News-Press Editorial: Solar panels for buildings both old and new

In order to reduce reliance on non-renewable energy sources and reduce stress on the environment, a growing number of property owners have either already installed solar panels on their homes or businesses or have made plans to do so.

But while solar panels are starting to become more commonplace on newer construction, owners of historic properties have expressed concerns that gaining approval is too difficult.

Glendale has hardly been on the leading edge of this issue. For years, the city insisted the panels not be visible from the street. Then state lawmakers got involved, telling municipalities they could not create rules that hampered solar panel installations.

This week, the city's Historic Preservation Commission, which has authority over such installations on certain homes, gave its unanimous approval to panels on a Spanish Revival home on Rosemount Road that dates to the early 1930s.

Although commissioners were careful to state that approvals will not necessarily be granted to all who seek them for historic Mills Act-protected properties, we think this week's action was a positive step. We would encourage the commissioners to be equally as open to other applications.

Historic buildings offer high value to Glendale and its neighborhoods, and we hope that installations are sensitively designed so as not to detract from the character of those neighborhoods. Still, the installation of solar panels is a welcome trend, given our dwindling resources and ever-growing population. We should embrace this movement for properties new and old.

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