Sunnyvale battle over trees, solar energy

March 26, 2008 9:21:27 AM PDT
It's trees versus solar power in a bitter battle between two neighbors in Silicon Valley. The ordeal is now prompting new legislation that would define whether trees have to be chopped down, when they're blocking solar panels. It's a battle that caught national headlines.

Two of the trees are going to be partially cut down today. Richard Trenor, the owner of the trees was out early this morning. He was actually joking that he's ready to end his life as a criminal and ready to say goodbye to those trees that caused him to be convicted for violating the Solar Shade Control Act of 1978.

Trenor and his wife fought for seven years to save the trees. The fight began when the Trenor's neighbor told them he was going to install solar panels and they needed to remove their trees in order for sunlight to hit his solar panels. Trainer refused and in the end, was convicted of a crime, and is still losing two of his eight trees.

"I mean nobody is against solar here. We just want some clarity of thinking. Lets just kind of roll this out and be respectful of all the parties interests," said Richard Trenor, homeowner.

To prevent this from happening again, Senator Joe Simitian introduced a bill that said if trees were planted before solar panels were installed, that the trees get to stay and vice versa. Both neighbors are for trees and for solar power, but unfortunately in this case, they can't both win. But maybe due to the new legislation, if the situation arises again, it will have a different outcome.


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