There was an article in last week’s Denver Business Journal about Greenwood Village not allowing a car wash to install solar panels on the roof. Evidently their current zoning regulations consider the solar panels to be mechanical equipment and they must therefore be blocked from view. It included a rendering of a street facade where the panels were barely visible. It is understandable that they would have to reject it based on a current reading of their zoning code, there’s little flexibility.
At the same time municipalities should see this as a call to action to revise their zoning codes to have a more open and responsible view of on site solar and wind powered renewable energy. Both residential and commercial clients need options for on site renewable energy. Architects also need to look at better ways to integrate the solar panel into the aesthetic of their design where it isn’t something that needs to be blocked.
The article did mention that Greenwood Village would be reviewing the regulations of other jurisdictions for examples.
Also interesting that the same DBJ had two articles about LEED projects. A new hotel in Golden by Aardex and an expansion of the Stapleton distribution complex by Prologis.