Township of Maplewood, NJ
Essex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 3-20-2018 by Ord. No. 2893-18]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
GROUND-MOUNTED SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEM
A solar energy system that is directly installed on solar racking systems, which are attached to an anchor in the ground and wired to connect to an adjacent home or building. Ground-mounted systems may be appropriate when insufficient space, structural and shading issues, or other restrictions prohibit rooftop solar.
SOLAR ENERGY FACILITY
An area of land or other area (e.g., parking lot canopy, landfill, brownfield, etc.) used for a solar collection system principally used to capture solar energy, convert it to electrical energy or thermal power and supply electrical or thermal power primarily for off-site use. Principal solar energy systems 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 appurtenant structures.
SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEM
An energy system that consists of one or more solar collection devices, solar energy-related "balance of system" equipment, and other associated infrastructure with the primary intention of generating electricity, storing electricity, or otherwise converting solar energy to a different form of energy.
SOLAR FARM OR GARDEN
A set of solar collection devices designed to capture sunlight and convert it to electricity primarily for off-site consumption and use; some electricity may be used by an on-site building or structure.
SOLAR PARKING CANOPY
A photovoltaic array that is suspended over an area designated for another use, such as parking.
A. 
Zoning. A solar energy system is allowed in all zones, provided that the system is in compliance with the accessory use provisions for each zone in § 271-70 (Zone Requirements) of the Code of the Township of Maplewood.
B. 
Setbacks for a ground-mounted solar energy system. The location of a ground-mounted solar energy system shall meet all applicable accessory use setback requirements of the zoning district in which it is located as per Subsection J in § 271-35 (Accessory Buildings and Structures) of the Code of the Township of Maplewood.
C. 
Roof-mounted. The design of the solar energy system shall conform to applicable local, state and national solar codes and standards. A building permit shall be obtained for the installation of a solar energy system. Design and installation work shall comply with all applicable provisions of the National Electric Code (NEC), the International Residential Code (IRC), the International Commercial Building Code, the State Fire Code, and any additional requirements set forth by the local utility.
D. 
Height regulations.
(1) 
Height, sloped roof: For a roof-mounted system, the highest point of the system shall not exceed the highest point of the roof to which it is attached as allowed by setback requirements.
(2) 
Height, flat roof: For a roof-mounted system, the highest point of the system shall not exceed the zoning district's height limit unless the Planning Board approves a height variance as per the Municipal Land Use Law.
(3) 
Height, ground-mounted: Ground-mounted or freestanding solar energy systems shall not exceed applicable maximum accessory structure height in the zoning district in which the solar energy system is located.
(4) 
Height, solar parking canopies: A solar energy system may exceed the applicable maximum accessory structure height if it will cover an impervious surface parking area. Height may not exceed the height of the primary structure that the parking area serves. Minimum height of the parking canopy must allow clearance for emergency service and service vehicles.
E. 
Historic districts. The installation of a solar energy system within an historic district or on an historic resource property is permitted with a certificate of appropriateness granted by the Historic Preservation Commission as set forth in § 271-80 (Actions Requiring Review by Commission) of the Code of the Township of Maplewood.
F. 
Tree removal. The proposed removal of a tree to facilitate the installation of solar panels shall by regulated by the provisions set forth in Subsection C of § 227-8 (Permit Required) of the Code of the Township of Maplewood.
The fee structure shall be as adopted in Chapter 123 of the Code of the Township of Maplewood.