Tyler City Council removes restrictions on putting solar panels on homes in city

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TYLER, Texas (KETK) — Tyler City Council voted unanimously on Wednesday to change a city ordinance that restricted the use of solar panels on homes in the city.

The city previously restricted the installation of solar panels.

“The previous ordinance restricted solar panels from being seen from any public street, and that’s in conflict with the upcoming changes in state law,” said Kyle Kingma, Tyler City Council Planning Director.

Mayor Don Warren said the city had to change its ordinance to comply with a new state law.

During the latest legislative session, the state passed SB 398 which prevents municipalities or property owners’ association from imposing “onerous requirements” on rooftop solar. The new state law goes into effect Sept. 1.

“Our ability to deny solar panels is gone,” Warren said.

Specifically the city changed the language in the Unified Development Code that addresses the placement of roof-mounted solar panels.

“This revision will provide the necessary clarity as to the ability to utilize solar energy devices in the city of Tyler,” said Planning Director Kyle Kingma.

All who spoke were in favor in removing the restrictions.

“It provides more of a guideline and sort of a best practice for implementing solar within residential communities, and I think that’s going to be a win for everybody,” said Cody Grace, an advocate for alternative energy and a candidate for Texas House.

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