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wind energySample Local Laws Regulating Wind Generating Facilities
The following local laws from several towns in New York State illustrate a range of regulatory options available to municipalities and are included to complement OCCA’s Article 10 discussion paper. Included are laws from towns with and without zoning, as well as a moratorium and a visual resources map.

Examples of NY Local Government Laws/ Zoning Provisions on Wind. NYS Energy Research & Development Authority. October 2005.

Contains nine local laws collectively illustrating the land use tools of zoning (including overlay zoning), site plan review, and special use permit, as well as specific provisions for the removal of obsolete facilities, a decommissioning plan, a complaint resolution, lighting of towers, safety measures, small wind energy conversion systems, noise, and shadow flicker.

  • Wind Turbine Provisions in the Town of Fenner Zoning
  • Regulation of Wind Power Generating Facilities – Town of Martinsburg, Lewis County
  • Town of Westfield, Local Law No. 2, 2002 (and 2007 amendment)
  • Town of Eden, Local Law No. 3, 2004, Wind Energy Conversion Systems
  • Town of Henderson, Local Law No. 2, 2005
  • Town of Portland, Local Law No. 3, 2002
  • Town of Clinton, Local Law No. 1, 2005
  • Town of Ellenburg, Local Law No. 4, 2005

Town of Cohocton, Local Law No. 11, 2006
Amendment to zoning law; allows certain wind facilities in five zoning districts by special use permit; site plan review also required. Contains numerous requirements, including those for visual and noise analyses, a bird migration study, landscaping, safety, and facility removal.

Town of Eagle, Local Law No. 3, 2005
Site plan review law; adopted without zoning. Basic law, includes sections on visual assessment, avian analysis, noise, height limitation, setbacks, and electromagnetic interference.

Town of Hartsville, Local Law No. 1, 2006
No zoning; includes findings, review fees, and sections for application contents, environmental studies, application review process, specific standards for wind energy facilities, roads and traffic, abatement, wind site assessment, safety measures, small facilities.

Town of Hornby, Local Law No. 2, 2006
Addresses the visual, aesthetic and land use compatibility aspects of wind generation facilities and encourages the location of facilities in areas where adverse impacts on the community are minimized.

Town of Howard, Local Law No. 3, 2007
Basic law adopted in a town without zoning; includes license provisions for wind facilities.

Town of Litchfield, Local Law, No. 1, 2012
A detailed local law with 41 findings addressing such areas as the town’s unique views, dark skies, and historical legacy, as well as the potential impacts of wind facilities on resources and the town’s residents. This 36-page law also contains extensive definitions and provisions for noise measurement.

Town of Madison, Local Law No. 2, 2012
Enacts a one-year moratorium on applications for commercial wind facilities; exempts residential wind facilities.

Town of Troupsburg – Views & Wind Regime Map, May 2009
This map shows the landscape that is visible from the “Important Points” in the Town of Troupsburg such as public parks and facilities, cemeteries and other places of public assembly, and is helpful for viewshed preservation.

Please note, these local laws are posted for illustrative purposes only and are not necessarily endorsed by OCCA.