ZP 15-07 Staff Report

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Contents

Planning Staff Report

January 8, 2008

Zoning Petition # 15-07 to Amend the Weber County Zoning Ordinance

(Chapter 3 and Other Appropriate Sections) By Adding Small Wind Turbines as a Conditional Use in the RE-20 Zone

The petitioners request is to amend the Weber County Zoning Ordinance (Chapter 3) by adding small wind turbines as a conditional use in the RE-20 Zone. As directed by the Ogden Valley Township Planning Commission in a public hearing on December 10, 2007 and the Western Weber County Township Planning Commission in a public hearing on December 11, 2007, staff has prepared an ordinance to address the installation of small wind energy systems in Weber County.

This zoning petition will require the following amendments to the Weber County Zoning Ordinance:

  1. Amendments to Chapter 23 (Supplementary and Qualifying Regulations) adding Section 38 (Wind Energy Conversion Systems (Small Wind Energy Systems) and deleting portions of Section 25 (Towers).
  2. Amendment to Chapter 1-6 (Definitions) adding new definitions for “Small Wind Energy System” and “Wind Turbine.”
  3. Amendments to Chapter 3 (Residential Estates Zones RE-15, RE-20, RE-20S), Chapter 5 (Agricultural Zone A-1), Chapter 5-B (Agricultural Valley AV-3 Zone), Chapter 6 (Agricultural A-2 Zone), and Chapter 7 (Agricultural Zone A-3) adding “small wind energy system” as a conditional use.

The proposed language for Section 23-38 including the two new definitions, and the proposed amendment to Section 23-35 are attached to this staff report. Section 23-38 takes into account the Planning Commission comments from both of the public hearings mentioned previously. Section 23-38 includes area requirements, setbacks, maximum height, noise, and other regulations.

Staff Recommendations

Staff recommends that the Planning Commission recommend to the County Commission approval of adding “small wind energy system” to the RE-20, A-1, A-2, A-3, and AV-3 Zones as a conditional use, adding Section 23-38 (Wind Energy Conversion Systems (Small Wind Energy Systems), deleting portions of Section 23-35 (Towers), and adding definitions for “Small Wind Energy System” and “Wind Turbine” to Chapter 1-6 (Definitions).

Ordinance

Definitions

(The following definitions shall be moved to Chapter 1 of the Zoning Ordinance upon adoption of this ordinance)

Small Wind Energy System
A wind energy conversion system consisting of a wind turbine, a tower, and associated control or conversion electronics which will be used primarily to reduce on-site consumption of utility power for an individual parcel.
Wind Turbine
The parts of the wind system including the blade and generator but not including the tower.

23-38 Wind Energy Conversion Systems (Small Wind Energy Systems)

The intent of this section is to regulate the placement and installation of small wind energy conversion systems in Weber County while providing for the safe, effective, and efficient use of such systems. These systems will be used primarily to produce clean energy and reduce on-site consumption of utility power for individual properties. The following regulations shall apply to all small wind energy conversion systems:

  1. The minimum lot size required for a small wind energy system shall be 20,000 square feet.
  2. Small wind energy systems shall be set back a distance equal to one hundred ten (110) percent of the tower height plus the turbine blade length from all property lines and a distance equal to one hundred fifty (150) percent of the tower height plus the turbine blade length from any dwelling on adjacent property. Additionally, no portion of the system, including guy wire anchors, may extend closer than ten (10) feet to the property line. Small wind energy systems shall not be located within the minimum front yard setback of any lot, nor within the minimum side yard setback facing a street on a corner lot, nor on the roof of a residential structure.
  3. The maximum height of a small wind energy system (including tower and blades) shall not exceed seventy (70) feet. The minimum distance between the ground and any protruding blades utilized on a small wind energy system shall be 15 feet as measured at the lowest point of the arc of the blades. The lowest point of the arc of the blades shall also be 10 feet above the height of any structure within 100 feet of the tower base.
  4. Small wind energy systems must comply with applicable Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations, including any necessary approvals for installations close to airports.
  5. Small wind energy system towers shall maintain a galvanized steel finish and shall not be artificially lighted unless required by the FAA.
  6. Small wind energy systems shall not exceed sixty (60) decibels as measured at the closest property line. A manufacturer’s sound report shall be required with an application for a small wind energy system.
  7. Manufacturer specifications for components and installation shall be required with an application for a small wind energy system.

23-25 Towers

Building permits are required for towers, including wind energy conservation systems (WECS) towers and shall comply with the following regulations:

  1. Definition: Tower - A tall, rigid structure whose height is significantly greater than its base perimeter and the height is of surrounding structures. It does not include single pole C.B., amateur radio or land mobile radio antennas or towers for same if less than 75 (seventy-five) feet in height.
    All wind energy conversion systems (WECS) towers shall have setbacks from property lines, equal to or greater than the height of the proposed structure. The height measurement shall include the vertical propeller blade.
  2. No commercial tower installation shall exceed a height equal to the distance from the base of the structure to the nearest overhead power line which serves more than one dwelling or place of business, less five (5) feet.
  3. A Tower, if to exceed the height limitation of the zone in which it is to be located as permitted by Section 23-12, shall be considered a Conditional Use.
  4. In all zones, except in commercial and manufacturing zones, towers shall not be located within the minimum front yard setback of any lot, nor within the minimum side yard setback facing a street on a corner lot nor on the roof of a residential structure.
  5. Application for a permit shall include construction drawings showing method of installation and a site plan depicting structures on the property and on any affected adjacent property.

For towers of 75 feet or greater in height, the application shall include the manufacturer's construction specifications for county approval, except that for large commercial towers of 90 feet or greater in height, the application shall include a structural engineering certification by a registered structural engineer from the State of Utah.

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