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Solar Pannels vs. HOA regulations

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Posted by DeniskaMAshka on September 28, 2005, 3:05 pm
 
So far everyone on Google groups has given me fantastic advices
(well... mostly), so I decided to try my luck with this dilemma.

I have measured my house roof, and found a perfect spot to install 8
solar panels to heat the pool. The bummer is that the south part of the
roof is facing the street, and will be quite visible to everyone. Now I
have to come up with a good argument for our HOA architecture comity to
approve my plan, as it directly conflicts with their "unsightly
articles" rule (hey, they look beautiful to me).

I've heard that some states have laws regarding renewable energy that
override any HOA's, and there are some federal "Solar Access"
laws, but I don't know if they apply in Texas.

I would hate to endup in a legal fight, and don't want to spend $00
per month operating heat pump.

If anyone has some experience with their pain-in-the-behind HOA members
and solar panels, please let me know!

Sincerely,
Denis


Posted by jerseyjohn on September 28, 2005, 5:52 pm
 
Dennis,
What is your community, county, township etc.  These are local area specific
so more info is needed for anyone to assist you in your immediate area.
John

: So far everyone on Google groups has given me fantastic advices
: (well... mostly), so I decided to try my luck with this dilemma.
:
: I have measured my house roof, and found a perfect spot to install 8
: solar panels to heat the pool. The bummer is that the south part of the
: roof is facing the street, and will be quite visible to everyone. Now I
: have to come up with a good argument for our HOA architecture comity to
: approve my plan, as it directly conflicts with their "unsightly
: articles" rule (hey, they look beautiful to me).
:
: I've heard that some states have laws regarding renewable energy that
: override any HOA's, and there are some federal "Solar Access"
: laws, but I don't know if they apply in Texas.
:
: I would hate to endup in a legal fight, and don't want to spend $00
: per month operating heat pump.
:
: If anyone has some experience with their pain-in-the-behind HOA members
: and solar panels, please let me know!
:
: Sincerely,
: Denis
:



Posted by DeniskaMAshka on September 28, 2005, 7:15 pm
 Ok, more specifically, this is in Austin TX, and the community is
Steiner Ranch.


Posted by jerseyjohn on September 30, 2005, 12:57 pm
 FWIW - I copied this from your HOA manual,

Page 47, Section 6.4
Roof mounted mechanical equipment should not extend beyond above the highest
architectural element or be mounted on any elevation facing the street.
Flat panel solar collectors and skylights are allowed, provided these items
are "in scale" with the building and do not create a visual  eyesore.

Page 50, section 6.7
Rooftop solar collectors and rain collectors are encouraged when they are
integrated into the roof system or hidden from primary views (such as
street-facing roofs).

My arguments would be (assuming you are dealing with rational people)
1. 6.4 conflicts 6.7
2. 6.4 clearly allows panels with the "eye sore exception" very subjective
3. In scale is subjective.
4. Visual eyesore would fall into the "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder"
5. 6.7 states ...integrated into the roof OR hidden.......
OR is the keyword . It doesn't say AND hidden. Therefore does not exclude
street facing roofs.  Black roof? and black panels may be argued are hidden
and integrated.

John

John Umphress Joins the Green Building Staff
http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/greenbuilder/nl_05sept_print.htm

Austin Green Builder Program
http://www.sustainable.doe.gov/codes/texgreen.shtml

FWIW
http://www.solaraustin.org/action.html


: Ok, more specifically, this is in Austin TX, and the community is
: Steiner Ranch.
:



Posted by DeniskaMAshka on September 30, 2005, 2:28 pm
 Thanks John.
I guess the subjective part is what I'm worried about.  Let's hope they
are in a good mood :-)


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