Realistic Setback Proposals

To claim solar’s economic and environmental benefit, Maysville and Mason County must adopt appropriate setback regulations.

Because solar energy systems are less than 20 feet instead of wind’s hundreds of feet height, the ten setback categories proposed in the Sept 2021 draft ordinance can be distilled to only three.

  1. Neighboring buildings permitted for full-time occupancy
  2. Public right of ways
  3. Solar Energy System’s Property line 

These three categories should have these minimum setbacks

Feet SetbackDistance from aHow Measured
150neighboring buildings permitted for full-time occupancy (ie. Residential, School, Religious Commercial Building)Outer Panel to the closest buildings permitted for full-time occupancy
50 RoadsOuter Panel to Property Line
50Solar Energy Property lineOuter Panel to Property Line

In addition, these clarifications on setbacks are also needed:

  • Setbacks are not required where the property line is shared by two or more participating landowners.
  • These setback provisions above can be waived in writing by the adjacent property owner to whom the property line or residence setback is applicable.
  • Setback requirements may be reduced with dimensional variances issued by the appropriate Board of Adjustment. Applications for dimensional variances must adhere to all requirements set forth in KRS Chapter 100.243 and Section 404 of the Maysville/Mason County Land Use Management Ordinance.
  • Setback requirements may be expanded by the appropriate Board of Adjustment, as a condition of approval of a Conditional Use Permit, where deemed necessary to assure effective screening.

These setbacks are appropriate because of the visual screening requirements described elsewhere in the proposed solar ordinance.

A tabulation of the setbacks required by existing and model solar ordinances