Is the Right to Light a California Necessity?

by William R. Harris


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Addresses the uncertain potential of solar energy and the question of a transferable property interest in sunlight. Such a property right by landowners, even though transferable, would be likely to facilitate solar heating and cooling systems in California. The right to light should be considered a necessity since a generation of Californians now living can expect a decline in U.S. oil and gas production beginning late in this century. More extensive legislative hearings are needed in 1976 before determining the roles and authorities of state and municipal districts regarding solar rights. The author recommends that the California Legislature enact a right to light in a framework which retains actual land use zoning decisions at the local level, and allows opportunities for transferability with compensation of solar energy rights. Alternative solar energy rights concepts used in England, Japan and other U.S. states are outlined. (Statement submitted to California State Assembly Committee on the Judiciary.) 28 pp. Ref.

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