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Compromise is in works on Frontenac solar panel measure

Compromise is in works on Frontenac solar panel measure

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A compromise that would allow a proposed building-mounted solar panel system in Frontenac's Lynbrook subdivision seems more likely now, aldermen said this week. The Planning and Zoning Commission held a long workshop on the issue Saturday and will meet to vote next week and submit a final recommendation to the aldermen.

Aldermen will likely hold a public hearing and consider a new law allowing the system at their Aug. 16 meeting.

Tom and Becky Minogue say they are willing to invest up to $20,000 for a solar system for their home. But the last version of the measure would not allow the system to face south, which is required for the best exposure in the Northern Hemisphere. In fact, they note, only four of the 42 homes in the subdivision could have a building-mounted system facing the south.

The Minogues applied for a building permit last year and were turned down by a design officer. A proposal designed to address all such applications in general followed, with the requirement that solar panels stay on the back of the building. But now the city staff is favoring allowing for exceptions when it can be shown that the exception would not be "disharmonious" to the neighborhood.

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