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Lawmakers favor trees in feud over shaded solar panels

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

By Paul Rogers, Mercury News

In Silicon Valley’s famous “trees vs. solar panels” battle, the trees have won.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill into law Tuesday that guarantees if California property owners plant a tree before a neighbor installs solar panels on their roof, then the neighbor can’t require the tree to be cut or trimmed, even if it grows to cast shade on the panels.

State Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, wrote the bill in response to a Sunnyvale case that made national news and threatened to touch off statewide backyard battles as residential solar power installations grow in popularity.

Full story on San Jose Mercury News website