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Thread: Zoning rules thwart Gore's solar dreams

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Zoning rules thwart Gore's solar dreams

    Headline from the AP Wire:
    http://www.newsday.com/news/nationwo...orld-headlines

    Highlights:
    Terry Franklin, Belle Meade's building officer, said the town only allows power generating equipment to be placed on the ground level. "Solar panels are generators," Franklin said.

    Gore's contractors had argued that silent solar panels should not be equated with noisy gas- or diesel-powered generators, but they ultimately agreed not to press the issue while the city considered changes to the code.

    New rules on April 1 will allow homeowners to install solar panels on their roofs. But there's a caveat: "Solar panels may be installed upon the roof of a building so long as they are not visible from the street or from any adjoining property," according to the ordinance.

    "We just sort of had to wait until they caught up with things," said Steve Rick, Gore's architect. "I didn't think it was worth fighting because we knew the change was coming."
    What does your fair city's ordinance say about where solar panels are located ?
    Oddball
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  2. #2
    Cyburbian cch's avatar
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    I've seen solar panels from the street all around my fair region, so I assume they say nothing. I've never worked for a place that regulated them like this (or regulated them at all, for that matter).

  3. #3
    Cyburbian jkellerfsu's avatar
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    Aaaaaack, I can't think of the show I just saw on cable. The architect designed/built a sustainable home that used the solar panels as the roof of a deck/patio - one did not even realize they were solar panels.....those zoning rules will be tricky as the technology rapidly changes.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    We don't have any zoning regs on them. They would have to meet State Building Code and that would be it.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  5. #5
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Whose Yur Planner View post
    We don't have any zoning regs on them. They would have to meet State Building Code and that would be it.
    ditto. the only thing that could impact them are bulk regulations (height, setbacks) otherwise, why be so critical?

  6. #6
    Cyburbian cch's avatar
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    I was thinking more about this, and as I understand solar panels they need to face a certain direction (south maybe) to soak up the most sun. We are suppose to be all about "building green" and energy efficiency. I think it is totally wrong to regulate which direction they are visible from, thereby restricting their efffectiveness. That muni needs to get with the program .

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Fat Cat's avatar
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    Fat Cat

    Definitely time for a governmental unit to review their zoning ordinances

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Jen's avatar
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    I think most communities are used to seeing solar panels (still too few and far between imo), but what about other small renewable energy conversion systems (RECS) such as wind energy turbines, biomass stoves, geothermal and whatever else is out there?

    Can Al Gores solar dream thrive if its implenmentation is left up to the local yokels?

  9. #9
    Cyburbian vagaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by JNA View post
    Headline from the AP Wire:
    http://www.newsday.com/news/nationwo...orld-headlines

    Highlights:


    What does your fair city's ordinance say about where solar panels are located ?

    Our city has no regulation against where they are located, but they are prohibited by several home homeowner's association deed restrictions. I plan to address this and several other similar issues in the rewrite of our zoning codes.

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