Bill Text: HI SB834 | 2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating To Solar Energy.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 8-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-02-11 - The committee on PSM deferred the measure. [SB834 Detail]

Download: Hawaii-2019-SB834-Introduced.html

THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

834

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2019

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to solar energy.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


     SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that the development, expansion, and protection of solar energy will help to meet the present and future energy needs and renewable energy mandates of the State.  The legislature further finds that the use of renewable energy sources, including solar energy, can reduce the prohibitive costs of electrical power and other depletable sources of energy.

     Solar energy systems require direct access to sunlight to be functional and operate efficiently.  The purpose of this Act is to authorize the counties to create a process for the recordation and enforcement of solar easements, and to require protection of solar access from shade caused by vegetation in order to preserve the economic value of solar radiation falling on structures, investments in solar energy devices, and the options for future uses of solar energy.

     SECTION 2.  Chapter 196, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding two new sections to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

     "§196-    County authority to create solar easements.  (a)  The governing body of a county may create, by ordinance, a process for the recordation and enforcement of solar easements.  Counties may require individuals claiming a solar right to record that right by filing a declaration with the county clerk where the property burdened by a solar right is located or where any portion of the properties on which a solar right is claimed is located.  The declaration shall include a description of the dimensions of the easement expressed in measureable terms, such as vertical or horizontal angles measured in degrees; the hours of the day on specified dates during which direct sunlight to a specified surface of a solar energy device may not be obstructed; or a combination of these descriptions.  A solar right may be considered an easement appurtenant, and a suit to enforce a solar right may be brought at law or in equity.  Any instrument creating a solar easement shall be recorded in the bureau of conveyances or the land court.

     (b)  For the purposes of this section:

     "Solar easement" means a right, expressed as an easement, restriction, covenant, or condition contained in any deed, contract, or other written instrument, executed by or on behalf of any landowner for the purpose of assuring adequate access to direct sunlight for solar energy devices.

     "Solar energy device" has the same meaning as in section 196-7.

     §196-    County authority to require trimming of vegetation blocking solar energy.  The governing body of a county may require, by ordinance, the trimming of vegetation that blocks solar radiation from a solar energy device as defined under section 196-7.  The ordinance may include but is not limited to a designation of responsibility for the costs of the trimming.  The ordinance shall not require the trimming of vegetation if the owner or occupant of the property on which the vegetation is located plants the vegetation before the installation of the solar energy device."

     SECTION 3.  New statutory material is underscored.

     SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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Report Title:

Solar Energy Device; Solar Easement; Solar Access; Trimming Vegetation; Ordinance

 

Description:

Permits the governing body of a county to create, by ordinance, a process for the recordation and enforcement of solar easements.  Allows counties to require individuals claiming a solar right to record that right by filing a declaration with the county clerk.  Permits the governing body of a county to require, by ordinance, the trimming of vegetation that blocks solar radiation from solar energy devices.  Authorizes the ordinance to include a designation for the cost of trimming.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.

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