Working with the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, Beach Park, Illinois evaluated local permitting processes, as well as planning and zoning procedures, to reduce the time and money it takes to install a solar energy system. The city adopted a policy to turn around permits for small PV systems in 3 days or fewer.
- Created an online permitting checklist, increasing transparency for community members and solar installers
- Reviewed local zoning codes and identified restrictions that intentionally or unintentionally prohibit solar PV development
- Allowed solar by-right accessory use in all zones (so solar installations don’t require special permits or hearings)
- Cross-trained both inspection and permitting staff on solar PV
- Provided a streamlined permitting pathway for small PV systems