Curious whether any Charlottesville HOAs restrict solar panels

Solar Panels

I haven’t yet run into this in the Charlottesville/Central Virginia area; I see that one development specifically allows them, but I’m curious as to whether anyone has had issues locally when trying to install solar panels.

From the USA Today

There are no hard statistics, but renewable-energy experts say clashes over homegrown renewable energy are on the rise as more Americans seek to cut their utility bills or their carbon footprint.

Sometimes it’s local authorities who stand in the way by refusing to issue the necessary permits, or by charging such high permit fees that homeowners can’t afford them.

Renewable-energy proponents say cases such as the Canfields’ show that only a national law will make homegrown wind and solar power as common as they should be. Promoting renewable energy is “a national imperative,” says Rep. Dennis Cardoza, D-Calif., who introduced a bill that would ban strict regulations on home solar panels. “There are a lot of impediments. We’re trying to do everything we can to pave the way.”

This is the bill in Virginia General Assembly that will prevent HOA’s from restricting solar panels –

A. Except to the extent provided in the condominium instruments, declaration, or rules and regulations duly adopted pursuant thereto, no community association shall enact any provisions restricting solar power or as provided in subsection D, any restrictive covenant included in an instrument affecting the title to real or leasehold property, that restricts the installation or use of any solar energy collection device on units or lots that are part of the development real property in the Commonwealth is declared to be void and contrary to the public policy of the Commonwealth.

B. The A community association may prohibit or restrict shall not enforce any provision of a restrictive covenant that became effective on or after July 1, 2008, that restricts the installation and use of such solar energy collection devices on the common elements or common areas of real estate that the community association owns or has under its care, custody, or control.

I am seriously debating putting a clothesline at my house – we had one when when I was a kid – why not now?

Photo credit.

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7 Comments

  1. Waldo Jaquith May 14, 2008 at 09:00

    I’m actually working at home today in part because it will be bright and sunny, and I want to do a couple of loads of laundry. There’s no sense in running the dryer when it’s 80° outside.

    OK, back to the salt mines…

    Reply
  2. downtownlaundry May 14, 2008 at 09:42

    We love our clothesline. We are actually thinking of adding it to our list of must haves for a new house:). Even the kids like to help out now. Here’s to fresh, sun-dried sheets.

    Reply
  3. Julie Emery May 14, 2008 at 15:13

    Yeah for clotheslines! Nothing smells better than clothes from the line. Now you just have to work out who does the ironing!

    Reply
  4. TrvlnMn May 15, 2008 at 09:59

    Just make sure you remember to put the big blankets and large towels on the outside lines, and the underwear and dainties only on the inner most line.

    Reply
  5. Bruce Gair August 8, 2008 at 06:19

    Haymarket, Virginia. In the Toll Brothers Dominion Valley development there is a section called “Regency”. A pending revision of design standards includes a provision banning solar panels. I note that Arizona recently had a court case enforcing state “public policy” and preventing HOAs from overly restricting solar panels. We need this legislation in Virginia.

    Reply
  6. Jim Duncan August 14, 2008 at 06:03

    Bruce –

    Thanks to a Realtor friend in your area:

    I spoke with the manager of the HOA for this community today. He told me that there is no language that currently exists or is contemplated that would ban solar panels. There is language that requires that any homeowner who would wish to install any solar panels, shingles, etc. get board approval. Apparently a recent reminder did go out to homeowners reminding them of that fact. Thus far, they’ve had no requests to put up solar panels of any kind.

    Reply
  7. Kat August 21, 2008 at 20:54

    I am working on a Stats paper and my team is trying to find out what the solar panel home sales were over the past 3 years in Arizona and Michigan. Anyone have any idea where to find this? Now that I am reading all of the “variables” from the positive of heating pools, to the negatives of bans on the panels I think we may have a much more difficult task than we envisioned.

    Reply

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