This is part one of Environment America Research & Policy Center’s Ten Ways Your Community Can Go Solar Toolkit: Eliminate red tape in zoning and permitting.
Homeowners and businesses interested in installing solar projects often have to jump through too many hoops, from cumbersome permitting processes to opaque zoning regulations. That kind of red tape can act as an obstacle, making it too difficult, time-consuming and expensive for many to make the transition to solar energy. While permitting and zoning laws include important protections for public safety, cities should make sure they do not unnecessarily slow or restrict solar energy development. Cities can eliminate barriers to going solar by expediting permitting processes, reducing application fees, and making zoning policies clear and non prohibitive for solar projects, providing a number of benefits