"Zoning committee to debate solar standards" (Finance & Commerce, 1/19/11)

posted Mar 2, 2011, 9:36 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Mar 2, 2011, 10:15 AM ]
"Expecting a substantial increase in usage of solar energy, Minneapolis city officials want to revise zoning standards to include solar energy systems.  The existing ordinance is “very silent now on how to address solar,” said Jason Wittenberg, planning manager with the Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development.  The proposal, recommended by CPED, will be discussed Thursday at a meeting of the Minneapolis Zoning and Planning Committee.  Whatever is decided by the panel, one solar-friendly group hopes it clears the way for swift permitting of solar projects.

“I’m glad to see that the city is working on the zoning process,” said Justin Ivenholzl [sic], environmental coordinator for Southeast Como Improvement Association in Minneapolis. “Now if the city could work on an easy system for solar permitting - something easy and straightforward.”

Ivenholzl [sic] said the process of installing solar energy systems on the roof of an aging Minneapolis house can stun some owners of 100-year-old houses. He cited the mandated hiring, in some instances, of structural engineers, which adds time and cost to projects . . . "

By Bob Geiger