A bill now under review by the D.C. Council would redefine the age-old complaint, "You're blocking my sun."
Councilman David Grosso, I-At large, has introduced legislation requiring compensation for the owner of a "solar easement" when that easement is obstructed by a neighboring structure, building, tree or vegetation, if that obstruction was not present prior to Jan. 1, 2014.
The measure, titled the "Solar Access Rights Establishment Act," would eliminate all covenants that prohibit solar on a specific property, and guarantee a "property right to the beneficial use of solar energy falling on a property owner's rooftop." That "solar access right," under Grosso's bill, must not be blocked, and if it is, then the solar owner is due "reasonable compensation."
The bill was crafted specifically to target rowhome pop-ups, which, Grosso said, "are coming up everywhere." Solar systems, he said, can be ruined when one homeowner in a row of matching houses decides to add a story or two.