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Zoning and Permitting Solar in Your Municipality: A Municipal Guidebook for Solar Zoning and Permitting

Related Criteria

  • PZ-1: Review zoning requirements and identify restrictions that intentionally or unintentionally prohibit solar PV development. Compile findings in a memo. (Required for Bronze). Examples include: height restrictions set-back requirements, screening requirements, visibility restrictions, etc.
  • PZ-2: Present PZ-1 memo findings to planning commission or relevant zoning body.
  • PZ-3: Draft proposed language for changes to zoning code based on PZ-1 memo and PZ-2 dialogue. Involve planners and/or local zoning experts in the creation of the draft language.
  • PZ-4: Post an online document from the Planning/Zoning Department that states accessory use solar PV is allowed by-right in all major zones. (e.g. via a zoning determination letter). (Required for Silver, unless Gold Requirement PZ-5 is achieved. If PZ-5 is achieved, PZ-4 is not necessary.)
  • PZ-20: Include specific solar PV goals, metrics, and/or strategies in the most current version of relevant local plans (e.g. energy plan, climate plan, comprehensive plan).
  • PZ-7: Ensure the zoning ordinance permits small ground-mounted solar PV as an accessory use in at least one zoning district.
  • PZ-6: Ensure the zoning ordinance exempts rooftop solar PV from certain restrictions on accessory uses (e.g. height limits, rooftop equipment screening requirements, or other restrictions).
  • PZ-8: Ensure the zoning ordinance exempts small ground-mounted solar PV from certain restrictions on accessory uses (e.g. setbacks, coverage or impervious surface calculations, or other restrictions).
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