We have had several clients recently with concerns about their Home Owners Associations and whether they will allow the installation of solar on the roof. The answer is of course they will! In case your HOA is uninformed of the law, you can help them fulfill their legal obligations by discussing RCW 64.38.055.
This law has been in place since 2009 and makes it clear the HOA may not prohibit installation of solar panels that make electricity or heat water. It does allow the governing documents to make these stipulations:
a) No part of a roof-mounted solar energy panel can go above the roof line;
b) On arrays facing the street, the array must conform to slope of roof and the top edge must parallel the ridge; or
c) Frames, brackets and conduit must be painted to match roof scheme, or if ground-mounted, the array must be shielded unless shielding degrades performance of the array by more than 10%.
Any HOA governing documents that do not conform with this law are void and unenforceable.
We would welcome the opportunity to help you educate any HOA boards that are not acting within the spirit of the law.
The link to the on-line RCW is here http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=64.38.055
The RCW provision is not a total shield. See section 3 ” The governing documents may include other reasonable rules regarding the placement and manner of a solar energy panel.”
That’s true Steve. Have you had any personal experience with HOA’s interpretations of “other reasonable rules?”