Restrict Solar Panel Ugliness - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Opinion

Restrict Solar Panel Ugliness

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Posted: Sunday, November 10, 2019 11:45 am

Coronado is working on undergrounding the hundreds of century-old utility poles, and more and more residents are opting for equally ugly solar installations.

The problem with solar power is those grungy black panels. It is a rare building on which placement is not a visual blight.

Street-front installations are the worst. And in Coronado, backyard roof top locations can be almost as bad because so often that stuff will be visible from a neighbor’s otherwise beautiful garden. Mitigation requires importing and installing something tall like bamboo as a screen.

The minds that invent technology are historically oblivious to appearance. Remember the old roof-topTV antennas? Well, take my word for it, they were also ugly, but never as intrusive as these big black slabs.

For my taste, as long as they run down the alleys, the poles are not as disfiguring as solar panels. (In severely high winds, however, our poles could certainly become dangerous. It is not hard to imagine a sparking on First Street igniting those giant eucalyptus trees.)

What to do? I advocate restricting visible sidewalk-side solar installations on residential buildings on our island until someone figures out how to put one very small single panel on a very tall skinny metal post which can be disguised. I get the threat of global warming, but not to the point of destroying the beauty of our civic environment.

Then there is a system called 5G outlets being attached to selected utility poles by big communication companies, with federal authorization. Something to do with cell phone reception. They are not very visible, but scare nearby residents who cite electronic contamination as a health threat, for which there are pro and con arguments.

These issues are not the end of the world. Not even close, but of some concern for careful management of our beautiful little hometown. As for the growing national population who are reported to believe that the world has never been so crazy, the future so bleak, the country so divided--based on the advantage of extreme old age I can absolutely confirm that the reverse is true. Take it from those of us who lived before polio vaccine, through World War II, before world-wide communication, air travel for all, storm warning systems, and medical advances, these times are not so tough, even with the prospect of global warming. Basic human ingenuity has always survived. Meanwhile, I urge restricting solar panel ugliness in Coronado.

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