Archive for Wednesday, December 23, 2009

De Soto Council adopts alternative energy regulations

December 23, 2009

Anticipating growing interest in wind and solar energy systems, the De Soto City Council last Thursday approved zoning regulations to guide their installation.

“People are interested, and we’re going to starting seeing activity,” De Soto City Planner Linda Bohnsack told the council.

In fact, the council approved a special use permit for a wind energy generating system based on the new regulations after they were adopted at the meeting.

Among the city regulations for wind systems are requirements:

• A tower purposed for residential zoning does not exceed 1.5 times the maximum height for the zoning district and on a lot greater than 2 acres.

• A residential application doesn’t exceed the maximum height regulations of the existing zoning.

• An integrated system in a non-residential use must be part of a site plan.

• A system will have a setback from the property line equal to its height. And any guy wires must be 10 feet from the property line.

• A system’s decibel levels at property lines can’t exceed those allowed in city code.

• The system must not cause interference with communications systems.

Solar system must:

• Must not extend 24 inches from a roof or above its peak as viewed from a public right-of-way.

• Can’t extend 4 feet above a roof or above its peak from views not visible for public right-of-ways.

• Can’t extend beyond the edge of a roof.

• All plumbing, conduits, etc. must be concealed.

• Exposed metal must be painted a “colored to visually blend into the surroundings.”

Regulations also restrict residential ground mounted systems to rural or rural residential zoned property.

Those restrictions were supplemented with regulations guiding consideration of special use permits for larger wind systems that exceed limitations of the new regulations.

Among those restrictions are requirements a tower doesn’t exceed 200 feet in height and it be located so that it would be buffered from neighbors.

The next item on the council’s agenda was approval of a special use permit for a wind generator on Kameron Klein’s property at 35376 W. 95th St.

Klein said the turbine would be on a 150-foot lattice tower that would not require guy wires.

His system would create a noise level of 65 decibels, but not exceed the 55 decibels levels at the property line limit for residential zoning, Klein said.

Although the gears would create noise, it was unlikely to be heard above the traffic on Kansas Highway 10 to the north or that caused by the wind when it was spinning at its greatest rate, he said.

The planning and zoning dominated meeting, the council also:

• Approved rezoning for 154 properties that were brought into the city as a result of the 1999 annexation. Thirty-two properties were rezoned to the city’s new rural agricultural zoning approved last month.

• Approved a special use permit for Prairie Traditional Archers for the use of Widow Big Knife Park in the West Bottoms the archery club is leasing.

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