MapLink™ | Procedures | Solar Energy System Permits

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Solar Energy System Permits
Approval standards for large-scale solar systems as special use.
A. Large-scale solar energy systems are permitted through the issuance of a special use permit within the Agricultural-Residential District, subject to the requirements set forth in this section, including site plan approval. Applications for the installation of a large-scale solar energy system shall be reviewed by the Code Enforcement Officer and referred, with comments, to the Town of Jerusalem Zoning Board of Appeals for its review and action, which can include approval, approval on conditions, and denial.
B. Special use permit application requirements. For a special permit application, the site plan application is to be used as supplemented by the following provisions.
(1) 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.
(2) Blueprints showing the layout of the solar energy system signed by a professional engineer or registered architect shall be required.
(3) The equipment specification sheets shall be documented and submitted for all photovoltaic panels, significant components, mounting systems, and inverters that are to be installed.
(4) Property operation and maintenance plan. Such plan shall describe continuing photovoltaic maintenance and property upkeep, such as mowing and trimming.
(5) Decommissioning plan.
(a) To ensure the proper removal of large-scale solar energy systems, a decommissioning plan shall be submitted as part of the application. Compliance with this plan shall be made a condition of the issuance of a special use permit under this section. The decommissioning plan must specify that after the large-scale solar energy system can no longer be used or ceases to be used, it shall be removed by the applicant or any subsequent owner. The plan shall demonstrate how the removal of all infrastructure and the remediation of soil and vegetation shall be conducted to return the parcel to its original state prior to construction. The plan shall also include an expected timeline for execution. A cost estimate detailing the projected cost of executing the decommissioning plan shall be prepared by a professional engineer or contractor. Cost estimations shall take into account inflation. Removal of large-scale solar energy systems must be completed in accordance with the decommissioning plan. The Town Code Enforcement Officer, after suspecting that a solar energy system may be abandoned, shall notify the owner of such assessment and the owner may produce data or records to the Town Zoning Board of Appeals to prove that the solar energy system is active or has been active within the year prior to the notice.
(b) If the large-scale solar energy system is not decommissioned after being considered abandoned pursuant to § 160-159 hereof, the municipality may remove the system and restore the property. The actual cost of such decommissioning, removal of the system and restoration of the property, plus a service charge of 10% thereof to cover the cost of supervision and administration, shall be certified by the Town Code Enforcement Officer to the Town Supervisor, and such certified amount shall thereupon be charged and assessed against the owner, tenant or occupant of the property that was the subject of the violation. The expense, so assessed, shall constitute a lien and charge on the real property on which it is levied until paid or otherwise satisfied or discharged and shall be collected in the same manner and at the same time as other Town taxes and charges.
C. Special use permit standards.
(1) Height and setback. Large-scale solar energy systems shall adhere to the height and setback requirements of the underlying zoning district.
(2) Lot size. Large-scale energy systems shall be located on lots with a minimum lot size of five acres.
(3) Lot coverage. A large-scale solar energy system that is ground-mounted shall not exceed 15,000 sq. ft. (0.35 acres). The surface area covered by solar panels shall be included in total lot coverage.
(4) Any application under this section shall meet any substantive provisions contained in local site plan requirements in the zoning code that, in the judgment of the Town of Jerusalem Planning Board, are applicable to the system being proposed. If none of the site plan requirements are applicable, the Town of Jerusalem Planning Board may waive the requirement for site plan review.
(5) Aesthetics. Large-scale solar energy system installations shall incorporate, when feasible, the following design requirements:
(a) Panels must be mounted in such a way as to protect the viewshed of Keuka Lake.
(b) Solar energy systems must be situated in such a way that they minimize the visual impact from public roads.
(6) The Town of Jerusalem Zoning Board of Appeals may impose conditions on its approval of any special use permit under this section in order to enforce the standards referred to in this section or in order to discharge its obligations under the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA).

See Article XXV: Solar Energy Systems for more information. 
See Forms and Applications for more detailed information on permits.