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Fire setback rule changes for City of San Diego residents

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  • Fire setback rule changes for City of San Diego residents

    So apparently just 6 weeks ago there was a recent ruling on easing up fire setback requirements for PV roof installations here in San Diego. The former rules requiring 36" free of solar panels on both sides from the ridge of a gable roof has been changed to requiring only ONE side to be free of panels with a 36" setback. This allows people to really take advantage of their available roof area by installing panels up to the top ridge of a roof on only one side. I don't have any documentation yet for this but I will post it here as soon as I have it. I hired a consultant to help me with the permitting process - I am going by what he told me.

  • #2
    Thanks for posting! What consultant are you using?
    CS6P-260P/SE3000 - http://tiny.cc/ed5ozx

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    • #3
      Originally posted by sensij View Post
      Thanks for posting! What consultant are you using?
      I'll second that question.

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      • #4
        For what it is worth, the inspector who approved my installation today confirmed the setback rule change posted here. I haven't been able to find any public announcement of this, though.
        CS6P-260P/SE3000 - http://tiny.cc/ed5ozx

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        • #5
          Originally posted by sensij View Post
          For what it is worth, the inspector who approved my installation today confirmed the setback rule change posted here. I haven't been able to find any public announcement of this, though.
          Probably going to happen then, but I'd make sure to se it on an official document before I went to the peak.

          Applicable to the city, county, or both ? How about the rest of the state ?

          I'm pretty sure the following won't be well received, but I was kind of happy in one sense when the 3 ft. off- peak both sides rule was enforced as it seemed to me that such enforcement would make it just a bit more difficult for peddlers to screw the solar ignorant by making it harder to oversize arrays, or at least not quite as easy.

          Wonder if anyone stuck w/the 3 ft. rule will sue their AHJ ?

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          • #6
            I don't know, seems like just a City thing at the moment. I just did some more digging, and found reference to FPB Policy P-16-12 in the city information bulletin 301 that describes the submittal process. Page 2 shows a ridge with 36" setback on one side as acceptable, so it looks legit. The revision date is 8/25/16, so it looks like it has out there almost a year now.

            2016 CA Residential code R324.7.2.5 still says 36" to the ridge, but clearly states exceptions are allowed by the "enforcing agency."
            CS6P-260P/SE3000 - http://tiny.cc/ed5ozx

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            • #7
              Originally posted by sensij View Post
              2016 CA Residential code R324.7.2.5 still says 36" to the ridge, but clearly states exceptions are allowed by the "enforcing agency."
              I did a quick review with the fire dept of my city and they approved my plan with smaller setbacks and on just on one side of a ridge.
              They asked about where the kitchen was and whether the area under the ridge was open from one side to the other.
              I think so they could have confidence that they would still be able to cut a vent and it'd be effective. And I think asked about the kitchen because that's a common place for fires to start.

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              • #8
                That is really good news.

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