Program County Wind Ordinance Standards
Category Regulatory Policy
Implementing sector State
Last Update
State California
Sectors Residential

Assembly Bill 45 of 2009 authorized counties to adopt ordinances to provide for the installation of small wind systems (50 kW or smaller) outside urbanized areas but within the county's jurisdiction. The bill also addressed specific aspects of a typical wind ordinance and established the limiting factors by which a county's wind ordinance can be no more restrictive. Counties may freely make more lenient ordinances, but this legislation was designed to establish maximum restrictions a county may impose if they choose to develop a small wind ordinance. These provisions apply only to county ordinances developed after January 1, 2011. Maximum restrictions in the following categories are specifically included in the legislation:

  • Public Notice
  • Tower Height
  • Setback
  • Noise Level
  • Visual Effects
  • Turbine Approval
  • Tower Drawings
  • Line Drawings
  • Engineering Analysis

Additionally, counties may impose conditions on other factors, which include, but are not limited to, view protection, aesthetics, aviation, and design safety requirements.

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