June 03, 2019

Proposed Code revisions, May 2019

Proposal to the Town Board for discussion at their June 2, 2019 meeting.

The Town of Varick Zoning Code is hereby amended to include the following:

Add to the end of 306.3: Other structures:
A removable seasonal dock only requires a permit initially and may be reinstalled annually as long as it is the same size and meets the setbacks.  placed in accordance with the constraints of the permit. 
If the lot is too narrow for a dock to meet the side setbacks, the ZBA may consider granting a variance for a temporary dock and hoist with smaller setback dimensions, if it is installed in a way that does not impinge on the neighboring lots and contribute to congestion. This provision shall not be used to justify allowing more docks on larger lots. 

Also add the to the designated sections 

107. Definitions
  1. Glare: The effect by reflections of light with intensity sufficient as determined in a commercially reasonable manner to cause annoyance, discomfort, or loss in visual performance and visibility in any material respects. 
  2. Ground-Mounted Solar Energy System: A Solar Energy System that is anchored to the ground via a pole or other mounting system, detached from any other structure, which generates electricity for onsite or offsite consumption. 
  3. Solar farm, or solar collection system, major: An area used for a solar collection system principally used to capture solar energy and convert it to electrical energy for on-site use or to transfer to the public electric grid in order to sell electricity to or receive a credit from a public utility entity Solar farm facilities consist of one or more freestanding ground or roof mounted solar collector devices, solar related equipment and other accessory structures and buildings, including light reflectors, concentrators, and heat exchangers, substations, electrical infrastructure, transmission lines and other structures and facilities.
  4. Solar collection system, minor: a solar voltaic cell, panel, or array, or solar hot air or water collector device, which relies upon solar radiation as an energy source or collection, inversion, storage and distribution of solar energy for electricity generation or transfer of stored heat; secondary to the use of the premises for other lawful purposes; with the total surface area of all solar collectors on the lot not to exceed 1,000 square feet and is considered a structure for setback purposes.
308. Use Table

Use
Agricultural and Rural Residential (ARR
page19image7000Hamlet Residential (HR
page19image8880Lakeshore Residential (LR)
Small Busi- ness Park and Institu- tional (BPI
Conser- vation (C
Warehouse, Industrial, Transporta- tion, Energy (WITE) 
Residential






Solar collection system, minor
P
P
P
P
P
P
Commercial






Solar Farm
S 311.21
N
N
N
N
S 311.22
311.21 Solar Farm or Major Solar Collection System
  1. Generates no more than 110% of the electricity consumed on the site over 12 months. 
  2. All of the requirements of 311.22 apply
311.22 Solar Farm or Major Solar Collection System
Because it is in the public interest to provide for and encourage renewable energy systems and a sustainable quality of life, the purpose of this section is to facilitate the development and operation of renewable energy systems based on sunlight. A Solar Energy Production Facility (aka Major Solar Collection System or Solar Farm) shall be permitted under a Special Use Permit when measures are taken, as provided in this section, to minimize adverse impacts on neighboring properties and protect the public health, safety, and welfare. This section shall pertain only to major solar collection systems or solar farms. Where other Sections of the Code conflict with this Section, provisions of this Section shall control.
  1. A letter providing proof of feasibility from the local utility company is to be provided as part
    of the application indicating that utility company can handle the demands of the proposed
    project.
  2. The design of a major collection system or solar farm shall comply with the bulk table (309.1) except that the lot coverage for the solar panels can be 50% if the ground under the panels is vegetated soil with typical water permeation. The lot shall not have more than 30% impermeable surfaces.
  3. The design of the solar farm shall adhere to existing setback requirements of the zoning district. If the solar farm will be constructed by the utilization of ground mounting, then a ground mounting plan and process certified by a Licensed Professional Engineer must be submitted during the Special Use Permit application process. The mounting plan shall consist of standard solar manufacturer installation plans and processes for ground mounting or be addressed in the applicant’s site plans.
  4. Systems and solar panels shall be placed and arranged such that reflected solar radiation or glare shall not be directed onto adjacent buildings, properties or roadways.
  5. System shall not be used to display advertising, including signage, streamers, pennants, spinners, reflectors, ribbons, balloons, flags, banners, or similar materials, with the exception of the following: Necessary equipment information, warnings, or indication of ownership shall be allowed on any equipment of the System or where required by the New York State Building Code.
  6. No System or any of its components shall be illuminated, except to the degree minimally necessary for public safety or maintenance.
  7. All mechanical equipment, including any structure for batteries or storage cells, shall be fenced from adjacent properties to restrict unauthorized access and screened.
  8. No System shall be used or constructed such that it becomes a private or public nuisance or hazard.
  9. Storm water and snowmelt runoff and erosion control shall be managed in a manner consistent with all applicable federal, state, and local regulations and shall not impact neighboring properties.
  10. Systems which have not been in active and continuous service for six months shall be removed at the owner’s or operator’s expense within an additional six months.
  11. The site shall be restored to as natural conditions as possible within twelve months of the removal of the system.
  12. Removal of trees and other existing vegetation should be minimized or offset with planting elsewhere on the property.
  13. The applicant shall post performance security in the form of a letter of credit with the Planning Board in an amount equivalent to 150% of the estimated cost of removal of the equipment as determined by the Planning Board and said letter of credit shall be on terms and conditions satisfactory to the Town Attorney. The letter of credit shall be reviewed every five years from the date of issuance of a special use permit by the Planning Board for the purpose of determining whether or not the letter of credit is at least 150% of the estimated cost of the removal of the equipment. The applicant shall increase the letter of credit to 150% of the estimated cost of removal of the equipment as determined by the Planning Board in the event that the letter of credit is deemed by the Planning Board to be less than 150% of the estimated cost of removal. If the applicant assigns its interest in the equipment or by operation of law no longer owns the equipment, the applicant's successors and/or assigns shall be obligated to post performance security with the Planning Board as provided in this subsection as if it was the applicant at the time the special use permit was granted pursuant to this section. In the event that the applicant leases the site on which the equipment is constructed, the applicant shall obtain an irrevocable consent, to be binding upon the landowner's heirs, distributees, successors and/or assigns permitting the applicant to remove the equipment within six months of the date it ceases to be used for solar-collection purposes and permitting the town to enter onto the landowner's land for the purpose of removing the equipment in the event that the equipment is not removed by the applicant within said six-month period. The consent shall be in a form satisfactory to the Town Attorney and shall, upon approval of the Town Attorney, be recorded in the Seneca County Clerk's office.
  14. Vegetation under and around solar panels should be planted and managed to maximize compatible ecosystems services: pollinator habitat, wildlife forage and carbon sequestration.
14. Abandonment
a)    All applications for a solar farm shall be accompanied by a decommissioning plan to be implemented upon abandonment, or cessation of activity, or in conjunction with removal of the facility.
b)   If the applicant begins but does not complete construction of the project within eighteen months after receiving final site plan approval, this may be deemed abandonment of the project and require implementation of the decommissioning plan to the extent applicable.
c)    The decommissioning plan signed by a licensed professional engineer must ensure the site will be restored to a useful, nonhazardous condition without delay, including, but not limited to, the following:
                               i.     Removal of above ground and below ground equipment, structures and foundations.
                             ii.     Restoration of the surface grade and soil after removal of equipment.
                           iii.     Revegetation of restored soil areas with native seed mixes, excluding any invasive species.
                            iv.     The plan shall include a timeframe for the completion of site restoration work. 


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