domingo, 24 de fevereiro de 2013

the right to light

Solar access is the ability of one property to continue to receive sunlight across property lines without obstruction from another’s property (buildings, foliage or other impediment). Solar access is calculated using a sun path diagram.

Example of Solar Path @ 40ºN Latitude

Solar access is differentiated from solar rights or solar easement, which is specifically meant for direct sunlight for solar energy systems, whereas solar access is a right to sunlight upon certain building façades regardless of the presence of active or passive solar energy systems.

A historical example of Solar access is Ancient Lights, a doctrine based on English law that refers to a negative easement that prevents the owner or occupier of an adjoining structure from building or placing on his own land anything that has the effect of obstructing the light of the dominant tenement. In common law, a person's window on his property receiving flow of light that passed through it for so long a time as to constitute immemorial usage in law, the flow of light became an “ancient light” that the law protected from disturbance. The Prescription Act of 1832 created a statutory prescription for light. It provided that:

'When the access and use of light to and for (any building) shall have been actually enjoyed therewith for the full period of 20 years without interruption, the right thereto shall be deemed absolute and indefeasible, any local usage or custom to the contrary notwithstanding, unless it shall appear that the same was enjoyed by some consent or agreement, expressly made or given for that purpose by deed or writing...'

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