Warwick Village: solar panels don’t jibe with historic district

| 09 Mar 2012 | 11:25

    Warwick Village may not want to see solar panels in front yards, side yards, front roofs, walls – or anywhere, really. The Village Board of Trustees is looking into relegating solar panels to rear yards and behind screens in the name of preserving aesthetics within the historic district.

    “I think we have to regulate it but not create extreme costs for the homeowner,” said Mayor Michael Newhard.

    Village attorney Michael Meth advised the board to write instructive guidelines, rather than regulations that discourage people from installing solar panels. “Go deep, you could be a trendsetter,” he said.

    Jerry Fischetti, who lives on Oakland Avenue, was the first in the historic district to install solar panels three years ago. After putting hot water panels on his north wall above the porch roof, he installed them on his rental property a few houses down. His neighbor across the street followed suit. His solar panels are visible from the street, if you’re looking.

    “Tell them to mind their own business, because they’re not paying the bills,” said Fischetti. “Their concern is that this is within the historical district? If that’s the case then we should not use electricity. One hundred years ago, did they have electricity? Did they have all these amenities? Let’s go back 100 years and pay the same amount of tax we had then.”