County Supervisors Tackle Alternative
Energy Problems

Sun glare from solar energy panels is a growing problem worldwide.  This is a home installation in the U.K.
(Photo above is a clickable link.)

Posted:  June 21, 2013

S.B. County Board of Supervisors Establishes Moratorium.

      On Wednesday, June 12, 2013, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors voted to put the brakes on issuing permits for large alternative energy projects so to allow time for the county to update its solar and wind energy ordinances.

      The freeze on permits covers all unapproved commercial solar and wind projects in the unincorporated areas of the county located on private land.  The moratorium does not cover federal BLM land.  The term of the moratorium is for 45 days; however, the moratorium can be extended for up to one year.

      The hold on construction permits do not include solar or wind installations upon personal residential property; such as home rooftop installations.

← Sun glare in a Pennsylvania community. (Click)

      A Community Alliance's Blotter report last March on the Mountain View Road solar installation was picked-up and reported upon in an excellent news article written by Brooke Shelf of the Desert Dispatch.  Her article with wider circulation we believe was responsible for the Los Angeles television media picking-up on Newberry's outrage over the inequity of an industrial solar project being built in a residential neighborhood.

      Even before the mass media coverage, the Newberry Springs Community Alliance found itself impressed with the responsiveness of county First District supervisor Robert Lovingood and his field representative for Newberry Springs, Ron Frame.  Frame was exceptionally quick to visit Newberry Springs, meet with an Alliance representative, and start investigating the matter.

      County Third District supervisor, James Ramos, whose district also comprises a large section of the desert, has also been the recipient of his constituents' concerns that the current county ordinances do not adequately protect local citizens.  Together, Lovingood and Ramos united to present the proposed moratorium before the full board of supervisors which passed the proposal unanimously.

      The moratorium is an excellent first step; however, it fails to address the growing worldwide problem of urban glint and glare from residential solar energy installations.  As the county reviews it ordinances on commercial solar installations, hopefully it will consider upgrading its regulations on residential installations as well.

      Costly over regulations are unwelcomed; however, a solar panel nuisance ordinance is needed to prevent residential solar installations from damaging the health, well being, and property values of adjacent homeowners.

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