MONTEREY COUNTY ZONING ORDINANCE - TITLE 21

21.64.120            WIND ENERGY CONSERVATION SYSTEMS

21.64.120        REGULATIONS FOR COMMERCIAL AND NONCOMMERCIAL WIND ENERGY CONVERSION SYSTEMS.

A.            Purpose:  The purpose of this Section is to provide the necessary regulations for the establishment of commercial and noncommercial wind energy conversion systems in the locations and circumstances under which the use may be established without detriment to the public health, safety and welfare.

B.             Applicability:  The provisions of this Section are applicable in those districts which allow commercial and noncommercial wind energy conversion systems.

C.             Regulations:  Wind Energy  Conversion Systems may be permitted in specified zoning districts, subject to securing a the appropriate permits in each case, and subject to the following regulations:

            1.         The application shall include a plot plan using an engineers scale and drawn in sufficient detail to show the following:

            a. Property lines, dimensions, acreage, and contours with appropriate intervals for site evaluation.

            b. Location and elevation of proposed Wind Energy Conversion System.

            c. Location and dimensions of all existing structures and uses on the lot within 300 feet of the system.

            d. Height of any structures or trees over  35' within a 500' radius on-site or off-site of the proposed Wind Energy Conversion System.

            e. Surrounding land use and all structures irrespective of height, within 500 feet of the Wind Energy Conversion System location.

            f. Standard drawings of the structural components of the Wind Energy Conversion System, including structures, tower, base and footings.  Drawings and any necessary calculations shall be certified by a registered engineer that the system complies with the Uniform Building code.


            g. Evidence from a qualified individual that the site is feasible for a Wind Energy Conversion System.

            h. Certification from a registered  engineer or qualified person that the rotor and overspeed control have been designed for the proposed use on the proposed site.

            2.            Setbacks:

            a. Wind Energy Conversion Systems shall maintain a minimum setback of two times the total height of the Wind Energy Conversion System from any property line.

            b. Wind Energy Conversion Systems shall maintain a minimum setback of at least 5 times the Wind Energy Conversion System height from the right-of-way line of any public road or highway.

            c. In all cases the Wind Energy Conversion Systems shall maintain a minimum distance of at least 1.25 times the Wind Energy Conversion Systems height from any habitable structure.

            3.            Height:

            a. Noncommercial Wind Energy Conversion Systems shall not exceed a total height of 50 feet unless the parcel on which the Wind Energy Conversion Systems is to be located is 10 acres or larger, in which case the maximum total height may be 100 feet.

            b. Commercial Wind Energy Conversion Systems shall not exceed a total height of 200 feet.

            c. In all cases the minimum height of the lowest position of the Wind Energy Conversion Systems blade shall be at least 30 feet above the ground and 30 feet above the highest existing structure or tree within a 250 foot radius.

            4.            Wind Energy Conversion Systems Siting and Design Standards:

            a. Wind Energy Conversion Systems shall not be placed on visually prominent ridgelines.

            b. Wind Energy Conversion Systems shall be designed and placed in such a manner to minimize to the greatest extent feasible adverse visual and noise impacts on neighboring areas.

            c. Colors and surface treatment of the Wind Energy Conversion Systems and supporting structures shall to the greatest extent feasible minimize disruption of the natural characteristics of the site.

            d. Wind Energy Conversion Systems shall be equipped with air traffic warning lights and shall have prominent markings on the rotor blade tips of an international orange color where:

                        i. The total height of the Wind Energy Conversion Systems exceeds 175', or

                        ii. Any Wind Energy Conversion Systems exceeding 125' in total height is placed at a ground elevation over 200'

            5.            Noise:

                        The Wind Energy Conversion System shall comply with the Noise Element of the General Plan and any noise ordinance of the County of Monterey.

            6.            Safety Measures:

            a. Each Wind Energy Conversion Systems shall be equipped with both manual and automatic controls to limit the rotational speed of the rotor blade so it does not exceed the design limits of the rotor.

            b. The height, color, and type of fencing for Wind Energy Conversion Systems installation shall be determined on the basis of individual applications as safety needs dictate.

            c. Appropriate warning signs shall be posted.  The type and placement of the signs shall be determined on an individual basis as safety needs dictate.

            7.            Electromagnetic Interference:

                        The Wind Energy Conversion System shall be operated such that no disrupting electromagnetic interference is caused.  If it is determined that a Wind Energy Conversion Systems is causing electromagnetic interference, the operator shall take the necessary corrective action to eliminate this interference including relocation or removal of the facilities, subject to the approval of the Director of Planning and Building Inspection.

            8.            Liability Insurance:

                        The Wind Energy Conversion System operator shall maintain a current insurance policy which will cover installation and operation of the Wind Energy Conversion Systems.  The amount of said policy shall be established as a condition of permit approval.


D.            Findings:  The approval of the Use Permit shall include the following minimum findings:

            1.         That the proposed use is not detrimental to the public health and safety, and

            2.         That the use of the property for such purposes will not result in material damage, or prejudice to other property in the area, and

            3.         Installation of the Wind Energy Conversion System does  not have the potential to create a substantially adverse visual impact when viewed from a common public viewing area.

            4.         That the subject property is in compliance with all rules and regulations pertaining to zoning uses, subdivisions, and any other applicable provisions of this Title and that all zoning violation abatement costs have been paid.

E.                     Abatement:

            1.         If any Wind Energy Conversion System remains non- functional or inoperative for a continuous period of one year, the permittee shall remove said system at their expense.  Removal of the system includes the entire structure including foundations, transmission equipment, and fencing from the property.

            2.         Non-function or lack of operation may be proven by reports to the State Energy Commission or by lack of income generation.  The applicant, permit holder, and successors shall make available to the Director of Planning and Building Inspection all reports to and from the purchaser  or purchasers of energy from individual Wind Energy Conversion Systems or from the wind form, if requested.

            3.         The applicant, or successors, shall continuously maintain a fund payable to the County of Monterey for the removal of non-functional towers and appurtenant facilities in an amount to be determined by the Director of Planning and Building Inspection for the period of the Use Permit.  This fund may consist of a certificate of deposit in a State of California financial institution (as approved under Government Code Section 66499).  Interest on said certificate of deposit shall be paid to the applicant, or its successors, but the terms of the certificate shall require that it remain on deposit during the period of the Use Permit.

            4.         If removal of towers and appurtenant facilities is required and the applicant, permit holder, or successors fails to remove the towers and appurtenant facilities from the property within 30 days from the date of notification by the Director of Planning and Building Inspection, the Director of Planning and Building Inspection may contract for such removal and pay for removal from the fund.  The permit holder shall then have 90 days within which to replenish the fund.  Failure to replenish the fund shall be a breach of the condition of the Use Permit and as such, voids the permit.


            5.         If the County removes a tower and appurtenant facilities, it may sell the salvage to defray the cost of removal.  By the acceptance of a Use Permit, the permittee or grantor grants a license to the County of Monterey to enter the property to remove a tower pursuant to the terms of the Use Permit and to assure compliance with the other conditions set forth in the permit.