County OK's streamlined solar permitting.
Friday, July 30, 2010
At least there's some good news for local property owners who want to go solar.
In the wake of a federal move to squash an innovative financing program for home solar and energy-efficiency projects, Monterey County is cutting back on the red tape around rooftop photovoltaic installations.
For months, a task force convened by the Monterey County Business Council's Competitive Clusters group has been pushing the county to streamline rooftop solar permitting. As the Weekly reported July 29, the ordinance - drafted by local fire marshals, contractors, realtors and solar installers - allows larger PV arrays on residential roofs.
It also allows property owners to cut out the step of seeking approval from the local fire protection district before receiving a construction permit. Instead, building planners ensure compliance with the fire standards.
"That means that over-the-counter permits can be issued for systems that meet the attached criteria. This will significantly decrease the permit processing time," writes Chris Sentieri, director of MCBC's Competitive Clusters.He estimates the change will shave several weeks off the current permitting time.