By Holly Cook
The city council approved solar panel systems at two Roeland Park homes during last week’s city council meeting.
The panel system on the 48th block of Neosho is being incorporated into the roof of a new build, while the system on the 49th block of Wells has been added to an existing home and includes panels on the roof and panels connected to the side of the house.
Both systems were installed prior to Monday’s council approval, as homeowners and the city’s building official did not realize the systems required council approval. City staff examined the issue further after councilmember Tim Janssen received a complaint from a resident about the appearance of one of the solar panel systems.
During a previous meeting, homeowner Brandon Gillette said the system was expected to offset energy usage by 85 to 90 percent.
Councilmember Teresa Kelly said she would like council to consider relaxing the requirement for residents to gain council approval prior to installing solar panel systems.
“I think we need to encourage our residents to be sustainable and be proactive in using alternative energy when they can,” she said.