[First Reprint]

ASSEMBLY, No. 3740

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

213th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 9, 2009

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman WAYNE P. DEANGELO

District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)

Assemblywoman PAMELA R. LAMPITT

District 6 (Camden)

Assemblyman JOHN F. MCKEON

District 27 (Essex)

Assemblywoman  LINDA R. GREENSTEIN

District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senators B.Smith, Baroni and Beck

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Provides for regulation of small wind energy systems by municipalities.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As reported by the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee on January 4, 2010, with amendments.

  


An Act concerning small wind energy systems and supplementing Title 40 of the Revised Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1[1.  For the purposes of this act:

     “Small wind energy system” means a wind energy conversion system consisting of a wind turbine, a tower, and associated control or conversion electronics, which has a rated capacity consistent with applicable construction codes and which will be used primarily for onsite consumption;

     “System height” means the height above grade of the tower plus the wind generator.

     “Tower height” means the height above grade of the fixed portion of the tower, excluding the wind generator; and

     “Wind generator” means blades and associated mechanical and electrical conversion components mounted on top of the tower.]1

 

     1[2.] 1.  a.1  Ordinances adopted by municipalities to regulate the installation and operation of small wind energy systems shall not unreasonably limit such installations or unreasonably hinder the performance of such installations. 1An application for development or appeal involving a small wind energy system shall comply with the appropriate notice and hearing provisions otherwise required for the application or appeal pursuant to the "Municipal Land Use Law,” P.L.1975, c.291 (C.40:55D-1 et seq.).

     b.1 Unreasonable limits or hindrances to performance 1of a small wind energy system1 shall include the following:

     1(1)1 Prohibiting small wind energy systems in all districts within the municipality;

     1(2)1 Restricting tower height or system height through application of a generic ordinance or regulation on height that does not specifically address allowable tower height or system height of a small wind energy system;

     1(3)1 Requiring a setback from property boundaries for a tower that is greater than 150 percent of the system height. In a municipality that does not adopt specific setback requirements for small wind energy systems, any small wind energy system shall be set back from the nearest property boundary a distance at least equal to 150 percent of the system height; provided, however, that this 1setback1 requirement may be 1[modified] reduced1 by the zoning board of adjustment 1 or, if otherwise appropriate, by the planning board1 upon application in an individual case if the applicant establishes the conditions for a variance under 1[this act] the "Municipal Land Use Law,” P.L.1975, c.291 (C.40:55D-1 et seq.) to the board’s satisfaction1;

     1(4)1 Setting a noise level limit lower than 55 decibels, as measured at the site property line, or not allowing for limit overages during short-term events such as utility outages and severe wind storms; and

     1(5)1 Setting electrical or structural design criteria that exceed applicable 1[State, federal, or international building or electrical codes or laws] provisions of the State Uniform Construction Code promulgated pursuant to the “State Uniform Construction Code Act,” P.L.1975, c.217 (C.52:27D-119 et seq.) and technical bulletins issued pursuant to section 2 of P.L.    , c.    (C.    ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

     c.     If the Commissioner of Environmental Protection has issued a permit for the development of a small wind energy system under the "Coastal Area Facility Review Act," P.L.1973, c.185 (C.13:19-1 et seq.), prior to the effective date of P.L.    , c.   (C.      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), provisions of subsection b. of this section shall not apply to an application for development for that small wind energy system if the provisions of that subsection would otherwise prohibit approval of the application or require the approval to impose restrictions or limitations on the small wind energy system, including but not limited to restrictions or limitations on tower height or system height, the setback of the system from property boundaries, and noise levels.

     d.    For the purposes of this section:

     “Small wind energy system” means a wind energy conversion system consisting of a wind turbine, a tower, and associated control or conversion electronics, which has a rated capacity consistent with applicable provisions of the State Uniform Construction Code promulgated pursuant to the “State Uniform Construction Code Act,” P.L.1975, c.217 (C.52:27D-119 et seq.) and technical bulletins issued pursuant to section 2 of P.L.    , c.    (C.    ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), and which will be used primarily for onsite consumption;

     “System height” means the height above grade of the tower plus the wind generator;

     “Tower height” means the height above grade of the fixed portion of the tower, excluding the wind generator; and

     “Wind generator” means blades and associated mechanical and electrical conversion components mounted on top of the tower1.

 

     1[3.] 2.1     Within 10 months of enactment of  1[this act] P.L.    , c.   (C.       ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill)1, the Director of the Division of Codes and Standards in the Department of Community Affairs1, in consultation with the Department of Environmental Protection,1 shall 1[promulgate] issue1 a technical bulletin which shall include model municipal ordinances for the construction of small wind energy systems. Prior to1 issuance of the technical bulletin1, the director shall hold one or more public hearings and solicit comments from interested parties. The Division of Codes and Standards in the Department of Community Affairs shall 1[provide a copy of the technical bulletin to every municipal governing body] post the technical bulletin on its Internet website1.

 

     1[4.] 3.1  Small wind energy systems shall be built to comply with all applicable Federal Aviation Administration requirements, including 14 C.F.R. part 77, subpart B regarding installations close to airports, and all applicable airport zoning regulations.

 

     1[5.] 4.1     A small wind energy system that is out of service for a continuous 12-month period shall be deemed abandoned. The 1[planning board] municipal zoning enforcement officer1 may issue a notice of abandonment to the owner of an abandoned small wind energy system. The owner shall have the right to respond to the notice of abandonment within 30 days from the receipt date. The 1[planning board] municipal zoning enforcement officer1 shall withdraw the notice of abandonment and notify the owner that the notice has been withdrawn if the owner provides the 1[planning board] municipal zoning enforcement officer1 with information demonstrating the small wind energy system has not been abandoned. If the small wind energy system is determined to be abandoned, the owner of the small wind energy system shall remove the wind generator from the tower at the owner’s sole expense within three months of receipt of notice of abandonment. If the owner fails to remove the wind generator from the tower, the 1[planning board] municipality1 may pursue a legal action to have the wind generator removed at the owner’s expense.

 

     1[6.  When the building inspector or municipal officer charged with or responsible for the enforcement of building codes determines that a use or structure proposed in a building permit application will have the potential for regional impact and no such determination has previously been made by another municipal planning board, he or she shall notify the local governing body. The building inspector or municipal officer charged with or responsible for the enforcement of building codes shall also notify by certified mail the regional planning board and the affected municipalities, who shall be provided 30 days to submit comment to the local governing body and the building inspector prior to the issuance of the building permit.]1  

 

     1[7.  a.  A building inspector or municipal officer charged with or responsible for the enforcement of building codes shall notify the owner or tenant of any property abutting upon the site of a proposed small wind energy system by mail upon application for a building permit to construct a small wind energy system. Affected owners and tenants shall be afforded a 30-day comment period prior to the issuance of a building permit. An appeal may be made to the municipal planning board or to the zoning board of adjustment, as may be appropriate.

     b.    The cost of notification shall be borne by the applicant.

     c.     The building inspector or municipal officer charged with or responsible for the enforcement of building codes shall provide notice of the application for a building permit to the municipal governing body. ]1

 

     1[8.] 5.1  This act shall take effect immediately.