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TOWN OF MAMAKATING
INTRODUCTORY LOCAL LAW
AMENDMENT OF REGULATION OF SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEMS
BE IT ENACTED by the Town of Mamakating, County of Sullivan, State of New York, as follows:
Section 1. Section 199-21, titled “Solar energy systems,” of Chapter 199, titled “Zoning,” of the Code of the Town of Mamakating is amended as follows:
Subsection C, titled “Definitions,” is amended by amending the definition “Solar Energy System” to read as follows:
Solar Energy System – Solar collectors, modules controls, energy storage devices, heat pumps, heat exchangers and other materials, hardware and equipment necessary to the process by which solar radiation is collected, converted into another form of energy, stored, protected from unnecessary dissipation, and distributed, including the solar access necessary for the system to operate as designed and any areas of land that are disturbed or cleared to provide or maintain that solar access, and any accessory or appurtenant structures. For the purpose of this law, a solar energy system does not include a solar energy system of four square feet or less in size.
Subsection H, titled “Large-scale solar energy systems,” is amended by adding new subsections (2) and (3) to read as follows:
(2) A large-scale solar energy system shall not be permitted on a site unless at least fifty (50%) percent of the site has existing solar access for the proposed solar energy system prior to any land disturbance or tree clearing.
(3) A large-scale solar energy system shall not be permitted on a site where fifty (50%) percent or more of the area of the solar energy system contains any of the following sensitive areas, determined on a cumulative basis:
100-year flood hazard zones;
Land within a federal or State regulated wetland or wetland adjacent buffer area;
Land containing slopes over 15% grade;
Land in a historic district or containing historic structures;
Land containing significant or rare natural ecological communities as designated by the State Department of Environmental Conservation;
Mature forested land, which is defined as forested areas where the canopy layer is dominated by trees having an average diameter at breast height of 15 inch or greater.
Subsection H(2), titled “Special use permit requirements and conditions,” is amended by re-numbering as subsection H(4) and is further amended to read as follows:
(4) Special use permit requirements and conditions. In addition to all other site plan and special use permit requirements, the following requirements and conditions shall apply:
The applicant shall submit a site map depicting any sensitive area listed in subsection H(4) above, depicting ecological communities based on Edinger’s Second Edition Ecological Communities of New York State, and showing and identifying all trees of 8-inch diameter or greater at breast height.
Large-scale solar energy systems shall not be constructed on any portion of a lot containing a sensitive area listed in subsection H(4) above, except that where no practical alternative exists, the Planning Board may allow limited disturbance of such areas to provide vehicular or utility access or the installation of security fencing.
Large-scale solar energy systems shall be sited to minimize disturbance of higher value ecological communities. For the purposes of defining ecological value, the Planning Board shall consider the quality of the community based on biodiversity and the absence or presence of invasive and non-native species. Established natural communities shall be given preference for preservation over areas of human disturbance or successional communities.
No more than five acres of forested land may be cleared in connection with the construction of a large-scale solar energy system. For the sole purpose of this provision, the removal of shrubs, underbrush and isolated stands of trees under eight inches in diameter at breast height shall not be deemed clearing. Whether or not a stand of trees qualifies for this clearing exemption shall be determined by the Planning Board at its discretion.
Ground cover under and between the rows of solar panels shall be low-maintenance, drought resistant, native, non-fertilizer dependent flora.
Roadways within the site shall be constructed of pervious materials and the site shall be designed to minimize the extent of the roadways construction and soil compaction. Roadways shall not exceed 20 feet in width.
Stormwater improvements shall be designed, constructed and maintained such that there is no net increase in the rate or volume stormwater runoff from the site.
Subsection H(2), titled “Special use permit requirements and conditions,” to be renumbered as subsection H(4), is amended by deleting paragraphs (j) and (s) and by re-lettering the following paragraphs of said subsection as follows:
If the property of the proposed project is to be leased, legal consent between all parties, specifying the use(s) of the land for the duration of the project, including easements and other agreements, shall be submitted.
The equipment specification sheets shall be documented and submitted for all photovoltaic panels, significant components, mounting systems, and inverters that are to be installed.
Property operation and maintenance plan. Such plan shall describe continuing solar energy system repair and maintenance and property upkeep, such as mowing and trimming. The use of herbicides is prohibited.
Lot width: 250 feet
Front yard setback: 100 feet
Side yard setback (each) 75 feet
Rear yard setback: 75 feet
Building height: 35 feet
Maximum height of solar collectors: 12 feet
Maximum height of fencing 7 feet
Subsection H(2), titled “Special use permit requirements and conditions,” to be renumbered as subsection H(4), is further amended by re-designating paragraphs (d) and (e), which relate to decommissioning, removal and security, as new subsection H(5) and amended to read as follows:
(5) Decommissioning, removal and security.
Subsection H(2), to be renumbered as subsection H(4), is further amended by re-designating paragraphs (f) and (g), titled, respectively, “Ownership changes” and “Modifications” as new subsections H(6) and H(7) to read as follows:
Section 2. This local law shall take effect immediately upon filing with the Secretary of State.