Homeowners Associations and and Solar Roof Laws Do Battle

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The desire to avoid solar confrontations with neighbors could have an effect on architectural design. Here’s how one Southern California homeowner solved that on a new home in San Diego: he hid the panels behind a parapet.

California has already had a law on the books for three decades: The California Solar Rights Act made it illegal to restrict solar system installations, in deeds and certain other documents.

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It was designed to encourage solar energy by residential and commercial property owners. The law does allow for some “reasonable restrictions,” including those that do not increase a solar energy system’s cost by more than 20 percent or decrease its efficiency by more than 20 percent.

But just last month yet another homeowner in Southern California had to sue his homeowners association in order to be able to put solar power up on his own roof.

These kinds of conflicts still happen because of a loophole in the law. So beginning Jan. 1, an amendment to the act will expand it to cover all governing documents in common-interest developments, such as those used by a community association.

Image: Sebastian Mariscal

Source: Ventura County Star

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