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Township of Ross, PA
Allegheny County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. 2355, 8/3/2015]
1. 
It is the purpose of this Part to promote the safe, effective and efficient use of installed solar energy systems that reduce on-site consumption of utility-supplied energy while protecting the health, safety and welfare of adjacent and surrounding land uses and properties. This Part seeks to:
A. 
Provide property owners and business owners/operators with flexibility in satisfying their on-site energy needs.
B. 
Reduce overall energy demands within the community and promote energy efficiency.
C. 
Integrate alternative energy systems seamlessly into the community's neighborhoods and landscapes without diminishing quality of life in the neighborhoods.
[Ord. 2355, 8/3/2015]
1. 
This Part applies to building-mounted and ground-mounted systems installed and constructed after the effective date of this Part.
2. 
Solar PV systems constructed prior to the effective date of this Part are not required to meet the requirements of this Part.
3. 
Any upgrade; modification or structural change that materially alters the size or placement of an existing solar PV system shall comply with all provisions of this Part.
[Ord. 2355, 8/3/2015]
1. 
Building-mounted and ground-mounted systems are permitted in all zoning districts as an accessory use to any lawfully permitted principal use or accessory use (§ 27-906, Subsection 6D and E) on the same property upon issuance of the proper permit pursuant to Part 20 of Chapter 27 and upon compliance with all requirements of this section and as elsewhere specified in this chapter.
2. 
Building-integrated systems, as defined in § 27-202, are not considered an accessory use and are not subject to the requirements of this Part.
[Ord. 2355, 8/3/2015]
1. 
Building-mounted systems are permitted to face any rear, side and front yard or any unregulated yard area as defined in § 27-202. Building-mounted systems may only be mounted on lawfully permitted principal or accessory structures.
2. 
Ground-mounted systems are permitted based on the requirements for accessory uses or structures in the property's zoning district.
[Ord. 2355, 8/3/2015]
1. 
The solar PV system must be constructed to comply with the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code (UCC), Act 45 of 1999, as amended, and any regulations adopted by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry as they relate to the UCC, except where an applicable industry standard has been approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry under its regulatory authority.
2. 
All wiring must comply with the National Electrical Code, most recent edition, as amended and adopted by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
A. 
For ground-mounted systems, all exterior electrical lines must be buried below the surface of the ground where possible or be placed in a conduit.
3. 
The solar PV system must be constructed to comply with the most-recent Fire Code as amended and adopted by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
[Ord. 2355, 8/3/2015]
1. 
Ground-Mounted Systems. Ground-mounted systems are subject to the accessory use or structure setback requirements in the zoning district in which the system is to be constructed. The required setbacks are measured from the property line to the nearest part of the system. No part of the ground-mounted system shall extend into the required setbacks due to a tracking system or other adjustment of solar PV related equipment or parts.
[Ord. 2355, 8/3/2015]
1. 
Notwithstanding the height limitations of the zoning district:
A. 
For a building-mounted system installed on a sloped roof that faces the front yard of a property, the system must be installed at the same angle as the roof on which it is installed with a maximum distance, measured perpendicular to the roof, of 18 inches between the roof and the highest edge of the system.
B. 
For a building-mounted system installed on a sloped roof, the highest point of the system shall not exceed the highest point of the roof to which it is attached.
2. 
Notwithstanding the height limitations of the zoning district:
A. 
For a building-mounted system installed on a flat roof, the highest point of the system shall be permitted to extend up to six feet above the roof to which it is attached.
3. 
Ground-mounted systems may not exceed the permitted height of accessory structures in the zoning district where the solar PV system is to be installed.
[Ord. 2355, 8/3/2015]
1. 
Building-mounted systems on a sloped roof shall not be required to be screened.
2. 
Building-mounted systems mounted on a flat roof shall not be visible from the public right-of-way within a fifty-foot radius of the property, exclusive of an alley as defined by this chapter, at a level of five feet from the ground, in a similar manner as to any other rooftop HVAC or mechanical equipment. This can be accomplished with architectural screening such as a building parapet or by setting the system back from the roof edge in such a manner that the solar PV system is not visible from the public right-of-way within a fifty-foot radius when measured at a distance of five feet from the ground.
[Ord. 2355, 8/3/2015]
1. 
The surface area of any ground-mounted system, regardless of the mounted angle of any portion of the system, is considered impervious surface and shall be calculated as part of the property lot coverage limitations for the zoning district. If the ground-mounted system is mounted above existing impervious surface, it shall not be calculated as part of the property lot coverage limitations for the zoning district.
[Ord. 2355, 8/3/2015]
1. 
Building-Mounted Systems:
A. 
If a building-mounted system is to be installed on any building or structure that is nonconforming because its height violates the height restrictions of the zoning district in which it is located, the building-mounted system shall be permitted so long as the building-mounted system does not extend above the peak or highest point of the roof to which it is mounted and so long as it complies with the other provisions of this chapter.
B. 
If a building-mounted system is to be installed on a building or structure on a nonconforming property that does not meet the minimum setbacks required and/or exceeds the lot coverage limits for the zoning district in which it is located, a building-mounted system shall be permitted so long as there is no expansion of any setback or lot coverage nonconformity and so long as it complies with the other provisions of this chapter.
2. 
Ground-Mounted Systems:
A. 
If a ground-mounted system is to be installed on a property containing a structure that is nonconforming because the required minimum setbacks are exceeded, the proposed system shall be permitted so long as the system does not encroach into the established setback for the property. If a ground-mounted system is to be installed on a property that is nonconforming because it violates zoning district requirements other than setbacks, then a variance must be obtained for the proposed installation.
[Ord. 2355, 8/3/2015]
1. 
No signage or graphic content may be displayed on the solar PV system except the manufacturer's badge, safety information and equipment specification information. Said information shall be depicted within an area no more than 36 square inches in size.
[Ord. 2355, 8/3/2015]
1. 
All solar PV systems are subject to compliance with applicable performance standards detailed elsewhere in this chapter.
[Ord. 2355, 8/3/2015]
1. 
Enforcement and penalties are prescribed by Article VI, MPC (§ 616.1, 617, 671.1, 617.2).
[Ord. 2355, 8/3/2015]
1. 
Before any construction or installation of any solar PV system shall commence, a permit issued by the Township of Ross shall be obtained to document compliance with this chapter.