Boulder County considers easing rules for rural solar installation

Matt Whittaker

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Solar panels at Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge in Colorado.Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge / Flickr

By Matt Whittaker / NewsBreak Denver

(Boulder County, Colo.) Boulder County is considering revising its land use code to make installing solar panels on rural properties easier.

The current code, which governs unincorporated parts of the county, requires people who want to install small, accessory ground-mounted solar energy projects to get a site plan review or a waiver of that review.

On Sept. 22, the county will hold a public meeting to discuss amending the code to allow construction of such systems without a review or waiver.

“The purpose of the text amendment is both to further reduce the barriers to the installation of onsite solar energy systems and to (focus) planning reviews on the types of applications where review has the most impact,” the county said.

“These applications are generally approved with little controversy and staff believes that if adequate parameters are established in the land use code the site plan review waiver process can be eliminated,” the county said.

The amendment would allow ground-mounted solar systems to be permitted without land use review if the system is less than 10 feet tall and 750 square feet, complies with zoning setbacks and is located within 100 feet of the principal use building such as a single family dwelling or agricultural facility, among other requirements.

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Matt Whittaker writes about natural resources industries, including oil and gas, mining, renewable energy, agriculture and cannabis. He's been based in the Denver metro area since 2013. You can follow him on Twitter @mattswhittaker.

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