When the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) issued its’ Model Solar Guide (click here) and Model Solar Zoning Bylaw (click here) it was meant to help towns achieve reasonable regulations for compliance with state law 40A Section 3 that reads as follows: No zoning ordinance or by-law shall prohibit or unreasonably regulate the installation of solar energy systems or the building of structures that facilitate the collection of solar energy, except where necessary to protect the public health, safety or welfare.
Many towns have passed solar bylaws the Attorney General’s (AG) office approved, sometimes with cautions. For a list of these towns click here and look for “Bylaw Type.” All the towns that have received AG approval with cautions have adopted very restrictive solar zoning bylaws that do not conform to the DOER suggested models. Many of these towns actually do prohibit solar development. Marion prohibits solar that can be seen from land or water. Lincoln prohibits solar energy that is sold (net metered). Your town may be composing or voting on Solar by-laws to submit to the Municipal Law Unit of the AG’s office for approval.
MASOA urges you to get active in your town and support the DOER model by-laws.