City of Ashland - Solar Rights Ordinance

October 25, 2023


The City of Ashland has been promoting the use of solar energy since 1981, when it passed one of the first city-wide solar access protection ordinances in the United States. This ordinance contains solar setback provisions designed to ensure that shadows at the northern property line do not exceed a certain height, depending on the zone in which the property is located.

Ashland also includes Solar Orientation Standards for land divisions that create lots in residential zones. The requirements being (A) Where the site and location permit, layout new streets as close as possible to a north-south and east-west axis so that lots and buildings within the street network have south facing sides for maximum solar access, and (B) Where the site and location permit, orient buildings so that the long sides of the structure face north and south. These requirements are intended to maximize the effectiveness of the solar panels.

Property owners can apply for a Solar Access Permit for protection of shading by vegetation only. Shading by buildings is protected by the solar setback provision.

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: Local
Category: Regulatory Policy
State: Oregon
Incentive Type: Solar/Wind Access Policy
Web Site:
Start Date:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Solar - Passive
  • Solar Water Heat
  • Solar Space Heat
  • Solar Thermal Electric
  • Solar Photovoltaics


Name: City of Ashland Municipal Code Chapter 18.4.8


Name: Brandon Goldman
Organization: Ashland Community Development
Address: 20 East Main Street
Ashland OR 97520
Phone: (541) 552-2076

This information is sourced from DSIRE; the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University.