The obliteration of a second story ocean view from a Mystic Hills home has the property owner and the city asking if energy conservation holds all the trumps.
Unlike view obstructions from architectural elements, neighbors have no say in the installation of solar panels on rooftops, regardless of the effect on their property or lives. Under a state law, the installations are exempt from the usual design review required for building alterations and the City Council wants to know what can be done to make the installations less upsetting to neighbors.
"I don't think anyone would appreciate the devaluation of their home and the loss of quality of life looking at a metal platform 24 to 30 inches high that can prop up 30 to 50 solar panels," said Lea Eastman, who brought the issue to the attention of the City Council at the July 20 meeting. "It has turned a home into a power plant."