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Newport Rhode Island wind ordinance

Newport Rhode Island adopted this wind energy ordinance to protect the residents from potential impacts of the towers. The full ordinance is provided below and can be accessed at the link on this page.

Chapter 17.90. - WIND ENERGY SYSTEMS
17.90.010. - Legislative intent.
17.90.020. - Prohibited.
17.90.030. - Permitting wind energy systems.
17.90.040. - Structural certification.
17.90.050. - Site plan required.
17.90.060. - Minimum lot area requirements.
17.90.070. - Minimum setback and clearance requirements.
17.90.080. - Maximum height.
17.90.090. - Maximum permissible sound.
17.90.100. - Shadow flicker.
17.90.110. - Signs.
17.90.120. - Building code compliance.
17.90.130. - Aviation impacts.
17.90.140. - Visual impacts.
17.90.150. - Burden of proof.
17.90.160. - Electromagnetic interference.
17.90.170. - Access.
17.90.180. - Abandonment.
17.90.190. - Violations and penalties.

Chapter 17.90. - WIND ENERGY SYSTEMS 

17.90.010. - Legislative intent. 
The purpose of this chapter is to accommodate wind energy systems in appropriate geographic locations, while simultaneously protecting the public health, safety and welfare. In addition, this chapter provides a permitting process for wind energy systems to ensure compliance with the provisions of the requirements and standards established herein.

Moreover, due to the close proximity of properties and uses within the city limits and the massive size of utility scale wind energy systems, systems of this type are deemed inappropriate for reasons of protecting public safety and general welfare.

Inherently, wind energy systems impact neighborhood esthetics and character. Therefore, wind energy systems are not in keeping with preserving the historic and cultural fabric of the city's local historic districts.

(Ord. No. 2012-019, § 8, 12-12-2012)

17.90.020. - Prohibited. 

Wind energy systems of greater than one hundred (100) kilowatts are prohibited.

Wind energy systems are prohibited in local historic districts.

(Ord. No. 2012-019, § 8, 12-12-2012)

17.90.030. - Permitting wind energy systems. 

All energy systems, regardless of type, and all meteorological towers require an approved building permit from the building official. Residential scale energy systems that do not conform to dimensional requirements require a special use permit.

A special use permit is required for all commercial scale energy systems.

A special use permit and dimensional variance is required for any non-conforming residential scale energy system.

Meteorological towers receiving a building permit are permitted on a temporary basis, not to exceed one year from the date the building permit was issued.

Only one wind energy system is allowed on a subject property.

All wind energy systems are required to undergo an annual safety review through the filing a certified inspection report with the building official.

(Ord. No. 2012-019, § 8, 12-12-2012)

17.90.040. - Structural certification. 

All wind energy systems and meteorological towers must submit an application for a building permit to the building official with structural drawings, plans and specifications that are certified by a licensed engineer.

(Ord. No. 2012-019, § 8, 12-12-2012)

17.90.050. - Site plan required. 

A. Applications submitted to the zoning officer must include a scaled site plan illustrating the following information:

1. Property lines and physical dimensions of the subject property and topographical contours at two foot intervals.
2. Location, dimensions, and types of all existing structures on the subject property.
3. Location of the proposed wind energy system, foundations, guy lines and anchors, associated equipment and structures, location of underground utilities, easements and proposed fencing.
4. Minimum setbacks as outlined in this chapter.
5. The right-of-way of all public roads contiguous to the subject property.
6. Any overhead utility lines on, or adjacent to, the subject property.

B. The completed application must also include:

1. Tower plans, drawings and elevations.
2. Wind energy system specifications, including: manufacturer, model, rotor diameter, tower height, tower type, nameplate generation capacity.
3. Sound level specification prepared by the wind generator manufacturer or qualified engineer.
4. Plans, drawings and specifications of electrical and structural components in sufficient detail to allow a determination that installation conforms to the state building code.
5. Evidence of compliance or non-applicability with Federal Aviation Administration requirements.
6. Tower foundation plans or drawings.
7. Location of turbine's shadow pattern (commercial wind energy systems only) on June 21 and December 21.
(Ord. No. 2012-019, § 8, 12-12-2012)

17.90.060. - Minimum lot area requirements. 

Minimum lot area of ten thousand (10,000) square feet is required for any residential scale energy system.

Minimum lot area of forty thousand (40,000) square feet is required for any commercial scale energy system.

A use variance is required for a variance from minimum lot area.

(Ord. No. 2012-019, § 8, 12-12-2012)

17.90.070. - Minimum setback and clearance requirements. 

Roof top mounted residential scale wind energy systems must meet all current property line setback requirements for principal structures for the zoning district in which the system is located.

Tower mounted residential scale wind energy systems must allow a minimum setback of one hundred twenty-five (125) percent of system height from all property lines.

Commercial scale energy systems must allow a minimum setback of one hundred twenty-five (125) percent of the system height from all property lines.

Guy wires and anchors used to support the tower are exempt from the wind energy system setback requirements.

Minimum ground clearance of blade at lowest point is fifteen (15) feet from established grade.

(Ord. No. 2012-019, § 8, 12-12-2012)

17.90.080. - Maximum height. 

The maximum height for roof top residential scale wind energy systems shall not exceed ten feet above a roof ridge line.

The maximum height for tower-based residential scale energy systems is fifty (50) feet.

The maximum height for commercial scale wind energy systems is eighty (80) feet.

The maximum height for a meteorological tower shall not exceed the maximum height allowable for the respective category of wind energy system.

(Ord. No. 2012-019, § 8, 12-12-2012)

17.90.090. - Maximum permissible sound. 

Wind energy systems shall not exceed, as measured at the subject property line, the allowable decibel level (dBA) for sound in the respective zoning district as established Section 8.12.080 of the City of Newport Codified Ordinances.

(Ord. No. 2012-019, § 8, 12-12-2012)

17.90.100. - Shadow flicker. 

Wind energy systems shall be sited in a manner that does not result in shadow flicker effect on adjacent and neighboring land uses or properties. The applicant has the burden of proving the proposed system does not adversely impact adjacent or neighboring properties.

(Ord. No. 2012-019, § 8, 12-12-2012)

17.90.110. - Signs. 
Signs (including flags, banners, streamers and decorative items) are prohibited on a wind energy system or accessory structures and equipment, except for manufacturer identification or appropriate warning signs.

(Ord. No. 2012-019, § 8, 12-12-2012)

17.90.120. - Building code compliance. 

The wind energy system shall comply with all applicable sections of the Rhode Island State Building Code. All wind energy systems must receive a valid building permit from the City of Newport Building Official.

(Ord. No. 2012-019, § 8, 12-12-2012)

17.90.130. - Aviation impacts. 
Wind energy systems shall be built to comply with all applicable Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations including but not limited to installations close to airports, and any applicable State of Rhode Island aviation regulations.

(Ord. No. 2012-019, § 8, 12-12-2012)

17.90.140. - Visual impacts. 

To minimize visual impacts of the wind energy system, colors of the structures and moving parts should be neutral in shades of white, grey, brown and black only.

Lighting of wind energy systems is prohibited, except where required for reasons of safety by the FAA.

Overhead wires are prohibited to and from wind energy systems. All utilities shall be buried underground.

(Ord. No. 2012-019, § 8, 12-12-2012)

17.90.150. - Burden of proof. 

Without exception, the applicant for any proposed wind energy system shall bear the burden of proof for requirements under the Codified Ordinances of the City of Newport, state and federal law. The applicant of proposed wind energy system shall furnish any necessary certifications as required by applicable local, state and federal laws.

(Ord. No. 2012-019, § 8, 12-12-2012)

17.90.160. - Electromagnetic interference. 
Under no circumstances shall a wind energy system create electromagnetic interference of radio, television, telephone, and satellite or other communications systems. All proposed wind turbine systems shall conform to regulations of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and electrical code of the State of Rhode Island.

(Ord. No. 2012-019, § 8, 12-12-2012)

17.90.170. - Access. 

The owner of a wind energy system shall prevent unauthorized access to the wind energy system. Tower or structures shall have no exterior ladder or step a minimum of eight feet above grade.

(Ord. No. 2012-019, § 8, 12-12-2012)

17.90.180. - Abandonment. 

At such time that a wind energy system is abandoned, or discontinued from use for a period of one year, the property owner is responsible for the physical removal of the wind energy system and all associated equipment. Abandonment constitutes a voiding of any granted special use permit for a wind energy system.

A wind energy system is considered abandoned when the wind energy system is discontinued or otherwise out-of-service for a continuous 12-month period. After twelve (12) months of inoperability, the zoning officer may issue a notice of abandonment to the owner of the wind energy system. The owner shall have the right to respond to the notice of abandonment of the wind energy system within thirty (30) days from notice receipt date.

Should the property owner fail to respond to the zoning officer's notice, the zoning officer may reasonably determine that the wind energy system has been abandoned or discontinued. The abandoned or discontinued wind energy system must be removed ninety (90) days after written notice of abandonment. If the owner fails to physically remove the wind energy system after the 90 days, the zoning officer may pursue legal action to have the wind energy system removed at the owner's expense.

The city reserves the right to salvage the wind energy system demolition debris to defray the cost of demolition.

(Ord. No. 2012-019, § 8, 12-12-2012)

17.90.190. - Violations and penalties. 

It is unlawful to construct, install, or operate a wind energy system that is not in compliance with this chapter. Violations are subject to fines as established in Section 17.112.080 of the City of Newport Codified Ordinances.

(Ord. No. 2012-019, § 8, 12-12-2012)


Source: https://www.municode.com/li...

DEC 12 2012
http://www.windaction.org/posts/42786-newport-rhode-island-wind-ordinance
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