New pop-up rules impact solar

By Ben Delman on August 18, 2015

Solar panels need sunlight. But what happens if your neighbor wants to add another level to their home that blocks your roof’s access to the sun’s rays? Hopefully, a new ruling by the D.C. Zoning Commission will add clarity to the matter.

The commission ruled that home additions can not be permitted if the addition would interfere with the operation of an existing or permitted solar energy system on an adjacent home. This rule came at the behest of ANC 4C, which had asked the commission to rule on the matter.

The Zoning Commission passed the rule in April and it is now in effect. Solar homeowners will have to demonstrate to the Zoning Administrator that a neighbor’s addition harms their system’s output through a shadow, shade, or other study.

Click here to read the full ruling.