Town of Saratoga

Local Law No. 3 for the Year 2008

Wind Energy Conversion Systems


Be it enacted by the Town Board of the Town of Saratoga, as follows:


Section 1.  Appendix A of the Zoning Regulations of the Town of Saratoga (Section 400 et.seq. of the Town of Saratoga Code) is hereby amended to add the following definitions in alphabetical order:


WECS – Any mechanism designed for the purpose of converting wind energy into

electrical energy.


WECS, Commercial – A WECS that is the prime use on a parcel of land and supplies

electrical power for off-site use.


WECS, Noncommercial – A WECS that is incidental and subordinate to another use on

the same parcel and supplies electrical power solely for on-site use, except that when a

parcel on which a noncommercial WECS is installed also receives electrical power

supplied by a utility company, excess electrical power generated by the noncommercial

WECS and not presently needed for on-site use may be used by the utility company in

exchange for a reduction in the cost of electrical power supplied by that company to the

parcel for on-site use.


Section 2.  Article IV of the Zoning Regulations of the Town of Saratoga is hereby amended by adding Section 400-16.1 as follows:


 Wind Energy Conversion Systems


A. Purpose. For the purpose of protecting the general public of the Town of

Saratoga and properties adjacent to Wind Energy Conversion Systems (WECS)

from indiscriminate placement, and related health and safety problems,  the

following rules and regulations shall apply.


B. Definitions – See Appendix A.


C. Regulations – Noncommercial WECS shall be allowed by special use permit

in any zoning district; commercial WECS are a prohibited use in all zoning districts of the Town. All WECS shall conform to the following regulations.


D. Application - An applicant for a special use permit for a WECS shall  submit a site plan to the Planning Board, which meets the  requirements of  Section  400-32,  together with an application fee of $200.  In addition, the following information shall be submitted and prepared:


1 )A site plan drawn in sufficient detail to show the following:


a) Location of the tower(s) on the site and the tower height,

including blades, rotor diameter and ground clearance.


b) Utility lines, both above and below ground, within a

radius equal to the proposed tower height, including



c) Property lot lines and the location and dimensions of all

existing structures and uses on site within 500 feet of the



d) Surrounding land use and all structures within 500 feet of

the WECS location.


e) Dimensional representation of the various structural

components of the tower construction, including the base

and footing.


f) Design data indicating the basis of design, including

manufacturer’s dimensional drawings and installation and

operation instructions.


g) For any tower exceeding 50 feet in height (not including blades),

 certification by a registered professional engineer or a manufacturer’s

certification that the tower design is sufficient to withstand wind-load

requirements for structures as established by the New York State Uniform

Fire Prevention and Building Code.



2)  A Short Form EAF shall be required for a noncommercial WECS.



E. Setback. The minimum required setback for any WECS tower from

property lines, overhead utility lines, or other WECS shall be equal to 1.5 times

 the proposed structure height, including blades.


F. Noise. WECS towers shall be properly maintained and operated at all

times and shall be located with relation to property lines so that the noise

produced during operation shall not exceed fifty (50) dbA, measured at

the boundaries of all of contiguous parcels that are owned by non-site



G. Electromagnetic Interference. WECS generators and alternators shall be

properly filtered and/or shielded in order to avoid electromagnetic interference

and shall comply with the rules and regulations of the Federal Communications

Commission contained in 47 CFR Parts 15 and 18.


I. Safety.


1) No WECS shall be permitted that lack an automatic braking, governing, or feathering system to prevent uncontrolled rotation, overspeeding, and excessive pressure on the tower

structure, rotor blades, and turbine components.


2) The minimum distance between the ground and any part of the rotor blade system shall be thirty (30) feet, except in the case of a roof- mounted WECS.


3) The Permittee shall meet all FAA requirements as to lighting.


J. Height.


1) Noncommercial WECS shall not exceed a total height of 100 feet, including rotor blade.


            K.Visual. The Planning Board in its discretion may require the applicant to undertake a visual impact assessment. This may include such maps, photos, computer-enhanced photos, or other materials as are reasonably necessary to assist the Board in evaluating visual impact.  No individual WECS shall be installed at any location which, in the opinion of the Board, would substantially detract from or block the view from a scenic vista or scenic corridor.


            L. Aesthetics. No advertising signs or language may appear on any WECS tower or blade. A WECS shall be painted in neutral colors only.          



Section 3.

This Local Law shall take effect immediately upon filing with the Secretary of State of

the State of New York.