In a column published by the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Community Associations Institute, VF Law Partner Damien M. Bielli writes that Colorado HOAs can, within reason, dictate where solar panels may be installed in an HOA’s common areas. Bielli advises HOAs to remain current on relevant statutes to determine where and how solar panels might be restricted.
“If your documents outright prohibit the installation on an owner’s property, it is time to amend them to adhere to current law [as] outright prohibition cannot be enforced,” writes Bielli. “As each situation can vary, bringing in a seasoned HOA law attorney can make this process easier and legally sound, ensuring compliance with the law.”
Bielli advises HOAs to consult with legal counsel on what “reasonable” restrictions might be on solar panels, as well as establishing guidelines and agreements for homeowners to follow on their installation.
“As the U.S. continues to shift away from traditional fossil fuel-driven energy sources, HOAs must keep a compliant mindset concerning renewable energy options that homeowners want to install on their properties,” he writes. “Establishing reasonable, unified, and cohesive guidelines for these kinds of installations will better protect HOAs and homeowners from litigation arising due to disputes or outdated governing documents.”