To achieve Gold designation, Lancaster started from the beginning and developed new procedures, which included writing a new zoning ordinance. “The most difficult part of this was writing the ordinance and getting it right,” said Lancaster Zoning Administrator Pete Vail. With these new procedures in place, Lancaster is ready to help more residents lower their electric bills and reduce carbon emissions using clean solar energy.
- 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