Rowlett resident gets approved for front solar panels

Corbin Abshier, with Freedom Solar Power, spoke about why the front roof would be more efficient for the homeowner to install solar panels.

A public hearing was held to consider a request from Roger Stacey for a Special Use Permit (SUP) to allow solar panels on the front roof elevation, on property zoned planned development (PD) for single-family residential uses. The .18-acre site is located at 3609 Shelley Lane.

Planning Manager Daniel Acevedo said there are solar panels in use in the neighborhood but not on that street and not on the front façade.

“There are two trees that would essentially help screen the solar panels from view, from the public, but would still allow adequate light to impact the solar panels so that they’re efficient,” he said.

Stacey proposed a total of 23 41-by-61-inch solar panels, 10 on the front elevation and 13 on the west elevation.

Although there are no homes immediately adjacent to the subject property with solar panels, the proposed request does not negatively impact the existing built environment. The proposed SUP and associated solar plans are compatible from a land use perspective, according to city staff.

The Planning and Zoning Commission voted 6-1 at its Nov. 13 meeting to recommend approval of the request with the condition that no exposed wiring be visible from the right-of-way. Approval of the SUP request is recommended as the proposed solar panels will not negatively impact the existing built environment.

“The reason we prefer the south side is because a lot of homes have their south roof being the front the roof, and the south roof is the better roof to use because the front roof in this case produces almost 23 percent more than the western or eastern roof would,” said Corbin Abshier, with Freedom Solar Power.

The council unanimously approved Stacey’s request.

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