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Solar Access, Thermal Performance, Solar Heating, and Other
In 1978, following a catastrophic 200-year flood, the Village of Soldiers
Grove, Wisconsin, set out to become a new model of how human settlements
can relate to their environment. Soldiers Grove suffered a 70-year history
of flooding. After the historic disaster of 1978, the village rejected
proposals by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build a levee and voted
to relocate to higher ground. The project became an example of resolving
environmental conflict by changing the behavior of people rather than trying
to subdue ecosystems. The people of the village also decided to make their
community a model in other ways. They designed their new business district
to make it completely accessible to the handicapped, long before accessibility
was required by Federal law. They conducted a microclimate analysis to
detect wind and sunlight patterns, and used earth berming and landscaping
to shield the new town from winter winds. They passed an energy performance
standard for new buildings, requiring them to be twice as energy efficient
as state law required at the time. And they passed the nation's first ordinance
requiring that new non-residential buildings receive at least half their
heating energy from solar energy systems. By setting a standard rather
than specific requirements, the ordinance allowed building owners to choose
their own solar designs and hardware, and to become as creative as they
wished in fulfilling or exceeding the 50% rule. Soldiers Grove dedicated
its now solar community in 1983. Today, it is not unusual for the village's
businesses to receive 75% of their winter heating requirement from solar
(For more information on Soldiers Grove, see "Rebuilding
for the Future...A Guide to Sustainable Redevelopment Disaster
Affected Communities", U.S. Department of Energy, Sept.
AN ORDINANCE TO REPEAL AND RECREATE SECTION 2.06, AND TO CREATE SECTIONS
2.09 AND 2.10 OF THE ORDINANCES OF THE VILLAGE OF SOLDIERS GROVE, CRAWFORD
The Village Board of the Village of Soldiers Grove, Crawford County,
Wisconsin, meeting at a regular meeting of said Board, does ordain and
adopt as follows:
A. Section 2.06 Site Restrictions, is hereby repealed and recreated to
read as follows:
2.06 SITE RESTRICTIONS.
No land shall be used or structure erected where the land is unsuitable
for such use or structure by reason of flooding, concentrated runoff, inadequate
drainage, adverse soil or rock formation, unfavorable topography, low percolation
rate or bearing strength, erosion susceptibility, or any other feature
likely to be harmful to the health, safety, prosperity, aesthetics, and
general welfare of this community. The Village Plan Commission, in applying
the provisions of this section, shall in writing recite the particular
facts upon which it bases its conclusion that the land is not suitable
for certain uses. the applicant shall have an opportunity to present evidence
contesting such unsuitability if he so desires. Thereafter the Village
Plan Commission may affirm, modify, or withdraw its determination of suitability.
All Lots shall abut upon a public street, and each lot shall
have a minimum frontage of thirty (30) feet.
All Principal Structures shall be located on a lot; and only
one principal structure shall be located, erected, or moved onto a lot,
with the exception of structures in the Planned Development Districts PD-R,
PD-C and PD-I.
No Zoning Permit shall be issued for a lot which abuts a public
street dedicated to only a portion of its proposed width and located on
that site thereof from which the required dedication has not been secured.
Solar Access shall be protected in the following manner. No structure,
whether Principal Use or Accessory Use; and no plant materials, whether
trees, shrubs or other; and no permanently fixed equipment shall be of
such a height that it would cast a shadow during daylight between 9 A.M.
and 3 P.M. of the winter solstice on any potion of another building or
the buildable area of a parcel if no building exists. Compliance with this
standard must be graphically shown in Application for Zoning Permit.
2.07 USE RESTRICTIONS.
The following use restrictions and regulations shall apply:
Principal Uses. Only those principal uses specified for a district,
their essential services, and the following uses shall be permitted in
Accessory Uses and structures are permitted in any district but
not until their principal structure is present or under construction. Residential
accessory uses shall not involve the conduct of any business, trade, or
industry except for permitted home occupations and professional home offices,
as defined in this Ordinance. Accessory uses include incidental repairs;
storage, parking facilities; gardening; servant's, owner's, intinerant
agricultural laborers, and watchmen's quarters not for rent; private swimming
pools; and private emergency shelters.
Conditional Uses and their accessory uses are considered as special
uses requiring review, public hearing, and approval by the Village Plan
Commission in accordance with Section 5.0.
Unclassified or Unspecified Uses may be permitted by the Zoning
Board of Appeals after the Zoning Administrator has made a review and recommendation
provided that such uses are similar in character to the principal uses
permitted in the district.
Temporary Uses, such as real estate sales field offices or shelters
for materials and equipment being used in the construction of a permanent
structure, may be permitted by the Zoning Administrator.
Mobile homes may be permitted by the Zoning Administrator for up to
one year for emergency situations and temporary living quarters during
2.08 REDUCTION OR JOINT USE.
No lot, yard, parking area, building area or other space shall be reduced
in area or dimension so as not to meet the provisions of this Ordinance.
No part of any lot, yard, parking area, or other space required for a structure
or use shall be used for any other structure or use.
B. Section 2.09, THERMAL PERFORMANCE FOR BUILDINGS,
2.09 THERMAL PERFORMANCE FOR BUILDINGS.
and Section 2.10, SOLAR HEATING, are hereby created to read as follows:
Thermal performance of non-residential building shall be such that
external space heating energy shall not exceed 8 BTU/DD/SF at
storage and warehouse, manufacturing, repair and maintenance spaces and
4 BTU/DD/SF at other spaces.
2.10 SOLAR HEATING.
Where it is feasible to collect sufficient sun, new non-residential
buildings shall be at least 50% solar heated.
Feasibility shall be defined in the following manner, Between the hours
of 9 A.M. and 3 P.M. on the winter solstice (the shortest day of the year),
there shall be a clear solar access at the building site, not obstructed
by any building, equipment, trees or shrubs which would block the south
face of the building, at wall and/or at roof line.
Graphic representation of solar access shall be required in Application
for Zoning Permit.
The use of passive solar heating systems is encouraged. Active collection
devices must be integrated with the surface to which they are affixed,
parallel with the wall or roof to which they are attached, and not projecting
from that surface a distance greater than that which may be required for
Passed and approved May 8, 1980
Published May 18, 1980
Larry Emerson, Village President
ATTEST Pauline M. Gander, Clerk-Treas.
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