Solar panel lawsuit pushed to April 2021

Solar panels line a hillside in Canyon Country above the Canyon View Estates. The City of Santa Clarita has ordered the removal of these panels. Cory Rubin/ The Signal

The legal battle between the city of Santa Clarita and property owners Canyon View Limited regarding the 2.5 acres of solar panels on a Canyon Country hillside has extended far into 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The nonjury trial, originally scheduled for June 8, has been rescheduled for April 26 of next year, following a previous date change from June to the beginning of November. 

“Based on current conditions, including, but not limited to, the spread of COVID-19, the need for social distancing, and the state of emergency having been declared by (Gov. Gavin) Newsom, and pursuant to the general order dated March 23, 2020, issued by the presiding judge, the court finds good cause” to reschedule the date, read a court order issued Friday. 

The change comes after a January court ruling that greenlighted the city’s request to inspect the property, which is the Canyon View Mobile Home Estates at 20001 Canyon View Drive, to help determine whether the property owners complied with permitting requirements. 

With an inspection, the city seeks to “assess with further specificity the size, nature and scope of the solar project,” including whether Canyon View violated the conditional use permit or any building codes, read court documents. 

Santa Clarita’s lawsuit alleges that property owners violated the city’s municipal code and maintained a public nuisance with its “unpermitted and unauthorized” 120,000-square-foot solar energy project. 

Canyon View has argued that it does not have to comply with permits or Santa Clarita’s building codes as it is solely governed by the state, which oversees all mobile home parks, and has stated that the inspection request is “vague and ambiguous.” 

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