City of Weldon Spring, MO
St. Charles County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. No. 14-09 §1, 3-11-2014]
The purpose of this Chapter is to provide standards for the installation and use of renewable energy systems as accessory uses within the City of Weldon Spring. This Section seeks to protect properties from incompatible uses in the interest of property values, public health and the welfare of the community while promoting the use of alternative energy sources, where appropriate. This Chapter provides a process to facilitate the use of these systems in a manner that minimizes adverse impacts and promotes the health, safety and welfare of the community.
[Ord. No. 14-09 §1, 3-11-2014]
A. 
Renewable energy systems shall be considered as an accessory use subject to the provisions of this Section.
1. 
Roof mounted, solar. Roof-mounted solar energy systems shall be considered a permitted accessory use in all districts subject to the regulations contained herein and all other building, electrical and any other applicable permits or authorizations. Roof mounted solar energy systems shall be approved administratively. Petitions that do not meet the requirements set forth herein may be considered pursuant to Section 430.070, Alternative Compliance, of this Chapter.
2. 
Ground mounted, solar. Ground-mounted solar energy systems shall be considered an accessory use in all zoning districts and shall require a conditional use permit pursuant to Article IX of the City's Zoning Regulations.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 405, Zoning, Art. IX, Conditional Use Regulations.
3. 
Wind. Wind energy systems shall be considered an accessory use in the "AG", "HTO," "LI," and "PC" zoning districts and shall only be allowed in these districts and shall require a conditional use permit pursuant to Article IX of the City's Zoning Regulations.
[Ord. No. 14-09 §1, 3-11-2014]
A. 
The requirements set forth in this Section shall govern the construction and/or installation of all renewable energy systems:
1. 
Solar energy systems, general. Solar energy collectors shall be documented by the manufacturer as being non-reflective pursuant to recognized engineering standards showing reflectivity of less than thirty percent (30%) or shall be placed such that concentrated sunlight or glare shall not be directed onto nearby properties or streets. Documentation showing an architectural rendering of the proposed installation with an analysis of potential glare and reflection potential, and including all appropriate wind and snow load calculations, sealed by a professional engineer, must be submitted with the application.
2. 
Roof-mounted solar energy systems, residential zoning districts.
a. 
Solar energy collectors installed in residential zoning districts shall be:
(1) 
Installed parallel to the plane of the roof (flush mounted); or
(2) 
Made part of the roof design (capping or framing compatible with the color of the roof or structure); or
(3) 
Designed consistent with the definition of "building-integrated renewable energy system."
b. 
When located on a sloped roof, solar energy collectors shall be located on a rear- or side-facing roof, as viewed from a fronting street. In cases of corner lots or lots with more than one (1) street frontage, the side roof fronting a street may be considered a front-facing roof.
c. 
Roof-mounted solar energy systems shall be placed no more than eight (8) inches higher than the roof surface and shall not project vertically above the peak of a sloped roof to which it is attached.
d. 
When located on a sloped roof, solar energy collectors should be positioned in a symmetrical fashion and centered on the plane of the roof on which they are located.
e. 
When located on a sloped roof, solar energy collectors shall be set back at least the distance of the roof overhang.
f. 
All exterior electrical or plumbing lines must be painted in a color scheme that matches as closely as possible the color of the structure and the materials adjacent to the lines when visible from all directions.
g. 
Where applicable, a letter from the trustees of the subdivision where the solar energy system is proposed shall be submitted with any renewable energy system application located in a residential area demonstrating the trustees have reviewed the request.
3. 
Ground-mounted solar energy systems, all zoning districts.
a. 
Ground-mounted solar energy systems shall only be located in the side or rear yard of a property.
b. 
Ground-mounted solar energy systems and supporting structures shall not exceed the accessory structure height limitations in the zoning district in which the property is located. In commercial districts with no such requirement, a maximum height of twenty (20) feet is hereby established. Height shall be measured from average grade at the base of the supporting structure to the highest edge of the system.
c. 
Ground-mounted solar energy systems must be substantially screened from public view (including adjacent properties and public rights-of-way) by fencing, walls, plantings or other architectural feature or any combination thereof; provided, however, that screening shall not be required to be so dense, so tall or so located as to render the equipment essentially non-functional.
d. 
Where applicable, a letter from the trustees of the subdivision where the solar energy system is proposed shall be submitted with any renewable energy system application located in a residential area demonstrating the trustees have reviewed the request.
4. 
Roof-mounted solar energy systems, non-residential zoning districts.
a. 
Building (roof) mounted solar energy systems installed in non-residential zoning districts should be installed:
(1) 
Parallel to the plane of the roof (flush mounted); or
(2) 
Made part of the roof design (capping or framing compatible with the color of the roof or structure); or
(3) 
Designed consistent with the definition of "building integrated system."
b. 
When located on a sloped roof, solar energy collectors shall be located on a rear- or side-facing roof, as viewed from a fronting street. In cases of corner lots or lots with more than one (1) street frontage, the side roof fronting a street shall be considered a front-facing roof.
c. 
Building (roof) mounted solar energy systems should be placed no more than eight (8) inches higher than the roof surface and shall not project vertically above the peak of a sloped roof to which it is attached.
d. 
When located on a sloped roof, solar energy collectors shall be set back at least the distance of the roof overhang.
e. 
All exterior electrical or plumbing lines must be painted in a color scheme that matches as closely as possible the color of the structure and the materials adjacent to the lines when visible in all directions.
5. 
Wind energy system, general.
a. 
Wind energy systems are permitted only in the "AG," "HTO," "LI," or "PC" zoning districts, or for schools, universities, parks and other institutional uses located on a lot containing at least five (5) acres and subject to the requirements of this Section.
b. 
Ground-mounted wind energy systems affixed to a monopole tower are permitted only in the "AG," "LI" "HTO" and "PC" zoning districts subject to the approval of a conditional use permit pursuant to the procedures and requirements of Chapter 405, Article IX, of the City's Zoning Regulations and the site plan review procedures pursuant to Chapter 405, Article VII, of the City's Zoning Regulations.
c. 
Noise shall not exceed St. Charles County noise ordinance standards as applicable to the building type. The applicant shall provide noise rating information at the time of application.
d. 
Wind energy systems shall not be located in the front yard of property in any zoning district or affixed to the side of a structure facing the frontage.
e. 
No more than one (1) ground-mounted wind energy system may be installed on any commercially zoned property. Building-integrated or roof-mounted wind energy systems shall not be subject to these limitations.
f. 
Wind energy systems shall be painted or manufactured of a material of a neutral color so as to blend into the surroundings and shall not be reflective or metallic in color. Illumination of wind energy systems shall be prohibited, except as may be required by any State or Federal agency of competent jurisdiction. No commercial signage or attention-getting device shall be permitted, except regulatory signage required by any local, State or Federal agency of competent jurisdiction.
g. 
Applicants will provide, as part of their application, such renderings and drawings bearing a professional engineer's seal along with data and calculations as needed to show that wind and snow loads, etc., are appropriate to the installation.
h. 
Ground-mounted wind energy systems and their supporting structures are limited to a combined maximum height of one hundred (100) feet (tower mounted). Roof-mounted wind energy systems shall not exceed a height of ten (10) feet above the peak roof height, except as modified through the City's Planned Commercial or Overlay District procedures.
i. 
Wind energy systems must meet the principal use and accessory structure setback requirements of the district in which they are located if mounted directly on a roof or other elevated surface of a structure. If the wind energy system is attached to a freestanding tower, the setback from all property lines shall be a minimum distance equal to the height of the tower or fifteen (15) feet, whichever is more restrictive. The setback shall be measured from the furthest outward extension of all moving parts.
[Ord. No. 14-09 §1, 3-11-2014]
Roof-mounted solar energy systems may be approved administratively unless otherwise forwarded to the Planning and Zoning Commission for review and approval by the Board of Aldermen pursuant to Section 430.070 herein. All other renewable energy system applications shall require review by the Planning and Zoning Commission and approval by the Board of Aldermen pursuant to the City's conditional use permit procedures set forth in the City's Zoning Regulations, Article IX, and the site plan review procedures pursuant to Article VII.
[Ord. No. 14-09 §1, 3-11-2014]
A land use permit issued by the City of Weldon Spring along with such other permits as required under the current St. Charles County building codes are required prior to the installation of any renewable energy system. The owner of a renewable energy system shall ensure that it is installed and maintained in compliance with applicable building, fire and safety codes adopted by the City and any other State or Federal agency of competent jurisdiction. All wiring associated with a renewable energy system shall be underground or contained within a conduit or raceway that complements the building materials of the principal structure.
[Ord. No. 14-09 §1, 3-11-2014]
Any renewable energy systems that are noticeably in disrepair for a period exceeding six (6) months without repair or restoration procedures substantially underway shall be removed from the property and the structure and/or site restored at the owner's expense.
[Ord. No. 14-09 §1, 3-11-2014]
A. 
In unusual circumstances arising from the unique location or character of the proposed site and/or surrounding land uses or structures, if site-specific alternative standards would provide results that are equal to or superior to those which would be provided by the standards in this Section, the Planning and Zoning Commission may, upon review of the plans, recommend to the Board of Aldermen approval of an applicant's request for alternative standards, provided the purpose of these regulations will be satisfied and the alternative standards will have no adverse impact on any other property or unreasonably disturb the peaceful occupancy of adjoining or nearby property.
1. 
Procedure. An application for alternative compliance shall be prepared and submitted in accordance with the submittal requirements as set forth by the City of Weldon Spring. The proposed alternative standards shall clearly identify and discuss the modifications and alternatives proposed and the ways in which the plan will better accomplish the intent of these design standards than would an approach which complies with these design standards. The Planning and Zoning Commission shall review all such applications and provide its recommendation to the Board of Aldermen. The Board of Aldermen may approve, approve with conditions or deny the application.
2. 
Application. All applications for an Alternate Energy Use shall include the appropriate documentation necessary for City staff to review and make a recommendation to the Planning and Zoning Commission.
3. 
Review criteria. To approve an alternative approach, the City must find that the proposed alternative approach accomplishes the intent of these standards as well as or better than would an approach which complies with these standards and the alternative standards will have no adverse impact on any other property or unreasonably disturb the peaceful occupancy of adjoining or nearby property.
[Ord. No. 14-09 §1, 3-11-2014]
For the purposes of this Chapter, certain words and phrases are defined as follows:
BUILDING-INTEGRATED RENEWABLE ENERGY SYSTEM
A renewable 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 which contributes to the design of the building, including, but not limited to, photovoltaic or hot water solar systems contained within roofing materials, windows, skylights and awnings.
GROUND-MOUNTED SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEM
A solar energy system that is not attached to another structure and is affixed to the ground.
GROUND-MOUNTED WIND ENERGY SYSTEM
A wind energy system that is not attached to another structure and is affixed to the ground with a monopole tower.
RENEWABLE ENERGY SYSTEMS
Equipment and appurtenances used in the production of energy through the conversion of sun and wind energy which includes solar energy and wind energy systems.
ROOF-MOUNTED SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEM
A solar energy system affixed to either a principal or accessory structure on a lot.
ROOF-MOUNTED WIND ENERGY SYSTEM
A wind energy system affixed to the roof of a principal or accessory structure on a lot.
SOLAR ENERGY COLLECTOR
The component of a solar energy system containing the flat plate or tube or other devices that absorb energy from the sun when exposed to sunlight.
SOLAR ENERGY EQUIPMENT
The solar energy collectors, electronics, disconnects, valves, and other appurtenances associated with a solar energy system.
SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEM
A building- or ground-mounted photovoltaic, hot air, or hot water collector device or other type of energy system which relies upon solar radiation as the source for the generation of electricity or transfer of stored heat.
WIND ENERGY SYSTEM
A wind energy conversion system consisting of a wind turbine, freestanding or attached to a structure, and associated control or conversion electronics; provided, however, that wind energy systems in the City shall be limited to those which have a rated capacity of ten (10) kilowatts or less and are used for on-site consumption.
WIND TURBINE
The blades and associated components mounted on top of a tower whose purpose is to convert kinetic energy of the wind into rotational energy used to generate electricity.