Regarding "Hey, your shade trees are blocking my solar panels," Nov. 15:
This is a classic case of concerned environmentalism versus knee-jerk narcissism. Architect Michael Rachlin will no doubt get away with his mistake because of the infraction-level penalties of the state Solar Shade Control Act.
I do hope Gary Schultz, Rachlin's neighbor, prevails in this dispute. There is more bad architecture in Southern California than meaningful, good solar power.
Rachlin may be 90% correct when he says his palm trees aren't to blame for the huge loss in electrical power suffered by Schultz's solar panels. The photo indicates a little shadowing from the trees.
But, on the other hand, it's been 2 1/2 years since the solar panels were installed. My guess is that dust, grime and debris that have fallen onto the panels are the major cause of the much-lower electrical output.
When was the last time Schultz washed his rooftop solar panels? One look at the photo suggests the panels were installed flat rather than on a slope to facilitate moisture run-off, which would help to clear away surface contaminants. The sun cannot "see" through them.