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Subject: I don’t want to be that owner, but I think I am going to have to be.
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Author Messages
TomP11
(California)

Posts:66


07/08/2021 8:00 PM  
First of all, you guys were a great help last time but now I have a new problem. We just had an HOA meeting and my Architectural Application for solar was not discussed. According to the Post Office, my application was delivered on June 28. By California law they have 45 days to approve or deny it.


"As defined by Civil Code Section 4080 or 6528, must approve or deny an application in writing within 45 days of receipt of the application. An application is deemed approved if denial is not received in this time period unless the delay is the result of a reasonable request for additional information."


August 12 is the 45 day mark. I am not really happy on how the water situation went. Do I have to remind them to have them pick up their mail? August 12 is also the next meeting. Unless they call in another meeting or walk the letter over to my place it is an automatic approval.


Should I just get it installed on August 13? I am already making payments on it. It is summer and people want to use their A/C.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:1466


07/08/2021 8:13 PM  
First off, ARC applications are not a Board meeting item that needs to be put on the agenda and voted on. ARC applications go to the ad-hoc committee for your HOA. 99.999% of the time they are rubber stamped approved. They almost come back with conditional approval..

No, I would not jump the gun and have it installed. If you have a well known PV installer they won't install the panels unless you have your "permission slip"

Personally, I don't know how or why you are paying on PV panels that are not yet installed. I had a PV system installed the first week of May and I did not get my net meter from NVE until the second week of June when I was able to energize my solar system. I still have not seen a bill.


Just wait it out, Call the PM office in the morning and put a pretty please, I'm antsy to get my solar installed to the PM you just might get it that day.
TomP11
(California)

Posts:66


07/08/2021 8:39 PM  
Thank you for your replay LetA,

Architectural Application are part of the HOA meetings and they are a board meeting item. There were 4 of them today. My solar company is the one that tome me about the 45 day rule. The reason why I selected them was because they deal with HOAs.

Yes, this process has started in April. You have to pay that $1,000 once you sign the contract for the solar company to do all the designs, paperwork, and get the permits from the city and power company. In addition, I have to start paying back the loan from the credit union. I don’t know how because none of the checks are cashed. But it is showing up on my credit report.

I did send an email to the property management company. Unless they want to call a special meeting I don’t see how they are going to say anything by August 12.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10590


07/09/2021 12:09 AM  
Red flag on play. A company claiming to work with HOAs. I call BS on. There is no way they have worked with a HOA. That did not happen. Unless a HOA hired them directly. Otherwise they mispoke and meant they worked with people who belong to an HOA. Plus how do they know your HOA process? Read your documents?

Wait before you leap in further. You could be sunk over this. Finding that company does not care.

Former HOA President
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10590


07/09/2021 5:07 AM  
I was writing on my tablet before going to bed on that response. Want to clarify that the contractor sounds way too suspicious for me to be dealing with. #1 they are NOT aware of your HOA's process unless they are members or they read your HOA documents. Otherwise, they are making up something they "heard" or dealt with in another HOA situation.

2nd it's kind of a not smart move to go Day 46 the installers are here! BAD BAD BAD way to go. You don't have anything in writing from your HOA. Plus you don't know the status of your request. Green energy is "new" to HOA's are not quite covered in their documents yet. Which means the process could take longer as the documents may need to be updated/filed to reflect green energy acceptance.

When I say this, I am talking about over 20 years ago those big huge satellite dishes existed. HOA's typically had satellite dishes banned in their documents because of it. Well fast forward and satellite dishes are small and fit on a roof. Plus they are no longer allowed to be banned. However, your HOA documents may not been updated to reflect this. Which means reading it may lead people to thinking satellite dishes not acceptable.

It is the same with "green energy" or other new technology. It's not in your documentation yet or evaluated what kind is acceptable. Are solar panels considered eye sores? Where should they be placed? So it is not beyond imagination your request has to be scrutinized more. Otherwise, when it is, you may be forced to remove it all at your cost.

Former HOA President
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:1466


07/09/2021 6:28 AM  
Not Necessarily Melissa. I had my PV system from Sunrun and they vow to do everything. My PV sales rep asked who the HOA management company was so they can pull the ARC. My sales rep said for those less inclined homeowners, she goes door to door for neighbors to sign off on the ARC.

That is likely what the OP's PV company meant when they work with HOA's.
TomP11
(California)

Posts:66


07/09/2021 6:31 AM  
Thank you MelissaP1,

I misspoke, this company has installed Solar for HOAs and has installed Solar for people who live in HOAs. This actually have an attorney to deal with HOAs to remind them of the laws regarding Solar in California. They are a large company that has been on the business for over 20 years.

They know my HOA process because I sent them the Architectural Application for solar which is an 18 page document. It explains where the panels can be place, what color, microinverters must be used, and angle of the panels. I read my documents, they are not going to the mailbox to pick up the application.

45 days is the law. "As defined by Civil Code Section 4080 or 6528, must approve or deny an application in writing within 45 days of receipt of the application. An application is deemed approved if denial is not received in this time period unless the delay is the result of a reasonable request for additional information."

Remember, I am already paying for the solar, and the increase in insurance to cover the solar.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:1466


07/09/2021 6:36 AM  
Tom, rooftop PV systems are a God given right to own and have on your house, just like satellite dishes are. They have Federal laws like PRB-1 & PRB-2 pertain to satellite dishes.


If you submitted your ARC in April, I would say the 45 day window for approval has come and gone. Call your HOA PM ASAP and tell them you need to proceed immediately with your install.

I wouldn't fret too much about saving money yet on your PV system rehung the AC. You bank the bulk of your net metering credits in the winter months so you can crank that AC in the summer next year, and the years to come.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:1466


07/09/2021 6:41 AM  
Tom, I failed to read your August 12 date, I would say if you did not get your ARC approval by August 12, by all means install it.

Your HOA works differently, my HOA, 99.99% of ARC applications are rubber stamped by the PM ARC committee. The only time an ARC application is put on the board agenda is when the ARC application skews off the tangent and the applicant wants a stranger than normal request.
AugustinD


Posts:1920


07/09/2021 7:05 AM  
TomP11, one reason I think you should wait is that there is case law saying that, even if a HOA member has the ACC's approval (explicitly or implicitly via the deadline having passed?), courts have disallowed architectural changes (or aspects of an architectural change) that clearly violated the architectural covenants. For California, and as interested, see https://www.davis-stirling.com/HOME/Case-Law/Woodridge-v-Nielsen .

Also, per the covenants or rules the ARC/Board has 45 days. For you to complain that your application has not been approved, when 45 days have not even passed, is not playing fair and IMO is downright snotty. Your recourse for getting ARC applications approved more quickly is to step up and get on the ARC or the HOA Board. Are you willing to do so? I am betting not. I urge you to be nice until at least August 12. Also, be an advocate for following the rules.

When 45 days have passed, then you can start deriding the HOA and from where I am sitting, have it mean something.
TomP11
(California)

Posts:66


07/09/2021 7:24 AM  
Thank you AugustinD,

The next meeting is August 12 which happens to be the 45 day mark. If there are any changes or request of information it needs to be sent in writing via CA law. I don’t see that happening on August 12.

The solar follows all the rules and has been checked by the attorney of the solar company that I am using. Which is why I am using this company because they have an attorney for this reason. They were not the cheapest bid but they were the only one who had an attorney.
The meeting was last night and it wasn’t brought up. If they are only going to talk about ARC applications during the meetings it should have been brought up during the last meeting.
How is it not fair, I am waiting to August 13. The day after the deadline. I am already paying for the solar, I had to pay to get the ARC application notarize, I had to pay to get it sent by mail, and I had to pay for the application.

Yes, I am willing to join the HOA but it wouldn’t be right since I am gone 4 moths out of the year.
AugustinD


Posts:1920


07/09/2021 7:29 AM  
Posted By TomP11 on 07/09/2021 7:24 AM
Thank you AugustinD,

The next meeting is August 12 which happens to be the 45 day mark. If there are any changes or request of information it needs to be sent in writing via CA law. I don’t see that happening on August 12.
To clarify: Unless you are quite sure your application violates no covenants, I would not proceed until I had the approval.

Yes, I am willing to join the HOA but it wouldn’t be right since I am gone 4 moths out of the year.
[shaking head, smiling] I understand around 85% of this country now has a smart phone. Also I would be surprised if you had not attended a meeting by Zoom or Google Meet in the last year. So just sayin': I think you need a better excuse than the above, neighbor. It's okay to say, "I don't want to do all the work" and then have a touch of empathy for those folks who are stuck enforcing covenants, without compensation, helping ensure your property values stay high.

I am 100% pro-solar and hope you get your system up and running soon.
TomP11
(California)

Posts:66


07/09/2021 7:48 AM  
AugustinD,

I am sure the application doesn’t violate any covenants. I don’t think hey, let me tie up this satellite real quick so I can attend an HOA meeting will fly when I am overseas.

I am going by this "As defined by Civil Code Section 4080 or 6528, must approve or deny an application in writing within 45 days of receipt of the application. An application is deemed approved if denial is not received in this time period unless the delay is the result of a reasonable request for additional information."
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8729


07/09/2021 2:17 PM  
I read the new CA statue when it became effective (jan. '18? ) that CA HOAs must permit owners to install solar on their roofs even if the roof is common area. But certainly an HOA would need it's own ARC guidelines for this, whether or not the roof is common area. Does you HOA have such guidelines?

I do assume your specialized installation firm is completely familiar with this CA statute?

Are your roofs common area? Are there solar panels installed on other homes in your HOA?

Sorry, I don't think you should risk installing this even you don't have a response within 45 days.
TomP11
(California)

Posts:66


07/09/2021 3:35 PM  
KerryL1,

The roofs are our own responsibility. There are guidelines and there is a whole ARC application just for solar. Only one other home has Solar. So what you are saying is that I should wait while the HOA drags there feet? Note: I am making payments on the solar system, already paid for the application, and am paying for the increase insurance. The law is 45 days.

This is the same HOA that gave less then 30 days when they wanted to kick in everyone door to install a submeter for water.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8729


07/09/2021 4:59 PM  
Ah, yes. I do not recall they "wanted to kick in everyone's door."

I hate to be the one to tell you, but it is possible the Board is so P'O'd about the previous water meter thing, that they aren't being as responsive as they might be. I wouldn't stick my finger in their eye.

With LetA, I was surprised too that ARC apps are reviewed in open board meetings in you HOA.
AugustinD


Posts:1920


07/09/2021 5:10 PM  
Posted By TomP11 on 07/09/2021 3:35 PM
So what you are saying is that I should wait while the HOA drags there feet?
She is saying that not waiting involves a risk.
TomP11
(California)

Posts:66


07/18/2021 1:16 PM  
Update: I guess I am that owner.

I received a response back from the property management company and before they even forward the Architectural Application, they are requiring an environmental impact study, structural report, and power bills for the past 12 months. Minus the power bills, this will cause a huge delay and increase cost to my solar project. It is rooftop solar. None of this was mentioned on the solar Architectural Application.

I forward to email to my solar company, and they said none of that is needed and it seems that they are trying to prevent me for getting solar. They are going to have their attorney write a letter to my HOA about it.

The hardest part should have been getting the permit from the city and power company not the HOA.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10590


07/18/2021 1:58 PM  
I still do NOT trust this company. You heard it here first and often. A company's response ignoring the importance of a structure report just to sell their product is too much for me. That really is a serious consideration outside of the HOA approval...

Sorry but I would do what the HOA/PM tells me to do than what a company selling something...

Former HOA President
TomP11
(California)

Posts:66


07/18/2021 4:08 PM  
MelissaP1,

But what would a structure report do? I have asked around and no one has heard of a structure report for solar. The city and power do not require it. Plus an environmental impact study. That takes years and cost more than solar system? If a roof cannot support solar, it wouldn't be able to support a garage door.

The company is really big in CA and has nothing but positive reviews.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10590


07/18/2021 6:44 PM  
I would at minimum contact a roofing company to verify your roof can handle the installation of the panels. That would be a serious consideration before installing. It is added weight. Plus have to consider winter conditions.

Just because a company is popular doesn't mean they are the best. We have a popular builder here that makes the crappiest homes with the biggest complaints. However, the funny thing is you don't hear those complaints till AFTER the purchase.

I would not like a company acting on my behalf with my HOA. Plus tell me they know how HOA's work etc... Each HOA is separate entity and not connected. How would they know my HOA? Plus your HOA has to know this information so they can establish future allowance and procedure for approval. Green energy items are most likely NO in your CC&R's yet.

Former HOA President
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


07/18/2021 6:54 PM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 07/18/2021 6:44 PM
I would at minimum contact a roofing company to verify your roof can handle the installation of the panels. That would be a serious consideration before installing. It is added weight. Plus have to consider winter conditions.

Just because a company is popular doesn't mean they are the best. We have a popular builder here that makes the crappiest homes with the biggest complaints. However, the funny thing is you don't hear those complaints till AFTER the purchase.

I would not like a company acting on my behalf with my HOA. Plus tell me they know how HOA's work etc... Each HOA is separate entity and not connected. How would they know my HOA? Plus your HOA has to know this information so they can establish future allowance and procedure for approval. Green energy items are most likely NO in your CC&R's yet.



Actually, some of these guys know how a HOA works better than the directors themselves. I served with a couple on CAI Educational Committees.
TomP11
(California)

Posts:66


07/18/2021 10:41 PM  
MelissaP1,

They are a Solar and roofing company and been in the business for 60 year. That is why I trust them. I wanted to spend more money by adding batteries and thinking I had to install a 200A main pan but they were honest with me and told me that it would be a complete waste of money. They did not try to up-sale me at all. They sent someone over to check the spacing of the beams and condition of the roof before writing up a contract.

The updated CC&R's has solar in it. The HOA shouldn't be adding an additional $90k to a $12k solar system.

I understand that I am the first one to actually get solar but it seems that the HOA doesn't know the rules and regulations involving solar and I am guessing my solar company will sit down and inform them of that.
AnnaJ1
(Maryland)

Posts:81


07/22/2021 8:06 AM  
TomP, unless I am missing something, I don't see what is wrong with you moving to have your solar panels installed the day after the default approval kicks in. At that point, your project is approved.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11665


07/22/2021 8:13 AM  
Posted By AnnaJ1 on 07/22/2021 8:06 AM
TomP, unless I am missing something, I don't see what is wrong with you moving to have your solar panels installed the day after the default approval kicks in. At that point, your project is approved.



Anna

There have been several court cases against your advice. Action not yet taken is not the same as approval.
AnnaJ1
(Maryland)

Posts:81


07/22/2021 8:30 AM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 07/22/2021 8:13 AM
Posted By AnnaJ1 on 07/22/2021 8:06 AM
TomP, unless I am missing something, I don't see what is wrong with you moving to have your solar panels installed the day after the default approval kicks in. At that point, your project is approved.



Anna

There have been several court cases against your advice. Action not yet taken is not the same as approval.





Yes, I understand that they are two different things. However he's saying the law gives them 45 days or the project is granted automatic approval. He's saying he's moving forward on the 46th day--after it's automatically approved. This is to avoid the homeowner from being held hostage by a slow ARC Committee. How long realistically should his application remain open with no action taken?
AnnaJ1
(Maryland)

Posts:81


07/22/2021 8:34 AM  
Ooops, nevermind--I didnt see that there was an update given by the property manager that required more steps to be taken. Terrible; they threw a wrench in things. I would see if there is a way to avoid all of this, if possible. Its not some new and trendy product that we know nothing about. It's solar panels.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11665


07/22/2021 9:03 AM  
Posted By AnnaJ1 on 07/22/2021 8:30 AM
Posted By JohnC46 on 07/22/2021 8:13 AM
Posted By AnnaJ1 on 07/22/2021 8:06 AM
TomP, unless I am missing something, I don't see what is wrong with you moving to have your solar panels installed the day after the default approval kicks in. At that point, your project is approved.



Anna

There have been several court cases against your advice. Action not yet taken is not the same as approval.





Yes, I understand that they are two different things. However he's saying the law gives them 45 days or the project is granted automatic approval. He's saying he's moving forward on the 46th day--after it's automatically approved. This is to avoid the homeowner from being held hostage by a slow ARC Committee. How long realistically should his application remain open with no action taken?




Anna

Care to read about two such:

Columbia SC

NEIGHBORS COMPEL MAN TO RAZE GARAGE
PUBLICATION: State, The (Columbia, SC)
DATE: September 14, 2011
Page: 1


David Matthews, a Columbia optometrist, has agreed to tear down his garage to settle a lawsuit brought against him by his neighbors.

The settlement, reached last week in the middle of a trial in front of Judge Joseph Strickland, brings to a close a year of tense litigation that turned neighbors into spies and increased homeowners’ association dues so much that it threatened the sale of one home.

And it will cost homeowners thousands of dollars in attorneys fees.
"The sad part is nobody wins," said association president Lanier Jones. "But I would say that the homeowners are victorious in doing what they set out to do. There are nine of us on that street. It’s just been a wonderful little street of dreams. This (lawsuit) has just caved a lot of that."
Cameron Court, whose nine homes are squeezed on one acre of land just off Devine Street near Kilbourne Road, is one of hundreds of homeowners associations in Richland County. To live there, buyers must sign a contract that governs what they can and cannot do with their property. In Cameron Court, the homeowner owns the home, while the association owns the yard. Homeowners pay dues to the association, which pays for things like landscaping and sprinkler systems.

In Cameron Court, Mat-thews built a 20- by 12.5-foot brick garage at the end of his driveway. According to the rules, Mat-thews had to give construction plans to the association’s board for approval. If the board does not respond in 60 days, the request is automatically approved.

Matthews said he submitted the plans and the board did not respond. The board denies this.
Attempts to reach Matthews were unsuccessful.

According to the settlement, Matthews has two weeks to remove the garage at his own expense. And he must restore the property to its original condition before he started construction. The association agreed to deed Matthews his back yard. While Matthews will own the property, he still must abide by the association’s contract before building anything.

The association, meanwhile, is stuck with an enormous legal bill. It’s unclear how much the work will cost. Earlier this year, the association increased its annual dues to $8,100 from $1,320 to help pay for the attorneys fees, which were estimated at $50,000.

One homeowner, Polly Osborn, told The State newspaper that homeowners would have to pay an extra $15,000 each. Jones disputes that, saying the legal fees are still being tallied.
"Litigation is expensive. Taking a case to trial is very expensive," said Tina Cundari, the association’s attorney. "We were fully prepared to try the case. It would be a three-day trial. We had a lot of depositions in this case, and it was a pretty contentious fight up until the end."
The outcome of the case might be a bit extreme. But that kind of fight, it turns out, isn’t all that rare.

Homeowners associations increased significantly during the housing boom of the past decade, according to Ryan McCabe, an attorney with Columbia’s Rogers, Town-send and Thomas law firm, which represents 285 homeowners associations.

"During the real estate boom, especially from ’04 to ’08, you started seeing the average lot size shrink as developers were trying to put more and more lots in less space," McCabe said. "You got a lot more of these townhomes and patio communities, things of that nature. People who live closer together are just bound to have more friction."

McCabe said his firm averages two homeowners association lawsuits a month, but said it was rare for a homeowner to have to tear down an existing structure. But it’s not unprecedented.

NASCAR driver Todd Bodine built a 14-by 42-foot pool house and tiki hut at his home in Mooresville, N.C. The Harris Village Property Owners Association sued, because it had only given Bodine permission to build a 10-by-14-foot pool house and tiki hut.

The case did not end until four years later, when the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled Bodine had to tear the structure down.

NOTE: The quoted attorney Ryan McCabe is my associations attorney.



TomP11
(California)

Posts:66


07/22/2021 10:06 AM  
AnnaJ1,

I cannot move to install the solar panels now because of the extra steps the property manager is requiring. It sucks but legal from the solar company is telling me to request a waiver before they get involve. A structure report and environment impact study are never needed for roof top solar. An environment impact study is going to take a year to complete? Someone else on here was talking that they would want a structure report. Even that is a waste of time because it is included with the permit from the city. The building was built to code and the increase load of solar is nothing.
Some people might say just wait a year but most would think that is ridiculous. In addition, it is going to make solar not worth it. The increase in cost and now that the power companies are pushing for Net Metering 3.0.


JohnC46,

I don’t want to go the route of taking the HOA to court. I don’t want my neighbors to pay for something that the property management company is blocking. Nothing I am doing is outside of the rules. The location, color, angle, insurance, etc are all following the rule that were set in the instructions of the solar application. The extra stuff is after I inquired why my application was not in the meeting with the other ARC applications.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:1466


07/22/2021 12:29 PM  
Posted By AnnaJ1 on 07/22/2021 8:30 AM
Posted By JohnC46 on 07/22/2021 8:13 AM
Posted By AnnaJ1 on 07/22/2021 8:06 AM
TomP, unless I am missing something, I don't see what is wrong with you moving to have your solar panels installed the day after the default approval kicks in. At that point, your project is approved.



Anna

There have been several court cases against your advice. Action not yet taken is not the same as approval.





Yes, I understand that they are two different things. However he's saying the law gives them 45 days or the project is granted automatic approval. He's saying he's moving forward on the 46th day--after it's automatically approved. This is to avoid the homeowner from being held hostage by a slow ARC Committee. How long realistically should his application remain open with no action taken?





My PV ARC was approved the same day, not because I am a board member. I submitted it early am, by early afternoon I received the confirmation email. We just have a really cool PM.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:1466


07/22/2021 12:37 PM  
Posted By TomP11 on 07/22/2021 10:06 AM
AnnaJ1,

I cannot move to install the solar panels now because of the extra steps the property manager is requiring. It sucks but legal from the solar company is telling me to request a waiver before they get involve. A structure report and environment impact study are never needed for roof top solar. An environment impact study is going to take a year to complete? Someone else on here was talking that they would want a structure report. Even that is a waste of time because it is included with the permit from the city. The building was built to code and the increase load of solar is nothing.
Some people might say just wait a year but most would think that is ridiculous. In addition, it is going to make solar not worth it. The increase in cost and now that the power companies are pushing for Net Metering 3.0.


JohnC46,

I don’t want to go the route of taking the HOA to court. I don’t want my neighbors to pay for something that the property management company is blocking. Nothing I am doing is outside of the rules. The location, color, angle, insurance, etc are all following the rule that were set in the instructions of the solar application. The extra stuff is after I inquired why my application was not in the meeting with the other ARC applications.





You have a G-d given right by the Democratic Peoples Republic of California and The US government to install rooftop solar PV on your house. This G-D given right supersedes any mother may I challenges your HOA requires. You tell them If your ARC is not approved in 48 hours, you will hire an attorney and file a lawsuit. Hit them with both guns, File a HUD and FHA complaint. I guarantee they don't want your attorney asking why your PV ARC has not been approved. For them to answer your attorneys question would have to be answered by the HOA attorney, I'm guessing that would cost the HOA around $500.00 to answer that question. If they are smart, they should hastily approve your PV ARC without hesitation.
AugustinD


Posts:1920


07/22/2021 12:40 PM  
Posted By LetA on 07/22/2021 12:37 PM
Hit them with both guns, File a HUD and FHA complaint.
What violation of the Fair Housing Act are you alleging here?

And "both guns"? Are you suggesting there is a difference between a HUD complaint and an FHA complaint?
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


07/22/2021 1:53 PM  
Posted By TomP11 on 07/22/2021 10:06 AM
AnnaJ1,

I cannot move to install the solar panels now because of the extra steps the property manager is requiring. It sucks but legal from the solar company is telling me to request a waiver before they get involve. A structure report and environment impact study are never needed for roof top solar. An environment impact study is going to take a year to complete? Someone else on here was talking that they would want a structure report. Even that is a waste of time because it is included with the permit from the city. The building was built to code and the increase load of solar is nothing.
Some people might say just wait a year but most would think that is ridiculous. In addition, it is going to make solar not worth it. The increase in cost and now that the power companies are pushing for Net Metering 3.0.


JohnC46,

I don’t want to go the route of taking the HOA to court. I don’t want my neighbors to pay for something that the property management company is blocking. Nothing I am doing is outside of the rules. The location, color, angle, insurance, etc are all following the rule that were set in the instructions of the solar application. The extra stuff is after I inquired why my application was not in the meeting with the other ARC applications.



You might want to read this.

Architectural Review. If an application is not denied in writing within 45 days from the date of receipt of the application, the application shall be deemed approved, unless that delay is the result of a reasonable request for additional information. If approvals are willfully avoided or delayed, an association can be penalized up to $1,000. (Civ. Code §714(f).) Aesthetics are a proper part of the architectural review process, provided it does not significantly increase the cost of the installation. (Tesoro v. Griffen.)

IMO, the case cited, Tesoro v. Griffen, the court screwed by and the defendant should have been sued by the HOA.
BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:1108


07/23/2021 12:52 PM  
Why would you not get it installed on August 13? According to state law it is approved effective August 12. The board can consider it or not after that date but their decision is moot.

AugustinD


Posts:1920


07/24/2021 8:38 AM  
Posted By LetA on 07/22/2021 12:37 PM
You have a G-d given right by the Democratic Peoples Republic of California and The US government to install rooftop solar PV on your house.
For the archives:

-- At present, no federal statute exists guaranteeing any sort of right to have solar PV on one's house. Bills have been talked about or considered by some in the U. S. Congress. The bills were never passed into law.

-- The Fair Housing Act is all about ensuring folks are not discriminated against on the basis of race, sex, religion ethnicity, national origin, disability and familial status. The FHA has nothing to do with solar rights.

-- As I think is pretty well known here at HOATalk: California Civil Code 714 allows HOAs to impose reasonable restrictions on solar energy installations.

-- Per an earlier thread, I see TomP11 lives in something like a townhome community. The maintenance responsibility for roofs was recently transferred to owners, by amendment. Maybe TomP11 has dotted every "i." Maybe not. For the archives, to me California Civil Code 4746 still raises some concerns about notifying neighbors who may share the roof. See https://www.davis-stirling.com/HOME/Statutes/Civil-Code-4746

I went down the wrong path with this post:
Posted By AugustinD on 07/09/2021 7:05 AM
Also, per the covenants or rules the ARC/Board has 45 days.
TomP11 in his very first post observed that it is California statute, and not merely CC&Rs, that says after 45 days, approval is automatically granted (with a caveat or two). As he quoted from California Civil Code 714, and to repeat:

"If an application is not denied in writing within 45 days from the date of receipt of the application, the application shall be deemed approved, unless that delay is the result of a reasonable request for additional information."

If TomP11 is complying with the statute section's caveat about HOA requests for additional information; assuming the HOA remains silent; and TomP11 has notified neighbors pursuant to California Civil Code 4746; then at this point I agree that the day after the deadline he can proceed. The statute adds much more legal force to his position.

TomP11
(California)

Posts:66


07/30/2021 2:45 PM  
Maybe I am in the wrong, but I know many of you are on HOA boards and maybe they are doing the right thing.

I keep on getting pushback on the Structural Report and the Environmental Impact Report. My solar company did one when they sent it to the city of a permit. It was the require basic one just saying that the roof is in good enough condition and the total weight of the system. The HOA keeps saying that is no good and I must go get this $2,500 report. May I add that the total cost of the system is a little of $11k and $8k after the tax rebate. Most companies are honest and will not do it because that know it isn’t necessary. I am guessing those companies are cheaper and it isn’t worth their time.

Just about every company I called for an Environmental Impact study said no and it is ridiculous to get one for root top solar. There was one company, but they want to charge $15k. I sent this information to the HOA and Property Management company and they basically said oh well.
Now I feel like they are just being petty. Licenses that the solar company has they are saying that they are incorrect. Even though the solar company gave information on the licenses and what they are allowed to do. They are now requiring an electrician and not the solar company to wire up the solar. Other petty things, I sent photocopies of everything so I can keep the originals. They said no because they want the wet signatures. They want to change the colors of the solar stickers and want the stickers. The solar company said that they have to be the red and yellow color. Now, they don’t want the stickers on the electrical panel.

The solar company has their own filing system and they called my place an apartment they want it changed to condo which has nothing to do with anything. They want to see the math work for the wire calculations.

Moving on to insurance. With the new CC&Rs we are now required of the outside of the building and common areas. Basically painting and termite damage. However, we are still required to have an HO6 policy. So my policy did not mention the square footage of my place and it that the internal wall materials listed. Because it is an HO6 policy The HOA is mad because it is showing the internal walls and are requiring me to change it. The insurance company is pushing back saying that it is not part of a HO6 policy and basically telling the HOA no.

All of this is for roof top solar. Maybe I am in the wrong. Please let me know. Because every time correct what they say, they add some more new rules.
AugustinD


Posts:1920


07/30/2021 2:55 PM  
Posted By TomP11 on 07/30/2021 2:45 PM
They want to see the math work for the wire calculations.
I think someone either ought to either (1) ask what qualifies these volunteers to review the math work for the wire calculations; or (2) find out whether the HOA is paying a professional for this review.

This is California, land of the rolling blackout/brownout. Is what this HOA is doing, regarding solar panel approval, normal?

Solar is darned important, afaic.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


07/30/2021 6:47 PM  
First, there should be no reason for the PM to holding up the process unless they are gathering the right information for the Architectural Committee. I would be asking for the written guidelines they have on file for gaining their approval. It may be them flying by the seat of their pants.

Second, you mention that you need a HO-6 policy, meaning your HOA has a master policy in place. You also mentioned the roofs are your responsibility. I am assuming your HOA had a re-write of their CCRs and changed some of the responsibilities from HOA to homeowner. I think someone might have screwed up. You can't just shift over thr responsibility of roof from one entity to another. There are reserves studies and reserve monies covering the roofs, there are insurance requirements and liability issues. A HO=6 policy is a condo policy.

They could be dragging their feet for very good reasons, mainly because they might not have their sh$t together.

Actually, Texas now is the king of rolling blackouts and shutdowns.



CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2599


07/31/2021 4:56 AM  
I'm with Max: that HO-6 (condo) policy jumped out at me and it suggests something isn't right.

If the OP's association has tried to transfer responsibility for roofs without amending the CC&Rs first, then they have to straighten out that mess. So they may not be deliberately slow rolling the OP, rather his request for solar panel approval has uncovered a problem that could take a while to correct.

COA/HOA insurance in a nutshell:

HO-6 policies are typically "drywall in" and won't include things like foundations and roofs. What's actually included should be in your CC&Rs, since they should define things like "unit", "common elements" and "limited common elements". The HO-6 policy will cover items in the unit and maybe in the limited common elements, depending on whether the owner or the association is responsible for maintaining the latter.

Usually in HOAs with single family homes, owners have policies that cover the entire structure of their homes as well as any land under the home that they personally own.

The association will have to insure whatever it's responsible for. In COAs this nearly always includes the roofs, and in HOAs it usually doesn't - but there can be exceptions. A homeowner's insurance agent will always ask for a copy of the CC&Rs and the association's master policy so that they know exactly what to insure. These policies work together so that there aren't any gaps in coverage.


AugustinD


Posts:1920


07/31/2021 6:12 AM  
Posted By TomP11 on 07/30/2021 2:45 PM

Moving on to insurance. With the new CC&Rs we are now required of the outside of the building and common areas. Basically painting and termite damage. However, we are still required to have an HO6 policy. So my policy did not mention the square footage of my place and it that the internal wall materials listed. Because it is an HO6 policy The HOA is mad because it is showing the internal walls and are requiring me to change it. The insurance company is pushing back saying that it is not part of a HO6 policy and basically telling the HOA no.

All of this is for roof top solar.
-- From an earlier thread, a California judge approved re-stated CC&Rs. For one thing, the re-stated CC&Rs transferred the maintenance responsibility for each unit's roof from the HOA to each unit's owner. From what TomP11 indicated in the earlier thread, the HOA ran out of money and considered itself stuck with seeking a court order to re-state the CC&Rs.

-- It makes sense to me that the HOA is requiring TomP11 to get more than HO-6 insurance before he proceeds with putting solar panels on the roof.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2599


07/31/2021 7:50 AM  
OK, that does make sense. Issues with the roof may result in issues with the rest of the structure which could be common elements and thus the association's responsibility.

Glad I'm not the insurance people who have to sort this out.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


07/31/2021 10:39 AM  
Posted By TomP11 on 07/30/2021 2:45 PM
Maybe I am in the wrong, but I know many of you are on HOA boards and maybe they are doing the right thing.

I keep on getting pushback on the Structural Report and the Environmental Impact Report. My solar company did one when they sent it to the city of a permit. It was the require basic one just saying that the roof is in good enough condition and the total weight of the system. The HOA keeps saying that is no good and I must go get this $2,500 report. May I add that the total cost of the system is a little of $11k and $8k after the tax rebate. Most companies are honest and will not do it because that know it isn’t necessary. I am guessing those companies are cheaper and it isn’t worth their time.

Just about every company I called for an Environmental Impact study said no and it is ridiculous to get one for root top solar. There was one company, but they want to charge $15k. I sent this information to the HOA and Property Management company and they basically said oh well.
Now I feel like they are just being petty. Licenses that the solar company has they are saying that they are incorrect. Even though the solar company gave information on the licenses and what they are allowed to do. They are now requiring an electrician and not the solar company to wire up the solar. Other petty things, I sent photocopies of everything so I can keep the originals. They said no because they want the wet signatures. They want to change the colors of the solar stickers and want the stickers. The solar company said that they have to be the red and yellow color. Now, they don’t want the stickers on the electrical panel.

The solar company has their own filing system and they called my place an apartment they want it changed to condo which has nothing to do with anything. They want to see the math work for the wire calculations.

Moving on to insurance. With the new CC&Rs we are now required of the outside of the building and common areas. Basically painting and termite damage. However, we are still required to have an HO6 policy. So my policy did not mention the square footage of my place and it that the internal wall materials listed. Because it is an HO6 policy The HOA is mad because it is showing the internal walls and are requiring me to change it. The insurance company is pushing back saying that it is not part of a HO6 policy and basically telling the HOA no.

All of this is for roof top solar. Maybe I am in the wrong. Please let me know. Because every time correct what they say, they add some more new rules.


Tom

If you shoot me an email, I might be able to take this offline and help you. I do business in California. Email address is [email protected]
TomP11
(California)

Posts:66


07/31/2021 12:48 PM  
MaxB4, CathyA3, and AugustinD,

They are not requiring me to get new insurance. In fact, I don’t even believe they looked at my actual coverage. The CC&R says HO-6 is required. They are requiring the insurance industry to change how they do things. There thing was that it didn’t have the square footage listed in the square footage spot on the insurance page that I gave them. The insurance company doesn’t require square footage or even care about the square footage for the policy. An underwriter makes sure everything is there before they cove you. Even require pictures. The construction spot said drywall over frame. That is what I have drywall. I don’t have stone, or other materials. The HOA representative said the outside of the wall isn’t drywall. That is cool because my insurance person is going to give them a call. My insurance is changing to add more coverage for the solar. Earthquakes and fires are a thing in CA and that is one less thing I want to worry about coming out of pocket.

The master policy cover replacing the building. Just not the interior. The whole we have to maintain the outside of the building sucks. I can’t just paint my unit I would have to paint the entire building. Each building has 4 or 6 units.

I don’t know how the HOA is running out of money. The dues are $500 a month for 150 units. Maybe is they stop spending so much money on landscaping they would have more money. I don’t think we need all this grass and seasonal flowers.

I wish you guys were there in a meeting to ask these important questions.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11665


07/31/2021 1:03 PM  
Tom

A basic question. What type/style is your home? is a standalone home,
townhouse/multi plex meaning side by side units, or an apartment style
meaning units above and below your unit.

What I am searching for is the roof yours alone as it would being a standalone home
or is it a roof sharing as it would be in the other style units?
TomP11
(California)

Posts:66


07/31/2021 1:18 PM  
JohnC46,

It is townhouse style, units are side by side. It is 4 to six units per building. They all look like two story building but only some of them are two stories. The garage is attached but in front of the living space. There is no living space over the garage and it roof is flat over the garage. The solar can only be installed over the garage. We all have a two car garages. The garage roof is shared in that my neighbors garage is connected. I am in a four unit building my neighbor garage shares a wall but there is a space between there other neighbor’s garage. The living space is wider than the garage so it is there is two garages that shar a wall followed by a at least a 50 foot space in the same building.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11665


07/31/2021 1:58 PM  
Posted By TomP11 on 07/31/2021 1:18 PM
JohnC46,

It is townhouse style, units are side by side. It is 4 to six units per building. They all look like two story building but only some of them are two stories. The garage is attached but in front of the living space. There is no living space over the garage and it roof is flat over the garage. The solar can only be installed over the garage. We all have a two car garages. The garage roof is shared in that my neighbors garage is connected. I am in a four unit building my neighbor garage shares a wall but there is a space between there other neighbor’s garage. The living space is wider than the garage so it is there is two garages that shar a wall followed by a at least a 50 foot space in the same building.



Does the HOA maintain the outside of your building including the roofs? If so, I would not allow one to install solar panels on what is technically, not your property but that of the HOA.
TomP11
(California)

Posts:66


07/31/2021 2:07 PM  
JohnC46,

By law the, the HOA can’t prevent us from installing solar. That is CA law. When they updated the CC&R they put the roofs and maintenance such as painting, weathering, and insect repair on the owners.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2599


07/31/2021 2:40 PM  
Posted By TomP11 on 07/31/2021 2:07 PM
JohnC46,

By law the, the HOA can’t prevent us from installing solar. That is CA law. When they updated the CC&R they put the roofs and maintenance such as painting, weathering, and insect repair on the owners.



Do your amended CC&Rs say that the roofs are now part of the unit (meaning you own the roof above your head) or are they limited common elements (means the association essentially owns them but unit owners are responsible for maintenance)?

It's a meaningful distinction in condominiums and could be a legitimate source of problems here.

Also, does CA's law apply to COAs as well as HOAs (where people typically own their roofs) or is there any kind of exception to the law for condominiums?

For what it's worth, not that it helps you solve this problem, but I think that amending the CC&Rs was a strange and maybe short-sighted way to deal with a financial problem. The definitions of unit, common elements and limited common elements, and the associated maintenance responsibilities, are tied to the physical structure of the buildings. They make sense. Financial problems don't change that fact, and I can understand the kind of confusion that's arising now since the whole shebang may not logically hang together. I understand how associations can feel as though they've been backed into a corner with no good options, but the board should probably anticipate similar issues down the pike. And maybe they do, which is why it's taking so long - they may have discovered that they've backed themselves into a different corner. Or maybe they're just being jerks... :-)

TomP11
(California)

Posts:66


07/31/2021 2:51 PM  
CathyA3,

Limited common elements, we have to do repairs now if there are leaks but I am guess they will replace the whole roof after 50 years. CA law applies even applies to apartments as well. They might just be jerks.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8729


07/31/2021 3:24 PM  
Hold on, Tom. Only owners may vote to amend the CC&Rs and usually a supermajority is required to approve change. This means that apparently a big majority of you owners voted to change the CC&Rs to give yourselves a lot more maintenance and repair responsibility. And apparently, this was fairly recent. Yournew restated CC&Rs have a recorders stamp on a page near the end, right?

I'm also confused when you write that your EXterior is "drywall," which so far as I know only is used on interiors. I think another name for it is sheet rock. Maybe your exterior is stucco? Or?

What do you mean, Tom, when you write that the PM ordered you to do this or that? The PM has no authority over you, only the Board does. Do the latest new written demands say they were approved by the Board? Or is the letter from the PM "on behalf of the Board?" How could this be if the Board makes ARC decisions in open meetings?

You are correct that in CA, owners may install solar even on common area roofs. We have, for example, about 10 of our 200+ condo units that are street Level have their "own" roofs, i.e., no one is above them. Each could theoretically install solar on their roofs and there are lots of guidelines, etc., to do this and also the owner must take complete responsibility for repairing their roof or returning it to its original (non solar) condition if desired or needed. Since no one in my HOA has asked yet for this ARC change, which would indeed be very expensive, I haven't learned much about it.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


07/31/2021 5:47 PM  
This was pulled from a recent sale at the property. Notice it includes roof maintenance. This is information a property management company would provide during escrow.

HOA Fee Includes Common Area Maintenance, Exterior Bldg Maintenance, Limited Insurance, Roof Maintenance, Sewer, Trash Pickup
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8729


07/31/2021 5:56 PM  
Ummm, Max, "recent sale" at what "property? Tom's?
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


07/31/2021 6:00 PM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 07/31/2021 5:56 PM
Ummm, Max, "recent sale" at what "property? Tom's?



Ummm
AugustinD


Posts:1920


07/31/2021 7:04 PM  
Posted By TomP11 on 07/31/2021 2:51 PM
Limited common elements, we have to do repairs now if there are leaks but I am guess they will replace the whole roof after 50 years.
Can you quote exactly what your HOA's covenants say about who has the responsibility for the roofs?
CA law applies even applies to apartments as well. They might just be jerks.
Maybe the all volunteer board is doing the best it can under difficult financial circumstances. In California, assessment increases and special assessments above a certain amount require membership approval. This may explain why the board went to court to get a judge's order to amend the covenants.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10590


07/31/2021 7:19 PM  
From a HOA stand point, "Green Energy" is relatively "new". Meaning that many HOA's have old documentation that do not address green energy options. What that means is whenever a new "green" technology comes along it really needs to do some research on it. It's not an overnight thing. Plus "green" energy is always evolving. It's hard to make an approval on technology that isn't that stable.

So I can understand your HOA or PM saying "Hey wait a minute. We need to evaluate and learn about this first". There are many factors. Plus not to talk about the process of incorporating this into the documentation.

Your most likely the "guinea pig" in this. Atleast your getting the ball rolling. It is just going to take some time.

Former HOA President
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


07/31/2021 7:26 PM  
Posted By AugustinD on 07/31/2021 7:04 PM
Posted By TomP11 on 07/31/2021 2:51 PM
Limited common elements, we have to do repairs now if there are leaks but I am guess they will replace the whole roof after 50 years.
Can you quote exactly what your HOA's covenants say about who has the responsibility for the roofs?
CA law applies even applies to apartments as well. They might just be jerks.
Maybe the all volunteer board is doing the best it can under difficult financial circumstances. In California, assessment increases and special assessments above a certain amount require membership approval. This may explain why the board went to court to get a judge's order to amend the covenants.



Are you now suggesting that homeowners don't have a right to vote to change, you're allowing a judge to make the sole decision to change a lawful contract?
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8729


07/31/2021 7:28 PM  
Ohhhh, I see I missed that Tom's HOA went to court to get the restated CC&Rs approved as can happen in CA. BUT, it still means that at least 50% (I think!) of the membership voted for all these new individual financial responsibilities???? It doesn't make sense with so many attached units in one building.

With Augustin, Tom, please show us the exact wording of these new CC&R sections. I'm also puzzled why Tom is calling something a "limited common element," when in CA the language is "exclusive use common area" in Civil Code and most likely in his very own gov. docs.

Quik reply to Cathy: In CA there is no difference between condos, townhomes, detached homes. They all are statutorily "Common Interest Developments" or CIDs.
AugustinD


Posts:1920


07/31/2021 7:39 PM  
Posted By MaxB4 on 07/31/2021 7:26 PM
cr-p redacted
See TomP11's posts in his other thread, along with my citation to the davis-stirling site on the subject of HOA Boards obtaining approval from the county's California Superior Court to amend CC&Rs.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


07/31/2021 7:49 PM  
Posted By AugustinD on 07/31/2021 7:39 PM
Posted By MaxB4 on 07/31/2021 7:26 PM
cr-p redacted
See TomP11's posts in his other thread, along with my citation to the davis-stirling site on the subject of HOA Boards obtaining approval from the county's California Superior Court to amend CC&Rs.



Do you even know what the process to have the courts approve restated CCRs?
AugustinD


Posts:1920


07/31/2021 8:02 PM  
Posted By MaxB4 on 07/31/2021 7:49 PM
[non sequitur redacted]
Asked and answered.
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