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Santa Cruz County - Solar Access Protection

Eligibility 
Commercial
Industrial
Residential
Program Info
State 
California
Program Type 
Solar/Wind Access Policy
Provider 
County of Santa Cruz

Although the California Solar Rights Act of 1978 requires local governments to plan for future passive or natural heating or cooling opportunities in new residential construction, and the California Shade Control Act protects solar systems from shading by vegetation, current state and local laws do not protect installed solar energy systems from shading caused by structures. The County of Santa Cruz has developed a process for registering solar energy systems to provide additional protection to solar energy system owners.

The County's Building Regulations Code requires that any obstructions of solar access to a registered solar energy system be mitigated to the maximum extent feasible during the review of any permit to construct a building, wall, fence or other structure, or part of structure on a property that could have an impact on the system. The Code also contains a provision to protect registered systems from shading by vegetation on neighboring property.