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A Proposed Change Would Prohibit New Construction in DC From Blocking Solar Panels

by UrbanTurf Staff

Earlier this year, the Adams Morgan ANC filed a zoning appeal of a construction permit for a building which could reduce the solar production capacity of an adjacent home. Because the building was new construction rather than an addition,  DCRA took the view that the impact on neighboring solar panels is within the zoning regulations.

Those regulations could soon change, however.  

The DC Zoning Commission will consider an amendment to the zoning code later this month which will prevent new construction from obstructing the solar installations on adjacent buildings. 

"Any construction, including new buildings, additions to existing buildings, or a roof structure or penthouse, shall not significantly interfere with the operation of an existing or permitted solar energy system on an adjacent property unless agreed to by the owner of the adjacent solar energy system," the newly proposed text reads. 

The term "significantly interfere" is defined as shading of a solar energy system by "more than five percent above baseline on an annual basis." 

Currently, protection of solar energy systems is only assessed when there is an upper-story addition proposed on an adjacent building or an adjacent rowhouse is proposed to be converted to an apartment house.

See other articles related to: solar power, dc solar panels

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/a-proposed-dc-zoning-change-would-prohibit-new-construction-from-blocking-s/16018

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