Solar panels to dot roof of home in Sewickley historic district
Solar panels might have little historic significance but soon, they'll dot the roof of one home in a historic Sewickley neighborhood.
Council members last month approved allowing homeowners Andy and Dorothy Falk to place solar panels on a portion of their home at 304 Henry Ave.
“Solar panels are not historic,” borough Solicitor Richard Tucker said.
But there is no formal policy limiting the use of solar panels inside a historic district, Manager Kevin Flannery said.
“It's the first time solar panels have been proposed for a house in a historic district,” he said. “No one thought about solar panels when they drew up historic guidelines.”
Guidelines and requirements are listed for solar energy systems and related equipment, Flannery said. Based on borough ordinances, the homeowners have met all requirements, he said.
Solar panels will be on the roof facing an alleyway, Andy Falk said. An original plan called for panels to be placed facing Henry Avenue, but the borough's Historic Review Commission asked that the panels be relocated away from the street.
The home was built in 1910, according to Allegheny County real estate records.
Should borough leaders consider limiting solar panel use in a historic district, the Falks would be grandfathered in and wouldn't have to make changes to suit any new laws, council member Susan Aleshire said.
Across the country, California leads with the highest number of residential solar panel installations this year, according to the Washington-based Solar Energy Industries Association.
Pennsylvania ranks ninth.
The organization estimates that new solar electric capacity added in 2013 will generate enough electricity to power more than 960,000 homes.
The federal government and several states — including Pennsylvania — offer rebates for homeowners who install solar panels.
More than $2 million remains in Pennsylvania's rebate fund, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection. The rebate program is expected to end in December.
Council member Carole Ford said she hopes borough leaders consider looking into ordinances as the use of solar energy increases.
“We still need to look at policy for solar panels in historic district,” she said.
Bobby Cherry is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 or email@example.com.
Add Bobby Cherry to your Google+ circles.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.