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Solar Panels and Heritage Trees

Original post made by Looking for answers, Atherton: West Atherton, on Oct 9, 2010

We live on a property covered with approximately 30 Oak trees - many of them are heritage trees, many of them lend a beautiful, peaceful, natural ambience to the property, a few are nuissances - dropping prickly leaves and sap in play and entertainment areas, and one in particular is preventing us from gaining full use of solar panels.

I wasn't able to find anything in the Atherton town ordinances about whether there is an exception to the Heritage tree protection laws if the tree interferes with the effective use of a solar energy system.

I know there are California laws that prevent neighbors from planting trees that will block another neighbor's solar sun exposure, but I couldn't find anything about trees on one's own lot.

Does anyone know anything about this?


Comments (1)

Posted by Central Menlo
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 11, 2010 at 9:41 pm

I'm not familiar with Atherton ordinances, but in Menlo Park, the trees win. Existing [heritage] trees are not removed to allow sunshine for solar panels. Nothing is exact and there is an appeal process, to request removal of heritage trees, where exceptions are reasonable.

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