Windmills, also known as “wind energy conversion systems” (WECS) and “wind turbines,” provide a desirable alternative energy source that is abundant, renewable and nonpolluting. Windmills also decrease air and water pollution that result from other conventional energy sources, and they reduce our dependence on non-renewable energy sources. To protect scenic vistas, eliminate nuisances to surrounding properties and protect the general public, municipalities should have adequate regulations in place in the event that a resident desires to install a windmill. We offer sample legislation that regulates siting and installation, including setback, height and other yard requirements. Other considerations that are addressed include lighting, signage, anti-climbing protection, overspeed control, automatic braking, interference with radio and television reception and, last but not least, color of blades.
Township of Deerfield, NJ: § 120-140
Town of Eden, NY: Ch. 217 and § 280-202
Town of Nantucket, MA: § 139-21, plus definitions
Town of South Hampton, NY: § 330-76
Town of West Bloomfield, NY: § 140-66
Township of Deerfield, NJ
§ 120-140. Windmills, energy conservation devices and private communications facilities.
Windmills, including those used for the production of electric current, energy conservation devices such as solar panels for heating, and private communication installations, including television and/or radio towers, antennas, satellite dishes and similar devices, may be installed as per the Schedule of District Regulations, subject to the following conditions:
A. Windmills shall be permitted in connection with any residential, agricultural, recreational or industrial use when they meet the following standards:
(1) The proposed windmill will not block, interfere or otherwise impair a scenic vista or corridor as identified in this chapter or the view for an adjoining residential structure.
(2) The primary purpose of a proposed windmill(s) will be to provide power for the principal use of the property whereon said windmill(s) is to be located and shall not be for the generation of power for commercial purposes, although this provision shall not be interpreted to prohibit the sale of excess power generated from time to time from a windmill designed to meet the energy needs of the principal use.
(3) The windmill and its location on the property involved shall be designed to eliminate any nuisances to surrounding properties and to limit any noise from said windmill from being heard off the property where said windmill is located. The actual side and rear yard setbacks for a windmill shall be determined by the Land Use Board and shall be based upon the height of the proposed windmill.
(4) No variance shall be granted in connection with a proposed windmill to permit a height greater than 300 feet or the placement of a windmill so close to a property line as to result in any portion of the windmill at any time, whether erect or in the event the windmill should fall or be toppled, to overhang, cross or otherwise extend beyond the property line.
(5) No windmill shall be located in any required front yard area.
(6) The minimum lot size required for the erection, construction or placement of a windmill on a property shall be five acres.
B. Energy conservation devices such solar heating panels and private communications equipment, such as dish or disc antennae, satellite antennae, television or radio towers and similar devices, shall be permitted in accordance with the following conditions:
(1) No energy conservation or communications equipment shall be located in any required front yard area to the extent practical given the need for solar access in the case of energy conservation equipment.
(2) Energy conservation or communications equipment shall not be attached to the front facade or roof area of any structure or building wherever practical given the requirements for said equipment such as solar access or satellite alignment.
(3) When any dish, disc or satellite antennae is located within 20 feet of adjoining property, it shall be screened with plant material to the extent practical to reduce unsightly appearance without affecting performance.
(4) No communication equipment shall be permitted which causes interferences or problems for adjoining properties' communication equipment or reception of television, radio or other communication signals.
(5) Wherever practical and possible, energy conservation and communication equipment shall be so located on a property so as not to be visible from the street.
(6) Construction and erection of such equipment shall be subject to the Uniform Construction Code and shall at no time constitute a threat to public safety, health or welfare.
Town of Eden, NY
Wind Energy Conversion Systems
§ 217-1. Purpose.
The Town Board of the Town of Eden adopts this chapter to promote the effective and efficient use of wind energy conversion systems (WECS) and to regulate the placement of wind energy conversion systems so that the public health and safety will not be jeopardized.
§ 217-2. Findings.
A. The Town Board of the Town of Eden finds and declares that wind energy is an abundant, renewable and nonpolluting energy resource of the town and that its conversion to electricity will reduce our dependence on nonrenewable energy sources and decrease the air and water pollution that results from the use of conventional energy sources.
B. The Town Board of the Town of Eden further finds and declares that:
(1) Wind turbines that convert wind energy to electricity are currently available on a commercial basis from many manufacturers.
(2) The generation of electricity from properly sited wind turbines can be cost effective, and in many cases existing power distribution systems can be used to transmit electricity from wind-generating stations to utilities or other users.
(3) Regulation of the siting and installation of wind turbines is necessary for the purpose of protecting the health and safety of neighboring property owners and the general public.
§ 217-3. Definitions.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
OVERSPEED CONTROL — A mechanism used to limit the speed of blade rotation to below the design limits of the WECS.
SITE — The plot of land where the WECS is to be placed. The site could be publicly or privately owned by an individual or a group of individuals controlling single or adjacent properties.
SWEPT AREA — The largest area of the WECS which extracts energy from the wind stream. In a conventional propeller-type WECS, there is a direct relationship between swept area and the rotor diameter.
TOTAL HEIGHT — The height of the tower and the furthest vertical extension of the WECS.
WIND ENERGY CONVERSION SYSTEM — A machine that converts the kinetic energy in the wind into a usable form (commonly known as a "wind turbine" or "windmill.") The WECS includes all parts of the system except the tower and the transmission equipment; the turbine or windmill may be on a horizontal or vertical axis, rotor or propeller.
§ 217-4. Requirements.
Wind energy conversion systems shall be permitted in all zoning districts, subject to the following requirements:
A. Building permit application for a WECS. Building permit applications for a wind energy conversion system shall be accompanied by a plot plan drawn in sufficient detail to clearly describe the following.
(1) Property lines and physical dimensions of the site.
(2) Location, approximate dimensions and types of major existing structures and uses on site.
(3) Location and elevation of the proposed WECS.
(4) Location of all aboveground utility lines on site or within one radius of the total height of the WECS.
(5) Location and size of structures and trees above 35 feet within a five-hundred-foot radius of the proposed WECS. For purposes of this requirement, electrical transmission and distribution lines, antennas and slender or open lattice towers are not considered structures.
(6) Show the zoning designation of immediate and adjacent sites as set forth in Chapter 225, Zoning.
(7) Include make, model, picture and manufacturer's specifications, including noise decibels.
B. General provisions. Installation of all wind energy conversion systems shall comply with the following requirements:
(1) WECS size. This chapter covers those WECS whose swept area is 1,000 square feet or less. (For conventional propeller WECS, this would be approximately 35 feet or less in diameter.)
(2) Water pumpers. Nonelectrical windmills used for pumping water may be exempted from the provisions of Subsection B(3) through (15), but they must be sited so as any tipover will be harmless to others.
(3) Compliance with Uniform Building Code.
(a) Building permit applications shall be accompanied by standard drawings of the structural components of the wind energy conversion system, including support structures, tower, base and footings. Drawings and any necessary calculations shall be certified, in writing, by a New York State registered professional engineer that the system complies with the New York State Fire Prevention and Building Code. This certification would normally be supplied by the manufacturer.
(b) Where the structural components or installation vary from the standard design or specification, the proposed modifications shall be certified by a New York State registered professional engineer for compliance with the seismic and structural design provisions of the New York State Fire Prevention and Building Code.
(4) Compliance with National Electrical Code.
(a) Building permit applications shall be accompanied by a line drawing identifying the electrical components of the wind system to be installed in sufficient detail to allow for a determination that the manner of installation conforms to the National Electrical Code. The application shall include a statement from a New York State registered professional engineer indicating that the electrical system conforms with good engineering practices and complies with the National Electrical Code. This certification would normally be supplied by the manufacturer. All equipment and materials shall be used or installed in accordance with such drawings and diagrams.
(b) Where the electrical components of an installation vary from the standard design or specifications, the proposed modifications shall be reviewed and certified by a New York State registered professional engineer for compliance with the requirements of the National Electrical Code and good engineering practices.
(5) Rotor safety. Each wind energy conversion system must be equipped with both manual and automatic controls to limit the rotational speed of the blade below the design limits of the rotor. The application must include a statement by a New York State registered professional engineer certifying that the rotor and overspeed controls have been designed and fabricated for the proposed use in accordance with good engineering practices. The engineer should also certify the structural compatibility of possible towers with available rotors. This certification would normally be supplied by the manufacturer and include the distance and trajectory of the thrown blade from an exploding turbine or propeller according to the Loss of Blade Theory.
(6) Guy wires. Anchor points for guy wires for the WECS tower shall be located within property lines and not on or across any aboveground electric transmission or distribution line. The point of ground attachment for the guy wires shall be enclosed by a fence six feet high, or the WECS shall be set back from the property line or site parameters the total height of the WECS.
(7) Tower access. Towers should have either:
(a) Tower-climbing apparatus located no closer than 12 feet from the ground;
(b) A locked anticlimb device installed on the tower; or
(c) The tower shall be completely enclosed by a locked, protective fence at least six feet high.
(8) Noise. The WECS shall meet the requirements of any existing noise ordinance of the Town of Eden.
(9) Electromagnetic interference. The wind energy conversion system shall be operated such that no disruptive electromagnetic interference is caused. If it has been demonstrated to a Town Building and Zoning Inspector that a wind energy conversion system is causing harmful interference, the operator shall promptly mitigate the harmful interference.
(10) Signs. At least one sign shall be posted at the base of the tower warning of electrical shock or high voltage.
(11) Height. The minimum height of the lowest part of the WECS shall be 30 feet above the highest existing major structure or tree within a two-hundred-fifty-foot radius. For purposes of this requirement, electrical transmission and distribution lines, antennas and slender or open-lattice towers are not considered structures.
(a) Except as provided for under § 217-4(B)(6), the WECS shall be set back from any property line, aboveground utility line or other WECS a distance greater than either its overall height, including blades, or the minimum yard requirement, whichever is greater.
(b) In the case of cluster development, a WECS shall be erected within the common open space area and shall be set back from all residences a distance greater than Subsection B(12)(a) above.
(c) Contiguous property owners may construct a WECS for use in common, provided that the required setback is maintained relative to the property lines of nonparticipant owners.
(13) Utility notification (for those WECS which will be interconnected to a utility grid). No wind turbine shall be installed until evidence has been given that the utility company has been notified, in writing.
(14) Abatement. If a wind energy conversion system or systems are not maintained in operational condition for a period of one year and pose a potential safety hazard, the owner or operator shall take expeditious action to remedy the situation. The Town of Eden reserves the authority to abate any hazardous situation and to pass the cost of such abatement on to the owner or operator of the system. If the Town of Eden determines that the WECS has been abandoned and poses a safety hazard, the system shall be removed within 45 days of written notice to the owner or operator of the system.
(15) Liability insurance. The applicant, owner, lessee or assignee shall maintain a current insurance policy which will cover installation and operation of the wind energy conversion system at all times. Said policy shall provide a minimum of $300,000 property and personal liability coverage.
(16) Lighting of tower. Lighting of the tower for aircraft and helicopter will conform with FAA standards for wattage and color.
(17) Environmental impact. The project must be viewed for visual pollution and for a possible environmental impact statement.
§ 217-5. Special permit required.
A. Installation. Installation of wind energy conversion systems shall require the granting of a special permit in accordance with Chapter 225, Zoning, Article X, § 225-46.
B. Application. Every application for a special permit shall be made, in writing, to the Town Board in accordance with the requirements by the town, shall be accompanied by a filing fee as set forth in the Town's Standard Schedule of Fees and shall include the following information:
(1) Name and address of the applicant.
(2) Evidence that the applicant is the owner of the premises involved or that the applicant has written permission of the owner to make such an application.
(3) A plot plan and development plan drawn in sufficient detail to clearly describe:
(a) Property line and physical dimensions of the proposed site;
(b) Location, approximate dimensions and types of major existing structures and uses of the site;
(c) Location and elevation of the proposed WECS;
(d) Location of all aboveground utility lines and other WECS on site or within one radius of the total height of the proposed WECS, including the furthest vertical extension of the rotor assembly;
(e) Location and size of structures or trees above 35 feet within a five-hundred-foot radius of the proposed WECS. For purposes of this requirement, electrical transmission and distribution lines, antennas and slender or open-lattice towers are not considered structures;
(f) Where applicable, the location of all transmission facilities proposed for installation; and
(g) Where applicable, the location of all road and other service structures proposed as part of the installation.
§ 217-6. Penalties for offenses.
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a violation and subject to a fine of not more than $250, imprisonment not to exceed 15 days, or both such fine and imprisonment.
§ 280-202. Wind energy conversion systems (WECS).
A "wind energy conversion system (WECS)" is any mechanism designed for the purpose of converting wind into mechanical or electrical power. No special permit for a WECS shall be authorized unless the applicant's project meets the requirements of § 280-200B(1), (2), (3) and (4) and the following:
A. Wind energy conversion systems (WECS) shall be set back from all property lines a distance equal to or greater than the distance from existing grade at the foot of the tower to the top of the blade or rotor system.
B. The separation of one WECS from another WECS shall be a distance equal to or greater than 1 1/2 times the tip diameter or arc as measured along the wind wall (i.e. the direct lines between two WECS units).
C. All guy wires and anchors shall be located at least 10 feet from property lines, and no guy wires shall pass over any ground transmission lines.
D. There shall be protection against climbing access by unauthorized persons. No climbing pegs shall located closer than 12 feet to the ground level at the base of the structure for a freestanding single pole or guyed tower. A six-foot-high fence with a locking gate shall be required to enclose lattice towers.
E. The minimum distance between the ground and any part of the rotor or blade system shall be 30 feet.
F. An automatic braking, governing or feathering system shall be required to prevent uncontrolled rotation.
G. All power transmission lines from WECS to any building or other structure shall be located underground.
H. No television, radio or other communication antenna may be affixed or otherwise made a part of a WECS.
I. Wind energy conversion systems (WECS) shall not cause interference with radio or television broadcasting or reception or cause excessive noise exceeding that of the ambient level of noise at the property line.
J. Wind energy conversion systems (WECS) shall be in compliance with General Municipal Law § 356, Protection of approaches to public airport.
K. Upon receipt of a completed permit application and supporting documents, the Planning Board shall hold a public hearing to determine whether to grant the special use permit.
Town of Nantucket, MA
Chapter 139, Zoning
COMMERCIAL WECS — A WECS designed or operated to provide energy principally to consumers located off the premises and does not meet the requirements established for a residential WECS.
RESIDENTIAL WECS — A WECS designed or operated to provide energy principally to the residence and accessory structures located on the lot, or on contiguous lots held in common ownership which must be combined by either executing a covenant with the Town of Nantucket or by means of a subdivision plan approved by the Nantucket Planning Board. A WECS designed or operated to provide more than 50% of its rated energy production for off-site consumption shall not be considered residential except in cases where such power is consumed by residences of adjacent property or within 1,000 feet, whichever is greater.
WIND ENERGY CONVERSION SYSTEMS (WECS) — Mechanisms, including all appurtenances thereto, designed or operated for the purpose of converting wind energy to electrical or mechanical power.
WINDMILL — A mill operated by the wind's rotation of large, oblique sails or vanes radiating from a shaft, used as a source of power.
§ 139-21. Wind energy conversion systems (WECS).
A. Residential WECS.
(1) Permitted in the following districts: LUG-1, LUG-2, LUG-3, R-2, R-10, RC-2.
(2) Maximum number of towers per lot or on contiguous lots held in common ownership: one.
(3) Maximum tower height: 60 feet measured from the mean grade surrounding the support pad(s) to the base of the wind generator measured along the vertical axis of the tower, except that tower height may exceed 60 feet by special permit.
(4) Minimum tower setback distance from nearest property line: a distance measured from the mean grade surrounding the support pad(s) to the tip of a blade in vertical position measured along the vertical axis of the tower.
(5) Minimum distance from guy wire to property line: 15 feet.
(6) Blade color: white or light gray.
(7) Tower access. The tower shall be made inaccessible to unauthorized personnel.
B. Commercial WECS.
(1) Permitted in the following districts by special permit with major site plan review: LUG-1, LUG-2, LUG-3, RC-2. [Amended 4-14-1997 ATM by Art. 49, AG approval 8-5-1997]
(2) Maximum number of towers per lot: limited by special permit.
(3) Maximum tower height: limited by special permit.
(4) Minimum tower setback distance from nearest property line: a distance measured from the mean grade surrounding the support pad(s) to the tip of the blade in a vertical position measured along the vertical axis of the tower.
(5) Minimum distance from guy wire to property line: 15 feet.
(6) Blade color: white or light gray.
(7) Tower access. The tower shall be made inaccessible to unauthorized personnel.
(8) Public interest and public benefit: The granting of a special permit for a commercial WECS shall be conditional upon a finding by the special permit granting authority that the proposal is in the public interest and provides substantial benefit to the community, the burden of proof which shall rest with the applicant.
(a) Location. Before it may approve the installation of a commercial WECS, the Planning Board, as the special permit granting authority, shall make a finding of fact that the location of the facilities do not substantially adversely affect the surrounding area.
C. Special permit granting authority. The Planning Board shall be the special permit granting authority for those installations where a special permit is required.
D. Submission requirements. The application for a building permit for WECS shall be accompanied by the following documents in addition to those documents required by § 139-26:
(1) A plot plan prepared and stamped by a registered land surveyor indicating the location of the proposed WECS, existing and proposed structures, aboveground utility lines and any other significant features or appurtenances.
(2) Structural drawings prepared and stamped by a registered professional engineer of the wing tower, including pad design and guy wire design, if applicable.
(3) Drawings and specifications prepared and stamped by a registered professional engineer of the generator, hub and blades, electrical support facilities, including transformers, cables and control devices.
(4) Drawings indicating method of making tower inaccessible to unauthorized personnel.
E. Abandonment. The Building Inspector may cause the owner to remove WECS, including all appurtenances thereto, if the facility fails to generate power for one year or more.
F. Noise control.
(1) Prior to the issuance of a building permit, the WECS manufacturer shall provide sufficient data and documentation to establish that the WECS will not produce noise levels in excess of those stipulated in the following table:
Ambient Reading Without
Maximum Permittied Reading
With Windmills (decibles)
(2) Decibel level readings shall be measured at the closest property line to the WECS.
(3) After the WECS has been approved and installed, sound measurement shall be performed to determine ambient and operating decibel levels. The sound level shall be measured on a sound level meter using the A-weighing network.
(4) Upon the complaint of an abutter, ambient and maximum permitted decibel measurements shall be performed by an agent designated by the Planning Board. The agent shall submit recorded sound measurements to the Planning Board for review and evaluation. A fee for the service shall be established by the Planning Board. The fee shall be paid for by the complainant unless maximum permitted decibel readings have been exceeded, in which case the WECS owner shall pay the fee.
(5) If maximum readings are exceeded, the installation shall be considered a public nuisance in violation of § 139-20A of this chapter. The violation shall be corrected within 90 days from the date of notification, and if the noise violation cannot be remedied, the WECS shall be removed or relocated.
G. Electromagnetic interference.
(1) Prior to the issuance of a building permit, the manufacturer shall provide sufficient data and documentation to establish that the installation will not cause electromagnetic interference to any abutter.
(2) The WECS installation shall comply with Federal Communications Commission Regulation 47 CFR 15.
(3) Upon the complaint of an abutter, an investigation shall be performed by an agent of the Planning Board. The agent shall submit a report of his findings to the Planning Board for review and evaluation. A fee for the report shall be established by the Planning Board. After review and evaluation of the report, the Planning Board shall determine if the installation causes electromagnetic interference to any abutter. The fee for the report shall be paid by the complainant, unless the Planning Board determines that there is electromagnetic interference to an abutter, in which case the owner shall pay the fee.
(4) If electromagnetic interference is caused by the installation of a WECS, the installation shall be deemed a public nuisance in violation of § 139-7F of this chapter. The violation shall be corrected within 90 days from the date of notification. If the electromagnetic interference cannot be remedied, the WECS shall be removed or relocated.
H. Maintenance. Every two years the owner shall submit a structural report to the Building Inspector attesting to the structural integrity of the wind generator, tower and/or support system.
Town of South Hampton, NY
WIND ENERGY CONVERSION SYSTEM — An accessory structure designed and constructed or erected for the purpose of converting wind energy into mechanical or electrical power.
§ 330-76. Placement of accessory buildings and uses in all districts.
A. Accessory buildings, including garages, if detached from a main building or if connected only by an open breezeway-type structure, shall be not less than five feet from the main building. [Amended 5-13-1986 by L.L. No. 7-1986]
B. A private garage may be constructed as a structural part of a main building, provided that when so constructed the garage walls shall be regarded as the walls of the main building in applying the front, rear and side yard regulations of this chapter.
C. No accessory building shall be constructed upon a lot or plot unless a main or principal building already exists on said lot or plot and has a valid certificate of occupancy or a valid building permit has been issued and is in effect for the construction or erection of a main or principal building. This restriction shall not apply to agricultural or farm buildings.
D. Accessory buildings, including private garages, shall not be placed within a required front yard, a required side yard nor the total required side yard for a principal building.
E. An access driveway may be located within a required yard.
F. Accessory off-street parking or truck loading areas shall be improved in accordance with Town specifications.
G. Required accessory off-street parking areas or truck loading space shall not be encroached upon by buildings, open storage or any other use.
H. The storage of manure or of odor- or dust-producing substances as an accessory use shall not be permitted within 50 feet of any side or rear lot line or within 100 feet of any front lot line.
I. All accessory buildings, structures or land used for animal husbandry shall conform to the provisions of § 330-79.
J. The keeping of more than two dogs more than six months old in outdoor shelters or pens or the keeping of any horses or farm livestock on the premises shall conform to the provisions of § 330-79, except in the case of a veterinarian, veterinary hospital or kennel.
K. A wind energy conversion system may be constructed or erected in the applicable zones as prescribed in the Tables of Use Regulations, provided that:
(1) Such wind energy conversion systems shall be set back from all property lines, aboveground utility lines, radio or television towers or other wind energy conversion systems a distance equal to or greater than the distance from existing grade at the foot of the tower to the top of the sweep of the blade or rotor system.
(2) No such system shall be located in a required yard.
(3) All guy wires and anchors shall be located at least 10 feet from any property lines.
(4) No wind energy conversion system shall be constructed until a building permit has been issued to the property owner by the Building Inspector. Each application shall be accompanied by a complete plan drawn to scale showing the location of the tower on site, existing grade elevation, location of all structures, aboveground power lines or other utility lines within a radius equal to the distance from existing grade at the foot of the tower to the top of the sweep of the blade or rotor system and dimensions and sizes of the various structural components of the tower's construction. Also submitted shall be a detail design of the entire structure, including footings, tower, rotor or blade system and any other component of the wind energy conversion system, with computations submitted by a registered professional engineer licensed in the State of New York certifying that the tower (including footings and rotor system) is designed to comply with the wind load requirements of the New York State Building Construction Code. It shall also be certified by said engineer that the energy conversion system is designed so as not to exceed the peak load requirements of the user(s) of the system.
(5) No climbing pegs shall be located closer than 12 feet to the ground level at the base of the structure for freestanding single pole or guyed towers. A six-foot-high fence with a locking portal shall be required to enclose lattice towers.
(6) The minimum distance between the ground and any part of the rotor or blade system shall be 15 feet.
(7) An automatic braking, governing or feathering system shall be required to prevent uncontrolled rotation at wind speeds greater than 40 miles per hour.
(8) All power transmission lines from the tower to any building or other structure shall be located underground.
(9) No television, radio or other communication antennas may be affixed or otherwise made part of such wind energy conversion system.
(10) Wind energy conversion systems shall not cause interference with radio and/or television broadcasting or reception and shall comply with the provisions of 47 CFR 15 (Federal Communications Commission), as exists or as may be amended.
(11) Evidence satisfactory to the Building Inspector shall be submitted that the wind energy conversion system complies with the regulations of the Federal Aviation Administration Part 77, Subchapter B, as exists or as may be amended.
(12) All necessary approvals or other agencies having jurisdiction over such installation, including but not limited to a New York Board of Fire Underwriters Inspection Certificate, shall be presented to the Building Inspector of the Town of Southampton prior to the issuance of a building permit. In addition, the owner of the premises on which said system is to be erected shall sign a statement prepared by the Town acknowledging the provisions of § 330-76K(16) of this article and agreeing that the issuance of a permit for the construction of said wind energy conversion system is subject to such provisions. No person other than the owner of the premises may sign such statement.
(13) Property owners may construct a wind energy conversion system for their use in common, but such a system may not be rented or leased to any other corporation or individual and shall be for the sole use and benefit of the owners of property which utilize such system or the tenants or lessees of such property. The mechanical or electrical energy produced or generated by such system may not be sold or otherwise made available to any individual or corporation other than the owner, tenant or lessee of the subject properties, or a public utility regulated by the Public Service Commission. If such wind energy conversion system is to be used in common, all owners and users of such system shall be made part of the application, and appropriate underwriter certificates, etc., shall be submitted for all properties, buildings and structures to be served by such system.
(14) A certificate of compliance indicating that the wind energy conversion system has been built in conformance with the plans and specifications filed with the Building Department shall have been issued prior to the operation of the wind energy conversion system.
(15) No alterations, additions, modifications, substitutions or deletions shall be made to such wind energy conversion system without approval of the same pursuant to the provisions of this article.
(16) The Building Inspector and/or the Town Engineer shall have the right at any reasonable time to enter, in the company of the owner or his agent, the premises on which a wind energy conversion system has been constructed to inspect all parts of said wind energy conversion system installation and require that repairs or alterations be made if, in his judgment, there exists a deficiency in the operation or in the structural stability of the system. If necessary, the Building Inspector or Town Engineer may order the system secured or otherwise cease its operation. It shall not be required that the owner or his agent be present in the event of an emergency situation involving danger to life, limb or property.
Town of West Bloomfield, NY
Chapter 140, ZONING
Regulations Governing Special Permit Uses
§ 140-66. Windmills or wind generators.
A. Windmills or wind generators may be permitted in any district upon the approval of a special use permit by the Planning Board.
B. No windmill shall be erected until final site plan approval has been granted by the Planning Board and permits issued by all government agencies involved.
C. In addition to the requirements for special use permits outlined in Article VI, the site plan shall also show:
(1) Location of tower on-site and tower height, including blades.
(2) Underground utility lines within a radius equal to the proposed tower height, including blades.
(3) Dimensional representation of the various structural components of the tower construction, including the base and footings.
(4) Design data indicating the basis of design, including manufacturer's dimensional drawings, installation and operation instructions.
(5) Certification by a registered professional engineer or manufacturer's certification that the tower design is sufficient to withstand wind load requirements for structures as established by the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.
D. No windmill, including blades, shall extend more than 50 feet above the average ground level of the permanent structure, except in the A-C District where the height may extend to 75 feet.
E. No windmill shall be erected in any location where its overall height, including blades, is greater than the distance from its base to any property line.
F. Access to the tower shall be limited either by means of a fence six feet high around the tower base with a locking portal, or by limiting tower climbing apparatus to no lower than 12 feet from the ground.
G. No windmill shall be installed in any location along the major axis of an existing microwave communications link where the operation of the windmill is likely to produce an unacceptable level of electromagnetic interference, unless the applicant provides sufficient evidence satisfactory to the Zoning Enforcement Officer indicating the degree of expected interference and the possible effect on the microwave communications link.
H. Windmills shall be located or installed in compliance with the guidelines of the Federal Aviation Regulations with regard to airport approach zones (15.503) and clearance around VOR and DVOR stations.
I. All sites proposed for windmills shall have sufficient access to unimpeded airflow for adequate operation in accordance to the Siting Handbook for Small Wind Energy Conversion Systems, PNL-2521, or other nationally recognized reference.
J. No windmill shall be installed in a location where the impact on the neighborhood character is determined by the Planning Board to be detrimental to the general neighborhood character.
K. If the windmill is to be interconnected to an electric utility distribution system, the applicant shall provide evidence of approval of the proposed interconnect by the Rochester Gas and Electric Company.
L. Towers shall be located in rear yards and screened as determined appropriate by the Planning Board.
M. Guy wires and anchors for towers shall not be located closer than 10 feet to any property line.
N. All windmills shall be designed with an automatic brake to prevent over-speeding and excessive pressure on the tower structure.
O. The minimum distance between the ground and any protruding blades shall not be less than 15 feet as measured at the lowest point of the arc of the blades.