Thursday, February 10, 2011

AG King issues opinion on HOA Solar Panel Rules

Homeowners who want to install solar panels on their homes, regulated by HOV covenants, are lining up in support of Rep. Mimi Stewart's HB-9, which would prohibit cities from restricting their use.

And, a legal opinion issued today by New Mexico Attorney General Gary King could also help.

King's opinion clarifies a 2007 state law allowing homeowners associations to regulate the installation or use of solar panels-- so long as the regulations do not “effectively prohibit” their installation or use.

Rep. Mimi Stewart, D-Albuquerque, who is sponsoring the 2011 Home Owners Association Act, asked the AG's office for an official opinion on whether or not a homeowners association can require that members seek its approval before installing solar panels?

King's opinion allows homeowners associations to continue to require homeowners to obtain the prior approval of the associations before placing solar collectors on rooftops as long as restrictions on the installation, or use of solar panels, does not make installations unreasonably difficult or costly.

If approved,, Stewart's HB9 would not allow any municipality to restrict the installation of a solar collector as defined pursuant to the Solar Rights Act, except that placement of solar collectors in historic districts.

The AG has posted the full opinion online.

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