County Helps Lead Solar Permit Improvements

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors adopted ordinance changes Wednesday designed by the state to improve permitting for solar rooftops — but supervisors said it was really just a formality because the County has been using the new improvements for years.

“The state is finally catching up to the County,” said Supervisor Dianne Jacob. “We’ve been doing this a long time.”

The County’s Planning and Development Services Department was actually invited by state officials in 2014 to participate in the statewide team that helped update the California Solar Permitting Guidebook.

The new regulations, among other things, require California governments to create solar permit application checklists to simplify and streamline permitting for small rooftop systems and allow permitting online. They are part of Assembly Bill 2188, which was passed into law a year ago.

Planning officials said they had already introduced steps to streamline the solar permitting process before they introduced online permitting two years ago. Planning and Development Services reported that it has seen a 500 percent increase in solar permits in the last five years, and issued 5,991 last year alone.

“These changes have not only made it easier for customers to do business, but it saves time and money,” Jacob said. “I should note that the County has already received numerous awards from CSAC (the California State Association of Counties) and NACo, the national association of counties and others for our trend-setting efforts on this front.”



Gig Conaughton is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact