CHAPTER 1163
Energy Conversion Systems
1163.01   Purpose.
1163.02   Definitions.
1163.03   Location, setbacks, number of units and height.
1163.04   Lighting, design and noise.
1163.05   Applicability.
1163.06   Application, approval process and permit requirements.
1163.07   Contents of application.
1163.08   Maintenance and abandonment.
1163.09   Variances.
1163.10   Violations.
1163.11   Administration and enforcement.
1163.12   Severability.
1163.99   Penalty.
   1163.01  PURPOSE.
   The purpose of this chapter is to regulate private use wind energy conversion systems (referred to from this point on as WECS) for the production of electricity for use on the subject site.  These regulations are established to ensure that WECS will be developed and maintained in a manner that maximizes utilization of Streetsboro's wind energy resources and to balance the need for clean, renewable energy while protecting the public health, safety and welfare. 
(Ord. 2010-66.  Passed 7-26-10.)
   1163.02  DEFINITIONS.
   For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings in this section.
   (a)   "Monopole tower" means a tower constructed of a single, self-supporting metal tube, anchored to a foundation.
   (b)   "Owner" means the individual property owner that intends to own and operate the WECS in accordance with this ordinance.
   (c)   "Rotor" means the non stationary part of a wind turbine.
   (d)   "Rotor radius" means the distance between the center point of the rotor and the outermost point on the rotor or blade.
   (e)   "Wind energy conversion system - private use" means a WECS which consists of a wind turbine, tower, and associated control or conversion electronics for the purpose of providing electrical power to a lawful principle use.  A system having a rated capacity of 10 kilowatts (kW) or less for residential use or 100kW or less for non-residential uses shall be considered a private system for the purposes of these regulations. 
   (f)   "Turbine height" means the distance between the ground elevation at the base of the structure and the upper most point of the rotor/blade/structure and/or revolution. 
   (g)   "Wind turbine" means a WECS that converts wind energy into electricity through use of a wind turbine generator and includes such elements as a wind turbine generator hub, blade or rotor, tower, inverter, change controller and dump load, transmission wiring and controls and (possibly) battery bank and/or utility interconnecting equipment. 
   (h)   "Wind turbine hub" means an electric power generator to which the blade or rotor of a wind turbine is attached.  (Ord. 2010-66.  Passed 7-26-10.)
   1163.03  LOCATION, SETBACKS, NUMBER OF UNITS AND HEIGHT.
   (a)     Zoning Districts. 
      (1)    Rooftop-mounted WECS may be located in R-R, B & I-1 Zoning Districts as an accessory use subject to the restrictions and requirements of this Chapter.
 
Acreage Required
Maximum Height
Side Yard Required
Zoning District
2 ½ or greater
70 feet
75 feet
I-1
2 ½ or greater
34 feet
50 feet
B
2 ½ or greater
34 feet
30 feet
R-R
 
      (2)   Ground-mounted WECS may be located in R-R, B & I-1 Zoning Districts as an accessory use subject to the following restrictions and requirements of this Chapter:
 
Acreage Required
Maximum Height
Side Yard Required
2 ½ - 4.99 acres
80 feet
1.1 times total height of WECS
5 acres or greater
120 feet
1.1 times total height of WECS
 
   (b)    Setbacks for Ground-Mounted WECS.
      (1)    General.  A ground-mounted WECS shall be set back from all property lines, street right-of-way lines, and overhead utility lines a minimum distance equal to 1.1 times the total height of the WECS. Setbacks shall be measured from the center of the wind turbine base.  With respect to an overhead utility line that provides service only to a single building or a single parcel of land, the setback requirements shall be met if the turbine is placed so that no portion of a rotor blade extends closer than ten feet to the utility line.
      (2)    Residential.  In the case of a tilt-down WECS that does not exceed thirty-four (34) feet in height and is located in a Residential District, the WECS shall be set back equal to 1.1 times the total height of the WECS. If the tower is a tilt-down and or crank-up monopole design, the pole must pull down or retract towards the installation site and away from all adjoining properties.  If guy wires are utilized as part of the tower design, then the guy wire anchors shall be placed at least fifteen (15) feet from any abutting property boundaries.
         A.   All WECS shall be located in the rear yard portion of any lot.  An exception is when a WECS is a rooftop-mounted system.
         B.   No part of a WECS shall be located within or over drainage, utility or other established easements, or on or over property lines.
   (c)    Height.  The height of a ground-mounted WECS shall be limited by the setback requirements of this section.  The height of a rooftop or other building-mounted WECS shall not exceed the maximum permitted building height for the property by more than twenty percent (20%).  For a rooftop or other building-mounted WECS that exceeds the maximum permitted building height by more than 20%, the City Board of Zoning and Building Appeals after a public hearing may approve a greater height if the Board of Zoning and Building Appeals determines that the placement of the WECS and context of the WECS site will mitigate any significant negative visual or safety impacts on nearby properties.
   (d)    Number of Units.  Each structure or parcel shall be limited to the construction of one (1) WECS unit.  (Ord. 2010-66.  Passed 7-26-10.)
   1163.04  LIGHTING, DESIGN AND NOISE.
   (a)    Lighting. WECS shall not be illuminated except as required by the Federal Aviation Administration.
   (b)    Structural Design. WECS shall be designed to meet all requirements of the Building Code of the City of Streetsboro and all applicable state and federal regulations.
   (c)    Aesthetic Design. WECS shall be designed in a manner that makes them as visually unobtrusive as possible, while meeting safety requirements.  To this end, towers shall be monopole.  With respect to color, WECS shall be white or off-white or unpainted metal, unless other colors are required by federal regulations or unless another color is approved by the City Planning Commission as being more effective or more appropriate in a particular instance.
   (d)    Signs.  All installations will have a durable permanent sign warning of electric shock and identifying the manufacturer and installer with contact information for both but shall not include any off-premise advertising or any advertising for businesses or other activities located on the premises.  The total area of such signs shall not exceed two (2) square feet nor exceed a height of five feet.
   (e)    Noise.  All WECS shall comply with the noise requirements in this section.  These levels may not be exceeded at any time, including short-term events such as utility outages and severe wind storms.  A manufacturer's sound report shall be required with a building permit application.
      (1)   No WECS located on a residential parcel shall create noise that exceeds a maximum of thirty-five (35) decibels at any property line on which the WECS is located.  WECS located in districts other than residential shall not create noise that exceeds a maximum of fifty-five (55) decibels at any property line on which the WECS is located.  Measurement of sound levels shall not be adjusted for, or averaged with, non-operating periods.  Any WECS(s) exceeding these levels shall immediately cease operation upon notification by the City of Streetsboro and may not resume operation until the noise levels have been reduced, verified and approved by the zoning inspector.  WECS unable to comply with these noise restrictions shall be shut down immediately and removed upon notification by the zoning inspector.
   (f)    Base.  The base of the tower shall be designed so it is not climbable for a distance of twelve (12) feet, as measured from the ground. 
   (g)     Electrical Components.  All electrical components of the WECS shall conform to relevant and applicable local, state and national codes, and relevant and applicable international standards.  All electrical wires associated with a WECS, other than wires necessary to connect the wind generator to the tower wiring shall be located underground.
   (h)    Electrical interference.  No WECS shall be installed in any location where its proximity with existing fixed broadcast, retransmission, or reception antenna for radio, television, or wireless phone or other personal communication systems would produce electromagnetic interference with signal transmission or reception.
   (i)    Rotor Safety.  Each WECS shall be equipped with both manual and automatic controls to limit the rotational speed of the blade within the design limits of the rotor.  An external, manual shut-off switch shall be included with the installation.  The minimum distance between the ground and any protruding blades utilized on a ground mounted WECS shall be fifteen (15) feet as measured at the lowest point of the arc of the blades.
(Ord. 2010-66.  Passed 7-26-10.)
   1163.05  APPLICABILITY.
   (a)    General Applicability.  No WECS shall be erected, enlarged or extended without conformance to the provisions of this Chapter, and other applicable regulations, as evidenced by the issuance of a Zoning Certificate by the Zoning Inspector and the issuance of a Building Permit by the Department of Building and, where required, approval by the City Planning Commission. All ground mounted systems and/or systems requiring a variance approval through the Board of Zoning and Building Appeals will be submitted to the Planning Commission for approval.
   (b)    City Board of Zoning and Building Appeals Approval.  Approval by the City Board of Zoning and Building Appeals in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter shall be required for all ground-mounted or rooftop-mounted WECS that exceed the applicable Zoning District height limit.  (Ord. 2010-66.  Passed 7-26-10.)
   1163.06 APPLICATION, APPROVAL PROCESS AND PERMIT REQUIREMENTS.
   (a)    Submission of Application.  An application to construct or alter a WECS is subject to the regulations of this chapter and shall be submitted to the Department of Building as part of a Building Permit application.
   (b)    Determination of Compliance.  The Department of Building shall determine if the application conforms to regulations of this chapter and other applicable regulations of the City of Streetsboro, except for those provisions that require a determination by the City Board of Zoning and Building Appeals and the City Planning Commission under provisions of this chapter.
   (c)    Referral to City Board of Zoning and Building Appeals.  For proposals subject to approval by the Board of Zoning and Building Appeals, under Section 1163.05(b), the Department of Building shall refer the application to the City Board of Zoning and Building Appeals for review and action.
   (d)    Referral to City Planning Commission.  For proposals subject to approval by the City Planning Commission, under Section 1163.05(a), the Department of Building shall refer the application to the City Planning Commission for review and action.
   (e)    City Planning Commission Action.  The City Planning Commission shall review any application subject to its approval under provisions of this chapter and shall determine whether the proposal meets all applicable standards established in the chapter to ensure appropriate appearance and compatibility with surrounding uses.  The Commission shall take action on the application at a public meeting, subsequent to providing public notice, as provided in division (e) of this section.  The Commission may require modifications to the proposal as a condition of approval.  The Commission may disapprove an application if it determines that the proposed location does not meet the standards set forth in this chapter or that a suitable alternative location is available.
   (f)    Notice Requirements.  Prior to taking action on a WECS application subject to its approval under provisions of this chapter, the City Planning and Zoning Department shall mail notices describing the proposal to all owners of property located within a distance of the proposed WECS equal to two hundred and fifty (250) feet of the property lines of subject property.  Such notice shall be sent by certified mail at least ten (10) calendar days prior to the date of the public meeting.  The Planning and Zoning Department shall also provide notice at the same time to any Councilmember who represents an area in which notices are to be mailed to property owners.
   (g)    Permit Issuance.  A building permit shall be required for the installation of a WECS.  The Department of Building shall issue the required permits if it determines that the application conforms to requirements of this chapter and other applicable regulations of the City of Streetsboro, and if it has been approved by the City Planning Commission where such approval is required.  The Department of Zoning shall issue the required zoning certificate if it determines that the application conforms to the requirements of this chapter and other applicable regulations of the City of Streetsboro. (Ord. 2010-66.  Passed 7-26-10.)
   1163.07  CONTENTS OF APPLICATION.
   All applications subject to the provisions of this chapter shall be accompanied by the following information, as applicable, in addition to information required for all Building Permit applications.
   (a)   Ground-Mounted WECS.  In addition to information required by other provisions of these Codified Ordinances, the following information shall be submitted with an application for ground-mounted and accessory structures to demonstrate compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
      (1)   A site plan of the subject property showing, property lines and physical dimensions of the property, easements, adjoining streets, the proposed WECS and any proposed and existing buildings, fencing, power lines, structures, landscaping, driveways, parking, and curb cuts on the subject property.
      (2)   An elevation drawing showing the proposed WECS and all structures shown on the required site plan, indicating the height, color and materials of the tower and all proposed fencing and other structures.
      (3)   Where lighting of the WECS is required, a lighting plan for the proposed WECS, indicating the location, color, and intensity of the lighting, both as it will appear in daylight and at night, and indicating any mechanisms to prevent glare on adjacent properties and streets and to shield the lighting from residences, to the maximum extent feasible.
      (4)   For any WECS that will exceed the height limit for buildings on the subject property, a vicinity map showing the subject property and the proposed WECS and fencing in the context of all property located within a radius of two hundred and fifty (250) feet of the WECS, showing within this area, all streets and existing buildings, power lines, and significant structures and indicating the residential use of any buildings and any property zoned in Residential Districts, such map being marked with topographic contours at two-foot intervals.
      (5)   For any WECS that will exceed the height limit for buildings on the subject property, color photographs showing the current view of the WECS site from any adjoining public street or any other street within two hundred and fifty  (250) feet of the proposed WECS and from the closest groupings of residential buildings located within an area from the proposed WECS equal to a radius of two hundred and fifty (250) feet of the proposed structure, plus a second set of color photographs showing the same views with the proposed WECS superimposed to scale onto the photographs.
      (6)   WECS specifications, including manufacturer and model, noise rating, rotor diameter, tower height and tower type (freestanding or guyed).
      (7)   Tower foundation blueprints or drawings.
      (8)   Tower blueprint or drawing.
      (9)   Fee.
   (b)   Rooftop-mounted WECS.  In addition to information required by other provisions of these Codified Ordinances, the following information shall be submitted with an application for a WECS proposed to be attached to the roof of a building or to another structure and subject to approval by the City Planning Commission under the provisions of this chapter.
      (1)   An elevation drawing of the building or structure to which the proposed WECS will be attached, showing the placement of the WECS and indicating the color of the structure and any enclosures in relation to the surface to which it will be attached and showing the projection of the WECS from the structure, marked with all necessary dimensions.
      (2)   Color photographs of the building or structure to which the proposed WECS will be attached, with the proposed WECS superimposed onto such photographs, showing various perspectives from which the WECS will be viewed.
      (3)   WECS specifications, including manufacturer and model, noise rating, rotor diameter, mounting, height and type.
      (4)   Blueprints or drawings.
      (5)   Fee.  (Ord. 2010-66.  Passed 7-26-10.)
   1163.08  MAINTENANCE AND ABANDONMENT.
   (a)    Maintenance and Monitoring.  All buildings, structures, fences, and property used in connection with a WECS shall be maintained in good condition and in safe working order.  On each biennial anniversary of the issuance of the Final Inspection approval for the WECS, or not more than ninety (90) days prior to that date, the permit holder for such WECS shall submit to the Director of Building an affidavit that verifies continued operation of the WECS use and compliance with all requirements of this chapter and other applicable governmental regulations.
   (b)    Out-of-Service.
      (1)    Notice.  A WECS that is not in use for a continuous 6-month period will be deemed to be out-of-service and the zoning inspector may issue a Notice of Out-of-Service to the owner.  The owner shall have the right to respond to the Notice of Out-of-Service  within 30 days from Notice receipt date. 
      (2)   Removal.  If the WECS is determined to be out-of-service, the Owner of a WECS shall remove the WECS at the Owner's sole expense within 3 months of receipt of Notice of Out-of-Service.  If the Owner fails to remove the WECS, the City may pursue a legal action to have the WECS removed at the Owner's expense.  (Ord. 2010-66.  Passed 7-26-10.)
   1163.09  VARIANCES.
   A variance must be requested for any construction of a WECS that does not adhere to all provisions of Chapter 1163.  In addition thereto, a variance must be requested to construct more than one (1) WECS unit on any structure or parcel.
   (a)    To construct WECS that exceeds the maximum permitted building height for the property by more than twenty percent (20%).  (Ord. 2010-66.  Passed 7-26-10.)
   1163.10 VIOLATIONS.
   It is unlawful for any person to construct, install, or operate a WECS that is not in compliance with this chapter or with any condition contained in a building permit issued pursuant to this chapter. 
(Ord. 2010-66.  Passed 7-26-10.)
   1163.11  ADMINISTRATION AND ENFORCEMENT.
   (a)     This chapter shall be administered by the Building Director or other official as designated.
   (b)   The Building Director or other official as designated may enter any property for which a building permit has been issued under this chapter to conduct an inspection to determine whether the conditions stated in the permit have been met.
   (c)   The Building Director or other official as designated may issue orders to abate any violation of this chapter.
   (d)   The Building Director or other official as designated may issue a citation for any violation of this chapter.
   (e)     The Building Director or other official as designated may refer any violation of this chapter to legal counsel for enforcement.  (Ord. 2010-66.  Passed 7-26-10.)
   1163.12  SEVERABILITY.
   The provisions of this chapter are severable, and the invalidity of any section, subdivision, paragraph, or other part of this chapter shall not affect the validity or effectiveness of the remainder of the chapter.    (Ord. 2010-66.  Passed 7-26-10.)
   1163.99  PENALTY.
   (a)   Whoever violates any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree per Section 1107.10 and 1107.11.
   (b)   The City Building Inspector and/or the City Zoning Inspector shall have the right to issue and enforce a "Stop Work" order to any and all perceived violators of this chapter, a violation of which shall also be construed as a misdemeanor of the first degree.
   (c)   Each improper installation of a separate WECS unit shall constitute a separate offense.  (Ord. 2010-66.  Passed 7-26-10.)