Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Rethinking the placement of solar systems

Why not turn this

Into this?

Growing up in a city built on rolling hills like Mission Viejo, I was always bothered by the fact that homeowners were forced to pay property tax on basically unusable hills they had purchased along with the rest of their home. Well, for those homeowners who have cursed their unusable land over the years, I may have a solution for you. If this unusable piece of land faces South, South-West or even West, you may consider installing a solar system.

Why not right?

You won't have to worry about repairing or placing your roof after installing a rooftop solar system either.

It's a new thought for residents of a city like Mission Viejo and the majority of Orange County. City planning departments will have their say as to what you will and won't be able to accomplish. Be respectful when dealing with city planning departments while you show them the actual laws to what you're aloud to do. Making enemies with these employees will not help your cause and make things more difficult for the next person to follow in your foot steps. So be nice!

Currently, the city of Mission Viejo treats such an installation on a case by case basis. Set-backs range from 3 to 7 feet along property lines and 3 - 10 feet at rear property line. Any system larger than 120 square feet in size or 6 foot tall will be considered a structure and may fall under additional regulation. Most systems will be larger than 120 square feet and fall into this category.

Written by, Evan T. Little

Realtor®, EcoBroker®
Volkl Investments Inc.
949.939.9687 phone

My other blogs:
Orange County, CA Community
Real Estate in Orange County, CA


Dan said...

It would be great to see solar panels everywhere in Orange County. However, individuals, business, churches and other interested parties have been blocked in recent years from installing solar panels. Homeowner's associations, developers (e.g. The Irvine Company) and others who control the curbside look of an area don’t want them installed because they are “ugly” to look at. I think it would be a great niche market for the industry to develop a visually pleasing solar panel.

Evan Little said...

Thanks for the comment, Dan.

A solar act has actually passed in California that disallows HOAs or cities to stop homeowners from installing panels. There are building codes that still need to be followed. For example, in Los Angeles they've recently started enforcing building code that assures fire fighters that there will be room to walk around and chop holes in a roof if need be.

Anonymous said...

The problem with the Los Angeles building code is that city employees are using that code to make their own laws as to what can and cannot be done with solar. Basically, they're in league with the DWP to prevent solar from being installed. There are so many restrictions on placing solar panels on your roof that it's not worth doing... I know this from first hand experience...

Things to do in Orange County said...

I REALLY REALLY want to get solar panels for my house. I think it's so smart and I think now is the time. If I could refinance I'd do it in a heartbeat. Unfortunately at the moment we're one of those many families who can afford the house payment but can't qualify for a refinance - which is killing me because the interest rates are to die for! So I guess I'll start saving my pennies while researching solar panels.