Sunday, May 26, 2024

Due to state law, city of Granbury amends its solar panel rules

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The city of Granbury’s zoning ordinance regulated the installation of solar panels by requiring that they be installed on the back side of a dwelling or building for, as Councilman Greg Corrigan put it, “aesthetic purposes.”

Now, because of a state law, the city can no longer do that.

At its regular meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 3, the City Council voted unanimously to amend its zoning ordinance to comply with a state law that was adopted by the Legislature in 2019.

The ordinance was not amended until now because city officials thought the law might be reversed or otherwise changed.

It wasn’t, so the city amended its code.

Community Development Director Kira Wauwie noted that the law outlines some exceptions and that the new ordinance refers to state statutes and “some HOA rules and regulations that might be applicable.”

She stated, “This will ease implementation and prevent missteps.”

Audience member Faye Landham spoke out against the change.

“I hate that they’re allowed to put these in the front of their houses,” she said of homeowners who install solar panels to save on energy costs.

Landham said she was in Dallas recently and saw solar panels at the front of “million-dollar houses.”

“They’re not attractive,” she said.

Mayor Jim Jarratt encouraged those unhappy with the state law to contact State Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, or State Rep. Shelby Slawson, R-Stephenville.

“I think that these are the kinds of things they should hear about,” Jarratt stated.

Deputy City Manager Michael Ross said that the law is “just another example of the continuing erosion of local controls for cities — the state pre-empting cities and counties all over Texas and just taking that individual control away and our ability to take them case by case.”

The motion to amend select sections of the city’s zoning ordinance related to solar panel regulations was made by Corrigan and seconded by council member Steven Vale.