§ 14.04.010  PURPOSE.
   A.   In amending the Solar Rights Act, Cal. Gov’t Code § 65850.5, the State Legislature has found that:
      1.   In recent years, the state has both encouraged the development of innovative distributed generation technology and prioritized the widespread adoption of solar power as a renewable energy resource through programs such as the California Solar Initiative.
      2.   Rooftop solar energy is a leading renewable energy technology that will help this state reach its energy and environmental goals.
      3.   To reach the state's Million Solar Roofs goal, hundreds of thousands of additional rooftop solar energy systems will need to be deployed in the coming years.
      4.   Various studies, including one by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, show that, despite the 1978 California Solar Rights Act, declaring that the “implementation of consistent statewide standards to achieve the timely and cost-effective installation of solar energy systems is not a municipal affair ... but is instead a matter of statewide concern,” the permitting process governing the installation of rooftop solar energy systems varies widely across jurisdictions and, contrary to the intent of the law, is both an “obstacle” to the state's clean energy and greenhouse reduction goals and a “burdensome cost” to homeowners, businesses, schools, and public agencies.
      5.   The United States Department of Energy, through its SunShot Initiative, has distributed millions of dollars in grants to local and state governments, including California jurisdictions, and nonprofit organizations to reduce the costs of distributed solar through streamlined and standardized permitting.
      6.   A modernized and standardized permitting process for installations of small-scale solar distributed generation technology on residential rooftops will increase the deployment of solar distributed generation, help to expand access to lower income households, provide solar customers greater installation ease, improve the state's ability to reach its clean energy goals, and generate much needed jobs in the state, all while maintaining safety standards.
   B.   Based on the foregoing, the City Council hereby finds as follows:
      1.   Residential rooftop solar and energy efficiency systems are a valuable renewable energy source enhancing the state's clean energy and greenhouse reduction goals.
      2.   The city, as the local building permit regulator, in enacting this chapter is implementing a streamlined solar energy permitting process within its jurisdiction.
      3.   Consistent with these findings, the purpose of this chapter is to codify and implement the city's streamline permitting process in compliance with Cal. Gov’t Code § 65850.5.
(Ord. 1178, passed 9-15-15)