Designation Level: SolSmart Gold
Year Designated: 2017
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