Glendale Unified officials this week said they will take steps to reduce the visual impact of solar panels being installed at seven local schools, but will not relocate them, as requested by some neighbors.
The district broke ground last month on the $7.2-million project, which includes installing solar panels at Clark Magnet and Crescenta Valley high schools, Rosemont Middle School and Keppel, Columbus, Mountain Avenue and Monte Vista elementary schools. It is being paid for with funds from Measure S, a $270-million school bond passed by voters in April 2011.
The solar panels are projected to save the district $543,000 in their first year of operation. The estimated cost savings during the next three decades is $18 million.
But what is being touted by Glendale Unified as an environmentally friendly and economically savvy move has rankled some homeowners near the schools because they say the solar structures impede their backyard views. School projects are approved by the California Division of State Architect, and so aren't bound by city codes that require public notices and hearings.