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Wind turbine generators ordinance, Granville, Pennsylvania  

Author:  | Ordinances, Pennsylvania

I. Findings – The Granville Township Supervisors make the following findings with respect to the construction, operation and maintenance of Wind Turbine Generators:

A. The construction, maintenance and operation of Wind Turbine Generators which fail to comply with all criteria and regulations set forth in this ordinance, present tangible and immediate dangers to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and aesthetic values of the environment of the Township of Granville.

B. The construction, maintenance and operation of Wind Turbine Generators which fail to comply with all criteria and regulations set forth in this ordinance, present tangible and immediate dangers to the public and neighboring landowners in the nature of ejection of projectiles (ice or injured birds), continuous generation of noise during night time hours and glare from sunlight continually flashing off of rotating blades;

C. The construction, maintenance and operation of Wind Turbine Generators present a danger following the useful life of the Wind Turbine Generators from deteriorating structures if provisions for decommissioning are not made as required by this ordinance;

D. The construction, maintenance and operation of Wind Turbine Generators, which fail to comply with all criteria and regulations set forth in this ordinance, unreasonably interferes with the reasonable use, comfort and enjoyment of property in the vicinity and/or endangers the health, safety and/ or welfare of the occupants of the property in the vicinity, and prohibits or denies the property owners and taxpayers the legitimate enjoyment of their reasonable rights and use of their property and rights as well as the rights guaranteed to them and to the public by Section 27 of the Declaration of Rights of the Pennsylvania Constitution;

E. The construction, maintenance and operation of Wind Turbine Generators, including, but not limited to, the repetitive noise and glare, visual impacts, flickering reflections and/or shadows, large scale excavation of environmentally sensitive areas, constitute an unreasonable use of property which causes injury, damage, harm, inconvenience, annoyance, and discomfort to the property owners and taxpayers in the legitimate enjoyment of their reasonable rights and use of their property and rights, and constitute a danger to migratory birds, the watershed, and the scenic, aesthetic and natural quality of the environment of the Township.

F. The Wind Turbine Generators shall meet current standards and regulations, if any, of any other agency of the State, Federal and Local Government with the authority to regulate Wind Turbine Generators.

II. Establishment – The Granville Township Supervisors hereby declare the construction and maintenance of Wind Turbine Generators to constitute a nuisance and offensive business, if not constructed and maintained in accordance with the criteria and regulations set forth in the ordinance, a copy of which is attached hereto and incorporated herein by reference, subject to prohibition under Section 1529 of the Pennsylvania Second Class Township Code (53 P.S. § 66529) and provide for their regulation and permitting under the conditions set forth below in order to avoid the maintenance of nuisance or offensive businesses within the geographic limits of Granville Township.

Furthermore the Granville Township Supervisors find that such construction and maintenance of Wind Turbine Generators is likely to destroy the rights guaranteed to the people by Section 27 of the Declaration of Rights of the Pennsylvania Constitution, which rights the Township Supervisors are duty bound to protect. …

IV. Special Conditions.

A. Design. … All wind turbine generator sites shall be designed and constructed in such a fashion as to avoid any disruption and/or interference with private wells, springs and/or other water sources. The predevelopment site conditions with slopes exceeding 20% shall not be disturbed in the construction of the wind turbines. This prohibition includes the construction of roads required to deliver the materials for construction to the construction site. In the event any problems occur with any private water source, which problems are proximately caused by Developer/Permittee, Developer/Permittee shall immediately supply, in perpetuity, potable water in such quality and quantity as supplied by the original private water source. Applicant must provide written notice to all property owners and tenants occupying property within 2,500 feet of the boundary of the property upon which the wind turbine generator will be located and advise them that Applicant, at Applicant’s sole cost, will test their well, springs, or other water sources, using a DEP certified laboratory selected by the Township prior to construction as to the land owners potable water, the quality of the water and the quantity of the water and supply and the report thereof shall be furnished to the Township and to the property owners and tenants.

All Wind Energy Facilities shall be equipped with a redundant braking system. This includes both aerodynamic over-speed controls (including variable pitch, tip, and other similar systems) and mechanical brakes. …

V. B. Setbacks – The wind turbine generators shall comply with the following setbacks:

a. Civil Structures. Each wind turbine generator shall be set back from the nearest existing (at the time of the building permit issuance) school, hospital, church or public library, a distance of no less than 2,500 feet.

b. Participating Residences. For an existing (at the time of the building permit issuance or notice from the building code enforcement officer that no building permit is required) participating structure intended for temporary or permanent human habitation, the setback distance from a wind turbine generator shall be at least 2,000 feet. In the event that a lesser distance is desired, the Developer/Permittee shall request a waiver to this provision pursuant to the requirements of this Ordinance. In no event shall the setback distance be less than 1.1 times the total height of the wind turbine generator (measured at the highest point of the blade tip).

c. Non-Participating Residences. For an existing(at the time of the building permit issuance or notice from the building code enforcement officer that no building permit is required) non-participating structure intended for temporary or permanent human habitation, the setback distance from a wind turbine generator shall be at least 2,500 feet. …

d. Property Lines. Each wind turbine generator shall be set back from the nearest property line a distance of no less than 2,000 feet.

e. Public Roads. Each wind turbine generator shall be set back from the nearest public road a distance of no less than 2,000 feet, determined at the nearest boundary of the right-of-way for such public road. Unless conclusive evidence exists to the contrary, the public road right-of-way is presumed to be 60 feet.

f. Communication and Electric Lines. Each wind turbine generator shall be set back from the nearest above-ground public electric power line or public telephone line, or underground gas transmission lines a distance of no less than 2,000 feet.

g. Natural Resources and Historic Sites and Structures. Each wind turbine generator shall be set back a distance of no less than 2,500 feet from the nearest existing critical and irreplaceable natural and cultural resource areas of the Township (at the time of the building permit issuance):

1. Important Bird Areas (IBA).

2. National Wetland Inventory (NWI) wetlands.

3. Historic structure listed or eligible to be listed on the Pennsylvania Heritage Inventory and National Landmarks.

4. Mifflin County Natural Heritage Areas including core habitat and publicly managed lands.

5. Lakes, dams, ponds and public water source wells and springs. …

XIV. Noise and Shadow Flicker.

A. Developer/Permittee shall comply with the following noise standards:

1. Developer/Permittee shall make good faith effort to maintain a noise level attributable to the wind turbine generators of not more than 45dBA or 45dBC within a reasonable margin of error as measured from the property line of existing Non-Participating residences;

2. The Parties acknowledge that the Project’s construction will be the source of intermittent noise. Developer/Permittee shall require all contractors to incorporate reasonable noise reduction measures in order to mitigate the amount of noise generated during the construction phase.

3. The Developer or Permittee shall conduct a semi-annual sound test, paid for by the Developer or Permittee, by a qualified independent sound testing professional.

B. The Facility Owner and Operator shall make every reasonable effort to minimize shadow flicker to any Occupied Building on a Non-participating Landowner’s property.

XV. Private Access Roads and Forestry Management. Every effort should be made to use existing roads and logging roads. New deforestation and forest fragmentation should be kept to a minimum. Private entrance roads to wind turbine generators and associated meteorological towers, communication towers, and auxiliary buildings will not be paved but kept mud free. The cartway will be kept to the minimum possible.

XVI. Use of Public Roads.

XVII. Safety.

XXV. Wind Turbine Generator Removal.

A. Bonding: Decommissioning

1. Before Final Permit approval, the Applicant must submit to the Granville Township Board of Supervisors a bond which shall be deposited with the municipality of financial security in an amount sufficient to cover the costs of decommissioning all improvements or common amenities including, but not limited to the windmill and appurtenances, including the base and footing, storm water detention and/or retention basins and other related drainage facilities, and electrical apparatus and restoration of the land to its original condition including forestry plantings of the type and density as the original. …

XXXIII. ADOPTED at a public meeting of the Granville Township Supervisors held the 5th day of May, 2014, following advertisement as required by law.

Download original document: “Wind turbine generators ordinance, Granville, Pennsylvania

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