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City socks it to solar users

Original post made on May 1, 2009

A new report by the Sierra Club ranks Mountain View among the most expensive Bay Area cities for businesses that want to install solar panels, spurring a review of solar permit fees by city staff.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, May 1, 2009, 11:03 AM

Comments (3)

Posted by Doug Pearson, a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 1, 2009 at 8:31 pm

Like taxes, fees are a way for the city to pay for the services it provides to its citizens. A key difference is that fees are pretty directly related to the service they pay for and, in my opinion, the cumulative fee income should be enough to cover the cost of the service with a bit left over for the city's general fund.

The city has already made an exception for residential solar panels and I'm glad they did, even though I am unlikely to take advantage of it myself. I am even willing to have the Council reduce the fees for commercial and industrial solar panel installations. But I hope that, overall, they are still taking in enough fees to cover their services and if not, they should consider raising the cost of other fees.

Posted by O rule, a resident of Castro City
on May 3, 2009 at 11:58 am

Fees suck wallets dry! Local Gov't is out of whack. What kind of system is this in which one discharges blood, sweat and tears to come up with 20% down for a home and then gets knocked up with fees left and right for every little issue that pertains to the overpriced piece of property purchased. What's property tax for? 1.1% on a million is over 11k annually. Renting would be cheaper.

Point of owning is to have freedoms, rights and privileges within reason. I wouldn't want my neighbor putting in a cell tower or a giant windmill in their backyard but I don't think its correct to go through the expensive process of, 1) getting permission to cut my own fast-growing tree down, 2) perform a solar install or 3) upgrading my water heater, shower and tub. Basic permits should be free. Elaborate and complex permission applications, should cost within reason.

What would be really GREAT is to implement a county and/or state-wide fee relaxation or fee waived policy for solar installations by American owned companies. Say, job growth!
In addition, what services do these fees provide? When I ask my contractor friends of Mountain View, I don't hear many positive comments regarding city services. The city has been quietly practicing permission creep and fee encroachment upon homeowners for years and it needs to stop now. Enough with the greed.

Posted by Mr. Ngo, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Mar 8, 2013 at 12:01 pm

I own property in this fine City. Want to convert to green. Instead, Mt. View City officials are using their authority all over the city to find any violations to raise cash for their strapped departments. Really hassled. What happened to government being there to help people!!!!!!

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