Town of Genesee, WI
Waukesha County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Genesee 2-11-1985. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Amended 7-23-2012 by Ord. No. 12-5[1]]
A. 
Wind energy conversion systems, commonly referred to as "windmills," which are used to produce electrical power are permitted, provided that the following information requirements and standards shall apply:
(1) 
Application. Applications for the erection of a wind energy conversion system shall be accompanied by a plat of survey for the property to be served showing the location of the generating facility and the means by which the facility will provide power to structures. If the system is intended to provide power to more than one premises, the plat of survey shall show all properties to be served and the means of connection to the wind energy conversion system. A copy of all agreements with system users off the premises shall accompany the application. The application shall further indicate the level of noise to be generated by the system and provide assurances as to the safety features of the system. Energy easements shall accompany the application.
(2) 
Construction. Wind energy conversion systems shall be constructed and anchored in such a manner to withstand wind pressure of not less than 40 pounds per square foot in area.
(3) 
Noise. The maximum level of noise permitted to be generated by a wind energy conversion system shall be 50 decibels, as measured on a dB(A) scale, measured at the lot line.
(4) 
Electromagnetic interference. Wind energy conversion system generators and alternators shall be filtered and/or shielded so as to prevent the emission of radio-frequency energy that would cause any harmful interference with radio and/or television broadcasting or reception. In the event that harmful interference is caused subsequent to the granting of a permit, the operator of the wind energy conversion system shall promptly take steps to eliminate the harmful interference in accordance with Federal Communications Commission regulations.
(5) 
Location and height. Wind energy conversion systems shall be located in the rear yard only and shall meet all setback and yard requirements for the zoning district in which they are located and, in addition, shall be located not closer to a property boundary than a distance equal to their height. Wind energy conversion systems are exempt from the height requirements of the Zoning Ordinance; however, all such systems over 75 feet in height shall submit plans to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to determine whether the system is to be considered an object affecting navigable air space and subject to FAA restrictions. A copy of any FAA restrictions imposed shall be included as a part of the wind energy conversion system permit application.
(6) 
Fence required. All wind energy conversion systems shall be surrounded by a security fence not less than six feet in height. A sign shall be posted on the fence warning of high voltages.
(7) 
Utility company notification. The appropriate electric power company shall be notified, in writing, of any proposed interface with that company's grid prior to installing said interface. Copies of comments by the appropriate utility company shall accompany and be part of the application for a permit.
(8) 
Compliance with Electrical Code. The electrical portion of the installation shall comply with all provisions of the Electrical Code of the Town adopted in § 250-7 of this Code.
(9) 
State law and Administrative Code adopted.
(a) 
Purpose and intent. It is the intended purpose of the Town to regulate wind energy systems to promote the health, safety, and general welfare of the citizens of the Town and to establish reasonable and uniform regulations for the operation thereof so as to minimize potentially dangerous effects of these systems on the community, pursuant to the authority granted by applicable laws.
(b) 
Amendments to applicable laws and administrative rules incorporated herein. This subsection is adopted, pursuant to § 66.0401, Wis. Stats., the rules of the State of Wisconsin Public Service Commission, Ch. PSC 128, Wis. Adm. Code, and other applicable state and federal laws as they exist on the date of adoption of this subsection dealing with wind energy systems to incorporate into this chapter § 66.0401, Wis. Stats., the rules of the State of Wisconsin Public Service Commission, Ch. PSC 128, Wis. Adm. Code, and other applicable state and federal laws as they exist on the date of adoption of this subsection dealing with wind energy systems. Nothing in this chapter shall be interpreted to be more restrictive than the rules promulgated by the State of Wisconsin Public Service Commission pursuant to § 196.378(4g)(b), Wis. Stats. In the event that said laws or statutes or said Public Service Commission rules are amended from time to time, this subsection shall be interpreted to incorporate such amendments as are made to the applicable laws, statutes and Public Service Commission rules from time to time in the future.
B. 
Solar energy conversion systems, commonly referred to as "active" or "passive" solar collection and heating systems and including all systems as defined by § 13.48(2)(h), Wis. Stats., are permitted, provided that the following information requirements and standards shall apply:
(1) 
Application. Applications for the erection of a solar energy conversion system shall be accompanied by a plat of survey for the property to be served showing the location of the conversion system and the means by which the energy will be provided to the structure or structures. The application shall include calculations showing that the structure is constructed to withstand any additional loading placed upon the structure by the installation of the solar energy conversion system.
(2) 
Construction. Solar energy conversion systems shall be constructed and installed in conformance with all applicable state and local building and zoning codes.
(3) 
Location and height. Solar energy conversion systems shall meet all setback and yard requirements for the zoning district in which they are located. Solar energy conversion systems shall conform to all height requirements of the zoning code unless otherwise provided in the permit issued pursuant to this chapter.
C. 
Communication systems, commonly referred to as cable television disks, dishes, or devices, are permitted, provided that the following information requirements and standards shall apply:
(1) 
Applications. Application for the erection of a communication system shall be accompanied by a plat of survey for the property on which the system is to be located showing the location of the system and all other improvements on the property. If the system is intended to provide communication to more than one premises, the plat of survey shall show all properties to be served and the means of connection to the communication system. A copy of all agreements with the system users of the premises shall accompany the application. The application shall further indicate the level of noise to be generated by the system, if any, and provide assurance as to the safety features of the system.
(2) 
Noise. The maximum level of noise permitted to be generated by a communications system shall be 50 decibels, as measured on a dB(A) scale, measured at the lot line.
(3) 
Electromagnetic interference. Communication system devices shall be filtered and/or shielded so as to prevent emission of radio-frequency energy that would cause any harmful interference with radio and/or television broadcasting or reception. In the event that harmful interference is caused subsequent to the granting of a permit, the operator of the communication system shall promptly take steps to eliminate the harmful interference in accordance with Federal Communications Commission regulations.
(4) 
Location and height. Communication systems shall meet all setback and yard requirements for the district in which they are located. Height of the device shall not exceed 15 feet.
(5) 
Compliance with Electrical Code. The electrical portion of the installation shall comply with all provisions of the Electrical Code of the Town as adopted in § 250-7 of this Code.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
No owner shall, within the Town of Genesee, build, construct, use or place any type or kind of device herein regulated without holding a permit for said system from the Town Board.
A. 
Separate permit required for each system. A separate permit shall be required for each system. Said permit shall be applicable solely to the systems, structures, use and property described in the permit.
B. 
Basis of approval. The Town Board shall base its determination on general consideration as to the effect of such grant on the health, general welfare, safety and economic prosperity of the Town and specifically of the immediate neighborhood in which such use would be located, including such considerations as the effect on the established character and quality of the area, its physical attractiveness, the movement of traffic, the demand for related services, the possible hazardous, harmful, noxious, offensive, or nuisance effect as a result of noise, dust, smoke or odor and such other factors as would be appropriate to carrying out the intent of this chapter.
C. 
Types of special devices.
(1) 
Wind energy conversion systems.
(2) 
Solar energy conversion systems.
(3) 
Communication systems.
D. 
Fees. The Town Board shall, by resolution, establish fees for the processing and issuance of permits.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
AGENCY
The Town Board of the Town of Genesee.
APPLICANT
An owner applying for a permit under this chapter.
APPLICATION
An application for a permit under this chapter.
BUILDING INSPECTOR
The duly appointed Building Inspector of the Town of Genesee.
COMMUNICATION SYSTEM
Commonly referred to as cable television (disks, dishes, devices).
MUNICIPALITY
The Town of Genesee, Waukesha County, Wisconsin.
OWNER
The holder of record of an estate in possession in fee simple, or for life, in land or real property, or a vendee of record under a land contract for the sale of an estate in possession in fee simply or for life, but does not include the vendor under a land contract. A tenant in common or joint tenant shall be considered such owner to the extent of his interest. The personal representative of at least one owner shall be considered an owner.
PERMIT
A permit issued under this chapter.
SOLAR ENERGY CONVERSION SYSTEM
Commonly referred to as "active" or "passive" solar collection and heating systems and including all systems defined by § 13.48(2)(h), Wis. Stats.
WIND ENERGY CONVERSION SYSTEM
Commonly referred to as "windmills" which are used to produce electrical power.
A. 
The Town Board of the Town of Genesee is hereby designated the agency which approves permits.
B. 
The Town Board of the Town of Genesee hereby designates the Building Inspector as the official to receive, process and, following approval by the Town Board, issue permits.
C. 
The permit application shall be made to the Building Inspector on forms provided by the Town. The application shall include the following information:
(1) 
The name and address of the applicant.
(2) 
The address of the property on which the device will be located.
(3) 
An accurate map of the property, including indication of general terrain and topographical characteristics, the location of all significant terrain features such as streams, ponds, tree growth, etc., and the location of all existing structures.
(4) 
An accurate and complete written description of the use for which special grant is being requested, including pertinent statistics and operational characteristics.
(5) 
Plans and other drawings showing proposed development of the site and buildings, including landscape plans, location of parking and service areas, driveways, exterior lighting, type of building material, etc., if applicable.
(6) 
Any other information which the Building Inspector may deem to be necessary to the proper review of the application.
D. 
The Building Inspector shall review the application and, if the application is complete and contains all required information, shall refer it to the Town Board.
E. 
Hearing. Upon referral of the application, the Town Board shall schedule a public hearing thereon as soon as practical and the Town Board shall notice said hearing as deemed appropriate. Notice of hearing and purpose of hearing shall be mailed to all property owners within 300 feet of property on which the device is to be located. Notice shall also be posted in three public places in the Town of Genesee.
F. 
Determination. Following public hearing and necessary study and investigation, the Town Board shall as soon as practical render its decision in writing and a copy shall be made a permanent part of the Town Board's minutes. Such decision shall include an accurate description of the device permitted, of the property on which permitted, and any and all conditions made applicable thereto, or if disapproved shall indicate the reasons for disapproval. The Town Board may impose any conditions or exemptions necessary to minimize any burden on any persons affected by granting the permit.
G. 
Termination. When a use does not continue in conformity with the conditions of the original approval, or when a change in the character of the surrounding area or of the use itself causes it to be no longer compatible with surrounding areas, or for similar cause based upon consideration for the public welfare, the permit may be terminated by action of the Town Board following a public hearing thereon. The permit granted herein shall not become a nonconforming use under the Zoning Ordinance.
H. 
Changes. Subsequent change or addition to the approved plans or use shall first be submitted with the appropriate fees for approval to the Town Board, and if in the opinion of the Town Board such change or addition constitutes a substantial alteration, a public hearing before the Town Board shall be required and notice thereof shall be given.
A. 
Standard requirements.
(1) 
Except as may be specifically otherwise provided, any such use shall conform to the building location, height, building size, lot size, and open space regulations of the zoning district in which it is located.
(2) 
Building, site and operation plans of the proposed use shall be submitted for approval of the Town Board. Such plans shall be in sufficient detail to enable the Board to evaluate the suitability of architectural and landscape treatment; the proper location of the building or buildings on the lot; the satisfactory provision for parking and circulation needs, for drainage and sewage disposal, for adequate planting screen where necessary, and for operational control devices where necessary to eliminate noise, dust, odor, smoke or other objectionable operating condition; and the general compatibility of the proposed use with the area in which it is located.
B. 
Modification of regulations. Requirements applicable to uses by the regulations of this chapter may be modified or waived by the Board in their application to a special use if in the Board's opinion they are not appropriate or necessary to the proper regulation of the special use and where such modification or waiver would not in the Board's opinion result in adverse effect upon the surrounding properties.
C. 
Accessory uses and structures. Uses and structures accessory to a principal special use may be permitted subject to appropriate regulations in the same manner as hereinbefore set forth for the principal special use.
Any person aggrieved by a determination by the Town Board under this chapter may appeal the determination as provided by the Town of Genesee ordinances.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 9, Administrative Review.
The transfer of title to any property shall not change the rights and duties under this chapter.
The approval of a permit under this chapter shall not be construed to waive the requirement to obtain a building or plumbing permit prior to installation of any system.
Other than the manufacturer's name in an inconspicuous location, no other designs, words, letters or legends shall be placed upon the device.
Each violation of any provision of this chapter shall be subject to the penalties and remedies described in Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article I, General Penalty, of this Code.
[1]
Editor's Note: Added at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).