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To Green or Not to Green

Seattleites generally don't make a stink about being green. Most relish it. Some choose biking as their preferred mode of transportation. Others compost and seek out locally-sourced, organic foods like nobody's business. Hell, we even take the time to dress trees in brightly-colored knit sweaters. Washington's not called the Evergreen State for nothin'.

But Kirkland, dear, sweet Kirkland is putting up a little fight against Seattle's green image, so it seems. It's not everyone -- just a select few who have verandas with a view.

The City of Kirkland recently initiated a "Green Codes Project," their latest and greatest venture in sustainability to promote energy efficiency and the development of "green" infrastructure. One of the proposals on the table is introducing more solar panels additions onto buildings to encourage said energy efficient practices and sources. And there's nothing wrong with that. In fact, there's probably more than a few hippies, environmentalists, tree sweater-knitters, and Joe Schmo Seattleites who are high-fiving each other at this very moment upon hearing such joyful "green" news.

But here's the kicker that have some Kirkland-ites grumbling. Experts have pointed out that solar panels in Kirkland are most efficiently used if they face south and at an angle of 30-32 degrees. Flat-roofed buildings, then, need more lax height regulations so the panels can be angled to catch the most rays as possible.

English translation: If you have a house in Kirkland with a clear view of Lake Washington, you could kiss it (and your cushy property value) buh-bye because see that flat-roofed high-rise in front of you? Yeah, they could be tacking on up to an additional 20 inches to the height so that instead of admiring the sunset, you can instead take your pick of staring at angled metal fixtures or watching your far-away neighbor watch "Golden Girls" reruns.
Updates to come as this Neighborhood Beef -- Green Edition unfolds.