Martha’s Vineyard Town Zoning By-Laws for Wind Turbines

Aquinnah

At this time, Aquinnah has no zoning bylaws specifically for wind turbines. It is our understanding that they are currently under development.

 

Chilmark

(current as of              )
ACCESSORY USES
Section 4.2A  Accessory uses as specified below, which are customarily accessory and incidental to a permitted use, subject to the following provisions.

  • Windmill.  A windmill shall be exempted from the height limitations of Section 6.5 of the Zoning Bylaw and considered accessory to the use of a dwelling or dwellings, subject to the following conditions:

a.  The building inspector may require certification of a registered Massachusetts  engineer, furnished by the applicant for safety of structure, installation and operation of the windmill.

b.  Climbing access to any tower shall be limited to the installation of a six foot height fence with locked gate, or by limiting tower climbing apparatus to no lower than ten feet above ground.

c.  A recommendation by the Site Review Committee (Section 11.3) shall be made regarding the height and siting of the windmill.  The committee may require that the applicant erect temporary poles, to a height designated by the building inspector, to mark the proposed location.

d.  The Board of Appeals shall determine that the proposed height and location of the windmill does not interfere with the rights of abutters to enjoy their property and that the granting of Special Permit will satisfy sections 1.0, 4.2 and 9.8 of the bylaws.

e.  The building inspector shall be responsible for a biannual inspection of all standing windmills.  Any designated safety hazard or nuisance (such as excessive noise, radio and or television interference) shall be corrected within 60 days, or, failing that, dismantled within 30 days.  Such action to be subject to approval of the Board of Appeals.

ARTICLE II:  DISTRICTS OF CRITICAL PLANNING CONCERN (OVERLAY DISTRICTS)

The land lying within 200 feet from each side of the right of way of:  North Road, Middle Road, Tea Lane, Meeting House Road, Tabor House Road, Menemsha Cross Road, and the land within 500 feet of each side of the right of way of South Road.

Chuck Hodgkinson, Assistant to the Zoning Board of Appeals, has said that the height of a turbine would need to be approved as part of the Special Permit process if it was in the Roadside district as there is nothing below specific to wind turbines.

1.  Goals of the Major Road Zone:  Allow for safe access and travel along the roads.  Protect the visual character, diversity of landscape and historic features of the journey along the roads.
2.  Allowable Uses within the Roadside Zone.
a.  A structure not exceeding eighteen (18) feet in height for a gabled or hip roof and thirteen (13) feet for a flat or shed roof in open terrain or twenty-four (24) feet for a gabled or hip room and thirteen (13) feet for a flat or shed room in wooded terrain. A special permit may be granted by the Board of Appeals for a height up to twenty-eight (28) feet as provided by the Zoning Bylaws.  A special permit may be granted by the Board of Appeals for a height of up to the current existing ridge pole for additions or alterations to houses in this district that were built before 1850 and are listed in the Historic Resources section of the Chilmark Master Plan, provided that the proposed structure is consistent with the architectural style of the existing house.
b.  Minimum Setbacks Along Road Frontages in Relation to Heights:
Height:                              Setback
17 feet or less ………………          50 feet
20 feet or less ……………… 80 feet
24 feet or less …………….  100 feet
c.  A dwelling or addition to a dwelling which does not obstruct a view or outlook as designated on the attached town map.
d.  Roadways:  Any way hereafter established in the Road District to provide vehicular access from a lot to a public road shall be located at least 1,000 feet away from any other such way located on the same side of the road, provided that all existing parcels of land in separate ownership on the effective date of this provision are entitled to access to a public road, provided that the access is located as far as practicable from all other ways.  The foregoing is not to be interpreted to mean that land beyond this district can be refused a right of way over these accesses because of these regulations.
e.  Stone Walls and Utility Lines:  Regulations regarding stone walls and utility lines shall be same as in the Coastal District.

 

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Edgartown

(current as of 7/1/2006)

Article IV. R-60 Residential District

Section IV.2 Conditionally permitted uses, requiring a special permit from the Board of Appeals, in accordance with the regulations appearing in Article XVII 17.4 and Article XI 11.6 of this by-law.

h.  Wind Energy Conversion System.  (WECS) if it conforms with the following conditions:
1.  Setback Requirements:  The minimum setback distance for all WECS from any abutter’s property line shall be (and shall continue to be for the life of the installation) at least equal to the maximum height of the machine from grade plus twenty feet.  Setbacks will be measured to the center of the tower base.
2.  Tower Access:  Climbing access to the WECS tower shall be limited either by (1) the installation of a fence with locked gate around tower base or (2) by limiting tower climbing apparatus to no lower than 10 feet from the ground.  If a fence is used, it shall be no lower than five feet and constructed in such a manner as to restrict passage through said fence, including such construction as stockade, woven wood, chain link, etc. but not split rail.
3.  Public Good:  The Board of Appeals may grant a Special Permit if the applicant demonstrates that the installation will not cause excessive noise, interference with local television and radio reception or otherwise derogate substantially from the public good.
4.  Maintenance:  A WECS will be considered abandoned if not properly maintained for a period of two years or if designated a safety hazard by the Building Inspector.  The owner of any WECS which is considered to be abandoned or designated a safety hazard shall be required to dismantle the installation.  All WECS shall be operated in a safe and reasonable manner.
5.  Definition:  Wind Energy Conversion System (WECS):  A device which converts wind energy to mechanical or electrical energy.

Re:  Roadside District:
If the location of the wind turbine is over 200’ from the “major road,” it’s not in the Island Roads District.  There is no specific language in the Island Roads District relating to wind turbines.  There is a reference to the height restriction 14.2.1.c.3 “Height of Structure:  Except by special permit, the maximum height of structures as measured vertically from the mean natural grade shall be as follows:  26 feet for a pitched roof and 18 feet for a flat or shed roof (which is a roof with a pitch of 1 in 4 or less).”  In any case, you can have a preliminary discussion with (or write a letter to) the Planning Board to see if they would be willing to consider a request for a special permit to exceed the height limitation for a wind turbine.

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Oak Bluffs

(as of                    )

SECTION 6.0 SPECIAL REGULATIONS

6.2 WINDMILLS

6.2.1 Permitted Windmills.  A windmill is allowed as of right provided that it conforms to the following:

1.  The minimum setback distance for all windmills from any property line shall be at least equal to the maximum height of the machine from grade plus twenty (20) feet.  Setbacks will be measured to the center of the tower base.
2.  The maximum tower height shall be seventy (70) feet from grade to the center of the rotor.
3.  Climbing access to the windmill tower shall be limited either by 1.) the installation of a fence with locked gate around tower base or 2.) by limiting tower climbing apparatus to no lower than ten (10) feet from the ground.  If a fence is used, it shall be no lower than five (5) feet and constructed in such a manner as to restrict passage through said fence, indicating such construction as stockade, woven wood, chain link, etc., but not split rail.
4.  The diameter of a rotor may not exceed thirty-five (35) feet.
5.  A windmill will be considered abandoned if not operated for a period of two (2) years or if it is designated a safety hazard by the Building Commissioner.  Once a windmill is designated as abandoned, the owner shall be required to immediately dismantle the installation.

6.2.2  Windmills Allowed By Special Permits.  A person wishing to install a windmill which does not conform to Section 6.2.1.2 and/or 6.2.1.4 may apply to the Board of Appeals for a special permit.  The Board of Appeals, when considering a special permit under this section shall, in addition to the considerations set forth in Section 10.3, also consider the following:
1.  That the deviation is essential to the effective operation of the windmill.
2.  That the deviation will not cause the windmill to generate excessive noise, interruption of television or radio station reception, or otherwise derogate substantially from the public good.

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Tisbury (Vineyard Haven)

(as of March 29, 2005)

07.05 Height Regulations:

.02  Detached Structure:
Any antenna, flag pole or similar slender structure which is not attached to a structure incorporating a subsurface foundation and which is over forty (40) feet in height shall nave complete structural drawings and specifications prepared by a qualified registered professional engineer.

Excepting governmental institutions, no antenna, flag pole or similar slender structure shall exceed eighty (80) feet in height above the mean natural grade of the lot and lots adjacent thereto, nor shall the structure herein above set forth be so located as to have its base less distant from the nearest lot boundary than 110% of its height above the mean natural grade in all districts except in the B-2 Business District.

In residential areas, such detached slender structures, as herein set forth shall require a Permit from the Board of Appeals for heights in excess of forty (40) feet.

In the B-2 Business District, such detached slender structures, as herein above set forth, shall not be so located as to have its base less distant from the nearest lot boundary than 110% of its height above the mean natural grade.  Such detached slender structures shall require a Permit from the Board of Appeals for height in excess of eighty (80) feet.

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West Tisbury

(as of January 17, 2006)

EXCEPTIONS TO DIMENSIONAL AND DENSITY REQUIREMENTS

The following exceptions to dimensional requirements are permitted in order to encourage the protection of open space and the provision of needed housing affordable to year-round residents of West Tisbury.

4.3-1  Lot size, setback, frontage and floor area ratio requirements in Section 4.2-1 shall not apply in Open Space Developments.  See Article V.

4.3-2  Height Exceptions
C.  Barns, silos, and wind energy conversion systems may exceed applicable height limits, provided that they comply with all other provisions of this by-law, and provided that for every one foot by which such structures exceed the height limit, the minimum setback requirements are increased by one foot.

DIMENSIONAL TABLE
DISTRICT

 

RU

VR

MB

LI

Minimum lot size*

3 acres

3 acres

40,000 sf

1 acre

Minimum Road Frontage++

 

100

 

50

 

100

 

100

Private Road

Public Road

200

75

100

100

Minimum Front Yard Setback #

 

 

 

 

Private Road (ú)

50

25

25

20

Public Road (ú)

50

40

35

20

Minimum Side Yard Setback#

50

20

30§

20

Minimum Rear Yard Setback#

50

20

20¨

20¨

Maximum Floor Area for Non-Residential Structure ª

2,000 sf

1,000 sf

3,500 sf

N/A

Maximum Height·

30

30

35

35

 

 

 

 

 

ALL DIMENSION IN FEET UNLESS OTHERWISE INDICATED

* See Section 4.2-2(A) to determine land counted toward minimum lot size requirements.  See Article V for lot size and density calculations for Open Space Development.

++ For Rear lots, see Subsection 4.3-3(C).
# For accessory structure setbacks, see Subsection 4.2-2(D).
ú      Front yard setbacks may be adjusted to prevailing setbacks in the immediate neighborhood on all roads; a maximum setback may be established to maintain the “street wall” in the VR District.
§     May be 0 for party-wall buildings.
¨     100-foot setback with wooded buffer required if lot in LI abuts RU District; 40-foot setback required if lot in MB abuts RU District.
·     For height exceptions, see Section 4.3-2.
ª     Excluding agricultural structures and municipally-owned structures and subject to any applicable limitations in G.L. Chapter 40A, Section 3.  May be increased pursuant to Section 4.4-2.