Planning, Zoning and Development is one of the foundational categories for the SolSmart designation program. To achieve a Bronze designation, a city must complete PZD-1 and earn at least 20 points in this category. To achieve a Silveror Gold designation, a city must also complete PZD-2. Below is a list of regional guidance and best practice documents. When regional examples are not available, national examples are available through SolSmart resources.
Review existing planning documents and identify new opportunities (not already included) to integrate solar PV into planning goals (5 points).
**Earn an additional 5 points (PZD-3b): In consultation with planners and other staff, provide draft language on solar PV which will be proposed for inclusion in existing or future plans. Provide a timeline for when the language will be considered for incorporation into plan.
Provide development incentives for solar PV within the subdivision or zoning process, or as part of other development incentives (e.g. density or height bonuses for buildings that plan to install solar or tax-increment financing) (20 points).
Encourage or incentivize solar PV development on parking lots, vacant lots, landfills, buffer lands around uses with nuisances (e.g. refineries, wastewater plants), brownfields or formerly contaminated lands, airport safety zones (with FAA approval), and non-building structures (20 points).
Create and provide a handout online for developers that provides an overview of what development regulations allow under which conditions (e.g. types and sizes of solar PV arrays permitted, the processes required, and other relevant information, such as design standards and policy outside of the zoning language) (5 points).
Local Innovation: Please describe your local innovation regarding Planning, Zoning and Development Regulations. Be sure to explain how this helps reduce the soft cost of solar PV in your community (up to 20 points).