ANN ARBOR, MI – Ann Arbor admiral are because authorization changes to accomplish it easier for acreage owners to install freestanding solar arrays.
The move comes afterwards an auto dealership approached the burghal about installing a solar barn in its parking lot, said Brett Lenart, burghal planning manager.
“Some car dealers are starting to put in these solar carports. They’re generally affiliated with electric-vehicle charging stations,” he said.
Under the city’s rules, freestanding solar arrays that aren’t on architecture rooftops are adapted as accent structures.
And if they’re beyond than 240 aboveboard feet, they charge to go through the city’s abounding armpit plan analysis and approval process, which is cher and time-intensive, Lenart said.
The solar barn the Varsity Ford dealership on Jackson Road has bidding absorption in installing would activate the armpit plan requirement, Lenart said.
That’s abundant of a bridle that the dealership has advised whether it’s account it accustomed the cost, according to burghal planning officials.
A dealership adumbrative did not acknowledge to a appeal for comment.
A 36-panel solar barn adjourned by the Ann Arbor Burghal Development Authority aloft electric agent charging stations at a burghal accessible parking lot in July 2018. (Ryan Stanton | The Ann Arbor News)
City admiral ahead alive into agnate issues with added sites, authoritative larger, ground-mounted solar arrays arduous to install.
To abode the issue, they’re because exempting assertive projects from armpit plan requirements.
Breaking bottomward barriers to activity solar is in band with the city’s altitude activity and sustainability goals, Lenart said.
The Authorization Revisions Board of the burghal Planning Commission took up the affair Tuesday night, Jan. 28, giving some antecedent acknowledgment to staff.
The abstract authorization presented at the affair would admittance solar arrays as accent structures in multi-family, mixed-use, non-residential and special-purpose zoning districts after armpit plan requirements.
That would be the case as continued as there’s no access in impervious apparent on the site, no abatement of adapted parking or agriculture or battleground trees, and the arrays could be no added than 21 anxiety tall.
Additionally, at atomic 90% of the proposed anatomy would charge to be covered by alive solar panels.
Applicants additionally would accept to appearance the solar arrangement would not baffle with vehicular and non-motorized safety, apportionment and visibility, according to the proposal.
Any authorization changes eventually charge to go through Planning Commission and Burghal Council for approval.
Lenart said he’ll be demography into application the committee’s advancement of authoritative abiding the acme absolute is adapted and possibly authoritative it so alone solar structures beneath 10,000 aboveboard anxiety are absolved from armpit plan requirements.
The abstract angle additionally suggested, back a freestanding solar arrangement is proposed for a single-family abode in a primarily non-residential district, still applying single-family residential standards, which prohibit solar panels in advanced yards.
The board adapted arresting that, “so whether you’re a single-family home or a accomplishment ability in the adapted zoning districts, you would accept a appropriate to do this,” Lenart said.
The proposed cipher changes are apparently best applicative to multi-family backdrop and others area there are beyond parking lots or beyond areas of impervious surface, Lenart said, but there ability be cases area a single-family homeowner could install a solar barn in their driveway if they’re in a multi-family or bartering zoning district.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the board additionally discussed abeyant changes to the city’s rules for new architecture projects, including what appearance should authorize a development for “planned activity modifications” like increases in architecture acme or bargain setbacks.
Some of those features, beneath absolute code, accommodate accessible space, affordable apartment and “solar acclimatization or activity attention design.”
Officials are considering, for example, acute developers to absolutely install rooftop solar panels to qualify, not aloof designing barrio to be “solar ready” for the future.
“That’s a abundant archetype of maybe attractive to be added specific in what we’re aggravating to achieve,” Lenart said, abacus there’s “wiggle room” in the cipher accent now and abbreviating it can advice the burghal apprehend added allowances from developments.
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