Photovoltaic & Solar Thermal Regulations

Pursuant to the New Castle Zoning Ordinance 9.3.1 and in compliance with the Secretary of Interior’s Standards of Treatment of Historic Properties, applicants for photovoltaic (PV) and Solar Thermal (ST) systems in the New Castle Historic District should be aware that these systems can only be installed when there is little or no adverse impact on the physical or visual architectural landscape of the historic district. The homeowner should fully examine the site for its potential to accommodate these technologies to minimize impact on the District. The intent of these rules is to find a balance between solar technology and protection of the historic district. For existing buildings and new construction the following rules are established:

  1. The appropriateness of a PV and ST system will be based upon the historic character and architectural significance of the individual structure and its relation to its surroundings.  
  2. PV or ST systems must be positioned in such a way as to have the least impact on the public view (streetscape).
  3. All PV and ST installations must not replace original or historic features of the structure.  
  4. Systems should be on the same plane as the roof, with color of the panels in keeping with the surrounding roofing materials.  All plumbing, wiring and mounting hardware should be hidden
  5. PV and ST installations need to be designed and positioned to be in scale with the structure’s roof line, while maintaining a balance and scale with other features of that elevation.

Recommended Application Materials for Public Hearings

Applications for photovoltaic and solar thermal systems should include materials to adequately describe the proposed equipment, the structure and the surrounding area of the district. Submitted materials should include:

  1. A sample of the product and supporting documentation
  2. Photographs of the installation site and the surrounding area of the district from the public way (street views). Sketches or digital renderings should, illustrate the proposed installation of the array.
  3. A scaled drawing of the proposed system that includes all supplemental equipment as well as any proposed screening materials.