Thursday, March 6, 2008

And the Winner Is?

Here is the question, when Mark Vargas of Santa Clara, California installed the solar panels shown in the picture below, do you think he noticed or gave any thought to the placement of his panels considering the trees in the background?

Apparently not since he sued his neighbors to have 2 of the trees removed because they violated his "right to sunshine"! In a dispute that seems like it would happen only in California, Vargas asked prosecutors to file charges against his neighbor using an obscure law that predates the common use of solar panels.

Known as the Solar Shade Control Act, The law requires homeowners to keep their trees or shrubs from shading more than 10 percent of a neighbor's solar panels between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun is strongest. A tree would be exempt from the law only if it cast a shadow when the panel was installed so any existing tree that had not reached maturity would have to be removed under the current law.

According to the AP, residents can be fined up to $1,000 a day for violations. Vargas says the law protects his $70,000 investment in solar power, and he believes it should be strengthened.

"I think it's unfair that a neighbor can take away this source of energy from another neighbor," he said.

There will not be an appeal since the owners of the trees cannot afford further legal fees.

So who wins here, sadly only the lawyers. Like Reagan said, if you've seen one redwood you've seen them all.

1 comment:

sybil law said...

Vargas sounds like a typical, not well thought out, litigous asswipe.
I am all for solar panels, but my. god.
Their trees were there first! They provide oxygen and SHADE (which is still important!) and homes for squirrels and sounds reduction, etc.
What a jerk.