PTA volunteer Melody McCormick told her son Saturday that it wasn't safe for him to play on his backyard swing set. The 4,000-square foot solar panels facing their yard, in the upper field of in La Crescenta, were emitting too much heat.
The resident lives behind the school in the 2300 Block of El Moreno Street. She is one of three single-family homes asking Glendale Unified School District to move the solar structure directly behind their homes on the northside of the upper field to the southside.
Construction is underway at several other GUSD schools, including , and . The district expects the solar project will reduce utility bills and save about $543,000 for the district in the first year.
The total project contract is $7.2 million and the funds for the project will be paid by Measure S. The construction of the solar panels will be completed in August, just before the start of classes.
"They’re using those funds to devalue the community’s property," McCormick told Patch.
"We stare at the school and the air conditioning and all that. You understand that when you buy a home behind a school. The 4,000 square feet of panels that are 17 feet behind our backyard, those are the ones we aer concerned about," McCormick said.
Three days after construction neighbors asked the crew and district to move them to another location becuase they are concerned about what the heat and glare could do to them.
"We support the project. We would like the school district to save a lot of money. But they could have saved just as much money with the panels on one side of the school instead of the other," McCormick said.
Neighbors met with GUSD construction officials on June 21 to find out what was happening. They asked for the district to move the large panels to the southside of the field, however, the district complained that they would need to cut down several pine trees.
In response, the district suggested that the complaining neighbors may have to cut their 80-year-old Eucalyptus trees, she said.
Patch contacted GUSD about the solar project did not hear back at the time of publication.
McCormick wants to know the environmental impact for her family and neighbors.
"I’m sure photovoltaic panels are fine, under certain conditions… but we have 4,000 square feet of electromagnetic field on our backyard," she said.
"I can’t even get information about how strong the field is coming off of those panels. I did ask for a study to find out what the health effects of having such a 17 feet of three family homes. It’s creating glare and it’s creating heat, which they told me it wasn’t going to do," she added.
McCormick, who is a Los Angeles city planner, tried to find a study that examines solar power with the same distance as the project at Mountain Avenue, however, she mostly found studies from solar companies.
"I would like them to find me a study that mimics the conditions of what they’re asking us to live under," she said.
Glendale Unified School District will host a community meeting 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 24 at Mountain Avenue Elementary School.
Tuesday, July 31 a meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at Rosemont Middle School and 7 p.m. at Clark Magnet High School.
Check back with Patch for continued coverage of solar panels at local schools.