Public Notice: Town of Riverhead — Public Hearing to amend Chapter 301, entitled " Zoning and Land Development" of the Riverhead Town Code.

Event Date: 
Tue, 12/05/2017 - 2:05pm - 3:05pm

TOWN OF RIVERHEAD

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING

 

PLEASE TAKE NOTICEthat a public hearing will be held before the Town Board of the Town at Riverhead at Riverhead Town Hall, 200 Howell Avenue, Riverhead, New York, on the 5th day of December 2017 at 2:05 o'clock p.m. to amend Chapter 301, entitled " Zoning and Land Development" of the Riverhead Town Code.

Be it enacted by the Town Board of the Town of Riverhead as follows:

CHAPTER 301

Zoning and Land Development

Article LII. Commercial Solar Energy Production Systems

§ 301-281. Purpose; permitted districts; definitions.

A. It is the intention of the Town Board of the Town of Riverhead, as part of its goal to limit dependence on imported fossil energy and decrease greenhouse gas emissions, to permit commercial solar energy production systems in the industrial zoning use districts to minimize impacts to residents and scenic viewsheds important to the community.

 

B. Commercial solar energy production systems shall be allowed with special permit approval by the Town Board as a permitted use in the Light Industrial (LI) Zoning Use District, Industrial A (IA) Zoning Use District, Industrial B District (General Industry) and the Planned Industrial Park (PIP) District.

 

C. Commercial solar energy production systems shall be allowed with special permit approval by the Town Board in the Industrial C (IC) Zoning Use District that is located within the zip code boundary of Calverton.

 

D. Definitions

Lot Coverage – The lot coverage shall include the total square footage of the perimeter of all of the solar panels, inclusive of all interior spaces between the panels, in addition to driveways and service roads (paved or stone), and all accessory equipment, buildings and structures.

§ 301-282. Use regulations.

Commercial solar energy production systems shall be permitted as a permitted use or as allowed with special permit approval as provided in § 301-281. In addition to the requirements set forth in this chapter, all such permitted and special permit uses shall be subject to the following criteria and subject to site plan approval by the Planning Board:

 

A.    The commercial solar energy system shall be on a parcel of not less than five six acres.

B. All ground-mounted panels shall not exceed the height of eight feet.

 

C. All mechanical equipment of commercial solar energy systems, including any structure for batteries or storage cells, are completely enclosed by a minimum eight-foot-high fence with a self-locking gate.

 

D. Notwithstanding any requirement in §§ 301-115, 301-118, 301-123, and 301-127 of this chapter, the total surface area of all ground-mounted and freestanding solar collectors, including solar photovoltaic cells, panels, and arrays, shall not exceed 80 75% of the total parcel area.

 

E. The installation of a minimum 25 foot vegetated perimeter buffer to provide year-round screening of the system from adjacent propertiesand a minimum 50 foot vegetative buffer along roads.

F.   All solar energy production systems are designed and located in order to prevent reflective glare toward any habitable buildings as well as streets and rights-of-way.

G. All on-site utility and transmission lines are, to the extent feasible, placed underground.

 

H. The installation of a clearly visible warning sign concerning voltage must be placed at the base of all pad-mounted transformers and substations.

I.   The system is designed and situated to be compatible with the existing uses on adjacent and nearby properties.

J.  In approving a special exception, the Planning Board may waive or modify any of the above criteria if it finds that there is no detriment to public health, safety and welfare.

The minimum setback for equipment and panels adjacent to a commercial or industrial property shall be 25 feet.

K.Any special permit approval granted under this article shall have a term of 20 years, commencing from the grant of the special permit, which may be extended for additional five-year terms upon application to the Town Board.

     The maximum lot coverage shall be 75%.

L.   Decommissioning/Removal.

 

        (1) Any commercial solar energy production system that is not operated for a continuous period of 24 months shall be deemed abandoned. At that time, the owner of the commercial solar energy production system or the owner of the property where the commercial solar energy production system is located shall remove all components thereof within 90 days of such deemed abandonment or will be in violation of this section. In the case of a commercial solar energy production system on preexisting structures, this provision shall apply to the commercial solar energy production system only. If the commercial solar energy production system is not removed within said 90 days, the Building Inspectors may give the owner notice that unless the removal is accomplished within 30 days, the Town will cause the removal at the owner's expense. All costs and expenses incurred by the Town in connection with any proceeding or any work done for the removal of a commercial solar energy production system shall be assessed against the land on which such commercial solar energy production system is located, and a statement of such expenses shall be presented to the owner of the property, or if the owner cannot be ascertained or located, then such statement shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the premises. Such assessment shall be and constitute a lien upon such land. If the owner of the system and the owner of the property upon which the system is located shall fail to pay such expenses within 10 days after the statement is presented or posted, a legal action may be brought to collect such assessment or to foreclose such lien. As an alternative to the maintenance of any such action, the Building Inspector may file a certificate of the actual expenses incurred as aforesaid together with a statement identifying the property in connection with which the expenses were incurred and the owner of the system and the owner of the property upon which the system is located, with the Assessors, who shall, in the preparation of the next assessment roll, assess such amount upon such property. Such amount shall be included in the levy against such property, shall constitute a lien and shall be collected and enforced in the same manner, by the same proceedings, at the same time and under the same penalties as are provided by law for the collection and enforcement of real property taxes in the Town of Riverhead.

 

        (2) This section is enacted pursuant to § 10 of the Municipal Home Rule Law to promote the public health, safety and general welfare of Town citizens through removal provisions to ensure the proper decommissioning of commercial solar energy production systems within the entire Town. The removal reduction provision of this chapter shall supersede any inconsistent portions of Town Law § 64 (5-a) and govern the subject of removal of commercial solar energy production systems in this chapter.

 

M.  The minimum natural open space shall be 25%.

 

N.  The minimum setback of panels from a residential building or zoning district shall be 100 feet.

O.  The minimum buffer adjacent to a commercial or industrial property shall be 25 feet.

P.  The maximum height of the panels shall not exceed eight (8) feet.

Q.  Any special permit approval granted under this article shall have a term of 20 years, commencing from the grant of the special permitissuance of a certificate of occupancy or certificate of compliance, which may be extended for additional five-year terms upon application to the Town Board.

R.  A building permit may be required for replacing solar panels and accessory equipment as determined by the Chief Building Inspector.

S.  Decommissioning/Removal.

 

        (1) Any commercial solar energy production system that is not operated for a continuous period of 24 months shall be deemed abandoned. At that time, the owner of the commercial solar energy production system or the owner of the property where the commercial solar energy production system is located shall remove all components thereof within 90 days of such deemed abandonment or will be in violation of this section. In the case of a commercial solar energy production system on preexisting structures, this provision shall apply to the commercial solar energy production system only. If the commercial solar energy production system is not removed within said 90 days, the Building Inspectors may give the owner notice that unless the removal is accomplished within 30 days, the Town will cause the removal at the owner's expense. All costs and expenses incurred by the Town in connection with any proceeding or any work done for the removal of a commercial solar energy production system shall be assessed against the land on which such commercial solar energy production system is located, and a statement of such expenses shall be presented to the owner of the property, or if the owner cannot be ascertained or located, then such statement shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the premises. Such assessment shall be and constitute a lien upon such land. If the owner of the system and the owner of the property upon which the system is located shall fail to pay such expenses within 10 days after the statement is presented or posted, a legal action may be brought to collect such assessment or to foreclose such lien. As an alternative to the maintenance of any such action, the Building Inspector may file a certificate of the actual expenses incurred as aforesaid together with a statement identifying the property in connection with which the expenses were incurred and the owner of the system and the owner of the property upon which the system is located, with the Assessors, who shall, in the preparation of the next assessment roll, assess such amount upon such property. Such amount shall be included in the levy against such property, shall constitute a lien and shall be collected and enforced in the same manner, by the same proceedings, at the same time and under the same penalties as are provided by law for the collection and enforcement of real property taxes in the Town of Riverhead.

 

        (2) This section is enacted pursuant to § 10 of the Municipal Home Rule Law to promote the public health, safety and general welfare of Town citizens through removal provisions to ensure the proper decommissioning of commercial solar energy production systems within the entire Town. The removal reduction provision of this chapter shall supersede any inconsistent portions of Town Law § 64 (5-a) and govern the subject of removal of commercial solar energy production systems in this chapter.

 

 

 

T.   Exclusions/Grandfathered Applications.

 

        (1) Where a public hearing has been held on a special permit or site plan application, that application shall be excluded from complying with the requirements of these amendments.

 

•   Overstrike represents deletion(s)

            •   Underscore represents addition(s)

Dated:     Riverhead, New York

November 8, 2017

 

BY THE ORDER OF THE TOWN BOARD

OF THE TOWN OF RIVERHEAD

DIANE M. WILHELM,TOWN CLERK