For now, only owners of larger properties will be allowed to get permits. The city will require towers to be placed in "large backyards" and not in front of homes, according to officials.
The new systems are meant to be supplemental energy sources for households. The policy change is part of a development-code update for the city and is part of the Healthy RC initiative, which includes more sustainable energy, Mayor Dennis Michael said.
"The possibility of wind energy offsetting residential and commercial costs had resulted from the three components of our Healthy RC program: Healthy Mind, Healthy Body, Healthy Earth," Michael said.
"Healthy Earth deals with sustainable green communities. With energy costs continuing to escalate, we've amended our development code to allow persons with large parcels to apply for a wind-energy permit."
The development-code amendment outlines several standards for the wind-energy systems.
Freestanding towers can be no taller than 40 feet and cannot use support wires. They must be of a non-reflective, unobtrusive color, and are limited to one per parcel.
Roof-mounted systems on permitted residences should not exceed 15 feet in height above the structure below and are limited to two per parcel.
In permitted industrial areas, the towers are allowed to be no taller than 80 feet, or no taller than 15 feet if mounted on a rooftop.
The city also set standards to deal with abandoned towers. If any wind- energy system is not used for 12 straight months, according to the new development code, it will be deemed abandoned. The property owner or permittee is required to remove the system, clear the site of all equipment and restore the site to its previous condition.
City staff members, according to a report on the energy systems, will use the proposed code changes to study the feasibility of expanding wind- energy systems to larger applications, including allowing them in more zoning districts or allowing larger-scale systems.
"This is something we want to do more research on," said Jennifer Nakamura, an associate planner for the city. "This is a start to how we want to address these types of systems because we've had residents who have approached us about them."
Reach Neil via email, call him at 909-483-9356, or find him on Twitter @InlandGov.