Sunfish Lake City Code

SECTION 1230.01  PURPOSE: The purpose of this section is to:

 

A. Accommodate alternative energy sources by removing regulatory barriers and creating a clear regulatory path for approving alternative energy systems.

 

B.       Create a livable community where development incorporates sustainable design elements such as resource and energy conservation and use of renewable energy.

 

C. Protect and enhance air quality and decrease use of fossil fuels.

 

D. Accommodate alternative energy development in locations where the technology is viable and environmental, economic and social impacts can be mitigated.

 

 

 

SECTION 1230.02  GROUND SOURCE HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS:

 

A. Zoning District Allowance:  Ground source heat pump systems in accordance with the standards in this section are allowed as an accessory use in all zoning districts.

 

B. Approvals Required: A building permit shall be obtained for any ground source heat pump system prior to installation. Borings for vertical systems are subject to approval and permitting by the Minnesota Department of Health.

 

C. General Provisions:  All ground source heat pump systems within the City shall be subject to the following general provisions:

 

1. System Requirements:

 

a.       Only closed loop ground source heat pump systems utilizing heat transfer fluids as defined in Minn. Rules 4725.7050 are permitted. Ground water thermal exchange devices as defined by Minn. Stat.

§ 103I.005 are not permitted.

 

b.       Ground source heat pump systems located within public waters are prohibited.

2.       Setbacks:  All components of ground source heat pump systems including pumps, borings and loops shall be set back at least twenty-five (25) feet from all lot lines and the ordinary high water level of any public water body.   Systems must otherwise comply with required well and boring setbacks as identified in Minn. Rules Chapter 4725.

 

3.       Easements:   Ground source heat pump systems shall not encroach on public drainage, utility roadway or trail easements.

 

4.       Noise:  Ground source heat pump systems shall comply with Minnesota

Pollution Control Agency standards outlined in Minnesota Rules Chapter

7030.

 

5.       Safety:   Ground source heat pumps shall meet the requirements of the

State Building Code.

 

D Abandonment:  If a ground source heat pump system remains nonfunctional or inoperative for a continuous period of one (1) year, the system shall be deemed to be abandoned and shall constitute a public nuisance.   The property owner shall remove the abandoned system and restore vegetation upon the site at his/her expense after a demolition permit has been obtained.   If the property owner does not remove the abandoned system within thirty (30) days after the system becomes abandoned, the City shall send a written notice to the owner and direct the owner to remove the abandoned system.  If the owner does not remove the abandoned system within ninety (90) days after the date of the written notice, the City shall have the power under Minn. Stat. § 429.021, Subd.

1(8)  to  abate  the  public  nuisance  by  ordering  the  abatement  after  a  public hearing pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 429.031.  The public hearing shall be preceded by mailed and published notices as required by Minn. Stat. § 429.031.   If abatement has been ordered, the City may remove the abandoned system and charge the expense to the property owner.  If the property owner has not paid the charges by the date set by the Council the charges may be specially assessed against the property pursuant to the procedures of Minn. Stat. § 429.061. Removal of the system shall be in accordance with the following:

 

1.       The heat pump and any external mechanical equipment shall be removed.

 

2. Pipes or coils below the land surface shall be sealed in accordance with applicable regulations.  Heat transfer fluid shall be captured and disposed of in accordance with applicable regulations.  The top of the pipe, coil or boring shall be uncovered and grouted.

SECTION 1230.03  SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEMS:

 

A. Zoning District Allowance:

 

1. Roof mounted solar energy systems in accordance with the standards in this section are allowed as an accessory use in all zoning districts.

 

2. Ground mounted solar energy systems in accordance with the standards in this section are a conditional use in all zoning districts.

 

B. Approvals Required:

 

1. No   solar   energy   system   shall   be   erected,   altered,   improved, reconstructed, maintained, or moved without obtaining a building permit.

 

2. Solar energy systems subject to the approval of a conditional use permit shall be processed according to Section 1204 of this Ordinance, and shall comply with the performance standards established by this Section and the stipulations imposed by the City Council.

 

C. General Provisions:  All solar energy systems within the City shall be subject to the following general provisions:

 

1. Exemption:

 

a. Passive or building-integrated solar energy systems are exempt from the requirements of this Section and shall be regulated as any other building element.

 

b. Ground mounted solar systems that cover less than seventeen (17)

square feet total do not require a conditional use permit.

 

2. Aesthetics:     All  solar  energy  systems  shall  minimize  glare  towards vehicular traffic and adjacent properties.

 

3. Feeder   Lines:      The   electrical   collection   system   shall   be   placed underground within the interior of each parcel.

 

4. Safety:

 

a. Standards:  All active solar energy systems shall meet the approval of the local building code official consistent with the State of Minnesota  Building  Code.    Further,  solar  energy  systems  shall meet  the  minimum  applicable  standards  outlined  by  the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), ASTM International, British Standards Institution (BSI),

International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the Minnesota State Electric Code, the Minnesota State Plumbing Code, International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Underwriter's Laboratory (UL), the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC) or other standards as determined by the City Building Official.  Solar thermal systems shall further comply with HVAC- related requirements of the Energy Code.

 

b. Certification:      Solar   energy   systems   shall   be   certified   by Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation or other body as determined by the City Planner.   The City reserves the right to deny a building permit for proposed solar energy systems deemed to have inadequate certification.

 

5. Utility Connection:  All grid connected systems shall have an agreement with the local utility prior to the issuance of a building permit. A visible external disconnect shall be provided if required by the utility.

 

6. Abandonment:     If  a  solar  energy  system  remains  nonfunctional  or inoperative for a continuous period of one (1) year, the system shall be deemed to be abandoned and shall constitute a public nuisance. The property   owner   shall   remove   the   abandoned   system   and   restore vegetation upon the site at his/her expense after a demolition permit has been   obtained.      Removal   includes   the   entire   structure   including distribution equipment.   If the property owner does not remove the abandoned system within thirty (30) days after the system becomes abandoned, the City shall send a written notice to the owner and direct the owner to remove the abandoned system.  If the owner does not remove the abandoned system within ninety (90) days after the date of the written notice, the City shall have the power under Minn. Stat. § 429.021, Subd.

1(8) to abate the public nuisance by ordering the abatement after a public hearing pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 429.031.  The public hearing shall be preceded by mailed and published notices as required by Minn. Stat. §

429.031.   If abatement has been ordered, the City may remove the abandoned system and charge the expense to the property owner.  If the property owner has not paid the charges by the date set by the Council the charges may be specially assessed against the property pursuant to the procedures of Minn. Stat. § 429.061.

 

7. Easements:  Solar energy systems shall not encroach on public drainage, utility roadway or trail easements.

 

D. Roof Mounted Systems: Roof mounted solar energy systems are a permitted accessory use in all zoning districts provided the following conditions are met:

1. Visibility:  Roof mounted solar energy systems shall be designed to blend into the architecture of the building, and shall be screened from view to the extent possible without impacting their function.

 

2. Height:    Roof-mounted  solar  energy  systems  shall  comply  with  the maximum height requirements in the applicable zoning district.

 

3. Setbacks:  Roof-mounted systems shall comply with all building setbacks in the applicable zoning district and shall not extend beyond the exterior perimeter of the building on which the system is mounted.  Exterior piping for solar hot water systems shall be allowed to extend beyond the perimeter of the building on a side yard exposure.

 

4. Mounting:     Roof-mounted  solar  collectors  may  be  flush-mounted  or bracket-mounted.    Bracket-mounted  collectors  shall  be  permitted  only when a determination is made by the City Building Official that the underlying roof structure will support apparatus, wind, and snow loads and all applicable building standards are satisfied.  Roof or building mounted solar energy systems shall allow for adequate roof access to the south- facing or flat roof upon which the panels are mounted.

 

E. Ground Mounted Systems: Ground  mounted  solar energy systems may be approved by conditional use permit in accordance with the following standards:

 

1. Visibility:  Ground mounted solar energy systems are required to adhere to accessory screening requirements from adjacent properties and public right-of-ways as provided in Section 1217.01 of this Article.  The system may not negatively impact views of abutting properties or serve to distract from the open natural setting of the community.

 

2. Height: Ground-mounted solar energy systems shall not exceed twelve

(12) feet in height when oriented at maximum tilt in all zoning districts.

 

3. Setbacks:    Ground-mounted  solar  energy  systems  shall  comply  with accessory structure setbacks in the applicable zoning district, and may not extend into setbacks when oriented at minimum design tilt.

 

4. Location:   Ground mounted solar energy systems are not permitted in front yards.

 

5. Maximum Coverage:   The surface area of pole or ground mount systems shall not exceed half the building footprint of the principal structure.

 

We are a small community proud of our heritage and committed to the preservation of our pristine, rural character. We cherish our privacy, yet know we are part of a thriving Dakota County and the greater Twin Cities metropolitan area. With these partnerships in mind, we strive to preserve that unique spirit which is Sunfish Lake, Minnesota.