Bill text – ab-2188 solar energy permits. electricity jeopardy

(2) Existing law prohibits any covenant, restriction, or condition contained in any deed, contract, security instrument, or other instrument affecting the transfer or sale of, or any interest in, real property, and any provision of a governing document from effectively prohibiting or restricting the installation or use of a solar energy system. Existing law exempts from that prohibition provisions that impose reasonable restrictions on a solar energy system that do not significantly increase the cost of the system or significantly decrease its efficiency or specified performance. Existing law defines the term “significantly,” for these purposes, with regard to solar domestic water heating systems or solar swimming pool heating systems

that comply with state and federal law, to mean an amount exceeding 20% of the cost of the system or decreasing the efficiency of the solar energy system by an amount exceeding 20%, and with regard to photovoltaic systems that comply with state and federal law, an amount not to exceed $2,000 over the system cost or a decrease in system efficiency of an amount exceeding 20%, as specified. Existing law requires a solar energy system for heating water subject to the provisions described above to be certified by the Solar Rating Certification Corporation or another nationally recognized certification agency.

65850.5. (a) The implementation of consistent statewide standards to achieve the timely and cost-effective installation of solar energy systems is not a municipal affair, as that term is used in Section 5 of Article XI of the California Constitution, but is instead a matter of statewide concern. It is the intent of the Legislature that local agencies not adopt ordinances that create unreasonable barriers to the installation of solar energy systems, including, but not limited to, design review for aesthetic purposes, and not unreasonably restrict the ability of homeowners and agricultural and business concerns to install solar energy systems. It is the policy of the state to promote and encourage the use of solar

energy systems and to limit obstacles to their use. It is the intent of the Legislature that local agencies comply not only with the language of this section, but also the legislative intent to encourage the installation of solar energy systems by removing obstacles to, and minimizing costs of, permitting for such systems.

(g) (1) On or before September 30, 2015, every city, county, or city and county, in consultation with the local fire department or district and the utility director, if the city, county, or city and county operates a utility, shall adopt an ordinance, consistent with the goals and intent of subdivision (a), that creates an expedited, streamlined permitting process for small residential rooftop solar energy systems. In developing an expedited permitting process, the city, county, or city and county shall adopt a checklist of all requirements

with which small rooftop solar energy systems shall comply to be eligible for expedited review. An application that satisfies the information requirements in the checklist, as determined by the city, county, and city and county, shall be deemed complete. Upon confirmation by the city, county, or city and county of the application and supporting documents being complete and meeting the requirements of the checklist, and consistent with the ordinance, a city, county, or city and county shall, consistent with subdivision (b), approve the application and issue all required permits or authorizations. Upon receipt of an incomplete application, a city, county, or city and county shall issue a written correction notice detailing all deficiencies in the application and any additional information required to be eligible for expedited permit issuance.

(2) The checklist and required permitting documentation shall be published on a publically accessible Internet Web site, if the city, county, or city and county has an Internet Web site, and the city, county, or city and county shall allow for electronic submittal of a permit application and associated documentation, and shall authorize the electronic signature on all forms, applications, and other documentation in lieu of a wet signature by an applicant. In developing the ordinance, the city, county, or city and county shall

substantially conform its expedited, streamlined permitting process with the recommendations for expedited permitting, including the checklists and standard plans contained in the most current version of the California Solar Permitting Guidebook and adopted by the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research. A city, county, or city and county may adopt an ordinance that modifies the checklists and standards found in the guidebook due to unique climactic, geological, seismological, or topographical conditions. If a city, county, or city and county determines that it is unable to authorize the acceptance of an electronic signature on all forms, applications, and other documents in lieu of a wet signature by an applicant, the city, county, or city and county shall state, in the ordinance required under this subdivision, the reasons for its inability to accept electronic signatures and acceptance of an electronic signature