Solar panels for the generation of power to a home are classified in the City’s Zoning Code as three (3) types:
- ground-mounted arrays;
- roof-mounted, visible from an adjoining/adjacent street; or
- roof-mounted, but not visible from an adjoining/adjacent street.
The permitting requirements vary depending upon the classification of solar installation.
Devices for the generation of energy, such as solar panels [roof-mounted types on rear and/or side of dwellings and not visible from the adjoining/adjacent street(s) only], wind generators and similar devices, must meet the following criteria, and be verified as part of the submittal for Zoning Authorization:
(1) The support rack and framing that is to be installed be flush mounted on the roof of the dwelling, in association with the solar panel arrays, and match the color of the shingles or other roofing materials, as closely as possible.
(2) The capping of the solar panel arrays that are used in this support rack and framing be a dark color and/or match that of the roofing materials in use, as closely as possible.
(3) Compliance with all subdivision declarations, covenants, restrictions, or rules/regulations is required of any solar panel array installation.
(4) The removal of woodlands to accommodate access to the sun be minimized and comply with all City codes in this regard.
If the solar installation is either ground-mounted or a roof-mounted that is visible from an adjoining/adjacent street, the homeowner must apply for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP). If the CUP is approved, a set of site-specific criteria will be approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission.
If the solar installation is roof-mounted and not visible from an adjoining/adjacent street, the applicant should apply for a Zoning Authorization from the City. Once received, an application for a building permit will need to be completed with St. Louis County.
If the solar installation is roof-mounted and visible from an adjoining/adjacent street or ground-mounted, the applicant should apply for a Conditional Use Permit from the City’s Planning and Zoning Commission.