ORDINANCE NO. 331

ORDINANCE NO. 331
AN ORDINANCE ADDING SECTION 5.10 ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SYSTEMS IN THE CITY OF LESTER PRAIRIE AND AMENDING THE MUNICIPAL CODE ACCORDINGLY
The City Council of the City of Lester Prairie ordains:
Section 1: Section 5.10 Alternative Energy Systems shall be added as follows:
“Section 5.10 ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SYSTEMS
Scope. The subchapter applies to alternative energy systems in all zoning districts.
Purpose and Intent. It is the goal of the City Council to provide a sustainable quality of life for the city’s residents, making careful and effective use of available natural, human and economic resources and ensuring that resources exist to maintain and enhance the quality of life for future residents, while preserving the general characteristics of residential neighborhoods and the community uses at large. In accordance with that goal, the city finds that it is in the public interest to encourage alternative energy systems that have a positive impact on energy production and conservation while not having an adverse impact on the community. Therefore, the purposes of this section include:
1. To promote rather than restrict development of alternative energy sources by creating a clear regulatory path for approving alternative energy systems while remaining conscientious of rights and privileges of all residents.
2. To create a livable community where development incorporates sustainable design elements such as resource and energy conservation and use of renewable energy.
3. To decrease the use of fossil fuels.
(a) To encourage alternative energy development in locations where the technology is viable and environmental, economic and social impacts can be mitigated.
(b) To establish reasonable requirements for performance, safety, design and aesthetics of alternative energy systems.
5.10.1 Definitions:
5.10.1.1 Accessory. A system designed as a secondary use to existing buildings or facilities, wherein the power generated is used primarily for on-site consumption.
5.10.1.2 Alternative Energy System. A ground source heat pump, wind or solar energy system.
5.10.1.3 Building-Integrated Solar Energy System. A solar energy system that is an integral part of a principal or accessory building, rather than a separate mechanical device, replacing or substituting for an architectural or structural component of the building including, but not limited to, photovoltaic or hot water solar system contained within roofing materials, windows, skylights, and awnings.
5.10.1.4 Building Mounted Solar Energy System. See Roof Mounted Solar Energy System
5.10.1.5 Closed Loop Ground Source Heat Pump System. A system that circulates a heat transfer fluid through pipes or coils buried beneath the land surface or anchored to the bottom in a body of water. If antifreeze is required for the system, the antifreeze should be food grade containing Propylenglycol in case of groundwater contamination
5.10.1.6 Community Solar Energy System (Solar Garden). A solar-electric (photovoltaic) array that provides retail electric power (or a financial proxy for retail power) to multiple members residing on-site or located off-site from the location of the solar energy system.
5.10.1.7 Flush-Mounted Solar Energy System. A roof-mounted system mounted directly abutting the roof. The pitch of the solar collector may not exceed the pitch of the roof by more than 5% and shall not be higher than 12 inches above the roof.
5.10.1.8 Ground Mounted Solar Energy System. Solar energy panels which are ground mounted by stabilizers or similar means.
5.10.1.9 Ground Source Heat Pump System. A heating/cooling system that uses the temperature of the earth. Systems include open or closed loops of pipe, coils or plates; a fluid that absorbs and transfers heat; and a heat pump unit that processes heat for use or disperses heat for cooling; and an air distribution system.
5.10.1.10 Heat Transfer Fluid. A non-toxic and food grade fluid such as potable water, aqueous solutions of propylene glycol not to exceed 20% by weight or aqueous solutions of potassium acetate not to exceed 20% by weight.
5.10.1.11 Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine. A wind turbine design in which the rotor shaft is parallel to the ground and the blades are perpendicular to the ground.
5.10.1.12 Horizontal Ground Source Heat Pump System. A closed loop ground source heat pump system where the loops or coils are installed horizontally in a trench or series of trenches no more than 20 feet below the land surface.
5.10.1.13 Hub. The center of a wind generator rotor, which holds the blades in place and attaches to the shaft.
5.10.1.14 Hub Height. The distance measured from natural grade to the center of the turbine hub.
5.10.1.15 Large Energy Power Generating Plant (LEPGP). Any solar energy system capable of producing 50 megawatts or more of power.
5.10.1.16 MN PUC. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission
5.10.1.17 Monopole Tower. A tower constructed of tapered tubes that fit together symmetrically and are stacked one section on top of another and bolted to a concrete foundation without support cables.
5.10.1.18 Open Loop Ground Source Heat Pump System. A system that uses ground water as a heat transfer fluid by drawing ground water from a well to a heat pump and then discharging the water over land, directly in a water body or into an injection well.
5.10.1.19 Passive Solar Energy System. A system that captures solar light or heat without transforming it to another form of energy or transforming the energy via a heat exchanger.
5.10.1.20 Photovoltaic System. A solar energy system that converts solar energy directly into electricity.
5.10.1.21 Residential Wind Turbine. A wind turbine of two kilowatt (kW) nameplate generating capacity or less.
5.10.1.22 Roof or Building Mounted Solar Energy System. A solar energy system (panels) that are mounted to the roof or building using brackets, stands, or other apparatus.
5.10.1.23 Roof Pitch. The final exterior slope of a building roof calculated by the rise over the run, typically but not exclusively, expressed in twelfths such as 4/12, or 9/12.
5.10.1.24 Small Wind Turbine. A wind turbine of 100 kW nameplate generating capacity or less.
5.10.1.25 Solar Access. A view of the sun, from any point on the collector surface that is not obscured by any vegetation, building, or object located on parcels of land other than the parcel upon which the solar collector is located, between the hours of 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM standard time on any day of the year.
5.10.1.26 Solar Collector. A device, or combination of devices, structures, or part of a device or structure that transforms direct solar energy into thermal , mechanical, chemical or electric energy.
5.10.1.27 Solar Energy. Radiant energy received from the sun that can be collected in the form of heat or light by a solar collector.
5.10.1.28 Solar Energy System (SES). An active solar energy system that collects or stores solar energy and transforms solar energy into to another form of energy or transfers heat from a collector to another medium using mechanical, electrical, thermal or chemical means.
5.10.1.29 Solar Garden. A commercial facility that converts sunlight into electricity, weather by photovoltaics (PV), concentrating solar thermal devices (CST), or other conversion technology, for the primary purpose of wholesale sales of generated electricity. A solar garden is the primary land use for the parcel on which it is located.
5.10.1.30 Solar Mounting Devices. Racking, frames, or other devices that allow the mounting of a solar collector onto a roof surface or ground.
5.10.1.31 Solar Sky Space. The space between a solar energy collector and the sun, which must be free of obstructions that shade the collector to an extent which precludes its cost effective operation.
5.10.1.32 Solar Sky Space Easement. A right, expressed as an easement, covenant, condition, or other property interest in any deed or other instrument executed by or on behalf of any landowner, which protects the solar sky space of an actual, proposed, or designed solar energy collector at a described location by forbidding or limiting activities or land uses that interfere with access to solar energy. The solar sky space must be described as the three dimensional space in which obstruction is prohibited or limited, or as the times of day during which direct sunlight to the solar collector may not be obstructed, or as a combination of the two methods.
5.10.1.33 Solar Storage Unit. A component of a solar energy device that is used to store solar generated electricity for later use.
5.10.1.34 Structure Height. A distance to be measured from the mean ground level to the top of the structure
5.10.1.35 Total Height. The highest point above natural grade reached by a rotor tip or any other part of a wind turbine
5.10.1.36 Tower. A vertical structure that supports a wind turbine.
5.10.1.37 Utility Wind Turbine. A type of wind turbine of more than 100 kW nameplate generating capacity.
5.10.1.38 Vertical Axis Wind Turbine. A type of wind turbine where the main rotor shaft runs vertically.
5.10.1.39 Vertical Ground Source Heat Pump System. A closed loop ground source heat pump system where the loops or coils are installed vertically in one or more borings below the land surface.
5.10.1.40 Wind Energy System. An electrical generating facility that consists of a wind turbine, feeder line (s), associated controls and may include a tower.
5.10.1.41 Wind Turbine Any piece of electrical generating equipment that converts the kinetic energy of blowing wind into electrical energy through the use of airfoils or similar devices to capture the wind.
5.10.2 GROUND SOURCE HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS.
5.10.2.1 Zoning districts. Ground source heat pump systems in accordance with the standards in this section are allowed as a permitted accessory use in all zoning districts.
5.10.2.2 Standards.
5.10.2.2.1 System requirements.
i. Only closed loop ground source heat pump systems utilizing heat transfer fluids as defined in Section 5.10.1, above are permitted. Open loop ground source heat pump systems are not permitted.
ii. Ground source heat pump systems in public waters may be permitted as a conditional use subject to approval from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in accordance with Minn. Rules § 6115.0211, Subd. 6b and subject to written consent of all property owners and/or approval by an association in accordance with its adopted bylaws.
5.10.2.2.2 Setbacks.
i. All components of ground source heat pump systems including pumps, borings and loops shall be set back at least five feet from interior side lot lines/easements and at least ten feet from rear lot lines/easements.
ii. Above-ground equipment associated with ground source heat pumps shall not be installed in the front yard of any lot or the side yard of a corner lot adjacent to a public right-of-way and shall meet all required setbacks for the applicable zoning district.
5.10.2.2.3 Easements. Ground source heat pump systems shall not encroach on public drainage, utility, roadway or trail easements, or any other public easements.
5.10.2.2.4 Noise. Ground source heat pump systems shall comply with Minnesota Pollution Control Agency standards outlined in Minn. Rules Chapter 7030, as amended, and City Code.
5.10.2.2.5 Screening. Ground source heat pumps are considered mechanical equipment and in order to suppress noise and hide from public view materials and designs matching those used for the structure will be incorporated into a plan design. Where miscellaneous exterior equipment cannot be fully hidden with matching building materials, landscaping may be used as additional screening. Screening remains subject to the requirements of the applicable zoning district.
5.10.2.2.5 Deviations. Any deviation from the required standards of this section may be permitted through a special use permit.
5.10.2.3. Safety. Ground source heat pumps shall be certified by Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (or similar independent certifying company), and meet the requirements of the State Building Code.
5.10.2.4. Abandonment. If the ground source heat pump system remains nonfunctional or inoperative for a continuous period of one year, the system shall be deemed to be abandoned and shall constitute a public nuisance. The owner shall remove the abandoned system at their expense after a demolition permit has been obtained in accordance with the following:
a. The heat pump and any external mechanical equipment shall be removed.
b. Pipes or coils below the land surface shall be filled with grout to displace the heat transfer fluid. The heat transfer fluid shall be captured and disposed of in accordance with applicable state and federal regulations. The top of the pipe, coil or boring shall be uncovered and grouted.
5.10.2.5. Permits. A system permit, building permits, electrical permit as required, and a special use permit if required, shall be obtained for any ground source heat pump system prior to installation. Borings for vertical systems are subject to approval from the Minnesota Department of Public Health.
5.10.3 Wind Energy Systems.
5.10.3.1. Zoning districts. Residential wind turbines in accordance with the standards in this section are prohibited in the R-1 (Single Family Residential District), R-2 (Multiple Family Residence District), B-1 (Central Business District), and B-2 (Highway Commercial District), unless they are structurally attached to the principal structure (roof) and do not exceed 5 feet in height from the roof peak, which then would be deemed a permitted accessory use. Residential and small wind turbines are a permitted accessory use on lots at least 20 acres in size in the M-1 (Manufacturing District). Wind energy systems are not permitted in any other zoning districts.
5.10.3.2. Standards.
5.10.3.2.1 Number. No more than one wind energy system is permitted per parcel.
5.10.3.2.2 Height. The total height of the tower, including any portion of the rotor or axis extending above the tower, shall not exceed the horizontal distance between the base of the tower and the nearest lot line or building line. The City Council may allow the height requirements to be exceeded upon recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission, provided it is satisfied that the proposed structure will withstand the wind loads in the area. As evidence of this, the City Council shall require the following information:
a. Dimensional representation of the various structural components of the tower construction, including the base and footings.
b. Design data which shall indicate basis of design, including manufacturer’s dimensional drawings and installation and operation instructions.
c. Certification by an independent registered professional engineer or other qualified professional that the structure is sufficient to withstand wind load requirements for structures as established by the applicable building construction codes.
5.10.3.2.3 Blade length. For residential wind turbines, other than roof-mounted wind turbines, a maximum blade length of 15 feet is permitted.
5.10.3.2.4 Roof mounting. Roof-mounted wind turbines are not permitted, except those that do not exceed five (5) feet in height or length.
5.10.3.2.5 Setbacks.
a. For residential wind turbines, the base of the wind turbine tower shall be set back from all property lines a distance equal to the hub height. Wind energy systems shall not be installed in the front yard of any lot or in the side yard of a corner lot adjacent to a public right-of-way.
b. For small wind turbines, the base of the wind turbine tower shall be set back from all property lines a distance equal to the hub height. In addition, the base of the wind turbine tower shall be set back from the nearest public right-of-way, above ground power line, drainage or utility easement, recreational field, dwelling, school, business or other habitable structure, 300 feet or 1.5 times the total height, whichever is greater.
c. For utility wind turbines, the base of the wind turbine tower shall be set back from all property lines a distance equal to the hub height. In addition, the base of the wind turbine tower shall be set back from the nearest public right-of-way, above ground power line, drainage or utility easement, recreational field, dwelling, school, business or other habitable structure, 600 feet or 3.0 times the total height, whichever is greater.
5.10.3.2.6 Easements. Wind energy systems shall not encroach on public drainage and utility easements, utility roadway or trail easements, or any other public easements.
5.10.3.2.7 Noise. Wind energy systems shall comply with Minnesota Pollution Control Agency standards outlined in Minn. Rules Chapter 7030, as amended, and city code noise restrictions at all property lines.
5.10.3.2.8 Aesthetics. All portions of the wind energy system shall be a nonreflective, non-obtrusive color, subject to the approval of the Community Development Director. Only monopole towers are permitted. The appearance of the turbine, tower and any other related components shall be maintained throughout the life of the wind energy system pursuant to industry standards. Systems shall not be used for displaying any advertising. Systems shall not be illuminated.
5.10.3.2.9 Feeder lines. The electrical collection system shall be placed underground within the interior of each parcel. The collection system may be placed overhead near substations or points of interconnection to the electric grid.
5.10.3.2.10 Vibration. No wind energy system shall produce vibrations through the ground that are humanly perceptible beyond the property on which it is located.
5.10.3.2.11 Deviations. Any deviation from the required standards of this subchapter may be permitted through a conditional use permit.
5.10.3.3 Safety.
5.10.3.3.1Standards and certification.
a. Standards. Wind energy systems shall meet minimum standards such as International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 61400-2 or the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) Small Wind Turbine Performance and Safety Standard or other standards as determined by the city’s electrical engineer.
b. Certification. Wind energy systems shall be certified by Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Small Wind Certification Council or other body as determined by the Community Development Director for conformance to applicable standards. The City reserves the right to deny a building permit for proposed wind energy systems deemed to have inadequate certification or testing for operation in a severe winter climate.
c. Maintenance. Wind energy systems shall be maintained under an agreement or contract by the manufacturer or other qualified entity.
d. Utility connection. All grid connected systems shall have a completed written agreement with the local utility prior to the issuance of a building permit. A visible manual external disconnect must be provided, which complies with applicable electric codes.
e. Abandonment. If the wind energy system remains nonfunctional or inoperative for a continuous period of one year, the system shall be deemed to be abandoned and shall constitute a public nuisance. The owner shall remove the abandoned system at their expense after a demolition permit has been obtained. Removal includes the entire structure including foundations to below natural grade and transmission equipment.
f. Permits. A system permit, building permits, electrical permits, and a special use permit if required, shall be obtained for any wind energy system prior to installation.
g. Liability insurance. No building permit shall be issued for the construction of a wind energy system until and unless the applicant for the building permit deposits with the City Coordinator a policy of liability insurance indemnifying the applicant from liability for personal injury or property damage arising from the operation, malfunction, or collapse of the wind energy system in the sum of at least $1,000,000. The insurance policy so deposited shall contain a clause obligating the company issuing the same to give at least 10 days’ written notice to the City before the cancellation thereof, the conditional use permit to be automatically revoked upon the lapse or termination of said insurance policy.
5.10.4 Solar Energy Systems (SES).
5.10.4.1 Severability. The provisions of this section shall be severable and the invalidity of any paragraph, subparagraph or subdivision thereof shall not make void any other paragraph, subparagraph or subdivision of this section.
5.10.4.2 Applicability. These regulations shall apply to all solar energy systems on properties and structures under the jurisdiction of the City of Lester Prairie zoning ordinance. The City of Lester Prairie shall refer any applications for a large electric power generating plant (LEPGP) to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MN PUC) for approval.
5.10.4.3 Types of SES.
5.10.4.3.1 Roof or Building Mounted SES. Systems which are accessory to the principal land use and designed to supply energy for the principal use. Roof or Building Mounted SES shall be regulated as follows:
a. Roof or Building Mounted SES are permitted accessory uses in all districts in which buildings are permitted.
b. All Roof or Building Mounted SES shall meet the standards of the Minnesota Building Code and the owner or contractor shall receive a building and/or mechanical permit before installing a Roof or Building Mounted SES. Roof or Building Mounted SES are subject to the accessory use standards for the district in which it is located, including setback, height and impervious surface coverage limits.
c. Color: All Roof or Building Mounted SES shall use colors that are the same or similar with the color of the building or roof material of the building on which the system is mounted.
d. Roof or Building Mounted SES shall not exceed the maximum allowed height in any zoning district and shall not extend beyond the perimeter of the roof line of the building on which it is mounted. For purposes of height measurement, Roof or Building Mounted SES other than building-integrated systems shall be considered to be mechanical devices and are restricted consistent with other building mounted mechanical devices for the zoning district in which the system is being installed.
e. Roof Mounted SES shall be placed on the roof to limit visibility from the public right-of-way or to blend into the roof design, provided that minimizing visibility still allows the property owner to reasonably capture Solar Energy.
5.10.4.3.2 Ground Mounted SES. Accessory to the principal land use and designed to supply energy for the principal use. Ground Mounted SES shall be regulated as follows:
a. Ground Mounted SES are permitted accessory uses in all districts in which buildings are permitted and shall be limited to a maximum area of two hundred (200) square feet in residential districts and shall not encompass more than ten percent (10%) of the total property area or lot size in all other districts.
b. All Ground Mounted SES shall meet the standards of the Minnesota Building Code and the owner or contractor shall receive a building and/or mechanical permit before installing a Ground Mounted SES. Ground Mounted SES are subject to the accessory use standards for the district in which it is located, including setback, height and impervious surface coverage limits.
c. The City does not consider the collector surface of a Ground Mounted SES that is not in a DNR designated Shoreland District as impervious surface.
d. The height of a Ground Mounted SES shall not exceed ten (10) feet at maximum tilt.
e. Ground Mounted SES shall only be located in the rear yard as defined by this Section.
f. Ground Mounted SES shall not encroach upon drainage and utility easements.
5.10.4.3.3 Community SES (Solar Garden) Community SES shall be designed to supply energy for on and off-site uses on the distribution grid or for export to the wholesale market or connection to the electric transmission grid. Community SES are allowed as an accessory or principal use in the M-1 Manufacturing District, unless otherwise regulated or prohibited in this Section. Community SES shall be regulated as follows:
a. Community SES shall require a special use permit in the M-1Manufacturing districts.
b. Community SES shall be on properties of at least five (5) acres in size but shall not have a generating capacity of more than one (1) megawatt per SES or three (3) megawatts per site.
c. Density. Community SES shall not be located within one-half (1/2) mile of another SES.
d. Prohibitions: The City prohibits all Community SES within:
(1) Shoreland Districts as designated by the Department of Natural resources (DNR) and the Lester Prairie Zoning Map.
(2) Wetlands to the extent required by the Minnesota Wetland Conservation Act,
(3) Within one thousand (1,000) feet of areas designated or formally protected from development by Federal, State or County agencies as wildlife habitat, wildlife management areas or designated as National Wild and Scenic land or corridor.
(4) The Floodplain Management Overlay District.
(5) Residential Districts, the B-1 Central Business District and the B-2 Highway Commercial District.
(6) All drainage and utility easements.
e. An interconnection agreement must be submitted to the utility company and proof must be provided to the City that the utility company has deemed the agreement “complete”.
f. All structures must meet either the principal or accessory structure setbacks, height and coverage limitations for the zoning district in which the system is located, except as otherwise stated in this section.
g. The owner or operator shall be required to submit to the City, a detailed site plan as regulated under section 5.10.6 (Permits for Alternative Energy Systems) of this chapter, showing both existing and proposed conditions. These plans shall show the location of all areas where solar arrays would be placed, the existing and proposed structures, property lines, access points, fencing, landscaping, surface water drainage patterns, floodplains, wetlands, the ordinary high water mark for all water bodies, any other protected resources, topography, electric equipment and all other characteristics requested by the City.
h. All Community SES shall meet the standards of the Minnesota Building Code and all applicable local, state and federal regulatory standards. The owner or contractor shall receive a building and/or mechanical permit before installing a Community SES. Community SES are subject to the accessory use standards if it is an accessory use or principal use standards if it is a principal use for the district in which it is located, including setback, height and impervious surface coverage limits.
i. The owner or operator of the Community SES must submit to the City a detailed emergency shutdown plan as part of the review process.
j. Signage shall be posted at all entrance points to the property the Community SES is located on that includes at a minimum, the owner and operator’s name, contact information and emergency phone numbers.
k. Screening. Community SES shall be screened from adjacent residential uses.
l. Foundations. The manufacturer’s engineer or another qualified engineer shall certify that the foundation and design of the solar panels meets the accepted professional standards, given local soil and climate conditions.
m. Power and communication lines. Power and communication lines running between banks of solar panels and to electric substations or interconnections with buildings shall be buried underground on premise. The City may grant exemptions to this requirement in instances where shallow bedrock, water courses or other elements of the natural landscape interfere with the ability to bury lines.
n. Decommissioning Plan: The City requires the owner or operator to submit a decommissioning plan for Community SES to ensure that the owner or operator properly removes the equipment and facilities upon the end of project life or after their useful life. The owner or operator shall decommission the solar panels in the event they are not in use for twelve (12) consecutive months. The plan shall include provisions for the removal of all structures and foundations, the removal of all electrical transmission components, the restoration of soil and vegetation and a soundly-based plan ensuring financial resources will be available to fully decommission the site. The disposal of structures and/or foundations shall meet all applicant, federal, state and local requirements. The City may require the owner or operator to provide a current day decommissioning cost estimate and shall post a bond, letter of credit or establish an escrow account, including an inflationary escalator, in an amount determined by the City Council, to ensure proper decommissioning.
5.10.4.3.4 Additional standards. In addition to the standards allowed above, all SES shall meet the following standards:
a. The owners or operators of SES that are connected to the electric distribution or transmission system, either directly or through the existing service of the primary use on the site, shall obtain an interconnection agreement with the electric utility in whose service territory the system is located. Off-grid systems are exempt from this requirement.
b. Electric SES components that are connected to a building electric system must have an Underwriters Laboratory (UL) listing.
c. All SES shall meet the standards of the Minnesota and National Electric Code.
d. All SES using a reflector to enhance solar production shall minimize glare from the reflector that affects adjacent or nearby properties. Steps to minimize glare nuisance may include selective placement of the system, screening on the north side of the solar array, reducing use of the reflector system or other remedies that limit glare.
e. Setbacks. All SES structures and equipment shall meet the setback and coverage limitations for the zoning district in which the system is located,
f. Abandonment. Any SES which is inoperable for twelve (12) successive months shall be deemed to be abandoned and shall be deemed a public nuisance. The owner shall remove the abandoned system at their expense after obtaining a demolition permit.
g. Building Permit. A building permit shall be obtained for any SES prior to installation.
h. All SES shall meet all federal and state requirements including the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) requirement and size requirements.
5.10.5 Prohibited Characteristics of Alternative Energy Systems.
5.10.5.1 No alternative energy system shall be constructed within 20 feet laterally of any overhead power line (excluding secondary electrical service lines or service drops). Setbacks from underground distribution lines shall be at least 10 feet.
5.10.5.2 An alternative energy system utilizing a rotary blade shall not have an arc diameter greater than 33 feet.
5.10.5.3 An alternative energy system shall not cause radio and television interference.
5.10.5.4 For wind speeds in the range of 0-25 mph, wind turbines shall not cause a sound pressure level in excess of 60 dB(A), or in excess of 5 dB (A) above the background noise, whichever is greater, as measured at the closest neighboring inhabited dwelling. This level, however, may be exceeded during short-term severe windstorm events.
5.10.5.5 No alternative energy system shall violate MPCA noise standards, air quality standards, or otherwise result in a nuisance source of noise.
5.10.5.6 No alternative energy system shall resemble, imitate or approximate the shape, size, form or color of railroad or traffic signs, signals or devices.
5.10.5.7. No alternative energy system shall be located as to interfere with the visibility or effectiveness of any official traffic sign or signal, or with driver vision at any access point or intersection.
5.10.5.8 No alternative energy system shall display any advertisement, nor shall it be used for any purpose other than for alternative energy.
5.10.5.9 No alternative energy system shall be erected which contains, includes or is illuminated by any flashing light or lights, except as required by law.
5.10.5.10 No alternative energy system shall be erected or maintained which is not effectively shielded so as to prevent beams or rays of light from being directed at any portion of the traveled way of any highway or street of such intensity or brilliance so as to cause glare or impair the vision of the operator of any motor vehicle. Further, all systems shall be constructed as to prevent beams or rays of light from being directed at any portion of a building or residence.
5.10.6 Permits for Alternative Energy Systems.
5.10.6.1 Compliance with law. All alternative energy systems shall be constructed in accordance with all applicable building and electrical codes and comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations.
5.10.6.2 Required alternative energy system permit. Except as otherwise specifically authorized, no alternative energy system shall be located, constructed, erected, moved, reconstructed, extended, enlarged or structurally altered within the city until a permit for the system (“system permit”) has been issued by the city. No system permit shall be issued for a system not in conformity with the regulations applicable to such system. An application for a system permit shall be accompanied by the fee as specified in the city Fee Schedule. No application will be considered unless and until the required fee has been paid by the applicant to the City Clerk. The alternative energy system permit will include:
5.10.6.2.1. Recorded property easements.
5.10.6.2.2. A description of the project including: number, type, height, diameter of all alternative energy systems.
5.10.6.2.3 Site layout, including location of property lines, roads, ground source heat pump, wind turbine, or solar panel, electrical wires, interconnection points with the electrical grid, and all related accessory structures.
5.10.6.2.4 Engineer’s certification.
5.10.6.2.5 Interconnection Agreement.
5.10.6.3 Duration Any system permit issued by the city under this chapter shall be valid for a period of 12 months from the date of issuance. If the construction of the system is not completed within 12 months from the date of its issuance, the system permit shall be void, and the site for which the permit was sought shall be returned to the condition it was prior to the issuance of such system permit.
5.10.6.4 Building permit. A building permit must be obtained from the City prior to the construction of any system when construction activity is of such a nature that a building permit is required.
5.10.6.5 Application requirements. Building permit applications for any alternative energy systems shall be accompanied by standard drawings depicting the specifications and location of the alternative energy system and any other documentation as required by the City. An application for a building permit shall be accompanied by the fee as specified in the City Fee Schedule.
5.10.7 Penalty
Civil penalty. In the event the property owner fails to comply with the provisions of this section, the City of Lester Prairie may impose a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000.00.
Criminal Penalty. Any person violating any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000.00 or by imprisonment for not to exceed ninety (90) days or both. Each day that a violation is committed, or permitted to exist, shall constitute a separate offense. The imposition of any fine or sentence shall not exempt the offender from compliance with the requirements of this ordinance, and the City may pursue, by appropriate actions or proceedings, any or all additional other remedies.
Section 2: This ordinance shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage and publication.
Adopted this 13th day of December, 2016.
CITY OF LESTER PRAIRIE
By /s/ Eric Angvall, its Mayor
ATTEST:
By /s/ Marilyn L. Pawelk, Its City Clerk
Published in the Herald Journal Dec. 19, 2016.

Return to City of Lester Prairie Menu | Return to Government Table of Contents

Herald Journal
Stories | Columns | Obituaries | Classifieds | HJ Home