In October 2004, the Rockingham County Board of Supervisors approved a zoning ordinance for small wind energy systems, the first of its kind in Virginia. Students at James Madison University drafted the original ordinance with guidance from members of the Virginia Wind Energy Collaborative (VWEC) and assistance from members of Rockingham County's planning board.
Although net metering is not required, the ordinance complements the state's net-metering regulations and requires compliance with the Uniform Statewide Building Code, FAA Regulations, National Electrical Code, and Virginia Regulations Governing Net Metering.
Other key provisions include:
Use of wind turbine must be primarily to reduce on-site electricity consumption.
Minimum parcel size of 1 acre.
Maximum height of 65 feet for parcels of land between 1 and 5 acres, and 80 feet for a parcel larger than five acres.
Setback from property lines of 110% of tower height and 150% setback from inhabited dwelling on neighboring property. These limits may be reduced with consent of the adjacent property owner.
Noise limit of 60 decibels at the closest property line.