Santa Cruz County - Solar Access Protection (California)

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Last modified on February 12, 2015.

Rules Regulations Policies Program

Place California

Name Santa Cruz County - Solar Access Protection
Incentive Type Solar/Wind Access Policy
Applicable Sector Commercial, Industrial, Residential

Active Incentive Yes

Implementing Sector Local
Energy Category Renewable Energy Incentive Programs

Date added to DSIRE 2004-08-13
Last DSIRE Review 2012-11-27

References DSIRE[1]


Although the California Solar Rights Act of 1978 requires local governments to plan for future passive or natural heating or cooling opportunities in new residential construction, and the California Shade Control Act protects solar systems from shading by vegetation, current state and local laws do not protect installed solar energy systems from shading caused by structures. The County of Santa Cruz has developed a process for registering solar energy systems to provide additional protection to solar energy system owners.

The County's Building Regulations Code requires that any obstructions of solar access to a registered solar energy system be mitigated to the maximum extent feasible during the review of any permit to construct a building, wall, fence or other structure, or part of structure on a property that could have an impact on the system. The Code also contains a provision to protect registered systems from shading by vegetation on neighboring property.

Incentive Contact

Contact Name Public Information
Department County of Santa Cruz
Division Planning Department
Address 701 Ocean Street, 4th Floor

Place Santa Cruz, California
Zip/Postal Code 95060
Phone (831) 454-2580


Authorities (Please contact the if there are any file problems.)

Authority 1: Santa Cruz County Code, Chapter 12.28 Solar Access Protection

  • Incentive and policy data are reviewed and approved by the N.C. Solar Center's DSIRE project staff.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1  "Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE)"