Granville residents hope new solar draft extra receptive to panels – The Newark Advocate

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A proposal by Granville officers to control the position of solar panels on homes and different buildings was headed towards a council vote in August when solar-power advocates learn the ordinance and protested that it was too restrictive.

After listening to the considerations of residents Ken and Carol Apacki, in addition to others who got here to the Aug. 17 assembly, the council put the ordinance on maintain to contemplate retooling it with enter from residents and solar professionals. Council member Laura Mickelson mentioned {that a} revised ordinance is prone to come again to the council for consideration by the tip of the 12 months.

Also commenting on the assembly was Jeremy King, a Granville resident and director of sustainability and campus enchancment at Denison University, who mentioned the draft ordinance would have a destructive influence on Denison’s future use of solar power, which is a crucial ingredient of the college’s effort to scale back its carbon footprint.

In latest years, solar arrays have change into more and more widespread in Granville, with new applied sciences making it simpler to put in solar methods. In response to rising reputation, the council sought earlier this 12 months to determine a proper set of rules that may assist retain the historic character of the village and meet hearth and constructing code necessities.

The major considerations raised by residents are rooted in what they mentioned was the anomaly of language in two key factors within the unique ordinance:

  • Glare – The unique draft of the ordinance mentioned that solar panels couldn’t trigger glare. Solar proponents argued that glare is subjective, and for a lot of the 12 months, it’s non-existent as a result of the solar displays upward from the panels.
  • One-story houses and different buildings – Originally, the ordinance mentioned that panels couldn’t be positioned on single-story buildings, which impacts each Denison and Granville Exempted Village Schools, every of which have plans to put in solar panels on single-story buildings. The solar advocates additionally requested whether or not panels might be positioned on homes which are one-and-a-half tales, as a result of the primary draft allowed for placement solely on two-story homes. Granville is home to 1,589 constructions, 535 of that are single-story homes, in line with analysis introduced by King. An further 154 are one-and-a-half tales, which might collectively rule out roughly one-third of Granville houses for the implementation of solar, King mentioned.

The revised ordinance is within the works with the assistance of sustainability consultants Power Clean Future Ohio, and residents. This new cohort has researched mannequin solar codes from midwestern cities of comparable dimension and character, they usually have labored them into Granville’s new revised draft, Ken Apacki mentioned.

“These model drafts are way more receptive and encouraging of solar,” he mentioned. He and his spouse stay in The Village Roots, a comparatively new, green-themed subdivision off of West Broadway.

There has been hesitancy round how solar panels will match with the village’s historic character. Some understand solar as unattractive, significantly on Early American and Victorian-era houses. That concern led to the village planning fee’s tendency to reject solar panels on the fronts of houses throughout the historic district, within the core of the village.

This turns into a problem when the fronts of some homes may be the one location the place panels might be located to catch the solar’s rays.

“We’re all trying to balance what we love about Granville, but also taking into account certain safety codes,” mentioned Granville Council Member Mickelson, referring to the problem of sustaining Granville’s nineteenth century New England aesthetic.

Apacki took it a step additional.

“Aesthetics is not a criteria,” he mentioned, “Trying to decide if something looks nice is too hard, too vague. We need to look more at physical measures that regard safety.”

The Apackis and fellow solar advocates hope that the brand new ordinance will remove any ambiguity when an applicant goes earlier than the village planning fee to hunt a allow to put in panels.

The Apackis mentioned they wish to see a number of key factors addressed within the subsequent draft of the ordinance:

  • Minimal Restrictions – Unless the panels are dealing with the road, residents shouldn’t should bear planning fee assessment. Instead, crucial data must be accessible throughout the ordinance.
  • Ground Mounting – Many residents have expressed curiosity in putting in panels of their yard, on the bottom. Ken Apacki hopes that the ordinance will make this nearly computerized.

Darryll Wolnik, village planning and growth director, mentioned he’s conscious of those requests, and added that the revised ordinance requires fee approval just for potential arrays proposed for both a entrance or facet yard. Otherwise, he mentioned, the ordinance would allow the set up in different areas.

Village Manager Herb Koehler mentioned the purpose is to strike a steadiness between sustaining the historic really feel of Granville whereas additionally working to realize sustainability objectives as a inexperienced neighborhood.

Carol Apacki agreed.

“We hope that Granville will focus on becoming a solar community,” she mentioned. “People should be encouraged to do so. We need to become a more resilient community with the looming threat of climate change.”

Jack Wolf writes for TheReportingProject.org, the nonprofit information group of the Denison University Journalism Program, which is supported partly by a grant from The Mellon Foundation.

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