Thursday, October 25, 2012

Kinnelon Solar Ordinance Too Restrictive

Solar ordinance too restrictive

In the Princeton area, the mayor of Kinnelon saw solar panels on a residential lot and came and back home and vowed "not in my backyard" and so an extreme ordinance was created. That residential lot contained a large wetland and an enterprising builder’s new home community sold out quickly because low electric rates that were part of the package. The supporting framework for the angled racks and rows of solar panels were put in the wetlands.

My home in Pompton Lakes has an unrestricted view of the sun. My solar contractor got the necessary construction permits, double checked the roof supports, and the town’s electrical, building, and fire inspectors were involved in the project. When the system was turned on I saw my power meter go backwards. Unfortunately, my friends in Kinnelon, where I lived until 2001, will not enjoy that experience.

Under the Kinnelon rules, my solar panels should be on the rear of my home or in the back yard – too shady. But their restriction does not apply to borough buildings. My public school teacher used to say, "Do as I say, not as I do."

The only comments from my neighbors were how they can go solar. There are two ways: the best way, $25,000 and you own the system, or my way for $600.

And there is no glare either onto neighboring properties, roadways, or anywhere!

The Kinnelon ordinance is entirely too restrictive. They didn’t see any benefit in contacting solar companies to get their input since it would be biased, unlike their own biased ordinance.

Residents have the option of going to the Kinnelon Board of Adjustment to get relief from the ordinance’s restrictions. Don’t bet on that outcome!


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