Purpose: this section implements PlanOlathe’s policy to encourage the use of alternative energy in new development and redevelopment, and permits solar collectors in all zoning districts, subject to performance standards that protect neighborhood character and avoid unreasonable impacts to neighboring property.
This section applies to solar collectors, defined as:
Extremely thin solar energy collection cells, usually made of silicon, that collect solar energy and convert it to direct current (DC) electricity.
A device used to collect direct sunlight to heat or cool a structure, heat domestic hot water or swimming pools, or to generate electricity.
Solar Energy Conversion System
Equipment and wiring needed to collect, store and convert solar energy into a useable form. Active solar systems rely upon mechanical means to collect light and/or heat from the sun and convert it into usable energy. Passive systems use natural, non-mechanical techniques to obtain energy from the sun including daylighting, south-facing windows, natural shading and ventilation, and building materials that absorb heat from the sun and slowly release it.
C. Installation on a pitched roof
1. Roof-mounted solar collectors located on front or side of pitched roofs shall not extend above the peak of the roof plane on which they are mounted. No portion of the solar collector shall extend more than 24 inches perpendicular to the point on the roof where it is mounted.
2. Roof-mounted solar collectors located on the rear side of building roofs shall not extend above the peak of the roof plane on which they are mounted. No portion of any the solar collector shall extend more than 4 feet perpendicular to the point on the roof where it is mounted.
D. Installation on a flat roof
1. Roof-mounted solar collectors may be mounted on a flat roof at an optimum angle to the sun for maximum energy production when the building parapet or roof design provides full screening of the solar panels from public streets.
2. For installation of roof-mounted solar collectors on flat-roof buildings without parapets, panels shall be placed in the most obscure location without reducing the operating efficiency of the collectors, such as the center of the roof. The panels shall be installed at the same angle or as close as possible to the pitch of the roof. Associated equipment is permitted on the roof, if it is screened from view of the public street.
E. Installation on the side of a building
1. In any planned zoning district or in any district requiring site plan approval, the construction or installation of any solar collection system on the side of a building shall be subject to either Final Development Plan approval or Site Plan approval by the City.
3. Wall-mounted solar collector panels shall not extend more than 25 percent into any required side setback or 50 percent into any required rear setback. No part of the system shall extend into any required front setback.
F. Ground-mounted installation
2. All lines serving a ground-mounted solar collector shall be located underground.
G. Parking lot light pole installation
1. Twenty (20) percent of the height of a light pole may be added above the light fixture to install a solar collector panel.
2. The installation may be permitted even if it exceeds the height limit established in the zoning district, if the following conditions are met:
a. There is no feasible alternative to placing the collector(s) on the roof;
b. The collector(s) are located so as to minimize view blockage for surrounding properties and shading of property to the north, while still providing adequate solar access for the collectors;
c. The collector(s) add no more than seven (7) feet of height to the existing structure. To minimize view blockage or shadow impacts, the Governing Body may limit a nonconforming solar collector to less than seven (7) additional feet of height.