Solar Panels: The Planning Board needs your input

The Lyme Planning Board needs your input about Solar Panels. They will hold a Public Hearing in person at the Town Offices on Thursday, 6 Jan 2022 at 7:00pm. If you cannot attend, please send your questions, thoughts, and comments to the Planning and Zoning Office at You can also attend the meeting electronically at this link:

This fall, the Board worked on language to treat a Solar Energy System (primarily solar panels) as a structure when installed as an accessory use to a residence or business. As a structure, the solar panels may be sized and located anywhere a garage, barn, or shed would be permitted. (This language is primarily aimed at solar panels mounted on the ground.)

You can read the current draft at (The modified text is contained in the Definitions on Page 1, and the bold text page on Page 3.)

You can also read some background information about solar panels at:

Questions for Your Input

  1. Do the residents support allowing ground-mount solar panels anywhere on a parcel that other, similar sized structures may be built?
  2. The draft language permits ground-mount solar panels as an “accessory use”. It would allow a dwelling or business to add solar panels to their property. This language would not permit an undeveloped piece of land to be used as a solar farm: the Planning Board intends to consider this at a later time. Does this distinction make sense?
  3. Should the language state that solar panels are limited to “meeting the electrical needs within the limits of the lot”? This would have the effect of prohibiting people from installing “excess solar panels” on their property.
Rich Brown

Feel free to share this post on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or email. Any opinions expressed here are solely my own, and not those of any public body, such as the Lyme Planning Board, Budget Committee, or Trustees of the Trust Funds where I volunteer. I would be very interested to hear your thoughts – you can reach me at