HOAs and Solar Panels (in Charlottesville)

Solar Panels Dutch Home

Sadly, there is no online repository for homeowners’ associations documents – public or private – that is searchable. Over the past few years, as I have represented sellers and buyers, I have made a concerted effort to scan (yes, scan) and save the HOA documents for each neighborhood, but they aren’t searchable.* I’d love to know if there are any HOAs in the Charlottesville area that have actively tried to restrict installation of solar panels.

I’ve seen quite a few solar panels in the City of Charlottesville and the occasional solar panel in the County, but can’t recall seeing panels in a neighborhood with an HOA.

One of the many new laws that took effect yesterday is this clarification on non-restriction on solar panels in HOAs. (bolding mine)

Solar panels in community associations. Clarifies that a community association may establish reasonable restrictions concerning the size, place, and manner of placement of such solar energy collection devices on property designated and intended for individual ownership and use. The bill provides that any disclosure document, however designated, required by law to be given to a purchaser shall contain a statement setting forth any restriction, limitation, or prohibition on the right of an owner to install or use solar energy collection devices on his property.

For the record, the Property Owners Association Act is (to me) extremely complex and seems to substantively change every year. (and yet another reason to have competent professional management for your homeowners’ association)

* Forest Lakes HOA Governing Docs one part of a 10 part disclosure package.

Solar panel picture used courtesy of.

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  1. MattG July 5, 2013 at 17:23

    Here’s a link to the Forest Lakes HOA that contains the info on “Energy Collection Devices”. Solar is allowed as long as: “in a manner that does not change the
    character of the home or the neighborhood”. Whatever that means. http://www.forestlakes.net/resident_guidelines.pdf

    1. Jim Duncan July 8, 2013 at 13:23

      Really interesting. Thanks for sharing that @disqus_qL4nkA8hzs:disqus!


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