Township of Patton, PA
Centre County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Patton 7-19-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-586. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Zoning — See Ch. 175.
A. 
Location.
(1) 
Primary use solar energy systems may only be located in the zoning districts where they are listed as a permitted use, conditional use, or designated use.
(2) 
Accessory use solar energy systems shall be permitted in all zoning districts.
(3) 
In the University Planned District, ground-mounted solar energy systems, whether primary or accessory, shall be located only in the subdistricts that permit utility uses, facilities, and structures. The exception to this shall be ground-mounted systems that are minimal in size and designed to only provide energy to an adjacent device or structure.
(4) 
In the Planned Airport District, solar energy systems must additionally conform to all Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations as specified in § 175-36C, Use regulations.
B. 
Height. All solar energy systems shall follow the maximum height requirements of the zoning district they are located in with the following additional requirements for building-mounted systems:
(1) 
Systems on sloped roofs that face an adjacent right-of-way shall be installed at the same angle as the roof with a maximum distance, measured perpendicular to the roof, of 18 inches between the roof and highest edge of the system.
(2) 
Systems on sloped roofs that do not face an adjacent right-of-way shall be installed at any angle, given that the highest point of the system does not exceed the highest point of the roof it is attached to.
(3) 
Systems on flat roofs shall be installed so that the highest point is no greater than six feet above the roof to which it is attached.
C. 
Setbacks.
(1) 
No portion of any solar energy system or its related appurtenances may be located within the setback areas specified by the zoning district in which they are located.
(2) 
Building-mounted systems shall not extend beyond the edge of the roof, wall, or other surface they are located on.
(3) 
Systems located on roofs of primary use structures shall maintain at least a thirty-inch-wide pathway on at least three sides of the system except on flat roofs, in which case all four sides of the system must have a minimum thirty-inch-wide pathway.
(a) 
If the thirty-inch pathway limits the effective size of the system, the Township Zoning Officer may request that the Centre Region Fire Director determine whether a lesser width pathway is permissible and that it will not jeopardize the safety of firefighters in the event of an emergency.
(b) 
In the event that a sloped roof has two roof planes that meet to form hips or valleys, the 30 inches shall be measured between the solar energy systems located on each roof plane.
(c) 
This requirement shall not apply to nonhabitable accessory structures such as garages, carports, sheds, and the like.
D. 
Lot coverage. The horizontal area projected by the system in addition to all impervious surfaces shall not exceed the maximum lot coverage allowed in the zoning district. For a tracking solar collector or other moveable solar energy system, the horizontal projection area shall be calculated at a thirty-three-percent tilt angle.
E. 
Battery. If the system utilizes a battery system, the battery(s) must be placed in a secure container or enclosure.
F. 
Aviation notification. All proposals for systems 7,500 square feet or greater in size, or which are intended to produce 100 kilowatts or greater, and which are located within five miles of the end of the University Park Airport runway will be forwarded to the University Park Airport by the Township to ensure that there are no aviation-related concerns.
A. 
Applicability. A solar energy system shall be considered a primary use under the following conditions:
(1) 
The system is a utility scale solar energy system, as defined in § 175-6, Definitions; interpretations of regulations.
(2) 
The system is connected into the utility grid and produces electricity at a capacity that consistently provides energy to the grid. Grid-connected systems that are only utilized periodically will be considered an accessory use to the primary permitted use of the lot(s) and regulated as such.
B. 
Screening and visibility.
(1) 
All building-mounted solar energy system appurtenances should be painted and/or coated a color similar to the surface upon which they are mounted or otherwise designed to be as inconspicuous as possible.
(2) 
All ground-mounted system installations must adhere to the following buffering requirements:
(a) 
In the Industrial, General Commercial, and Planned Commercial Districts, installations must meet the requirements of § 175-44, Districts design and landscaping controls for R-3, Commercial (C), Office Buffer (OB) and Industrial (I) Districts.
(b) 
In the Commercial Transitional District, installations shall adhere to the buffering requirements of § 175-17.3G(1), Screening.
(c) 
In the Planned Community District, installations shall meet the buffering requirements of § 175-24A(4), Buffer yards and landscaping.
(d) 
In the Planned Airport District, installations shall follow the buffering requirements of § 175-40, Design and improvement standards.
(e) 
In the Rural, Natural Resources, Natural Resources and Recycling Districts, and the University Planned District, installations must adhere to the buffering requirements of § 175-42, Procedures and criteria for conditional uses.
(f) 
Any installations within the I-99 Interchange Overlay District shall adhere to the additional buffering requirements of § 175-40.3, Setbacks and landscaping.
C. 
Warning signage. The identification and contact information of the owner, installer, or manufacturer of the system and warning signage shall be posted at the site in a clearly visible manner.
D. 
Fencing. Primary use systems shall be enclosed by perimeter fencing of an appropriate height to restrict unauthorized access.
E. 
Power lines. To the greatest extent possible, on-site power lines shall be placed underground.
F. 
Glare. Primary use solar energy systems shall be designed and installed in a manner as to not project any glare or glint onto any adjoining property or roadway as follows:
(1) 
A glare and glint study report from the latest version of the ForgeSolar GlareGauge© tool, or equivalent, shall be provided to the Township by a registered professional, as defined in § 147-11, Definitions and word usage. The tool shall be used to determine that the solar energy system will have no ocular impact or low potential for temporary after-image ocular impact as illustrated by the solar glare ocular hazard plot in Figure 1. The observation points used with the tool shall be determined in coordination with the Township.
Solar Glare Ocular Hazard Plot: The potential ocular hazard from solar glare is a function of retinal irradiance and the subtended angle (size/distance) of the glare source. It should be noted that the ratio of spectrally weighted solar illuminance to solar irradiance at the earth's surface yields a conversion factor of ˜100 lumens/W. Plot adapted from Ho et al., 2011.
Chart References: Ho, C.K., C.M. Ghanbari, and R.B. Diver, 2011, Methodology to Assess Potential Glint and Glare Hazards from Concentrating Solar Power Plants: Analytical Models and Experimental Validation, J. Solar Energy Engineering, August 2011. Vol. 133.031021-1 - 031021-9.
(2) 
The Township reserves the right to require one or more of the following to limit glare:
(a) 
Modification of the location, angle of tilt, and/or azimuth angle of the solar collector(s).
(b) 
Placement of landscaping or other physical object to limit the projection of glare or glint.
(c) 
Utilization of anti-reflective (AR) glass on the solar energy system.
(d) 
Utilization of glass with a light-diffusing texture on the front surface.
G. 
Procedure. All applications for primary use systems shall be reviewed and approved pursuant to the plan review procedures of Chapter 153, Subdivision and Land Development.
H. 
Removal.
(1) 
If a primary use system ceases to perform for more than 12 consecutive months, it shall be considered abandoned, and all equipment, devices, and other appurtenances shall be removed by the owner within 90 days.
(2) 
Upon determining that a primary use system has been abandoned, the Zoning Officer shall issue notice to the property owner. The owner shall have the right to respond to within 30 days of receipt of the notice.
(3) 
If all equipment, devices, and other appurtenances are not removed or repaired within 90 days of receipt of the notice of abandonment, the Township may pursue legal action to have the solar energy system removed at the owner's expense.
A. 
Applicability. A solar energy system shall be considered an accessory use under the following conditions:
(1) 
The system does not meet the criteria for a utility scale solar energy system, as defined in § 175-6, Definitions; interpretations of regulations.
(2) 
Large developments or institutions may utilize a solar energy system as an accessory use given that its capacity is such that it is designed to supplement the energy needs of the development or institution.
(3) 
Interconnection of a system into the utility grid shall not disqualify it from being an accessory use, given that the interconnection is only utilized periodically and the system can be defined as a customer-generator under 52 Pa. Code § 75.1.
B. 
Glare. Glare or glint from a solar energy system shall be regulated as follows:
(1) 
It shall be the responsibility of the applicant to demonstrate to the Township that the proposed system will be installed in a manner that will limit glare or glint.
(2) 
The latest version of the ForgeSolar GlareGauge© tool or an acceptable equivalent may be used to demonstrate to the Township the amount, location, and time of day that glare may be projected onto any habitable structure(s) on an adjacent property or right-of-way.
(3) 
Any ground-mounted or building-mounted solar energy system with a solar collector surface area greater than 1/2 acre shall perform a solar glare analysis study in accordance with the regulations for primary use solar energy systems.
(4) 
The Township reserves the right to require one or more of the following to limit glare:
(a) 
Modification of the location, angle of tilt, and/or azimuth angle of the solar collector(s).
(b) 
Placement of landscaping or other physical object to limit the projection of glare or glint.
(c) 
Utilization of anti-reflective (AR) glass on the solar energy system.
(d) 
Utilization of glass with a light-diffusing texture on the front surface.
C. 
Building-integrated solar energy systems. The regulations herein shall not apply to building-integrated solar energy systems, given that they do not make the structure nonconforming with any other zoning regulations.
D. 
Self-contained solar energy systems. Solar energy systems located on a light fixture, sign, or other similar device shall be permitted with the following regulations:
(1) 
The system is limited in size so that it provides only enough energy for the device it is mounted on.
(2) 
No part of the system shall extend more than three feet above the device it is mounted to or the maximum height permitted in the district, whichever is greater.
E. 
Parking lots and structures. Solar energy systems placed in parking lots shall be designed and installed as follows:
(1) 
Systems shall be placed at a minimum height to sufficiently allow access for motor vehicles to park underneath them. If the system is placed over a drive aisle, the minimum clearance at the lowest point of the system shall be 14 feet.
(2) 
A system located over the top level of a multilevel parking structure shall not exceed a maximum height of 20 feet as measured from the driving surface to the highest point of the system.
F. 
Procedure. All solar energy systems as defined herein shall require a zoning permit pursuant to § 175-56, Zoning permit.