This information applies to generators that are on the ground or in the yard. As you begin the process of deciding which type of generator to purchase, consider noise levels and safety concerns.
Generators are permitted in front, side and rear yards, and the layout of the lot will determine the specific setbacks for the property. Generators follow the same guidelines as air conditioning units, as outlined in the Zoning Ordinance, Section 3.2.6.A.3(b). Although the specific guidelines will depend on the location and layout of your lot, units may be no closer than 5 ft. from either side lot line if they are screened with a fence or vegetation, and no closer than 8 ft. from either side lot line without screening.
The footprint of the generator must be drawn to scale on a certified, scaled of your property and submitted to the Zoning Office for approval.
You’ll also need to submit an electrical permit for the generator because of the automatic transfer switch that has to be installed, as well as a plumbing permit for the gas line. Portable generators do not need a plumbing or electrical permit, but if the generator is connected to the building wiring, an electrical permit is required.
Rooftop generators are subject to additional review and approval processes.
Additional requirements may apply if:
- your property is located within a historic district
- your proposed use requires exists within a special exception project such as a site plan, use permit, or variance and may require approval through either a special exception or variance process