by Michael dEstries
Categories: Home.

snipshot_d412q8ofwkpj.jpgThis just keeps getting better and better. Apparently, new information has come to light showing that zoning rules in Al Gore’s upscale neighborhood of Belle Meade (the fifth richest community in the US) prevent the former Vice-President from installing solar panels at his residence. From the article,

“Gore bought his multimillion dollar home in 2002 in Belle Meade, an exclusive city encircled by metropolitan Nashville, and he has embarked on an ambitious renovation. But his contractors ran into a legal barrier last summer when they sought to apply for a permit to install solar panels on the roof.Terry Franklin, Belle Meade’s building officer, said the town only allows power generating equipment to be placed on the ground level. “Solar panels are generators,” Franklin said.

‘We told them they couldn’t do it,” he said. “They wanted to try anyway, but we convinced them it was something the board wouldn’t allow.’”

As I wrote about earlier, Gore has been under attack from conservative groups over his energy consumption. A lack of true renewable accessories to his massive home left many wondering if Al wasn’t walking the walk that he so often preaches. Additional information revealed that his home is offset through green energy credits and a strong push for efficient lighting and appliances. His desire to have solar panels installed had many wondering why this wasn’t done sooner — and now we know why.

“Gore’s contractors had argued that silent solar panels should not be equated with noisy gas- or diesel-powered generators, but they ultimately agreed not to press the issue while the city considered changes to the code. New rules on April 1 will allow homeowners to install solar panels on their roofs.  ‘We just sort of had to wait until they caught up with things,” said Steve Rick, Gore’s architect. ‘I didn’t think it was worth fighting because we knew the change was coming.’”

Yea, well, the timing sucked. At least there’s hope that the law is now being revised to allow such installations. Unfortunately, it appears that renewable energy will be subject to the same community rules as how high your grass can be and other lunacy. Time to sell, Al, time to sell.

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

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