Solar-panel dispute likely to continue into 2024 

Solar panels have been installed on the hills of Canyon View Estates. Courtesy of Geri Brown.

 Anyone hoping for an expedited end to the situation involving a hillside full of solar panels off Soledad Canyon Road shouldn’t hold their breath. 

A court official said by phone Wednesday a ruling on the city of Santa Clarita’s appeal over a judge’s ruling — essentially, if the government wants the panels to come down, it needs to pay the owners of the manufactured home park for them — is unlikely to be seen any time this year. 

The law spells out the procedure for the appellate process with an accordant timeline, Melissa Real, deputy clerk for the Second Appellate District Court, said Wednesday in a phone interview. 

The legal dispute is part of a yearslong enforcement action by the city of Santa Clarita, which has declared the panels behind Canyon View Mobile Estates Park an abatable nuisance. 

L.A. Superior Court Judge Stephen Pfahler agreed with the abatement assessment, but also with the park owners’ argument that the park contacted the city for permits and the city, following state law regarding mobile-home regulations, referred the park to the state. 

Whether the park should have known and alerted the city that the panels would violate a conditional-use permit the park obtained from Los Angeles County, as it was created several years prior to the city’s formation, is part of the city’s argument on appeal.  

Neither side has responded to multiple requests for comment due to the case being a part of active litigation. 

The city filed its appeal of Pfahler’s ruling in March, which prompted a 90-day timeline for the respondent, Canyon View, which was later extended a month.  

Now the appellant, the city, has the option for a cross-reply brief, which it would have 20 days to notify the court of, and then 60 days to file.  

Real said by phone Wednesday that would put the necessary documents with the court sometime around November, which is why the case has yet to be placed on the calendar, and “sometime next year,” was the reply when asked about a likely court date. 

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