Ground Mounted Solar Array Guidelines


Fire Department access ways shall be provided and maintained in accordance with the California Fire Code (CFC) and as provided herein.

  1. Adhere to all Santa Barbara County Public Works and Flood Control grading and drainage requirements.
  2. The minimum standard structural section shall be designed and constructed to be capable of supporting a 20-ton vehicle.
  3. An approved 12 foot (minimum) all-weather road shall be installed leading to the solar array.
  4. An approved 20 foot minimum road is required around the perimeter of the entire project for emergency vehicles.
  5. All internal roads shall be a minimum of 20 feet wide.
  6. An approved all weather road surface is defined as: suitable aggregate material over compacted subgrade soil.
  7. An approved Fire Department turnaround shall be required when necessary (Development Standard # 1).
  8. Gated access shall be provided in multiple locations with an approved Fire Department locking system. Minimum clear width of gate opening shall be the same as required of the road served. Refer to Santa Barbara County Fire Department Development Standard # 7.


  1. Solar Photovoltaic systems must be clearly marked. Marking is needed to
    provide emergency responders with appropriate warning and guidance with respect to working around and isolating the solar electric system.
  2. All marking signs shall be installed per the current Cal Fire Solar Photovoltaic Installation Guidelines.
  3. Materials used for marking signs must be weather resistant.

Vegetation Clearance (Development Standard # 6)

All defensible space requirements shall be maintained for the life of the project.

  1. Vertical clearance of 13 feet 6 inches shall be maintained.
  2. Horizontal clearance of up to 10 feet on each side of the road shall be
  3. Additional clearance may be required in high fire hazard areas.


  1. Addresses are required and assigned by the Fire Department.
  2. Address numbers shall be installed and maintained for the life of the project.
  3. Address numbers shall be a minimum of 6 inches and shall contrast with their background.
  4. Address numbers shall be placed in a position that is plainly legible and visible from the street or road fronting the property. At road forks or down long driveways, it must be obvious to any emergency vehicle where the cell site is located by direction and additional numerical signs.


  1. If required, the following shall be installed per the current adopted California Fire Code:
    • Propane tank
    • Above ground fuel tank
    • Battery system
    • Generator
  2. Portable fire extinguishers shall be installed in accordance with the current adopted Santa Barbara County Code Chapter 15.
  3. Based on the location, stored water may be required at the discretion of the Fire Chief or his designee.