Wind turbine zoning provisions
Credit: By Lisa Price | Times News | January 21. 2020 | www.tnonline.com ~~
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Examples of such provisions regarding setbacks, noise and removal include:
Any wind turbine shall be setback from the nearest existing occupied dwelling on another lot a distance not less than four times the total wind turbine height, unless a written notarized waiver is provided by the principal owner of such building. The setback shall be measured from the base of the turbine to the nearest part of such building. This provision shall apply to occupied dwellings that existed prior to the submission of a complete application for a zoning approval or zoning permit.
Any wind turbine shall be set back from the nearest public road right-of-way a minimum distance equal to the wind turbine hub height.
Unless a larger setback is required by another provision of this section, any wind turbines shall be set back from each lot line a minimum distance equal to the total wind turbine height, unless a written signed and notarized waiver is provided by the principal owner of such lot(s).
Setbacks shall be measured from the center of the wind turbine base.
The audible sound from the wind turbine(s) shall not exceed 45 A-weighted decibels, as measured at the exterior of an occupied dwelling on another lot, unless a written waiver is provided by the principal owner of such building.
The measurable sound from the wind turbine(s) shall not exceed 55 C-weighted decibels between the hours of 9 p.m. and 7 a.m., as measured at the exterior of a occupied dwelling on another lot, unless a written notarized waiver is provided by the principal owner of such building. The measurement of noise shall follow standards of the American National Standards Institute.
The owner of the turbines shall completely remove all above ground structures within 18 months after the wind turbine(s) are no longer used to generate electricity. The applicant shall be required to provide financial security in a form acceptable to the County to ensure that funding is available for such removal.
Wind turbines shall not be climbable for at least the first 12 feet above ground level.
If guy wires are used, and they are not within a fence, they shall be marked near their base with reflectors, reflective tape or similar method.
The turbine shall include automatic devices to address high speed winds and to address icing of the blades.
Accessory electrical facilities are allowed, such as a transformer. To the maximum extent feasible, all new electrical wiring shall be underground, except connections to distribution systems. Warning signs shall be posted around pad-mounted transformers and electrical substations.
To address compatibility with the Appalachian Trail and migratory raptor habitats along the Kittatinny Ridge/Blue Mountain, any wind turbine under this section shall be setback a minimum of 2,700 feet from each side of the center line of the Appalachian Trail.
The maximum total height of any wind turbine above the adjacent ground level shall be 500 feet.
During all times of on-site construction and operation and until completion of removal of the wind facilities, the owner of the wind turbines shall maintain a current general liability insurance policy covering bodily injury and property damage of others, with a minimum limit of $1 million per occurrence and $3 million in the aggregate. Certificates of insurance shall be made provided to the Zoning Officer annually.
The operator shall publicize the phone number, mailing address and email address of a specific contact person who is authorized to receive complaints and questions from neighbors and county officials on behalf of the operator. At the same time a wind turbine application is submitted to the county, a copy of the application shall be also provided to the senior military officer commanding the Fort Indiantown Gap Military Reservation or his/her designee.
The application shall include a written plan for lighting of the turbines. Such lighting shall meet Federal Aviation Administration safety requirements, but in a manner that minimizes conflicts with military operations and the minimizes lighting nuisances for neighbors.
The applicant shall identify the public roads to be used for the transportation of the wind turbine components, and analyze how such traffic will be safely accommodated on public roads, considering the length and weight of truck loads, the weight limits of bridges, the geometry of intersections and the slope of roads. The applicant shall have the burden of proof of showing that the route will be able to safely accommodate the traffic without creating hazards or damage to roads or bridges.
The applicant shall submit an emergency response plan, which shall address matters such as firefighting and potential spills. The emergency response plan shall be submitted to the fire companies with the primary responsibility to serve the project area for comment.
The applicant shall provide an analysis with a map of the shadow flicker impacts of the project upon any occupied dwellings that will be impacted by this effect. The analysis shall be conducted by a qualified professional using generally accepted modeling methods and shall estimate the number of hours per year that occupied dwellings will be impacted by shadow flickering. No occupied dwelling shall be affected by shadow flicker for a total of more than 20 hours per year, and no more than 30 total minutes per day.
The owner of the project shall make reasonable efforts to minimize interference with electronic communications, including cellular communications, military communications and television and radio reception.
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