Solar Energy Systems 

solarpanels 2021

Solar Energy Systems (Solar panels) convert sunlight into electrical energy typically through photovoltaic (PV) panels or other technology that concentrates solar radiation.  Solar Panels are usually installed on residential or commercial roofs and in some rare cases, installed on the ground (ground systems). The popularity of installing solar energy systems on residential and commercial structures continues to increase as the efficiency of these systems improve and become more affordable.  As such, it is believed that more and more citizens and businesses will explore solar energy systems as an option to offset rising energy costs.

Solar Panel Ordinance Amendment

The City of Southlake adopted an amendment to it's Zoning Ordinance relating to Solar Energy Systems (Solar Panels). This amendment helps expedite the permitting process time by allowing administrative or staff approval for some solar panel applications.

Getting Started

If you believe your project is eligible for administrative approval, please submit a Solar Photovoltaic (PV) System permit with our Building Inspections Division through EnerGov Customer Self Service (CSS).

If you believe your project is not eligible for administrative approval, please submit a Specific Use Permit (SUP) with the Planning Division.

Residential Requirements

  • Line of sight analysis is required to show the system is not visible from a public or private roadway/right of way
  • The total solar array is less than 600 sq. ft. (cumulative)

Types of Residential Solar Energy Systems

The solar energy systems identified below that have met the residential requirements are eligible for administrative approval:

  1. Flat roof mounted on accessory buildings
  2. Flat roof structures as extension or attached (patio extension) to main residence
  3. Residential roof structures including domestic employee or family quarters

1.

flat roof accessory structures 2

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Flat roof accessory structures 1

2.

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3.

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Non-Residential Requirements

  • Line of sight analysis is required that shows the system is not visible from a public or private roadway/right of way or a residential zoned or residentially land use plan property within 300 ft. of the structure.
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Solar Shingle / Roof Material

For applicants requesting to use solar shingles for roofing, the solar energy system material cannot be differentiated from typical roofing shingle or material. Examples are shown below of acceptable and non-acceptable materials:

Acceptable:

solar shingles 2

Acceptable:

solar shingles 1

Non-Acceptable:

solar shingle not acceptable

For more detailed information regarding residential and non-residential requirements for solar energy systems, view our Solar Panel Guidelines document, or visit our Residential Construction / Commercial Construction web pages on our Building Inspections homepage.