Monday, August 2, 2021

City Amends Zoning Ordinance for Solar Panels

On February 23, Southlake City Council approved an amendment to the City’s Zoning Ordinance relating to Solar Energy Systems (Solar Panels). This amendment helps expedite the permitting process time by allowing administrative or staff approval for some solar panel applications.

City staff developed regulations that would allow the administrative approval of solar energy systems less than 600 square feet in size (cumulative) and not visible from the street. The regulations would also allow the administrative approval of energy systems on flat roof accessory structures such as patios or gazebos.

Flat roof mounted on accessory buildings

Flat roof structures as extension or attached (patio extension) to main residence.

Residential roof structures including domestic employee or family quarters

“After witnessing steadily declining costs for solar energy systems with increasing electrical costs due to population growth and development demands in the area, the City decided it was time to revisit our development process for obtaining solar energy systems,” said Senior Director of Planning and Development Services Director Ken Baker. “We expect to see an increase in demand for solar energy systems for both residential and commercial properties, so we believe administratively approving some solar panel applications meeting the necessary requirements presented will help expedite the process.”

If you believe your project is eligible for administrative approval, please submit a Solar Photovoltaic (PV) System permit with our Building Inspections Division through EnerGov Customer Self Service (CSS).

If you believe your project is not eligible for administrative approval, please submit a Specific Use Permit (SUP) with the Planning Division. This type of application will require approved by City Council following a recommendation from the Planning and Zoning Commission prior to installation.

For more detailed information regarding residential and non-residential requirements for solar energy systems, visit our Solar Panel Ordinance web page or view our Solar Panel Guidelines document. To submit a solar panel permit, visit our Online Permitting and Inspections web page housed on our Building Inspections homepage.