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Residents of Allen recently mounted a successful campaign to loosen the city restrictions on backyard chickens (but not roosters) including writing email & letters to City Council, a Facebook page, and an online petition drive. Now residents are trying to convince the City Council to remove the restrictions on street facing rooftop solar panels from a proposed new ordinance.

A hearing on the proposed ordinance is scheduled to be on the agenda for the City Council meeting Tue. Aug 23. Residents can send email & letters to City Council any time before the meeting, but if they want them to be included in the public record they should be received by Fri. Aug. 12.

The existing ordinance, which has been in place since 2012, says that Solar Panels installed on a residential property shall not directly face any public street regardless of screening.

The Proposed ordinance says that Solar panel systems shall not directly face any public street regardless of screening.

There is a state law which limits the ability of homeowners associations to impose restrictions like these. Cities may do so, but most do not.

There was a public hearing at the Planning & Zoning Commission meeting on Aug 2, and the agenda for it (which is available online) contains the text of the current & proposed ordinances. The proposed ordinance was approved at that meeting by a vote of 5 to 2, sending it on to the City Council for final approval. The commissioners generally agreed that street facing solar panels will be allowed in Allen at some point, but disagreed on whether the time should be now or in the future. Video of this hearing is available for viewing on the City website:

http://allentx.swagit.com/play/08022016-1233/#8

For more information see the following websites:

https://www.change.org/p/city-of-allen-change-the-city-of-allen-ordinance-to-allow-solar-panels

https://www.facebook.com/AmendtheSolarOrdinanceinAllen

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