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HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: papashango ()
Date: July 06, 2009 12:45AM

Has anyone in NoVA had any luck persuading an HOA to reconsider covenants that prohibit the installation of solar panels on your roof?

Yes, I'm an idiot for buying a house in a HOA -- I fully admit that. But these covenants were written 10, 15, sometimes 25 years before many people were tuned into energy independence and fossil fuel reduction.

Seems like liberals would want the covenants gone for green reasons -- conservatives would want them gone for property-rights reasons.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: goforit ()
Date: July 06, 2009 01:57AM

Just put it up. If they fine you, don't pay the fees. They may threaten you with foreclosure, but if they foreclose on the house, it'll hurt everyone's values. Oh, and if they do foreclose on your house, fuck up the inside of the house (smash toilets, sink, shit on the walls). It'll hurt the values :)

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: Thurston Moore ()
Date: July 06, 2009 02:14AM

papashango Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Has anyone in NoVA had any luck persuading an HOA
> to reconsider covenants that prohibit the
> installation of solar panels on your roof?
>
> Yes, I'm an idiot for buying a house in a HOA -- I
> fully admit that. But these covenants were
> written 10, 15, sometimes 25 years before many
> people were tuned into energy independence and
> fossil fuel reduction.
>
> Seems like liberals would want the covenants gone
> for green reasons -- conservatives would want them
> gone for property-rights reasons.


If you still play the "liberals-conservatives" paradigm, don't forget that liberals like large government, and conservatives like powerful government. In my libertarian mind, there is a rice-paper thin difference between the two. They both want to have power to control every facet of your life, they just describe it differently.

Being part of any party is really just being part of one form of fascism or another.


And so is an HOA. If you look at the makeup of the people in your HOA, they are probably the most egregious offenders of one or many of the rules, but since they spend so much time postulating on the virtues of everyone else, they are exempt from having to exert further energy worrying about their own transgressions -- just like in local and national politics... see any fornicator who previously stood up to condemn other fornicators (or bribe takers, or whatever else)

HOAs need to be destroyed. I understand their utility, but their utility made sense, like most of our cultural and social standards, about 40 or 50 years ago, before profit and corporatism sought to undermine those things in order to consolidate and maximize and efficientize the making of money and the ordering of markets and what not.

If you want to put solar panels on your roof, you obviously have a little bit of discretionary income. Find a lawyer who is willing to help you out, mostly on principle, somewhat on his desire to build a name for himself by doing this sort of thing, and have him write all kinds of cease and desist orders and writs and requests for discovery and all sorts of other legal headache paperwork against the HOA. If he knows he can create a market out of it, he probably won't charge you more than a few hundred bucks (I know solar panels are going to run you in the tens of thousands). Who knows, you and the lawyer might actually create a viable local (and "sustainable") business going up against HOA covenants.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: Thurston Moore ()
Date: July 06, 2009 02:39AM

From my experience with HOA board members, I can only say it is mind boggling.

The "Vice President" lives two houses down from me. She is the one who harangues and harasses everyone about their garbage cans being precisely placed out no sooner than the night before pickup (and that means not before sunset) and being brought back up the driveway pricesely the day of pickup (again, meaning before sunset) so that if you get home from work after sunset on garbage day, you will have a voicemail on your phone telling you that your garbage can was left out in violation of the HOA covenant. In wintertime, this is absoultely ridiculous since anyone who works a 9 to 5 job in downtown DC is not going to get home before sunset.

I've gotten so fed up that even though I have an expensive garbage bin area built, right outside my backdoor, behind my garage, I keep my garbage cans on the street at the foot of my driveway, and walk the extra 100 steps each night to take out my garbage. Not only do I never miss a garbage day, but this bitch is leaving me 20 to 30 messages a month screaming about my violation of the garbage can rule. I AM VIOLATING THE GARBAGE CAN RULE!!! HOW DARE I! I AM A BASTARD, AND I AM AN ASSHOLE, and lots of other nice words my lawyer friend from college is collecting.

YET. Yet!, get this! This same bitch puts all of her plastic water bottles out for recycling in a plastic giant grocery bag. So just about every time she puts it out, it ends up blowing away and caught in a neighbor's bushes. She denies it and screams bloody murder about how she has always put out her recycling and the noble garbagemen have always picked it up, and she knows this because it isn't there in the morning. But several neighbors have brought her the very bag of her plastic water bottles, often with a Giant receipt still inside with her name on it, and she just gets red in the face and angry and accusess them of all kinds of HOA violations.

Little tyrants, with little power, are little pains in the asses.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/06/2009 02:50AM by Thurston Moore.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: Wrinkle ()
Date: July 06, 2009 07:18AM

goforit Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Just put it up. If they fine you, don't pay the
> fees. They may threaten you with foreclosure, but
> if they foreclose on the house, it'll hurt
> everyone's values.

Actually, they'd most likely put a lien on the house that you would have to remove (i.e. pay) before you can sell the property. The HOA don't own the house, so they can't foreclose on it -- that's the bank's job.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: Eff You ()
Date: July 06, 2009 07:57AM

So instead of working within the system to change the rules, you're just going to say "Ok, I know what I agreed to when I moved in, but screw that, I'll do what I want anyway".

Niiiiiice... pot, kettle, black!

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: RJ ()
Date: July 06, 2009 08:31AM

Every HOA convents has rule making procedure to make changes to the convents outside of the HOA board, it is the law. Look it up, attend a meeting, talk to them, volunteer on the board do something or nothing is going to get done.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: ITRADE ()
Date: July 06, 2009 08:40AM

Replace the Vice President....

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Date: July 06, 2009 09:06AM

It seems to me that we are at a place in time when either the state or county government should pass a law that allows homeowners to use energy-saving technologies such as solar panels, heat pumps and wind turbines, regardless of what a HOA says.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: Eastsider ()
Date: July 06, 2009 10:12AM

WashingTone Locian Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It seems to me that we are at a place in time when
> either the state or county government should pass
> a law that allows homeowners to use energy-saving
> technologies such as solar panels, heat pumps and
> wind turbines, regardless of what a HOA says.


Agreed.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: ITRADE ()
Date: July 06, 2009 10:33AM

You can try, but some HOAs will still bitch. For example:

Under FCC regulations, you are still allowed to have a satellite dish or TV antenna that is used to receive broadcast/satellite signals. Its federal law.

I had a friend who had a standard TV antenna, and the association attempted to lien him because the association rules state that no antennas of any type are allowed - federal pre-emption be damned. He had to go to court and have the court issue a TRO and then a injunction against the association.

That's the level of ignorance that associations will go to...

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: papashango ()
Date: July 06, 2009 10:49AM

Interesting responses. Particularly from the libertarian guy -- I agree with a lot of what you said, actually.

As far as my particular situation, you can amend the covenants but it takes a yes vote from 2/3 of the HOA membership at the annual meeting. We have I think 180 houses in the HOA and maybe 20 people show up to the annual meeting, so realistically that's never going to happen, even if you try to get proxy votes and etc.

Most people either don't care or are too busy with work/home/kids/whatever to go to these meetings, so the HOA winds up being run by a bunch of useless shitheads on a power trip, without the power part.

I bet it's the same with 99% of HOA's in the area. Their uselessness is just astounding, and so it will probably take a state law to strike down the covenants. Unfortunately, Virginia isn't terribly progressive in this regard.

Wish I'd known better when we bought the house, although there aren't a whole lot of houses where I live that aren't subject to HOA's.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: fairfaxdude ()
Date: July 06, 2009 10:52AM

Why not enlist the aid of the solar panel manufacturer/distributor/retailer---they have tons of data, comparative and otherwise, to help usher in a new era of rooftop solar bliss.

Get the local paper involved when you win the battle--the preening HOA board members can be photographed and quoted, and you can laugh quietly behind the scenes at their complete 180 degree capitualation.

I'm just sayin....

(LMAO @ "cockblocking"...yer kind of a youngun, huh?)

______________________________________________
I have had to change the addresses to my retaliatory blogs over half a dozen times.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: pgens ()
Date: July 06, 2009 11:05AM

fairfaxdude Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> (LMAO @ "cockblocking"...yer kind of a youngun,
> huh?)

I don't know what that is. If the HOA was banning some girl from entering the neighborhood then maybe that would make some sense. Or he wants to do unusual things with his solar panels, I don't get it either.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: HappyHomeowner ()
Date: July 06, 2009 11:09AM

WashingTone Locian Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It seems to me that we are at a place in time when
> either the state or county government should pass
> a law that allows homeowners to use energy-saving
> technologies such as solar panels, heat pumps and
> wind turbines, regardless of what a HOA says.

I fully agree. Fortunately, our HOA seems to be very reasonable about
such matters. Last year, we had a discussion in regards as to what
actions we'd need to take if cars become electric and we would have to
provide outlets in the parking lots. (townhomes) The Pres and the two VP's
were open to just about anything as long as its a necessity and doesn't
make others angry. I feel sorry for the above posters who have had such
bad dealings with their HOA. Our elected reps seem to set the example in our neighborhood. There are some very strict rules but for good reason. For
instance, no trash out before dark on the night before pickup. If you put
it out during daylight hours crows will make a mess out of it. This does
not pose any problem for me, but others seem to think its ridiculous.

If folks are dissatisfied with their current HOA officials, then the
best shot is to run against them during the next election. Then, they
too can have drunks calling them at 3 a.m. to complain that someone is
parked in their reserved parking spot. If the rules werent enforced,
there are people who would have their cars on concrete blocks with
weeds growing around them. Like to meet people and hear their complaints constantly? Every neighborhood has a few who have nothing to do but gripe
and whine non-stop and the HOA officials have to contend with them.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: Lortonguy ()
Date: July 06, 2009 12:39PM

I too never had a very good opinion of HOA activists. But now I find myself on the Board of my own HOA (nobody else wanted to serve so my neighbors twisted my arm).

I think RJs post above has it right. Talk to the Board members and explain what you are trying to do. Not only does the board enforce the rules; they can chage the rules as well.

I assume the reason for the denial is that Solar panels can look like crap on a house and bring down the values in the neighborhhood when you have a monsterous weird looking set of panels on one roof. But I belive that solar technonolgy has come a long way in recent years -- if it's true that the newer panels are more discreet be sure to bring pictures to ease their fears.

Choosing to battle with them tends to cause them to dig in plu sit costs tons of cash so avoid a confrontation if you can

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Date: July 06, 2009 03:26PM

The problem with many HOA board members is that in real life they are either in dead-end, unrewarding jobs or they are bitter housewives. The HOA gives them their only taste of power and/or authority and they respond by being total jackasses to deal with.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: Warhawk ()
Date: July 06, 2009 03:33PM

WashingTone Locian Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The problem with many HOA board members is that in
> real life they are either in dead-end, unrewarding
> jobs or they are bitter housewives. The HOA gives
> them their only taste of power and/or authority
> and they respond by being total jackasses to deal
> with.


+1

But most HOA's don't care if you put stuff on the back of your roof, like satellite dishes, so maybe a solar panel would be considered the same thing. In these days of green thinking, it wouldn't be hard to get them to amend their bylaws - but you gotta bring it to their attention.

BTW - the worst HOA I've ever been a part of was the Brookleigh development in Chantilly. Fucking incompetent backstabbing assholes.

__________________________________
That's not a ladybug, that's a cannapiller.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: BagODonuts ()
Date: July 06, 2009 03:57PM

It's amazing, my HOA sent me letter about a 6"x6" patch of paint on the front of my townhouse trim not being painted (primed patch still), but they don't seem to have a problem with my neighbors dead shrubs and dirt yard, bags of McD's trash stacked up (nicely I must say) by the steps, the rusty lawn mower storage on the side of the house, the fence gate ripped off and laying on the ground or the piles of junk in the backyard with jungle grass growing that helped bring mice into my house.

My favorite part is when the same neighbors choose to walk out onto the deck and drunkenly piss off the side of the deck onto the patio and piles of junk below. But, at least he has the decency to wait until it's dark!

I know HOA's have their place, but damn, sometimes they make ya scratch your head and wonder exactly what the priorities are for the HOA board.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: FurfaxTownie ()
Date: July 06, 2009 04:36PM

I thought solar panel technology had advance the point where they look almost identical to standard roofing shingles and those giant squares are obsolete?

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: HOA ()
Date: July 06, 2009 04:41PM

Solar panels are ugly as shit. so are directv dishes

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: pgens ()
Date: July 06, 2009 05:02PM

Warhawk Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> But most HOA's don't care if you put stuff on the
> back of your roof, like satellite dishes, so maybe
> a solar panel would be considered the same thing.

I was going to suggest that, but don't panels have to be placed where their output is optimized? In other words it would suck for part of a neighborhood to be able to install panels because their back-roof happened to be pointed in the right direction but the rest were not.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/06/2009 05:02PM by pgens.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: papashango ()
Date: July 06, 2009 05:06PM

Yeah that's exactly right. They have to be on the south-facing side of your roof (otherwise there's no point). So if a HOA says you can install solar panels so long as you can't see them from the street, then you're screwed if your house faces south. Some states have made those kinds of restrictions illegal but Virginia isn't one of them. Yet.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: BagODonuts ()
Date: July 06, 2009 06:42PM

papashango, I looked into solar panels briefly, but didn't really get to deep after seeing the cost. What kind are you installing? Just curious as someday I still want to install some and I'm wondering what you decided to go with at this point.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: trogdor! ()
Date: July 06, 2009 07:48PM

papashango Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Has anyone in NoVA had any luck persuading an HOA
> to reconsider covenants that prohibit the
> installation of solar panels on your roof?
>
> Yes, I'm an idiot for buying a house in a HOA -- I
> fully admit that. But these covenants were
> written 10, 15, sometimes 25 years before many
> people were tuned into energy independence and
> fossil fuel reduction.
>
> Seems like liberals would want the covenants gone
> for green reasons -- conservatives would want them
> gone for property-rights reasons.

Write a letter to Obama and tell him how you're trying to reduce green house gasses and your HOA is blocking you. Nothing like a bit of pressure from the top. You might even make it into one of his speeches:

"MR. Mark Smith from Fairfax,VA wrote me a letter and said his HOA won't let him save the planet!? WTF people. So today I'm asking the House and Senate to introduce legislation that will round up and imprison these rogue HOA leaders...."

Awesome. Even if global warming is complete BS.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: Adam ()
Date: July 06, 2009 08:17PM

I HATE HOA'S

Almost every community in NOVA has a HOA, So it's hard to live in this area without having one.

I think we need some laws to regulate HOA's. I have virtually no protection from the insane rules of my HOA.

For example, It should be the law to give 30 days to fix any violation. Right now my HOA gives 10 f?#%ing days to fix something. I travel a lot....

I HATE HOAs......................................... HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HOAS

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: boredom ()
Date: July 06, 2009 09:30PM

papashango Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Has anyone in NoVA had any luck persuading an HOA
> to reconsider covenants that prohibit the
> installation of solar panels on your roof?
>
> Yes, I'm an idiot for buying a house in a HOA -- I
> fully admit that. But these covenants were
> written 10, 15, sometimes 25 years before many
> people were tuned into energy independence and
> fossil fuel reduction.
>
> Seems like liberals would want the covenants gone
> for green reasons -- conservatives would want them
> gone for property-rights reasons.

It isn't as big a problem as you might expect. In Virginia there is a maximum amount per offense that you can be fined by an HOA. They can't just keep fining you for the same thing indefinitely. I forget the limit, but it's like $900 or something at most per violation.

What you should do is verify that installing solar panels would be a single violation, verify the maximum fine, install the solar panels, and then pay the maximum fine amount.

At that point you've pretty much won. The HOA can't impose a second fine for the same offense.

However, what may happen is that the HOA may choose to go all HOA nazi on you and issue warnings and fines for every little violation. At this point you'll have to get evidence that similar violations by your neighbors are going unnoticed.

Eventually it will stop and they'll deal.

Or..... Don't do it and try to get the Virginia legislature to pass a law preventing HOAs from banning the installation of solar power, or other alternative energy sources.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: papashango ()
Date: July 06, 2009 10:10PM

to bagodonuts: I haven't made a final decision. The solar shingles look amazing but i don't know if anyone around here installs them, and I'm guessing they're more expensive than a standard panel array which is already outrageously expensive.

I've already written Obama and my state reps about it but I'm not really holding my breath while I wait for responses. I'll keep chipping away at it though.

Quote

However, what may happen is that the HOA may choose to go all HOA nazi on you and issue warnings and fines for every little violation

This is what I anticipate would happen if I installed them and ignored the HOA. You can never underestimate the pettiness of these people, so if I leave my trash can out an hour too long, or mow my grass a day late, or go on vacation and don't pick up the front door spam or whatever, it wouldn't suprise me to get bills for every "offense."

Probably the best move for my particular HOA is to try to work on individual ARC members one at a time. At least for starters.

Honestly, what these people need is an old fashioned ass-kicking but as I said in my original post, I'm the idiot who signed the paperwork when we moved in, so it's really nobody's fault but mine.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: just curious ()
Date: July 06, 2009 10:33PM

papashango,

Care to share which neighborhood this regards? Just curious...

Thanks!

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: Gravis ()
Date: July 07, 2009 09:12PM

papashango Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Has anyone in NoVA had any luck persuading an HOA
> to reconsider covenants that prohibit the
> installation of solar panels on your roof?


there is a way to have HOA policies changed, form a coup! seriously, you dont need that many people to get yourselves in charge of policies that prevent solar panels like this.

btw, solar panels are not cost effective and can be blinding at times which is part of the reason why they are prohibited. if you are "doing it for the environment" then you should just first sell your car, cancel your electricity, cancel your phone service, wipe out thousands of cows and maybe even go give some trees a hug to make the feel better, seriously.


"the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish."095042938540

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: Thurston Moore ()
Date: July 07, 2009 10:26PM

Gravis Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> btw, solar panels are not cost effective and can
> be blinding at times which is part of the reason
> why they are prohibited. if you are "doing it for
> the environment" then you should just first sell
> your car, cancel your electricity, cancel your
> phone service, wipe out thousands of cows and
> maybe even go give some trees a hug to make the
> feel better, seriously.


Some of the newer solar panels being sold or about to come to market are actually very cost effective. Even the technology of only a few years ago was "cost effective" when you included special tax inducements from state and federal government programs.

Granted, they really aren't 100% cost effective if you don't intend to make other changes as well. If you expect to install enough panels to supply your usual 3,000 kW/h a month of TVs in every room and every light in your house lit 24 hours a day, along with your thermostat set to 65 in the summer and 78 in the winter, you will go bankrupt with the upfront costs.

However, if you reduce your usage by about 20 to 30 percent, install panels and some batteries to store electricity for use on cloudy days and at night, you can probably see a return within 10 years. They say solar panels last around 20 years, so you get an extra 10 years of free electricity for the up front cost of the panels, or you get your electricity at half price for 20 years. Still a good deal. Who cares about the environmental aspect, though that could justify the costs even more for some people.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: Gravis ()
Date: July 07, 2009 11:01PM

Thurston Moore Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> However, if you reduce your usage by about 20 to
> 30 percent, install panels and some batteries
to
> store electricity for use on cloudy days and at
> night, you can probably see a return within
> 10 years. They say solar panels last around 20
> years, so you get an extra 10 years of free
> electricity for the up front cost of the panels,
> or you get your electricity at half price for 20
> years. Still a good deal. Who cares about the
> environmental aspect, though that could justify
> the costs even more for some people.


why would anyone pay tons of money to have subpar service that might be cost effect in 10 years? are you even sure you will live there in 10 years?


"the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish."095042938540

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: Thurston Moore ()
Date: July 07, 2009 11:21PM

Gravis Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> why would anyone pay tons of money to have subpar
> service that might be cost effect in 10 years?
> are you even sure you will live there in 10 years?


I was trying to generalize and not get into specifics because I'm too lazy to look up all the numbers right now. I have done some research in the past, about 3 or 4 years ago, and found that I could go completely "off grid" for about $16,000, and my monthly electric bill averages around $200. If I kept up my current usage pattern of ~1800 kW/h per month, it would cost me over $20,000 to install solar, but if I reduced my needs to around 1300 kW/h, it would cost me only around $16,000 for the whole system, including the Panels, DC/AC converters, battery storage, line conditioners, etc.

While I probably won't live in my current house more than another 10 - 12 years, at some point I do want to buy a house that I will retire in, and eventually leave to my kids (if I ever have any.) It would be nice if that house's only expenses were general maintenance and real estate taxes.

BTW, it wouldn't be "subpar" service if installed by a professional with experience in your area who can size the kW load and knows how much solar days you can expect per year, and installs a storage system accordingly. The electricity running out of your circuit panel is conditioned and looks, to your appliances and electronic devices, just like the electricity you pay 8 to 10 cents per kW/h for from Dominion, only it costs you, when amortized over the life of the solar panels, less than 4 cents per kW/h. (I may be off on the exact cost per kilowatt hour on both ends of the equation, but you get the idea.)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/07/2009 11:25PM by Thurston Moore.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: ITRADE ()
Date: July 08, 2009 12:11AM

Are they that worth it? How about energy efficient doors and windows instead?

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: Thurston Moore ()
Date: July 08, 2009 12:36AM

ITRADE Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Are they that worth it? How about energy
> efficient doors and windows instead?


Well, from what I read a few years back, there is no other energy saving option that can give you a 50% or more savings.

Energy efficient doors and windows turn out to be worth only about 5 to 10% in savings. In fact, I just saw some report on TV recently that said you are better off just caulking and sealing your existing doors and windows. The money you spend to achieve the same energy savings is way way less if you just buy some caulk and weather stripping.

Of course, if all you are trying to do is increase the resale value and resale desirability of your home, new windows will do more than solar panels. At least for now.

But if you think about it, how much does it cost to replace all the windows and doors in your house? That can cost you several thousand dollars. Remodeling a full bathroom? 5 or 10k. Remodeling a kitchen? At least 20k, sometimes going as high as $50,000 for all that fancy tile work and granite counter tops with seamless sinks, and custom cabinets.

It isn't crazy to spend $20k on a solar panel kit, and it will eventually become part of the "resale value" equation as more people begin to compare homes based partly on the "cost to operate" or "total cost of ownership" formula.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/08/2009 12:50AM by Thurston Moore.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: Kenny_Powers ()
Date: July 08, 2009 12:54AM

Thurston Moore Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> If you still play the "liberals-conservatives"
> paradigm, don't forget that liberals like large
> government, and conservatives like powerful
> government. In my libertarian mind, there is a
> rice-paper thin difference between the two. They
> both want to have power to control every facet of
> your life, they just describe it differently.


ah thurston, i couldnt have said it any better

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: Walt ()
Date: July 09, 2009 08:04AM

There is a federal bill in place that prohibits your HOA from preventing the installation of solar panels and solar water heaters

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: WingNut ()
Date: July 09, 2009 08:30AM

My HOA won't allow you to sun dry clothes. I know it looks Third World and shitty. but when you think about how much power a dryer takes, it's really a logical move.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: HateTheHOA ()
Date: July 09, 2009 10:16AM

Our neighborhood has a specific entry in the HOA rulebook (yes we have an entire BOOK of rules and regs) on solar panels. They are allowed on the back roof ONLY, which is a pain if your house isn't situated perfectly for that, so you might be able to convince them to change the ruling. Go to the meeting, present valid reasons for why solar panels should be allowed, and try to work within the system to change the policy. If you're lucky, you have a group of reasonable people on the HOA who will listen and do the right thing....

I absolutely HATE the HOA in my neighborhood, for the reasons that many have already posted here. They are a bunch of thugs who cite about the smallest thing, but do absolutely NOTHING about blatant violations.... And if you complain too loudly, they descend down upon you, citing you for every little thing -- harassing you until you are sorry you ever opened your mouth. They have tried to make my life hell here and I have considered moving many times, but even that would be fraught with problems from them. Apparently you cannot even sell your house and MOVE without making all the changes they cited you for (and we have one of the nicest houses in the neighborhood, I'm told). They can block the transfer of ownership! I'm too old to put up with their shit, frankly, so I stay put and hope they move on to harass someone else. This year they haven't bothered me, but two years ago it was terrible..... they made our lives hell. I had no idea it would be this way when I moved here 20 years ago.

Frankly, every HOA should be outlawed. It's unconstitutional and infringes upon the pursuit of liberty. What would the founding father's say if they knew that a group had the power to come in and SIEZE or put a lien on someone's property for small infractions like the style of a fence, or refuse put out on the wrong day?

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: pgens ()
Date: July 09, 2009 10:29AM

HateTheHOA Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> What would the founding father's say if they knew

What would the founding fathers' what say? Cats?

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: pgens ()
Date: July 09, 2009 10:37AM

HateTheHOA Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> They are allowed on the
> back roof ONLY, which is a pain if your house
> isn't situated perfectly for that

Just do this... it is mounted on the back part of the roof.
Attachments:
solarpanel.jpg

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: papashango ()
Date: July 10, 2009 12:53AM

Quote

There is a federal bill in place that prohibits your HOA from preventing the installation of solar panels and solar water heaters

link please

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: Thurston Moore ()
Date: July 10, 2009 01:02AM

pgens Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> HateTheHOA Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > What would the founding father's say if they
> knew
>
> What would the founding fathers' what say? Cats?


No parking execpt for Bus's. No parking except for car's displaying valid sticker's. Only employee's who hold current Id's allowed through these door's.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: RestonLass ()
Date: July 10, 2009 03:47AM

How backwards is that? solar panels are pre-approved in my HOA but they have to be professionally installed.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: ITRADE ()
Date: July 10, 2009 07:20AM

papashango Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> There is a federal bill in place that prohibits
> your HOA from preventing the installation of solar
> panels and solar water heaters
>
> link please


If its a bill, its not law, which means it aint shit....

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: pgens ()
Date: July 10, 2009 08:43AM

ITRADE Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> If its a bill, its not law, which means it aint
> shit....

Not so... bills don't become laws until they are passed and signed. We get bills passed by contacting our reps and senators and asking them to support the bill.

Plus I know it is out of style now, but it used to be cool to read the bill before declaring support or voting on it. There may be stuff in there that you DON'T like and may want to ask your rep or senator to amend it.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: ITRADE ()
Date: July 10, 2009 10:03AM

Thanks for the civics lesson.

Regardless, you can't wave around a "bill" as authority for permission (or lack thereof) to put up solar panels in disregard of HOA rules. That's my point. It has NO legal authority unless its in effect

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: pgens ()
Date: July 10, 2009 10:42AM

No, but you can contact a representative telling them you can't put up a panel without a law because your HOA says so.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: ITRADE ()
Date: July 10, 2009 10:54AM

I agree, but again, the statement made was that there is a bill in place. I repeat my position - a bill is NOT legal authority to abrogate pre-existing regulations. Once it becomes law, fine. Until that point, you cannot rely on it.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: pgens ()
Date: July 10, 2009 11:11AM

No one is disputing that, I was countering your statement that a bill "ain't shit."

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: not so... ()
Date: July 10, 2009 01:52PM

Wrinkle Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> goforit Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
>
> Actually, they'd most likely put a lien on the
> house that you would have to remove (i.e. pay)
> before you can sell the property. The HOA don't
> own the house, so they can't foreclose on it --
> that's the bank's job.

The only way a HOA can put a "lien" on your house is if you dont pay the "HOA fee" and yes the HOA can foreclose on your house for not paying the fee...its in the covenents/by-laws.

The HOA can not foreclose on your house for putting on solar panels, erecting a fence or even painting your house the wrong color. What the HOA can do however, is to take you to court to get an "injunction" against you and your property.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: Adam ()
Date: July 10, 2009 03:17PM

not so... Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Wrinkle Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > goforit Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> >
> > Actually, they'd most likely put a lien on the
> > house that you would have to remove (i.e. pay)
> > before you can sell the property. The HOA
> don't
> > own the house, so they can't foreclose on it --
> > that's the bank's job.
>
> The only way a HOA can put a "lien" on your house
> is if you dont pay the "HOA fee" and yes the HOA
> can foreclose on your house for not paying the
> fee...its in the covenents/by-laws.
>
> The HOA can not foreclose on your house for
> putting on solar panels, erecting a fence or even
> painting your house the wrong color. What the HOA
> can do however, is to take you to court to get an
> "injunction" against you and your property.

I HATE HOA!!!!

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: HateTheHOA ()
Date: July 11, 2009 12:15PM

<<<>>>>

http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+TOC55000000026000000000000

The following applies to condo's,but the language is the same for homes:

"I. At any time after perfecting the lien pursuant to this section, the unit owners' association may sell the unit at public sale, subject to prior liens. For purposes of this section, the unit owners' association shall have the power both to sell and convey the unit, and shall be deemed the unit owner's statutory agent for the purpose of transferring title to the unit. A nonjudicial foreclosure sale shall be conducted in compliance with the following:"

Apparently, the only way to prevent them from taking your house if they are dead set on foreclosure if you fail to pay your HOA dues, is to declare bankruptcy, or pay the lien.... I thought the law protected people from having their house taken by HOA's, but apparently not. This is dangerous, as an unscrupulous HOA could just sell an house right from under a person. I'm thinking of the elderly who could be taken advantage of here.... I've heard of this happening in Florida and the article cited below says that Florida and Texas are the only states that have laws that make it harder for a HOA to foreclose....

Interesting article:

http://www.legalaffairs.org/printerfriendly.msp?id=657

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: Gravis ()
Date: July 11, 2009 12:22PM

HOAs should be dissolved. whoever came up with the idea should be stoned to death, iran style.


"the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish."095042938540

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: HOAs suck ()
Date: July 11, 2009 04:14PM

HateTheHOA Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> <<<>>>>
>
> http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+co
> d+TOC55000000026000000000000
>
> The following applies to condo's,but the language
> is the same for homes:
>
> "I. At any time after perfecting the lien pursuant
> to this section, the unit owners' association may
> sell the unit at public sale, subject to prior
> liens. For purposes of this section, the unit
> owners' association shall have the power both to
> sell and convey the unit, and shall be deemed the
> unit owner's statutory agent for the purpose of
> transferring title to the unit. A nonjudicial
> foreclosure sale shall be conducted in compliance
> with the following:"
>
> Apparently, the only way to prevent them from
> taking your house if they are dead set on
> foreclosure if you fail to pay your HOA dues, is
> to declare bankruptcy, or pay the lien.... I
> thought the law protected people from having their
> house taken by HOA's, but apparently not. This is
> dangerous, as an unscrupulous HOA could just sell
> an house right from under a person. I'm thinking
> of the elderly who could be taken advantage of
> here.... I've heard of this happening in Florida
> and the article cited below says that Florida and
> Texas are the only states that have laws that make
> it harder for a HOA to foreclose....
>
> Interesting article:
>
> http://www.legalaffairs.org/printerfriendly.msp?id
> =657


I think the law is slightly different for condos since the unit you "own" is in a building owned by a management company or the collective owners of all the units.

With a house, you own the property and the structure, so the HOA is really just a covenant that I can't believe has any ownership preceding your's.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: HateTheHOA ()
Date: July 12, 2009 10:58AM

Actually, the HOA CAN foreclose for dues not paid, just like the condos. The states of Texas and Florida have passed laws making that harder (the HOA needs a court injunction there), but it can still be done. The only way to keep them from taking your home, IF they decide to foreclose is to declare bankruptcy or pay the debt.

Some unscrupulous HOA's have been known to tack on late fees and attorney fees to drive up the debt, and that has resulted in people losing their homes. For the most part, HOA's will try to work with people, or put a lien on the home. My research indicates that about 1 percent of homes are foreclosed on by HOA's, but that figure came from an HOA trade association. I suspect it's really higher.

I agree that HOA's need to be abolished. They wield too much power and have the ability to ruin people's lives. Most people on those home owner boards are not qualified to have that much power. It's a slippery slope.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: formerhick76 ()
Date: July 12, 2009 11:38AM

Perhaps laws can be passed dissolving a HOA of single-family homes if fewer than say 25% of units attend the meeting.

Not sure what can be done about HOA of townhouses/condos, though.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: Vince(1) ()
Date: July 12, 2009 11:49AM

papashango Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Has anyone in NoVA had any luck persuading an HOA
> to reconsider covenants that prohibit the
> installation of solar panels on your roof?
>
> Yes, I'm an idiot for buying a house in a HOA -- I
> fully admit that. But these covenants were
> written 10, 15, sometimes 25 years before many
> people were tuned into energy independence and
> fossil fuel reduction.
>
> Seems like liberals would want the covenants gone
> for green reasons -- conservatives would want them
> gone for property-rights reasons.

Id be more interested in knowing what it is you are considering doing with solar panels.

Registered Voter...a Big talking coward..big man on FFXU...little man in life.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: Brian ()
Date: July 12, 2009 11:26PM

i'm sick of you green enviromarxists. you signed up to buy a house in an HOA so deal with it and quit trying to save the planet via solar panels you worthless creeps.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: Kenny_Powers ()
Date: July 13, 2009 03:47AM

Brian Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> i'm sick of you green enviromarxists. you signed
> up to buy a house in an HOA so deal with it and
> quit trying to save the planet via solar panels
> you worthless creeps.


It also boils down to cost reduction. If you are planning to be staying in that house for 10+ years, you are going to see a reduction in costs. And what is wrong with someone having good intentions. It seems the HOA is just being a dick because they are in power. More small minded people with too much power for their own good.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: formerhick76 ()
Date: July 13, 2009 09:03AM

Brian Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> i'm sick of you green enviromarxists. you signed
> up to buy a house in an HOA so deal with it and
> quit trying to save the planet via solar panels
> you worthless creeps.

So do you buy an SUV for Jesus?

I always thought conservatives were big on property rights. Or do the rights of governments trump those of individuals?

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: papashango ()
Date: July 13, 2009 11:35AM

Quote

Id be more interested in knowing what it is you are considering doing with solar panels.

nothing special -- just wanted to put up a small array on the roof to cut down on the power bill.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: ?uestin Mark ()
Date: July 13, 2009 03:36PM

HOA Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Solar panels are ugly as shit. so are directv
> dishes



That is your opinion.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: muddle ()
Date: July 13, 2009 10:30PM

I agree with the commenter who expressed the opinion that HOA members are frustrated in their work lives and take it out by lording it over their neighbors. There are so many idiocies I could tell you about, but I'm sure many of you have had similar experiences. And when something really needs to be done, they run away and hide.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: Loudoun County ()
Date: August 18, 2009 03:34AM

I'm a member of a Green Committee for a Loudoun County HOA. One of the things that came to our attention is that there is a bill in Virginia legislature about to be passed (or it might have been passed by now) that will require every HOA to allow solar panel technology.

The big thing about the new bill is that HOAs will have the power to place restrictions on the panels (like location, pitch, size) but they cannot prevent anyone from installing them. It is better for HOAs to get these guidelines in place before the bill makes it into law than it would be to do it retroactively.

With a little bit of research, you can make a good case that can appeal to your HOA.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: Loudoun County ()
Date: August 18, 2009 03:40AM

... additionally, real estate agencies are beginning to make solar-equipped homes searchable in their databases. While many people are hesitant to install panels themselves, there is increasing popularity for homes where panels are already installed.

This can be an argument for solar panels increasing property value. Inviting a real estate agent familiar with these changes to an HOA meeting could be a rewarding move.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: jamie ()
Date: August 18, 2009 07:43AM

an hoa violation (apparently) in Las Vegas: http://hoanewsnetwork.com/media/another-hoa-brothel-bust.php

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: papashango ()
Date: August 18, 2009 10:06AM

Quote

The big thing about the new bill is that HOAs will have the power to place restrictions on the panels (like location, pitch, size) but they cannot prevent anyone from installing them.

problem is, HOA's can restrict panels such that they face away from the street. since solar panels don't do any good if they're north-facing in our hemisphere, then that restriction essentially forbids owners of south-facing houses from having solar panels.

it's just so short-sighted. i don't know a single person who thinks HOA's are good ideas. reduced demand is actually depressing home prices in HOA-controlled areas.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Date: August 18, 2009 10:10AM

I wonder how well solar power shingles work (if at all).

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: mshen11 ()
Date: August 30, 2009 08:46AM

my HOA rejected my application for a solar awning. they ask me to re-write the proposal with the installation on the roof. in my applicaiton, i already said putting panels 50ft+ high is not cost effective - especially when there is little/no roof space (and south side was not permitted). fine...

my hoa bylaw says (exacty quote) "no exterior air conditioning unit, solar panels, burglar bars or similiar equipment attahced to the exterior of a building may be installed or modified w/out the prior written approval of the comittee".

[side note: they wont allow portable ACs which is not an exterior air conditioning unit]

i placed my panels INDOORS behind my windows (yeah i know the current got cut by 75%), and they still did not allow me. they said 'as long as they can see it'. i asked if i changed the color of my blinds to something ugly would i be in violations? how about an offensive statue/painting? a hesitant yes was the reply. why? there is a clause in the "HOA guidelines" everything "permanent or temporary, natural or man-made" must look harmonious and conform to the (cookie cutter) looks of the neighborhood.

i was also thinking of building a portable solar unit (panels on wheels) where on the weekend, i drag it out to my drive way and at night, put it back in the garage. i am pretty sure i will get similar reception.

is it legal to give be in violation in my case. specifically, can they be so vague? i mean heck, i can be in violation by standing outside because im ugly.

for the curious - this is providence park in fairfax.

... in the meantime im waiting for some federal or state solar law to bypass my HOA.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: mshen11 ()
Date: August 30, 2009 08:49AM

another question is this... the bylaw says the board has the power to make guidelines. but in the guidelines they take the liberty to say you cannot make ANY modifications without approval - so they have a blank check on everything.

is that common/legal in HOAs?

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: Blast em ()
Date: August 30, 2009 01:44PM

Buy a rifle, then spend the next week and have a normal conversation with each jackass HOA member that is blocking your solar panel. Just happen to bring up your new rifle (AR-15 would be great) and mention how powerful it is and how many rounds it's magazine can carry. Then install the panel anyway. If they try to call a meeting on you, open carry that sucker right inside the meeting.

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Re: HOA cockblocking solar panel installation
Posted by: Brit_gal ()
Date: August 31, 2009 12:01AM

Take some time and attend a HOA meeting..they are generally run by people on power trips...just in one meeting, I found out that a board member was vindicative about 1 person in particular, as her husband had been sleeping with that person..there was so much petty stuff going on..and contracts for work (eg landscaping) awarded to companies without getting competitive other bids, because it was a friend of a friend of a friend (but I'm sure he was getting a cut of it) even though his prices were very high..and services being quoted were not being performed during the year...HOA's are the devil, if you are paying HOA fees and not attending meetings..you are doing yourself a disservice

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