Westfield NJ Town Council
United States of America

In July of 2016, the Westfield Town Council passed an ordinance restricting homeowners from installing solar panels on street-facing sloping roofs. This would make it impossible for many homeowners to use solar panels to power their home.

In 2010, the Westfield Memorial Library installed solar panels to generate electricity for the library. In 2017, the Westfield school system installed solar panels. The town, however, is not considering installation of solar panels to reduce electricity costs.

We the undersigned residents of Westfield, New Jersey, affirm that we support making Westfield a more solar-friendly town.

Westfield provides a great place for people to live, shop, and dine. However, the cost of living is high and too many downtown storefronts are vacant. In addition, climate change adds to the risks of damage to buildings and trees and increases the costs of cooling buildings.

For these reasons, Westfield should take the following solar-friendly steps to reduce the costs for residents and businesses alike and to reduce the risks posed by climate change:

Change General Ordinance 2063 (which regulates the installation of solar energy systems) to permit solar panels on front-facing sloping roofs. This ordinance creates an unreasonable burden on home owners interested in taking advantage of solar.
Install solar panels as appropriate on Town buildings, such as the Municipal Building, fire houses, DPW building, and Memorial Pool buildings. Given that the roofs are old, it would be advantageous to replace them with solar tiles or add solar panels when replacing them. The experiences of the school system and the library in adding solar panels should be helpful.
Investigate installing solar panels over parking lots to provide shade for parking and cheaper electricity for residences and businesses, as well as giving Westfield a competitive advantage over neighboring towns. This article summarizes the many benefits: The Best Idea in a Long Time: Covering Parking Lots with Solar Panels
Use federal and state incentives and grants to help pay for these improvements.

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The Make Westfield a Solar-Friendly Town petition to Westfield NJ Town Council was written by Nancy Griffeth and is in the category Environment at GoPetition.