Balancing the Solar Access Equation

Zoning Practice — April 2009

By Abigail Feldman, Daniel Marks, AICP


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States, cities, and counties across the country are moving quickly to improve the ability of their communities to "build green" and install solar energy systems on new and existing buildings.

Will solar panels on every rooftop replace the white picket fence as the icon of the American dream? That may depend on how well planners develop policies and permitting processes that encourage solar energy systems and at the same time mitigate inevitable conflicts, such as when policies that protect trees or encourage higher density development interfere with sunlight access.

This issue of Zoning Practice explores the growing trend to protect light access for solar energy systems and explains how planners may need to guide land-use policy development to avoid unintended consequences.


Page Count
Date Published
April 1, 2009
Adobe PDF
American Planning Association

About the Authors

Abigail Feldman

Daniel Marks, AICP