WHEREAS, The Village of Grand Rapids desires to establish the reasonable regulation of the installation and operation of Wind Energy Conversion Systems which shall be governed as conditional use; and


SECTION 1 - That Chapter 1287 of the Codified Ordinances of the Village of Grand Rapids be enacted to read as follows:


Chapter 1287 Wind Energy Conversion Systems

1287.01 PURPOSE. The purpose of this Chapter is to preserve and protect the public health and safety and to promote the orderly land use and development of the Village of Grand Rapids by the implementation of standards and procedures by which the installation and operation of Wind Energy Conversion Systems (WECS) shall be governed as a conditional use.

(a) A wind energy conversion system (WECS) includes any or all of the following components:

(1) A turbine with propeller-style blades, or
(2) A vertical rotor, or 
(3) Other means of capturing the energy in moving air; 
(4) A tower or 
(5) A mounting structure; 
(6) An electrical power generator with
(7) Associated electrical power transmission circuitry; 
(8)  A battery or
(9) Other means of storing energy;
(10) Other means of transmitting energy (hydraulic, mechanical, etc.); 
(11) Mechanical control mechanisms;
(12) Electrical/electronic/computer control circuitry; 
(13) A foundation;
(14) Enclosures.

(b) Total Height means the distance measured from ground level to the highest point that any part of the WECS can reach.

(c) Small WECS means a WECS that will be used primarily to reduce on-site consumption of electrical power with a height of one hundred fifty (150) feet or less.

(d) Wind Turbine Rotor means that portion of a wind turbine that includes the blades or scoops, hub and shaft.

(e) Tower means an elevating structure intended to raise the rotor, turbine and accessory equipment above either the ground surface or the top of a building.

(f) Commercial WECS means a WECS consisting of more than one wind turbine and tower, or a WECS that will be used primarily for off-site consumption of electrical power.

(g) Wind Turbine means a WECS that converts wind energy into another form of energy by means of rotary motion driven by the passage of air through the WECS. The definition includes a WECS designed to mount directly on the roof of existing buildings including residences.

(h) Applicant means the person or entity filing an application for a conditional use permit under this Chapter.

(i) Blade Glint means the intermittent reflection of the sun off the surface of the blades of a single or multiple wind energy system.

(j) Noise means any unwanted sound.

(k) Shadow Flicker means the effect produced when the blades of an operating wind energy system pass between the sun and an observer, casting a readily observable, moving shadow on the observer and his/her immediate environment.

(a) This Chapter applies to all Wind Energy Conversion Systems (WECS), small and commercial, and Wind Turbines as defined in Section 1287.02 of this Chapter proposed to be constructed or located after the effective date of this Chapter.

(b) Any WECS constructed or located prior to the effective date of this Chapter shall not be required to meet the provisions of this Chapter provided that any physical modification to such pre-existing WECS that materially alters the size, type and number of any such WECS shall require compliance with this Chapter. If any pre-existing WECS is destroyed or damaged to the extent of more than 50 percent of its fair market value at the time of destruction or damage, it shall not be reconstructed except in conformity with this Chapter.

A WECS shall be considered a conditional use in any zoning district.

(a) No WECS, small or commercial, shall be constructed or located within the Village of Grand Rapids unless a conditional use permit has been issued to the applicant.

(b) The conditional use permit application shall be made in compliance with this Chapter and Chapter 1264.06 of the Codified Ordinances and be accompanied with a fee in the amount of seventy-five dollars ($75.00).

(c) Any physical modification to an existing and permitted WECS that materially alters the size, type and number of such WECS shall require a permit modification under this Chapter. Like-kind replacements shall not require a permit modification. (d) An applicant who proposes to construct or locate a WECS, as defined in this Chapter, on the roof of an existing structure shall be required to apply for a conditional use permit and request a waiver by the Planning Commission from those requirements of this Chapter that the Planning Commission finds are not applicable.

(a) Permitted Locations. A small WECS is permitted in any zoning district.

(b) Setbacks. 

(1) Property lines. The vertical part of a small WECS shall be set back from the nearest property line, public road right-of-way and communication and electrical line not less than 1.5 times its total height.

(c) Design Standards. 

(1) Tower Design. The design of the small WECS tower, if any, shall be a single enclosed pole, which is freestanding, without guy wires. Open lattice towers shall not be employed.
(2) Minimum Blade Height. The minimum height of the lowest extent of a turbine blade shall be 30 feet above the ground or 30 feet above any structure or obstacle within 30 feet horizontally from any part of the arc of the turbine blades.
(3) Access. No tower shall have a climbing apparatus within 15 feet of the ground. All access doors or access ways to towers and electrical equipment shall be able to be locked.
(4) Noise. No small WECS shall generate sounds exceeding 60 dBA as measured 100 feet from the tower. Noise generated by any small WECS shall also comply with existing Village noise ordinances.
(5) Visual Appearance. Small wind energy conversion or tower systems shall be finished in a corrosion-resistant, non-obtrusive finish and color that is non-reflective. No small WECS or tower shall be lighted unless required by the FAA. No flags, streamers, decorations, advertising signs of any kind or nature whatsoever shall be permitted on any small WECS.
(6) Electrical Interconnections. All electrical interconnection or distribution lines shall be underground and comply with all applicable codes and public utility requirements
(7) Signal Interference. Efforts shall be made to site small WECS or towers to reduce the likelihood of blocking or reflecting television and other communication signals. If signal interference occurs, both the small WECS or tower owner and individual receiving interference shall make reasonable efforts to resolve the problem. No small WECS or tower shall cause permanent and material interference with television or other communication signals.
(8) Shadow Flicker and Blade Glint. A wind energy system shall be designed and operated so that shadow flicker from moving blades or reflected blade glint will not occur off the site on which the facility is located. Shadow flicker or blade glint expected to fall on a roadway or a portion of an off-site property may be acceptable under the following conditions:
(a) The flicker or glint will not exceed (30) hours per year; and
(b) The flicker or glint will fall more than one hundred (100) feet from an existing or future residence; or
(c) The affected property owner has signed a written agreement with the owner-operator. 
(d) The traffic volumes are less than one hundred (100) vehicles per day on the roadway
(9)  Ice Throw. The potential ice throw or ice shedding zone for the proposed wind energy system shall not cross the property lines on which the facility is located and shall not impinge on any public-right-of-way or overhead utility line. 
(10) Noise Setbacks. The Planning Commission may impose a noise setback that exceeds the other setbacks set out in this ordinance if it deems that such greater setbacks are necessary to protect the public health, safety, and welfare of the community.

(d) Permit Applications. Application for a small WECS and/or tower shall include the following information: 

(1) Site plan (map view) to scale showing the location of all of the components of the proposed small WECS and the locations of all existing buildings, structures and property lines, along with distances; and
(2) Elevation (side view) drawings of the site to scale showing the height, design and configuration of the small WECS and the height and distance to all existing structures, buildings, electrical lines and property lines; and
(3) Structural drawings and engineering analyses of the WECS tower and/or supporting structure, demonstrating adequate weight and lateral stress capacity; and
(4) A standard foundation and anchor design demonstrating adequate vertical and lateral support capacity for the soil conditions at the site; and
(5) Specific information on the type, size, rotor material, rated power output, performance, safety and noise characteristics of all parts of the WECS; including the name and address of the component manufacturers, model and serial numbers of all WECS components; and
(6) Emergency and normal shutdown procedures; and
(7) An electrical one-line drawing of the electrical components of the system in sufficient detail to establish that the installation conforms to all applicable electrical codes; and
(8) Evidence that the provider of electrical service of the property has been notified of the intent to install an interconnected electricity generator; unless the system will not be connected to the electricity grid.

(a) Permissible Locations. A commercial WECS may be permitted as a conditional use (special exception) in a non-Residential District.

(b) Setbacks. 

(1) Property Lines. A commercial WECS shall be set back from the nearest property line and public road right-of- way not less than 1.5 times the total height of the system.
(2) Other Uses. No commercial WECS shall be located within 1,000 feet of a platted subdivision, park, church, school or playground.
(3) Inhabited Structures. A commercial WECS shall be set back from the nearest inhabited building, power line or communication line, not less than 1.5 times its total height.

(c) Design Standards. A commercial WECS shall comply with the design standards set forth in Section 1287.06, including all of its subsections.

(d) Permit Applications. A commercial WECS shall comply with the permit application requirements set forth in Section 1287.06, including all of its subsections.

(e) Multiple WECS. Multiple WECS shall not be permitted without approval by the Planning Commission.

1287.08 NON-USE. 
(a) Any small WECS, commercial WECS or tower which complies with the terms of this chapter which is not used for two (2) years, excluding repairs; shall be removed within the following six (6) months. Failure to remove the system shall be deemed a violation of this chapter.

(b) Any small WECS or commercial WECS which is non-conforming and which is not used for one (1) year, excluding repairs, shall be removed within the following six (6) months. Failure to remove the system shall be deemed a violation of this chapter.


SECTION 2 - If any section, phrase, or portion of this Ordinance is, for any reason, held invalid or unconstitutional by any Court of competent jurisdiction, such portion shall be deemed a separate, distinct, and independent provision, and such holding shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions thereof.

SECTION 3 - The Village Council finds and determines that all formal actions of this Council concerning and relating to the passage of this Ordinance were taken in an open meeting of this Council and that all deliberations of this Council and any of its committees that resulted in those formal actions were in meeting open to the public in compliance with the law.

SECTION 4 - This Ordinance shall take effect and be in full force from and after the earliest period allowed by law.

Passed:  May 10, 2010

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