Earlier in February a strange case arose over an obscure California law, the Solar Shade Control Act (.PDF
passed in 1979 after the Oil Crisis. The law essentially made criminals
out of a pair of Sunnyvale residents, whose eight redwood trees cast
shade on a neighbor's solar panels.
The dispute between the
neighbors, Mark Vargas (solar panel owner) and Richard Treanor and
Carolynn Bissett (tree owners) was "settled" when a judge ruled Treanor
and Bissett had to cut two of the trees down, despite the fact that the
trees pre-dated the solar panels.
Let us cast some common sense on this by saying: huh? The trees were there first!
on Tuesday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law a bill that says
"first come, first served." If the trees or other vegetation are there
first, then if solar panels go up later, the trees get to stay.
fact that Vargas is taking Treanor and Bissett back to civil court
makes one wonder if it was really just the solar panels, or a "bad
neighbor" policy that set Vargas off: he's now suing claiming the
remaining trees’ roots damage an underground storm drain and that they
violate state laws prohibiting spite fences.
From what I've heard so far of this guy, a spite fence seems necessary.
But at least, in this battle of green vs. green, green won.