Minutes of December 6, 2011 Work Session
Board of Aldermen

RECORD OF PROCEEDING

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A Working Session of the Board of Aldermen and Visitors of the City of Clarkson Valley at City Hall (Fru-Con Center), December 6, 2011.
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The meeting was called to order at 7:30 p.m.  The attendance is as follows: 

PRESENT

Ward

ABSENT

Mayor Scott Douglass 

 

 

Ward 1

  Alderperson Susan Shea

 

Ward 1

  Alderperson Jim Meyer

Alderperson Honora Schiller

Ward 2

Alderperson Wendell Sittser Ward 2     

Alderperson Scott Schultz

Ward 3

Ward 3 Alderperson Lin Midyett

Also in Attendance:
City Attorney:  Patrick Butler
Building Commissioner:  Jack Schenck
City Clerk: Michele McMahon 
    

Mayor Douglass opened the Working Session by stating the Regular Meeting of the Board of Aldermen was cancelled due to a lack of quorum and no business would be conducted requiring a vote.  However, the working session would take place as planned.   

Mayor Douglass explained the reasoning for looking at a solar energy ordinance and after giving the points for debate, stated categorically that not one person on this Board is against solar panels and that through discussion tonight and with everyone's input, hopefully we will develop the wording necessary to create this ordinance.  

Mr. Dane Glueck, President of Missouri Solar Energy Industries Association introduced himself as the first speaker.  There was a two-page handout regarding best practices that he left with everyone.  He stated that in his opinion, Frontenac's ordinance it too restrictive and Clarkson Valley has so far adopted the most restrictive language from the fire code and regarding aesthetics.   

Dr. Joseph Gira introduced himself, stating he is a resident of Town & Country that recently went through the process of installing ground-mounted solar panels.  He said he was initially denied his request but after the Mayor and several Alderpersons came by his property, they allowed the panels through a Special Use Permit.  Several questions were asked of Dr. Gira and his wife to which the responses were: the panels are less than 6' off the ground; the Gira's initially wanted to locate the panels toward the front of the house but changed to the rear; the panels total approximately 690 square feet; the system is monitored daily and collects approximately 70% of their energy needs; it took 6 to 8 months to be issued a permit from the time of the request. 

Mr. James Babb spoke saying the 2012 International Building Code has added a new section to 605.11 listing an exception regarding ridges that is not included in the 2009 version, which is the current code adopted by Clarkson Valley. 

Mr. Charles Welegala, CEO of Heartland Alternative Energy and a resident of Wildwood spoke. 

Mrs. Frances Babb spoke of her request for solar panels by making three points: 1) How can she utilize her property in the best way? 2) Economics, and 3) Fire District requirements used as input comes from Irvine California, where wildfires are of concern. 

Mr. Phil Behnen stated he is President of the Board of Aldermen for the City of Town & Country.  He spoke in favor of going green and stated Town & Country found they could not fight the "aesthetic" argument, giving examples of air conditioners, generators, play houses, etc.  He said Town & Country has approved 4 to 5 panel systems through Special Use Permit requests and final approval from the Board of Aldermen.  He concluded by responding to Alderperson Schultz's question, saying there are currently no Town & Country approved roof-mounted or ground-mounted panels at the front of the property.  To which Mr. Welegala and Mr. Glueck responded likewise, they are not aware of any front-facing panel systems in this area. 

Mrs. Ellen Barnett spoke as a neighbor of the Babb's and stated she is personally concerned with how this will look and that she does not like the appearance of the Babb's Ozark home which houses half the number of roof-mounted solar panels than included in this proposal. 

Additional answers to questions:  The solar panels are warranted for twenty years but should last forty; the proposed ordinance requires panel removal if the system becomes non-functional.   

Mayor Douglass concluded the Working Session at 8:35.   

Respectfully submitted,

Michele McMahon, City Clerk

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