City of Bridgeton, MO
St. Louis County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. No. 14-16 §1, 6-18-2014]
The purpose of this Section is to provide standards for the installation and use of renewable energy systems as accessory uses within the City of Bridgeton. This Section seeks to protect residentially zoned properties from incompatible uses in the interest of property values, public health and the welfare of the community while promoting the use of alternative energy sources, where appropriate. This Section provides a process to facilitate the use of these systems in a manner that minimizes adverse impacts and the potential for nuisance.
[Ord. No. 14-16 §1, 6-18-2014]
A. 
For the purposes of this Chapter, terms used for renewable energy systems shall be defined as follows:
BUILDING-INTEGRATED PHOTOVOLTAIC SYSTEM (BIPV)
An active solar system that is an integral part of a principal or accessory building, rather than a separate mechanical device, replacing or substituting for an architectural or structural component of the building. BIPVs include but are not limited to photovoltaic or hot-water solar systems that are contained within roofing materials, windows, skylights, and awnings. PV shingles or tiles, PV laminates, and PV glazing are all examples of BIPVs.
GLARE
The effect produced by light reflecting from a solar energy system with intensity sufficient to cause annoyance, discomfort, or loss in visual performance and visibility.
GROUND-MOUNTED SYSTEM
A renewable energy system that is not attached to any other structure and is affixed to the ground.
GROUND SOURCE HEAT PUMP SYSTEM
A system that uses the relatively constant temperature of the earth to provide heating in the winter and cooling in the summer.
GROUND SOURCE HEAT PUMP SYSTEM CLOSED-LOOP
A system that circulates a heat transfer fluid, typically food-grade antifreeze, through pipes or coils buried beneath the land surface.
GROUND SOURCE HEAT PUMP SYSTEM, HORIZONTAL
A closed-loop ground source heat pump system where the loops or coils are installed horizontally in a trench or series of trenches no more than twenty (20) feet below the surface.
GROUND SOURCE HEAT PUMP SYSTEM, OPEN-LOOP
A system that uses groundwater as a heat transfer fluid by drawing groundwater from a well to a heat pump and then discharging the water over land, directly in a water body or into an injection well.
GROUND SOURCE HEAT PUMP SYSTEM, VERTICAL
A closed-loop ground system heat pump where the loops or coils are installed vertically in one (1) or more borings below the land surface.
PHOTOVOLTAIC (PV) SYSTEM
A solar energy system that converts sunlight into electrical energy.
ROOF-MOUNTED SYSTEM
A renewable energy system affixed to the roof of either a principal or accessory structure.
SMALL WIND ENERGY SYSTEM
A structure designed for the purpose of converting wind energy into electrical energy to reduce on-site consumption of utility power.
SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEM
A structure designed for the purpose of collecting and transforming solar energy into thermal or electrical energy. Solar energy systems may include photovoltaic or solar thermal systems.
SOLAR THERMAL SYSTEM
A solar energy system that uses sunlight to produce heat that is used for space heating and cooling, domestic hot water, and heating pool water.
TURBINE HEIGHT
Turbine height is equal to the height of the tower plus the length of one (1) blade or the highest point of the complete structure, including any appurtenances, whichever is greater.
[Ord. No. 14-16 §1, 6-18-2014]
A. 
Solar and small wind energy systems are structures which shall be permitted on all residentially zoned properties.
B. 
The requirements of the City Code shall apply to all solar and small wind energy systems installed or modified after the effective date of this Chapter on all residentially zoned properties.
C. 
Any upgrade, modification, or structural change that alters the size or placement of an existing solar or small wind energy system shall comply with the provisions of this Chapter.
[Ord. No. 14-16 §1, 6-18-2014]
A. 
The following general requirements apply to all solar energy systems. All solar energy systems:
1. 
Shall comply with all minimum yard structure setback requirements for the residential zoning district in which the property is located;
2. 
Shall not be erected prior to the establishment or construction of the principal building to which it is accessory or to which it is intended to be accessory;
3. 
Shall be placed in such a manner that glare will not be directed onto nearby properties or adjacent streets; and
4. 
Shall adhere to Chapters 505 and 510 of the City Code pertaining to property maintenance.
B. 
Minimum Requirements For Ground-Mounted Solar Energy Systems. All ground-mounted solar energy systems:
1. 
Shall be located in the rear yard of the residentially zoned property;
2. 
Shall not exceed ten (10) feet in height as measured from the average grade at the base of the structure to the highest point of the structure;
3. 
Shall have all exterior electrical and/or plumbing lines connecting to a principal or accessory structure be located underground; and
4. 
Ground-mounted solar energy systems must be substantially screened from public view (including adjacent properties and public rights-of-way) by fencing, walls, plantings or other architectural features or any combination thereof; provided, however, that screening shall not be required to be so dense, so tall or so located as to render the equipment essentially non-functional.
C. 
Minimum Requirements For Roof-Mounted Solar Energy Systems.
1. 
All roof-mounted solar energy systems shall be mounted on a principal or accessory building or structure.
2. 
Mounting on sloped roofs:
a. 
The system shall not exceed the height of the existing roofline as illustrated below;
b. 
The system shall be mounted parallel to the roof, not to exceed twelve (12) inches above the roofline it is affixed to;
c. 
The system shall be positioned in a symmetrical fashion and centered on the plane of the roof on which it is located;
d. 
The system shall be set back at least two (2) feet from any outside edge, ridge, or valley of the roof;
e. 
The system shall be located on a rear- or side-facing roof as viewed from a fronting street. In cases of corner lots or lots with more than one (1) street frontage, a side roof fronting on a street shall be considered a front-facing roof; and
f. 
The system shall be made part of the roof design (i.e., capping or framing compatible with the color of the roof or structure).
3. 
Mounting on flat roofs:
a. 
The system shall be mounted parallel to the roof, not to exceed thirty-six (36) inches above the roofline it is affixed to;
b. 
The system shall be positioned in a symmetrical fashion and centered on the plane of the roof on which it is located; and
c. 
The system shall be set back at least two (2) feet from any outside edge, ridge, or valley of the roof.
D. 
Building-Integrated Photovoltaic Systems.
1. 
Building-integrated photovoltaic systems may be located on any roof plane or wall.
[Ord. No. 14-16 §1, 6-18-2014]
A. 
One (1) small wind energy system shall be permitted per residentially zoned property and:
1. 
Shall only be located in the rear yard of the residentially zoned property;
2. 
Shall not be erected prior to the establishment or construction of the principal building to which it is accessory or to which it is intended to be accessory;
3. 
Shall comply with all minimum yard accessory structure setback requirements for the residential zoning district in which the property is located;
4. 
Shall be located a minimum distance equal to the turbine height from the principal structures located on the property and on adjacent properties;
5. 
Shall be ground-mounted;
6. 
Shall have a maximum tower height that does not exceed the maximum height permitted for a structure in the residential zoning district in which the tower is located or the maximum height of the existing residential structure, whichever is less, except that permitted roof-mounted systems may extend ten (10) feet above the roofline or top of parapet wall, provided that such systems do not exceed five (5) feet above the maximum height otherwise permitted in the residential zoning district;
7. 
The height shall be measured as the distance from the average grade at the base of the structure to the highest point of the structure;
8. 
Shall have a minimum clearance between the lowest tip of the rotor or blade and the ground of fifteen (15) feet.
9. 
Shall adhere to Chapters 505 and 510 of the City Code pertaining to property maintenance;
10. 
Shall be placed in such a manner that glare will not be directed onto nearby properties or adjacent street and does not create significant shadow flicker impacts. "Significant shadow flicker" is defined as more than thirty (30) hours per calendar year on abutting occupied buildings;
11. 
Shall have a sound level that does not exceed sixty (60) decibels as measured at the site property line, except during short-term events such as severe wind storms and utility outages;
12. 
Shall either be stock color from the manufacturer or painted with a non-reflective, unobtrusive color that blends in with the surrounding environment;
13. 
Shall have all exterior electrical lines located underground; and
14. 
Shall not be illuminated by artificial means, except where the illumination is specifically required by the Federal Aviation Administration or other Federal, State, or local regulations.
[Ord. No. 14-16 §1, 6-18-2014]
A. 
Only closed-loop ground source heat pump systems utilizing heat transfer fluids as defined are permitted. Open-loop ground source heat pump systems are prohibited.
B. 
It shall not be erected prior to the establishment or construction of the principal building to which it is accessory or to which it is intended to be accessory;
C. 
Setbacks:
1. 
All components of ground source heat pump systems, including pumps, borings and loops, shall be set back at least five (5) feet from all property lines.
2. 
Aboveground equipment associated with ground source heat pumps shall not be installed in a front yard. Equipment shall be located in the side or rear yard, set back at least five (5) feet from the property line.
3. 
Ground source heat pump systems shall not be located or encroach upon any recorded easement.
[Ord. No. 14-16 §1, 6-18-2014]
A building permit and zoning certificate are required for all solar, small wind energy systems, and ground source heat pump systems.
[Ord. No. 14-16 §1, 6-18-2014]
A. 
Decisions of the City Engineer, Zoning Administrator or Building Code Official regarding the application of this Chapter may be appealed to the City Council in accordance with the following procedures:
1. 
Any person desiring a variation in the regulations pertaining to renewable energy systems on residentially zoned properties, or who is aggrieved by any decision made by the City Engineer or his designated representative in administering such regulations, may appeal such decision as provided in this Section. Any such appeal shall be taken within thirty (30) days of the date of denial of a permit for a renewable energy system on residentially zoned properties by filing with the City Engineer a notice of appeal specifying the grounds thereof. Six (6) affirmative votes of the City Council shall be required to grant a variance from or reverse a decision made by the City Engineer or his representative in administering the regulations pertaining to renewable energy systems on residentially zoned properties.
2. 
To vary the regulations for renewable energy systems on residentially zoned properties contained in this Chapter, the City Council shall make a finding of fact based upon the evidence presented to it in each specific case, showing that all of the following conditions exist:
a. 
That the conditions upon which the requested variation is based will result in a particular hardship upon the appellant, as distinguished from a mere inconvenience, if the strict letter of the regulations were carried out.
b. 
That the conditions upon which the requested variation is based are not generally applicable to other property or similar activities in the City.
c. 
That the alleged difficulty or hardship has not been created by any person acquiring or holding an interest in the property since the adoption of this Chapter.
d. 
That the granting of the variation will not endanger the public safety or be detrimental to the public welfare or substantially injurious to other property or activities in the neighborhood in which the property is located.
3. 
The City Council may impose such conditions and restrictions upon the premises benefited by a variation as may be necessary to prevent injurious effects therefrom upon other property or activities in the neighborhood and to better carry out the general intent of the regulations.
4. 
In the event that any application of appeal or variance from the regulations for renewable energy systems on residential properties contained in this Chapter is denied by the City Council, a reapplication concerning the same property or site shall not be accepted until six (6) months following the date of final action by the City Council on the original application has elapsed, unless it can be shown to the satisfaction of the City Engineer or his designated representative in administering such regulations that:
a. 
A significantly different plan is proposed; or
b. 
New facts or other pertinent information has been discovered that was not previously presented and was not reasonably capable of discovery by the applicant prior to the previous application.
[Ord. No. 14-16 §1, 6-18-2014]
A. 
Solar, ground source heat pumps and small wind energy systems lawfully installed and operable on residentially zoned property prior to the effective date of this Section of the City Code are exempt from the requirements herein unless:
1. 
The solar, ground source heat pumps or small wind energy system is moved to another location on the property, enlarged, or replaced with a new system; or
2. 
Any other work or alteration is done to the existing solar, ground source heat pumps or small wind energy system that requires a building permit and zoning certificate from the City.
[Ord. No. 14-16 §1, 6-18-2014]
All renewable energy systems must be maintained and kept in a state suitable for immediate operation. Any renewable energy systems that are noticeably in disrepair for a period exceeding six (6) months without repair or restoration procedures substantially underway shall be removed from the property and the structure and/or site restored.
[Ord. No. 14-16 §1, 6-18-2014]
This Chapter and the requirements thereof shall be subject to the procedures for violations contained in Chapter 500.120 of the City Code.