City of Plymouth Amends Zoning Ordinance to Include Solar Energy Systems

A proposal to amend the zoning ordinance regarding solar energy systems for the City of Plymouth was considered by the Plymouth City Council in a meeting earlier this week. Plymouth Plan Director Ralph Booker provided a presentation, explaining what amendments would need to be completed in order for solar energy systems to be a possibility for members of the Plymouth community.

First off, a definition had to be added to the ordinance. It described a solar energy system to be any device or structural design feature whose primary purpose is to provide daylight for interior lighting or provide for the collection, storage or distribution of solar energy for space heating and cooling, electricity generation and water heating.

Within the definition, distinctions are made between a roof or building mounted system and a ground-mounted system. The definition also includes the different sized units and their dimensions, including micro, small, medium and large systems.

The ordinance amendment also states that the Plymouth Planning Office is vested with the authority to review, approve, and disapprove applications for solar energy systems, including sketches, preliminary and final plans.

Booker went on to read through the proposed amendments which included items such as abandonment and decommissioning requirements, specifications for site plans, height restrictions and set backs. Setbacks pertain to where a system can be installed and how far away it must be from surrounding structures.

Following Booker’s presentation the council voted unanimously to approve the ordinance amendments which set the parameters to allow Plymouth residents and businesses to install solar energy systems in the future.