Shaler officials will allow windmills along the Route 8 and Route 28 commercial corridors.
Commissioners approved a Wind Energy Facility Ordinance after a public hearing on July 12. Township Manager Tim Rogers said board members will discuss rules for windmills on residential properties during a September meeting.
Township officials started working on windmill regulations earlier this year, after a resident who plans to sell residential property along Route 28 inquired about installing a windmill.
Shaler didn’t have prior windmill or wind turbine legislation.
“We have been working diligently on the windmill ordinance, in the planning commission,” Rogers said.
Commissioners mentioned the turbine on the roof of an Eat ‘n Park restaurant at the Waterworks Mall in Fox Chapel as an example of a business with wind generation equipment, and noted that the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium also utilizes wind turbines.
The ordinance states that only one windmill may serve each property or structure.
Towers must be roof-mounted, can’t be higher than 45 feet above the ground to the highest point of the rotor or blade and must be surrounded by a 6-foot fence.
No part of the system can extend within 20 feet of the ground, and blades can’t stretch over parking areas, driveways or sidewalks.
Noise restrictions specify that, for example, the windmill can’t exceed 50 decibels, as measured at the closest inhabited dwelling.
A small wind energy system should appear as “inconspicuous as possible,” according to the ordinance, with no lighting or signage and all wiring underground. Also, the system must be inspected each year at the owner’s expense.
Erica Cebzanov is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.
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