Thursday, February 28, 2008

Ban on HOA Restrictions of Energy-Saving Devices Clears House

A bill that would forbid homeowners associations from enforcing covenants that prohibit energy-saving devices such as solar panels and retractable clotheslines gained final approval in the House Wednesday.

HB 1270, sponsored by Rep. Andy Kerr, D-Lakewood, would also apply to wind-electric generators (turbines), structures that provide shade such as an awning or trellis, shutters, garage and attic fans, energy-efficient outdoor lighting facilities and evaporative coolers.

The bill retains HOA's ability to regulate the aesthetics of such devices, including their placement.

However, in the case of energy-generation devices such as solar panels and wind turbines, the bill makes clear that such restrictions are void if they "significantly increase its purchase price or operating costs" or "significantly decrease its performance or efficiency."

In the case of other energy-saving devices the bill specifies that HOA restrictions must take into account the "impact on purchase price and operating costs" and the "impact on performance."

There were 20 "no" votes on the bill, all cast by Republicans. Joining the chamber's Democrats in support were Reps. David Balmer, R-Centennial, Douglas Bruce, R-Colorado Springs, Stella Garza-Hicks, R-Colorado Springs, Ray Rose, R-Montrose, and Al White, R-Hayden.