Posted by:

perrx70

Architectural Review Board Challenges

What You Need to Know

Description:

16 panels face the street, 11 are in the back of the house. If we didn't do the front, the system would not generate enough power.

Other Benefits:

bragging rights

Efficiency or Sustainability Improvements:

We had upgraded many things in our house over the years- attic, basement header & band board and crawlspace insulation, hot water pipe insulation, fluorescent, CFL, and LED bulbs, corded electric lawnmower, and replaced aluminum frame windows.

My Motivation:

We're not "tree huggers" but feel that we have to set a quiet example of what just 1 house can do to help the environment. Hopefully others will see our front installation and think about adding it to their own houses.

Advice:

Don't give up if you have to convince an architectural review board.

Experience with Installer:

Candice & Brandon at Yellowlite drove 2 & 1/2 hours each way for 4 separate meetings, to try to convince the ARB to allow our installation. That is amazing commitment to the customer and solar.

Additional Notes:

Once upon a time in a small suburb of Columbus, a family wanted to install a solar array on their house. To protect the lovely tree lined city, the city council had passed in 2015 a little known regulation to forbid the ugly industrial look panels from being visible from the public right of way (street, sidewalk, or alley). In 2017 new all black panels with black frames came on the market. The family, along with Maid Candice and Knight Brandon from Yellowlite had to appear before the unsmiling not-in-my-city ARBitrary board twice and the BugZAP group twice, only to be told that their project could not be approved because of the regulation. (Couldn’t they have stated this up front and avoided wasting everyone’s time through 4 contentious meetings?) They were told that only way it could be approved would be for the city council to revise the regulation. Disheartened, the family left, but did not give up. So with little hope, they went to city council and explained what had happened. But to their great surprise, the knights and fair maidens of the semi-round table took up the cause. There arose a champion of the cause, Sir Steve, who rewrote the regulation with input from council and the 2 boards, and got it passed unanimously on October 17, 2017. With new hope, the family went back to the ARB in November to explain how their proposed system meets or exceeds the requirements of the new amendment. The board again expressed their displeasure with solar, but finally approved the installation as a test case. The next week Yellowlite came out, installed the system, the electric company swapped out the meter, the city inspector came, loved and approved the system, and it got turned on. Today the sun is shining brightly on the new solar array.

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