New Germany ordinance: zoning amendments

ORDINANCE NO. 116
(Zoning Ordinance Amendments)
CITY OF NEW GERMANY
CARVER COUNTY, MINNESOTA
August 4, 2020
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING SECTION 154.011 PERTAINING TO DEFINITIONS, SECTION 154.082(F) PERTAINING TO ACCESSORARY BUILDINGS AND STRUCTURES, AND ADDING NEW SECTIONS 154.092(G) AND 154.092(H) PERTAINING TO ACCESSORY BUILDINGS AND STRUCTURES OF THE NEW GERMANY CITY CODE.
THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NEW GERMANY, CARVER COUNTY, MINNESOTA, ORDAINS:
Section 1.  The definitions of Solar Electric System, the Solar Electric System, Retail, and the Solar Electric System, Wholesale, of Section 154.011 (Definitions) of the City Code of the City of New Germany are amended to read as follows:
SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEM.  A device or set of devices whose primary purpose is to collect and convert or transfer solar energy into another form of energy.
SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEM, RETAIL.  A solar energy system established for the primary purpose of meeting all or part of the energy needs of the host building, whether residential, commercial, industrial, or agricultural.
SOLAR ELECTRIC SYSTEM, WHOLESALE.  A solar energy system established for the primary purpose of generating and selling the converted or transferred energy directly to a third party.
Section 2.  Section 154.082(F) of the City Code of the City of New Germany pertaining to accessory buildings and structures is amended to read as follows:
(F)  Structures utilizing pole style construction methods shall have concrete floors.
Section 3.  Section 154.082 of the City Code of the City of New Germany pertaining to accessory buildings and structures is amended by adding a new subdivision (G) to read as follows:
(G)  Shipping containers, storage containers, fabric/poly/plastic covered structures, and hoop framed structures shall not be used as permanent accessory structures.
Section 4.  Section 154.082 of the City Code of the City of New Germany pertaining to accessory buildings and structures is amended by adding new subdivision (H) to read as follows:
(H)  Siding and roof covering materials for accessory structures that are regulated by the Minnesota State Building Code be of the same style siding and roofing materials as the principle building.
Section 5.  Section 154.092 of the City Code of the City of New Germany pertaining to Solar Electric Systems is amended in its entirety to read as follows:
§ 154.092 SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEMS.
(A)    Solar energy systems require an interim use permit in all zoning districts.
(B)    Wholesale solar energy systems shall be limited to the I – Industrial District.
(C)    Retail solar energy systems in the R-1 – Single-Family Residential District and R-2 – Multiple Family Residential District shall be limited to rooftop systems.  Rooftop solar energy systems shall be installed in accordance with the MN State Building code and shall not occupy more than 75% of the area of the roof plane it is affixed to.
(1)    Rooftop solar energy systems mounted on roofs with slopes greater than two units vertical in 12 units horizontal shall be mounted parallel to the plane of the roof, shall not extend more than one foot above the plane of the roof, and shall not be located any closer than three feet from any side or bottom edge of the roof.
(2)    Rooftop solar energy systems mounted on roofs with slopes of two units vertical in 12 units horizontal shall not project more than four feet above the plane of the roof and there shall be a minimum 6-foot-wide clear perimeter around the edges of the roof.
(D)    Retail solar energy systems located in the A – Agricultural District, B – Business/Commercial District and I – Industrial District may include rooftop systems and ground mounted systems and shall be installed in accordance with the MN State Building Code.
(1)    Rooftop solar energy systems mounted on roofs with slopes greater than two units vertical in 12 units horizontal shall be mounted parallel to the plane of the roof, shall not extend more than one foot above the plane of the roof, and shall not be located any closer than three feet from any side or bottom edge of the roof.
(2)    Rooftop solar energy systems mounted on roofs with slopes of two units vertical in 12 units horizontal shall not project more than four feet above the plane of the roof and there shall be a minimum 6-foot-wide clear perimeter around the edges of the roof.
(3)    Ground mounted solar energy systems shall not exceed 15 feet in height, shall not be located in any front yard area, shall not be located closer than 15 feet to a side or rear yard, and shall not be located closer than 100 feet to an existing adjacent residence.  Ground mounted solar energy systems shall not exceed 10% lot coverage of 10,000 square feet, whichever is less.  The square footage of the ground mounted solar electric system is calculated by the area encumbered by the outermost measurements of the solar equipment layout.
(E)    Wholesale solar energy systems shall be set back a minimum of 50 feet from roadways and a minimum of 50 feet from all property lines.  The maximum height of wholesale solar energy system equipment, structures and accessory appurtenances shall not exceed 15 feet.  Wholesale energy systems shall be enclosed in accordance with Subdivision (N) of this section.
(F)    Wholesale solar energy systems shall not be lighted, except for shrouded, downcast security lights on major equipment or storage buildings.  Signage shall be limited to equipment labeling, security warnings and messages, entrance identification and directional signs and a single site identification sign.  No individual sign shall exceed 36 square feet in area or extend more than 15 feet in height.
(G)    No solar energy equipment or solar energy systems shall create or cause unreasonable glare on other property or public roadways.  Unreasonable glare shall mean a public safety hazard as determined by the Board of Supervisors or the appropriate roadway authority.
(H)    No solar energy system shall create or constitute a public nuisance, as regulated in this chapter.
(I)    Electric power lines within all ground mounted solar energy systems shall be buried underground.
(J)    All solar energy systems, supporting structures or other buildings shall be consistent with applicable State Building Codes, State Electrical Codes, State Fire Codes and State Plumbing Codes.
(K)    All applicable solar energy equipment shall be certified by either the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or Canadian Electrical Code (CSA 22.1) or the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC) for thermal systems.
(L)    All solar energy systems unused, abandoned or inoperable for more than 12 months shall be removed by the system owner or the property owner.  The property shall be returned to a condition comparable to that prior to the installation of the solar energy system.
(M)    In addition to the site plan review application submittal requirements, solar energy system applications shall include the following details:
(1)    Grading plan;
(2)    Location of access roads;
(3)    Locations of overhead and underground electric lines;
(4)    Dimensions, location and spacing of PV panels;
(5)    Description of the racking method, including fixed or tracking technology;
(6)    Description and location of buildings, inverters, transformers, disconnects and combiners and other structures and equipment;
(7)    Typical elevations or photos of sample solar arrays;
(8)    Site lighting and signage;
(9)    Decommissioning plan and site restoration plan, including financial assurances; and
(10)    Fire Department access.
(N)    Fencing (a minimum of six-foot in height), landscaping, and other approved screening shall be required for any ground mounted solar energy systems.  Such fencing, landscaping and other approved screening shall provide visual impairment of the solar energy system from adjoining properties and roadways.  Other screening methods shall be determined approved or not approved during the application process.  Deviations from dimensional standards (including setbacks) may be considered through public hearing procedures for permitting, based upon mitigation of off-site impacts through fencing, landscaping, screening or other mitigation measures.
(O)    All ground mounted solar energy systems shall prepare a storm water management plan consistent with the county’s Watershed Management Organization requirements.  Any site grading shall be accompanied by an erosion and sedimentation control plan consistent with best management practices for control components.
(P)    All permit applications for ground-mounted solar energy systems shall include a description of the vegetation or material under the solar system components and the method of ground care and vegetative maintenance.
This Ordinance shall be in full force effective upon its adoption and publication according to the law.
Passed and adopted by the City Council of the City of New Germany this 4th day of August, 2020.
Steve VanLith, Mayor
ATTEST: Twyla Menth, Clerk
Published in the Herald Journal on Aug. 14, 2020.

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