Nevada City to Require Solar Panels on all Downtown Roofs

Despite fierce objections from conservative planners, Nevada City will have solar panels installed on all downtown rooftops by 2018.
Despite fierce objections from conservative planners, Nevada City will have solar panels installed on all downtown rooftops by 2018.

Nevada City, CA — In what is being heralded as a massive triumph for green energy advocates, the City Council of Nevada City announced yesterday that it has passed an ordinance requiring all downtown building to install a minimum of 1000 Watt hours (Wh) of solar panels. The move, which is the first in the nation, is controversial given the upstart Sierra Foothill town’s conservative approach to maintaining its “historically accurate and pure heritage.”

“It’s about time our government did something about this,” said former Green Party candidate Derrick Packard in a Gish Gallop telephone interview. “I’ve been saying this for years, and no one has listened. The corporate oligarchy owns our energy in America. Solar is how we take America back. Make it great again. It’s like Howard Zinn taught us… [Editor’s note: Mr. Packard continued for another 25 minutes discussing Professor Zinn.]”

As the nation’s first mandatory project of its kind, “green advocates” are celebrating the move. However the city council ordinance still has an uphill climb with the planning commission [note: the planning commission is appointed by the city council], which has been known to deny new sign permits due to font choices, air conditioner installations and most recently a proposal to eliminate all cell phone service in the historical district because “we had diphtheria here in 1875, not mobile phones” according to one commissioner.

“Look, I love going to Big Sir where I have no cell phone service,” said a commissioner at the most recent planning meeting after her comments about diphtheria. “We all know how convenient they are. They make life easier and can even save lives. But death is as much a part of life as death. That’s just something we have to come to terms with as well as preserving our historical downtown. And, frankly, it was something people in the 1800s were more in-tune with. They knew what that vibration meant. We’ve lost that and need to get it back and remove all the vestiges of modernity.”

The ordinance takes effect in January of 2017 and requires that all downtown building have solar panels installed and operating by May of 2018. The planning commission meets in October to vote on the ordinance to decide if solar panels will impact property values and the historical significance of the downtown area.