Feeds

Treehuggers lose legal fight to solar-powered neighbour

Environ-mental Prius pair battle plugdrive sun-chum

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Wrangling Californian neighbours have recently concluded a bitter six-year legal battle, as a judge ordered a treehugging couple's lovingly-tended redwoods cut down in order to prevent them shading solar panels installed by the man next door.

Prius driver Richard Treanor, owner of the proscribed foliage, said the decision wasn't ecologically sound. The lost redwoods, he argued, had been a carbon sink, a wildlife habitat and had served to cool the air around them. He and his wife Carolyn Bissett weren't against solar power, he said, "but we think there's a rational way to implement it."

His neighbour Mark Vargas, whose $70,000 solar panels now operate at full efficiency, said that the tree-loving duo had been selfishly snaffling his sunlight.

"I think it's unfair that a neighbor can take away this source of energy from another neighbor," he told AP. Vargas added that it would take acres of trees to match his rooftop and back-garden solar panels in terms of carbon reductions. He also considered that he had out-greened Treanor and Bissett's low-emissions Prius hybrid, having purchased a plug-in electric car.

After years of legal scuffling, a California judge ruled that Treanor and Bissett had violated the state's Solar Shade Control Act, which says residents have to keep their plants from shading more than ten per cent of a neighbour's solar panels between the hours of 10am and 2pm. The couple are the first to be convicted under the 30-year-old law.

Trees already in place when solar panels are set up don't have to be cut down, but new growth causing shading is unlawful once the panels are in place. It seems that two of Treanor and Bissett's redwoods grew in an illegal fashion and had to be chopped down.

Treanor said the law was unfair, as his trees had been planted before Vargas installed his panels. He said the Act meant that a person could "suddenly become a criminal the day a tree grows big enough to shade a solar panel".

Legal experts predicted that such disputes would become more frequent, driven by large state subsidies for home solar-power kit. Such environ-mental* disputes might soon be an everyday Californian event.

Read the AP report here. ®

*Hyphen on purpose

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER
Forget Sudoku, crunch SHA-256 algos
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
'This BITE MARK is a SMOKING GUN': Boffins probe ancient assault
Tooth embedded in thigh bone may tell who pulled the trigger
DOLPHINS SMELL MAGNETS – did we hear that right, boffins?
Xavier's School for Gifted Magnetotaceans
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
Canberra drone team dances a samba in Outback Challenge
CSIRO's 'missing bushwalker' found and watered
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.