construction and modification of the site, once permitted, and any request for recertification. An applicant shall deposit with the Town Board sufficient funds to reimburse the Town Board for all reasonable costs of consultants and expert evaluation and consultation to the Town Board in connection with the review of this application.
Fees are based on the current Town of Pawling fee schedule.
The Town Board hereby reserves the right to opt out of the tax exemption provisions of Real Property Tax Law § 487, pursuant to authority granted by Subdivision 8 of that law.