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Ultimate green home draws protests in Newport Beach over solar panel glare

June 21, 2010 | 12:21 pm

Men work around the edge of a large group of solar panels on the hillside above Bayside Drive. Some residents on Balboa Island and Bayside Drive are complaining about the glare coming off the solar panels.

Some Newport Beach residents are rising up in protest after a neighbor installed large solar panels on his home overlooking the bay.

The 3,000-square-foot solar project is part of Stephen and Mashid Rizzone's longstanding plan to create a fully "green" dream home and impart to their children a legacy of environmental responsibility, Stephen Rizzone said.

But resident Bob Olson said the panels have caused a blinding glare on his home.

The May appearance of 168 solar panels, which face the northeast side of Balboa Island from a hill, has left Olson with a two-and-a-half hour window daily in which the reflecting sunlight creates an intense glare, he said.

Olson is organizing a coalition of homeowners to take action against the project, starting with a petition to the city to have the panels moved to the Rizzones' rooftop near their home on the hillside above Bayside Drive.

"I'm all for going green, and I'm not trying to stop anyone from having solar panels," Olson told the Daily Pilot. "What I don't understand is why in the world they didn't put the panels on the roof, where it would be more fitting with the look of the community."

And the Rizzone family?

"We are certainly concerned about our neighbors, and we have tried to respond to all concerns as best we can," Rizzone said. "We have made every effort to comply with all laws and regulations. The project is fully permitted and approved by the city."

Read the full story here.

-- Sarah Peters

Photo: Some residents on Balboa Island and Bayside Drive are complaining about the glare coming off the solar panels. Credit: Kent Treptow / Daily Pilot

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