The good news for cities and counties looking for ways to promote solar energy use through planning and zoning is that there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. The newly updated Planning Advisory Service (PAS) Essential Info Packet Planning and Zoning for Solar Energy from SolarOPs team member the American Planning Association shows precisely how communities across the country are putting the principles discussed in Planning for Solar Energy into practice.
Simply put, this is a massive compendium of solar-supportive plan language, permitting guides, and development regulations. Working on a plan update? This resource has more than two dozen plan excerpts from communities of all sizes in all parts of the country. Want to make it easier for homeowners and developers to navigate permitting processes? Check out the permitting guides from Boston, Seattle, Portland, Sacramento, Scottsdale, Arizona, and Clark County, Nevada. Need model language to get the ball rolling on solar development regulations? This compendium includes the full text of seven different regionally focused model ordinances. More interested in what happens when the rubber hits the road? See over 60 examples of locally adopted solar development regulations.
A lot has changed since 2011, when APA assembled the first version of this compendium. Photovoltaic installation costs have continued to drop, and hundreds of communities, from remote rural areas to bustling metropolises, have added or amended policies, procedures, or regulations for solar energy systems. In fact, this time around there were so many good examples to choose from we had to show restraint to keep Planning and Zoning for Solar Energy under 1,000 pages.