Solar Home Overshadowed by New Construction: Is There a 'Right to Light'?

<p>Planners in Saskatchewan, Canada encouraged the Schewes to build solar panels on their roof and go off the grid. Then they okayed a home next door that overshadowed the Schewes. Do homeowners have a 'right to light'?</p>
June 14, 2008, 11am PDT | Tim Halbur
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""This was going to be our retirement home," said Annette Schewe, who moved with her husband Les into the home in Aberdeen, Saskatchewan, about 35 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon, on April 14. "We just can't believe this is happening. I can't tell you the mental anguish it's had on both of us."

A closet is filled with 12 large batteries that store the energy produced by the massive solar panels on the south-sloped roof.The sun powers and heats the entire home, including its ceramic floors. The house is also linked to the town's power grid as a backup source.

The trouble is, a concrete foundation for what's to be a two-storey home - looming 10 feet higher than the Schewes' - has been built on a 25-foot lot behind them.

"It's our own stupidity. We didn't get a survey done when we bought the house," said Schewe, who assumed the lot was too small for any structures."

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Published on Friday, May 23, 2008 in Canwest News Service
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