(a) Definitions. For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning:
(1) “Wind energy system” means a system designed as a secondary, accessory use to existing principal uses and to existing buildings or facilities on a parcel, wherein the power generated is used primarily for consumption on the same parcel on which it is located. The system consists of a wind turbine and associated controls and may include a tower.
(2) “Hub height” means the distance measured from ground level to the center of the wind turbine hub.
(3) “Total height” means the distance measured from ground level to the highest point of any blade of the turbine.
(4) “Wind turbine” means a device which converts the kinetic energy of the wind into a rotational energy transmitted through a drive train to a generator and where the generated electricity can be connected directly to the load or feed.
(b) Lot and Zoning Requirements.
(1) Wind energy systems shall be allowed as secondary uses on lots that are a minimum of twenty thousand (20,000) square feet. Any deviation from the lot size restriction may be approved through the issuance of a conditional use permit.
(2) The following types of wind energy systems are allowed as a secondary use in the associated zoning districts:
(A) Monopole, roof, and vertical access systems in the RR, RR-1, RS, RS1, RS2, RU, CC, LC, CMU, and TSH Districts. In these zoning districts, no more than one (1) wind energy system shall be permitted per parcel unless the owner applies for and is granted a conditional use permit.
(B) Monopole, guyed, lattice, vertical access, and roof systems in the CG, ED, R, IL, IH, and C Districts. In these zoning districts, no more than two wind energy systems shall be permitted per parcel unless the owner applies for and is granted a conditional use permit.
(c) Building Permit Application Requirements. Building permits shall be obtained for any wind energy system prior to construction and installation of the system. Building permit applications are reviewed under Title 4 of this code. The Planning Department shall review each permit application for compliance with the requirements of this section. The applicant shall provide documentation that the wind energy systems meet the design requirements of this section, or provide a conditional use permit approved by the City, as part of a building permit application.
(d) Development and Design Requirements.
(1) The requirements of this ordinance shall apply to all wind energy systems proposed after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this section. Any deviation from the design requirements of this ordinance may be approved through the issuance of a conditional use permit.
(2) Building permit applications must include foundation plans designed for the installation location of the wind energy system and be stamped by an engineer licensed in the State of Alaska.
(3) All wind energy systems shall conform to the applicable uniform codes contained in Title 4 of the Kenai Municipal Code.
(4) The turbine to be constructed as a component of the wind energy system must be approved by the Small Wind Certification Program recognized by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) or any another accredited organization such as the Small Wind Certification Council, National Wind Technology Certification Center, or the U.S. Department of Energy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory or must be certified by a professional mechanical engineer licensed in the State of Alaska as a system that meets or exceeds industry safety standards for small wind energy systems.
(5) No wind energy system shall be installed until evidence has been given that the electrical utility company has been informed of, and approved, the customer’s intent to install an interconnected customer-owned generator. Off-grid systems are exempt from this requirement.
(6) The permitted height shall be measured from the preexisting natural grade to the center of the turbine hub for horizontal and vertical systems. The height limitation for wind energy systems for secondary use or allowed by conditional use are as follows:
(A) In the RR, RR-1, RS, RS1, RS2, RU, CC, LC, CMU, and TSH Districts the total height of the system cannot exceed eighty feet (80').
(B) In the CG, ED, R, IL, and C Districts wind energy systems with total height not exceeding one hundred fifty feet (150') may be permitted; total height exceeding one hundred fifty feet (150') requires a conditional use permit.
(C) In the IH District wind energy system with total height not exceeding three hundred feet (300') may be permitted; total height exceeding three hundred feet (300') requires a conditional use permit.
(D) Total height limitation near the Kenai Municipal Airport. Regardless of zone, wind energy systems in aircraft-approach zones and within eight thousand feet (8,000') of the main runway shall be subject to height limitation on the basis of obstruction criteria as shown on the current FAA-approved Kenai Airport Master Plan drawings which are on file at Kenai City Hall. No conditional use may be granted that deviates from this requirement.
(7) Minimum blade ground clearance in all zoning districts is fifteen feet (15').
(8) All portions of any wind energy system, including guy wires and other anchors, shall comply with the setback standards for the principal use of the subject parcel as shown on the Development Requirements Table. No part of the wind energy system structure may extend into any access or utility easements.
(9) All portions of the wind energy system shall be a nonreflective, nonobtrusive color, subject to the approval of the City Planner. Typically, towers supporting systems shall not be finished in bright or vivid colors. The appearance of the turbines, towers, and any other related components shall be maintained throughout the life of the wind energy system pursuant to industry standards.
(10) No part of the wind energy system, including any supporting structures, shall be used for advertising of any kind. Wind energy systems shall not be artificially illuminated unless required by a state or federal agency.
(11) For roof-mounted wind energy systems, the owner must provide the City with certification from an engineer licensed in the State of Alaska that the roof is built to accommodate the system.
(12) Wind energy systems shall not be climbable up to fifteen feet (15') above the ground surface unless the system is secured in a fenced area with a minimum of a six-foot (6') high fence. This requirement does not apply to roof-mounted wind energy systems.
(13) The electrical collection system shall be installed underground. The electrical connection system may be placed overhead near substations or points of interconnection to the electric grid.
(14) Wind energy systems shall be designed, installed, and operated so that noise generated by the system shall not exceed fifty (50) decibels, as measured five feet (5') above ground level at the closest property line to the system; except, the sound level may be exceeded during short-term events including utility outages and/or severe wind storms.
(e) Maintenance. Wind energy systems shall be erected and maintained plumb, level, and true and shall be repaired, painted, and maintained in accordance with this ordinance, any manufacturer’s recommendations and instructions, and with industry standards for small wind energy systems. The City Planner or designee may order the repair or removal of any wind energy system that is not maintained in accordance with this section.
(1) Any wind energy system that is not operated on a functional basis for a period of one hundred eighty (180) consecutive days is hereby declared unlawful, abandoned, and a public nuisance. In addition to other remedies provided by this chapter, the nuisance may be restrained, enjoined, or otherwise abated by the City.
(2) Demolition permits are required before a person removes a wind energy system. The permit shall require the entire system be removed (foundations to below natural grade, collection, connection, and transmission equipment) at the owner’s sole expense.
(1) Failure to maintain a wind energy system is a violation of this chapter and subject to the penalties of KMC 14.20.260.
(2) The City may issue an enforcement order under KM 14.20.260 for the repair or removal of any wind energy system that is not operated on a functional basis for a period of one hundred eighty (180) consecutive days or where the wind energy system becomes an immediate hazard to the safety of person or property due to emergency circumstances. Emergency circumstances include natural or manmade disasters or accidents, or when the owner or other person responsible for the system refuses to remedy a hazard.
(3) Where the system presents no immediate hazard to health or safety, the owner shall repair or remove the system within thirty (30) days of receipt of notification of the enforcement order. Upon agreement in writing that the owner will comply with an enforcement order to repair or remove the system if allowed additional time, the City may grant an extension of time within which to abate the public nuisance, if the City determines that such an extension of time will not create or perpetuate a situation dangerous to life or property. If the wind energy system is not operational or is not removed after thirty (30) days from the date of notification of the enforcement order, or after the time of any extension provided, the City may remove the system at the owner’s expense.
(4) Where the City identifies an immediate health or safety hazard, and when the owner or other person responsible for the system is either not available to immediately remedy the hazard or refuses to remedy the hazard, the City may enter upon the property and disconnect, dismantle, or otherwise remove any wind energy system. The City shall attempt to notify any owner or other person responsible for the system of such action within forty-eight (48) hours. For purposes of this section, notice is effective the earlier of posting the notice on the property, personal delivery, or upon receipt, if sent by certified mail.
(5) The costs and expenses incurred by the City in abatement of any health and/or safety hazard or of any nuisance as defined in subsection (f) shall be chargeable to the owner, and levied and collected as property taxes are levied and collected and/or may be collected in a civil action by the City.
(6) A person aggrieved by an enforcement order may appeal that order under KMC 14.20.290.