For the purpose of promoting the health, safety, and general welfare of
the present and future inhabitants of Madison County and to further the
purposes of the Madison County Zoning Ordinance as set forth therein, the
Board of Commissioners of Madison County does hereby ordain and enact into
the following changes to the Zoning Ordinance.
A Section 9.22 is added to read as follows:
Section 9.22 Solar Farms
9.22.1 Purpose; Zones.
It is the purpose of this ordinance to promote the safe, effective and efficient
use of solar farm development, construction and operation. Solar Energy
farms shall be a Permitted Use in I (Industrial) zone and a Conditional Use in
A-1 (Intensive Agriculture), and A-2 (General Agriculture) zones.
Applicant: May include;(1) the owner of the real property who
also owns the System or (2) the owner of the property who
intents on leasing the System to a third party, (3) third parties
who are not the owner of the property but who have obtained
written permission from the land owner to submit an application
for a System pursuant to the terms and conditions of this
Photovoltaic: The technology that uses a semi-conductor material
to convert light directly into electricity.
Size of Solar Panel: All size limitations cited herein shall apply to
the full-face areas of an array of solar panels themselves, not their
projected areas on the ground.
Solar Panel: A panel is any part of a System that absorbs solar
energy for use in the system’s energy transformation process.
Solar Farm: Solar Farms are Systems designed for the primary
purpose of generating power for the sale to third parties via the
electric grid. These Systems can be roof-mounted systems or
ground-mounted systems that may or may not have accessory
structures on the same lot.
Utility: The power company the solar energy will be sold too.
9.22.3 Installation and Construction
1. The design of the solar farm shall adhere to existing structural height
requirements. If the solar farm requires a roof mounting on
buildings on the property, the roof mounted installation may not
exceed the maximum principal building height or accessory building
height specified for the building type in the underlying zoning
2. The design of the solar farm shall adhere to existing county
ordinances with regards to setback requirements of the underlying
zoning district. If the solar farm will be constructed by the utilization
of ground mounting, then a ground mounting plan and process must
be submitted during the county application process. The ground
mounting plan may consist of standard solar manufacturer
installation plans and processes for ground mounting.
3. Systems and Solar Panels shall be placed and arranged such that
reflected solar radiation or glare shall not be directed onto adjacent
buildings, properties or roadways.
4. A system shall not be used to display advertising, including signage,
streamers, pennants, spinners, reflectors, ribbons, balloons, flags,
banners, or similar materials, with the exception of the following:
a. Necessary equipment information, warnings, or indication of
ownership shall be allowed on any equipment of the System or
where required by the Building Code.
5. No System or any of its components shall be illuminated, except to
the degree minimally necessary for public safety and, or maintenance
and only in compliance with the Madison County Zoning Ordinance.
6. All equipment shall be screened and fenced from adjacent properties,
including public roadways, to restrict unauthorized access.
Screening shall consist of a minimum 8 foot opaque fence with the
addition of year-round landscaping.
7. If a solar farm is located in a designated county watershed protection
district, solar farm developer must provide an impact statement
concerning net effect of solar farm installation within the designated
county watershed area. Limitations on ground disturbance will be
determined and conditions of disturbance may be imposed as a
condition of approval for solar farm development, construction, and
8 . No System shall be used or constructed such that it becomes a
private or public nuisance or hazard.
9. Storm water and snowmelt runoff and erosion control shall be
managed in a manner consistent with all applicable federal, state and
local regulations and shall not impact neighboring properties.
10. Systems which have not been in active and continuous service for
one (1) year shall be removed at the owners or operators expense.
11. The site shall be restored to as natural conditions as possible within
six (6) months of the removal of the system.
12. Wall mounting or any other form of face mounted System on any
building or structure is prohibited in all zoning districts.
9.22.4 Requirements for permit application:
1. A letter from the utility acknowledging the solar farm will be
interconnected to the utility grid in order to sell electricity to the
2. A recorded plat of the tract on which the solar farm is to be placed.
3. A concept plan showing setbacks, panel sizes, locations of property
lines, buildings, road right of ways and buffers.
4. Any other relevant studies, reports, certificates and approvals as may
be reasonably requested by the Planning & Zoning Department,
including but not limited to design review.
5. EPD land disturbance permit if required.
Sections 7.1, 7.2, and 7.9 along with Article VII are amended to add
”solar farm” as a permitted or conditional use.
The provisions of this resolution shall be effective upon approval by the
Madison County Board of Commissioners.
Approved by the Madison County Board of Commissioners on the
__________ day of _________________________, 2014
Anthony Dove, Chairman
Rhonda Wooten, County Clerk

Section 9.22 Solar Farms May 5, 2014