General Development Standards
In order to reduce uncertainty and ensure uniform treatment of renewable energy facilities, a set of general development standards are provided that are applicable to all Renewable Energy Facilities. Additional standards have also been developed for certain types of renewable energy generation facilities, including solar, bioenergy and wind systems.
The General Development Standards are applicable to all renewable energy systems. A basic set of standards apply to permitted accessory systems (26.88.200.A), with another set applicable to larger commercial renewable facilities (26.88.200.B). A Commercial Renewable Energy Facility is one that produces power for off-site use.
Commercial Renewable Energy Facilities (those that produce power for off-site use) are subject to the granting of a Use Permit, and may also require a Rezone to add the RE Renewable Energy Combining Zone depending on where the facility is located. The project would also be subject to both the General Development Standards for Renewable Energy Projects, and to the Special Use Standards, if applicable, for that type of facility (for example, wind or solar facilities).
The General Development Standards for Accessory Renewable Energy Systems (26.88.200.A) are outlined in a separate handout. The following General Development Standards would apply to all Renewable Energy Facilities that do not meet the definition of an accessory system:
- Important Farmlands are protected and may not be removed from agricultural use.
- Sensitive habitats including Biotic Resource areas, wetlands and streams must be avoided
- Visual analysis and Design Review approval are required
- Airport Safety is ensured by prohibiting facilities within airport turning or approach zones
- Compliance with the county’s Fire Safe Standards is required
- A Decommissioning Plan and Financial Assurance are required as part of the Use Permit
- Financial Assurances are required as part of the Use Permit