Village of Village of The Branch, NY
Suffolk County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of the Branch 3-10-2015 by L.L. No. 2-2015. Amendments noted where applicable.]
All building permit applications for installations of photovoltaic (PV) or residential solar hot water (RSHW) systems on any residential property or structure in Residential Zoning Districts A and B shall not be installed without an SES permit issued by the Building Inspector of the Village of the Branch. Applications for PV and RSHW installations on residential occupied properties or structures will be expedited by the Village Building Inspector upon receipt of the filing of a fully completed application in accordance with Chapter 112, Building Code Administration and Enforcement, of the Village Code. All applications for a SES system permit shall also meet the following criteria, and any subsequent amendment thereto.
A. 
SES installations are restricted to rooftops in Residence Zoning A and B Districts only. Ground-mounted or freestanding solar collection systems that are not attached to the roof of the primary residence are prohibited.
B. 
Applications are proposed for installation on a roof with a single layer of roof covering unless it can be determined and certified, by written engineering analysis/data from a professional engineer (PE) or registered architect (RA) that is licensed in the State of New York, that the existing roofing and roofing structure can meet the weight loads and wind-lift tolerances requirements as stated herein or by current specifications for solar installations.
C. 
All proposed SES designs, solar panel layouts and configurations shall minimize and not create an adverse reflective/mirroring or glare impact to neighboring homes, other inhabited buildings or structures, or street rights-of-way.
D. 
There shall be no clearing of large trees that are six inches in diameter or greater without a special permit issued by the Village Building Inspector. A tree removal plan shall be submitted to the Building Inspector for review and approval prior to the removal of any trees.
E. 
Solar panels must be flush-mounted parallel to the roof surface and no more than six inches above the surface.
F. 
Solar panels must have an eighteen-inch clearing at one side of the roof ridge and an eighteen-inch clearing path to the ridge.
G. 
Solar panels and roofing shall not create a gravity roof load of no more than five pounds per square foot for photovoltaic (PV) and six pounds per square foot for residential solar hot water (RSHW).
H. 
All SES systems shall be installed by contractors which are on LIPA's prescreened solar contractor list.
I. 
All SES systems must use PV panels that have been certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory as meeting the requirements of the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) Standard 1703, and inverters must be on a list of New York State Public Service Commission type-tested inverters which are tested by UL or other nationally recognized laboratories to conform with UL 1741.
J. 
All RSHW installations shall use equipment that has been certified by the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation under its OG-100 standard for solar collectors.
K. 
All SES systems shall use other equipment, such as modules, combiner boxes and a mounting system shall have been approved for public use.
L. 
All SES installations shall be in full compliance with all current National Electrical Code (NEC) requirements.
M. 
In addition to the normal inspections performed by the Village Building Inspector, the Building Inspector may rely upon and accept third-party inspections and/or certifications if provided by approved inspectors, which inspectors are to be paid for by the homeowner or applicant.
A. 
Prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy, a sign (or decal) shall be affixed by the property owner or the installer on or near the utility meter and at any alternating current (AC) disconnect switch, indicating the existence of an operating solar electrical cogeneration system on site. The sign or decal shall be subject to the approval of the Village Building Inspector.
B. 
The provisions of this chapter shall apply retroactively to any and all solar structures and systems that are installed within the Village of the Branch, whether or not they would have been in compliance with the current solar energy system requirements at the time of the installation.
C. 
In order to assist first responders, the homeowner or installer shall notify, in writing, and within 30 days of completion of the installation of the SES, and prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy, first responder organizations as follows: the Smithtown Fire Department at 100 Elm Avenue, Smithtown, NY 11787, and the Smithtown Public Safety Department at 65 Maple Avenue, Smithtown, NY 11787, that the PV or RSHW system is operational at the applicable residence or location.
D. 
If any solar electric (PV) or solar hot water (RSHW) generating system or structure ceases to perform its originally intended function for more than 12 consecutive months and after such time that a demolition permit is secured from the Village Building Inspector, the property owner shall remove the collectors, mounts and all other associated equipment and facilities by no later than 90 days after the end of the twelve-month period. Any such solar structure or system that was in existence prior to the time that this chapter took effect shall be subject to the terms and conditions of this chapter, as enacted, in the event that the aforementioned cessation is triggered.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
A violation of this chapter shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed $500 for each offense or by imprisonment not exceeding 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment. Penalties for offenses for failure to obtain the proper permits from the Village Building Inspector or commencement of any work prior to obtaining a permit, shall be assessed at a rate three times the current fees.