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permit for solar panels in west covina

I find it quite ironic that the City of West Covina has the Sun in their city seal because there is one thing I can guarantee you, West Covina does not support solar energy. I learned this the hard way through the miserable process of working with City Hall to obtain a permit to install solar panels in my backyard. I was born and raised in West Covina and had a great experience the 26 years I have lived in this city, although that changed in a heartbeat when I began working with the city on our project, the battle of the solar panel brands. All I wanted to do was install a few solar panels, using UL listed parts and a very popular pre-engineered ground mount called GroundTrac made by ProSolar that has been permitted all over the US. When I first started the project I thought obtaining the permit would be a breeze since we’ve helped many of our customers secure permits for their projects. Plus, I had Dennis Epp of Heritage Solar wet stamp the plan set. Dennis is a well respected electrical engineer, C-10 contractor, and NABCEP Certified Solar Installer and his company is a top solar contractor in Southern California. Going into the project I figured the City of West Covina would be appreciative of a homegrown citizen putting together such an important project that would help solar energy move forward, but boy I was wrong. I was confident our plan set was in good order before submitting it, because I googled “West Covina photovoltaic permit” and found a document on titled, Basic Information Required for Photovoltaic Plan Check Submittal. I submitted the three copies of the plan set on December 8th and was instantly approved by the planning department. When I got the Plans to Building and Engineering, that’s where things started to get rocky. They wanted a fee to “check my plan” and if I wanted an expedited check I would have to pay an even higher fee. I paid $166.50 for the “expedited plan check” which guaranteed me a response on my project within 7 working days, in our case that would be December 21st, since the city does not work on Friday. On the 6th the working day, I stopped in unexpectedly to check on the status of my project and they told me the plan checker had not even looked at our plans yet, at that point I could smell the trouble ahead of me. One of the plan sets we submitted went to the West Covina Fire Department. They called me on December 15th and told me...

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