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Special Use Standards for Wind Energy Systems & Facilities

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The purpose of these standards is to promote and facilitate the siting and permitting of wind energy systems and facilities in a manner that minimizes adverse environmental impacts by providing development standards


These standards apply to all wind energy systems and facilities not otherwise exempted. The Code allows accessory wind systems of up to 40 feet on parcels of less than 1 acre; 65 feet on parcels of less than 5 acres; and 80 feet on parcels of greater than 5 acres with a zoning permit, subject to setbacks and development standards. Wind Energy Systems that do not meet the standards for accessory systems require a Use Permit.

Permit Requirements

Exempt accessory renewable energy wind systems (attached systems and those on towers less than 40 feet in height) require a Building Permit. Accessory wind energy systems that provide up to 125% of on-site power needs require a zoning permit. Commercial wind energy facilities providing energy for off-site use require a Use Permit.

Development Standards

  • Systems that are attached to the wall or roof of a legal building are allowed by right subject to the height and setback provisions of the zoning district (typically 35’ but up to 60’)
  • No more than one Accessory System may be allowed per parcel
  • The system or facility may not cause electro-magnetic interference
  • General Development Standards for Renewable Energy Systems and Facilities (26.88.200) apply, as well as the Wind Energy Special Use Standards
  • Systems must be painted to blend into the background, must generally be located below ridgelines, and should be screened by landforms and vegetation to the greatest extent possible
  • Noise generated by the facility shall not exceed the levels in General Plan Table NE-2
  • Abandonment and termination provisions apply; site must be restored to its pre-construction condition or other authorized use