ANN ARBOR, MI – The burghal of Ann Arbor wants added acknowledgment from the accessible on whether or not bodies should be able to install solar activity accessories in their advanced yards and what affectionate of adjustment on the activity systems they would like to see.
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The burghal board was accepted to complete a aboriginal account on Monday, Oct. 16, of a zoning authorization alteration that provides guidelines for how solar activity systems can be installed on residential properties.
Following altercation amid the board associates on the proposed amendment, Councilmember Jane Lumm motioned to table the affair for 90 days, during which time burghal advisers will authority three association affairs to accumulate acknowledgment from the accessible on the issue.
The motion passed, and the burghal board is set to revisit the authorization change afresh in January 2018.
“Many association aren’t acquainted we’re advertent solar panels and arrays in adjacency advanced yards,” Lumm said. “Of those who are acquainted and we’ve heard from, there accept been able objections bidding – not objections to solar panels, alike in residential areas, but objections to accepting them in advanced yards.
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“This is a big accord and I anticipate we charge to accept association conversation, chat that we’ve not yet had,” she added. “There’s no altercation that we all appetite to accomplish advance on solar in Ann Arbor. I do too, but we accept to do it appropriate and in a way that’s accurate by our residents.”
Interest in solar in Ann Arbor ‘head and amateur above’ added cities
Currently, the zoning authorization does not accurately abode solar activity systems, so those systems are accountable to the aforementioned regulations as added accent structures.
The analogue of accent structures is “vague and ever permissive,” said Councilmember Zachary Ackerman. An accent anatomy could be a garage, barn or above-ground pool, he said.
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The city’s zoning authorization says accent structures can be placed on a advanced backyard as continued as they are added than 40 anxiety from the advanced lot line, Ackerman explained.
In April, some association in the third area aloft apropos about the abeyant accession of ground-mounted solar panels and arrays in advanced yards. At that time, the burghal board anesthetized a 180-day adjournment on arising permits for the accession of solar accessories in the advanced yards of residential properties, to accord the board time to abstract zoning regulations accompanying to the solar structures.
“It sparked an absorbing set of abstract quandaries about the account and assurance concerns, as able-bodied as affectionate of accent a camp allotment of our zoning that I anticipate deserves added attention,” Ackerman said.
Council associates asked Brett Lenart, the city’s planning manager, if there are any assurance issues associated with accepting solar activity systems in advanced yards. Lenart said as continued as the structures accede with applicative architecture and electrical codes, they should not be any added alarming than added structures that are up to code.
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He additionally said there has not been abundant absorption in installing solar activity systems in advanced yards. There’s a “pretty modest” allotment of Ann Arbor association with yards at atomic 40 anxiety abysmal who additionally are installing solar energy, who additionally appetite to abode the arrangement in their advanced yard, Lenart said.
“I anticipate the factors that are activity to adviser adjustment are solar acknowledgment and your roof configuration,” he said. “Based on the history, we’ve had such an exceptional accident of requests for permits in the advanced yard. Based on history, I would say that best bodies apparently would not seek that as an option, but again, this authorization would acutely accommodate that as a possibility.”
Councilmember Chip Smith said he would be accomplished affective advanced with the proposed zoning authorization change as is. Because it impacts almost few properties, Smith said he does not anticipate the solar activity arrangement zoning alteration warrants an all-encompassing accessible animadversion action like the burghal accomplished for the accessory abode assemblage authorization anesthetized in 2016.
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