Bill Text: MN HF2918 | 2013-2014 | 88th Legislature | Engrossed

Bill Title: Solar energy system residential use restrictions prohibited.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced - Dead) 2014-03-26 - Second reading [HF2918 Detail]

Download: Minnesota-2013-HF2918-Engrossed.html

1.1A bill for an act
1.2relating to real property; prohibiting certain restrictions on the use of residential
1.3solar energy systems;amending Minnesota Statutes 2012, sections 515.07;
1.4515B.2-103; 515B.3-102; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes,
1.5chapter 500.

1.9    Subdivision 1. General rule. A private entity may not prohibit or refuse to permit
1.10installation, maintenance, or use of a roof-mounted solar energy system by the owner of a
1.11single-family dwelling notwithstanding any covenant, restriction, or condition contained
1.12in a deed, security instrument, homeowners association document, or any other instrument
1.13affecting the transfer, sale of, or an interest in real property, except as provided in this
1.15    Subd. 2. Applicability. This section applies to single-family dwellings, whether
1.16attached or detached, where the dwelling owner is responsible for maintenance, repair,
1.17replacement, and insurance of the roof of the dwelling.
1.18    Subd. 3. Definitions. (a) The definitions in this subdivision apply to this section.
1.19(b) "Private entity" means a homeowners association, community association, or
1.20other association that is subject to a homeowners association document.
1.21(c) "Homeowners association document" means a document containing the
1.22declaration, articles of incorporation, bylaws, or rules and regulations of:
1.23(1) a common interest community, as defined in section 515B.1-103, regardless of
1.24whether the common interest community is subject to chapter 515B; and
1.25(2) a residential community that is not a common interest community.
2.1(d) "Solar energy system" has the meaning given in section 216C.06, subdivision 17.
2.2    Subd. 4. Allowable conditions. (a) This section does not prohibit a private entity
2.3from requiring that:
2.4(1) a licensed contractor install a solar energy system;
2.5(2) a roof-mounted solar energy system not extend above the peak of a pitched roof
2.6or beyond the edge of the roof;
2.7(3) the owner or installer of a solar energy system indemnify or reimburse the private
2.8entity or its members for loss or damage caused by the installation, maintenance, use,
2.9repair, or removal of a solar energy system;
2.10(4) the owner and each successive owner of a solar energy system list the private
2.11entity as a certificate holder on the homeowner's insurance policy; or
2.12(5) the owner and each successive owner of a solar energy system be responsible for
2.13removing the system if reasonably necessary for the repair, maintenance, or replacement
2.14of common elements or limited common elements, as defined in section 515B.1-103.
2.15(b) A private entity may impose other reasonable restrictions on the installation,
2.16maintenance, or use of solar energy systems, provided that those restrictions do not decrease
2.17the projected generation of energy by a solar energy system by more than 20 percent or
2.18increase its cost by more than (1) 20 percent, for a solar water heater, or (2) $2,000, for a
2.19solar photovoltaic system, compared with the generation of energy and the cost of labor
2.20and materials certified by the designer or installer of the solar energy system as originally
2.21proposed without the restrictions. A private entity may obtain an alternative bid and
2.22design from a solar energy system designer or installer for the purposes of this paragraph.
2.23(c) A solar energy system must meet applicable standards and requirements imposed
2.24by the state and by governmental units, as defined in section 462.384.
2.25(d) A solar energy system for heating water must be certified by the Solar Rating
2.26Certification Corporation (SRCC) or an equivalent certification agency. A solar energy
2.27system for producing electricity must meet all applicable safety and performance standards
2.28established by the National Electrical Code, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics
2.29Engineers, and accredited testing laboratories, including, but not limited to, Underwriters
2.30Laboratories and, where applicable, rules of the Public Utilities Commission regarding
2.31safety and reliability.
2.32(e) If approval by a private entity is required for the installation or use of a solar
2.33energy system, the application for approval must be processed and approved in the same
2.34manner as an application for approval of an architectural modification to the property,
2.35and must not be willfully avoided or delayed. A private entity shall approve or deny an
2.36application in writing. If an application is not denied in writing within 60 days from the
3.1date of receipt of the application, the application is deemed approved unless the delay is
3.2the result of a reasonable request for additional information.

3.3    Sec. 2. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 515.07, is amended to read:
3.5Each apartment owner shall comply strictly with the bylaws and with the
3.6administrative rules adopted pursuant thereto, as either of the same may be lawfully
3.7amended from time to time, and with the covenants, conditions, and restrictions set forth in
3.8the declaration or in the owner's deed to the apartment. Failure to comply with any of the
3.9same shall be ground for an action to recover sums due, for damages or injunctive relief or
3.10both maintainable by the manager or board of directors on behalf of the association of
3.11apartment owners or, in a proper case, by an aggrieved apartment owner. This chapter is
3.12subject to section sections 500.215 and 500.216.

3.13    Sec. 3. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 515B.2-103, is amended to read:
3.16(a) All provisions of the declaration and bylaws are severable.
3.17(b) The rule against perpetuities may not be applied to defeat any provision of
3.18the declaration or this chapter, or any instrument executed pursuant to the declaration
3.19or this chapter.
3.20(c) In the event of a conflict between the provisions of the declaration and the
3.21bylaws, the declaration prevails except to the extent that the declaration is inconsistent
3.22with this chapter.
3.23(d) The declaration and bylaws must comply with section sections 500.215 and

3.25    Sec. 4. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 515B.3-102, is amended to read:
3.27(a) Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c), and subject to the provisions of the
3.28declaration or bylaws, the association shall have the power to:
3.29(1) adopt, amend and revoke rules and regulations not inconsistent with the articles
3.30of incorporation, bylaws and declaration, as follows: (i) regulating the use of the common
3.31elements; (ii) regulating the use of the units, and conduct of unit occupants, which may
3.32jeopardize the health, safety or welfare of other occupants, which involves noise or
4.1other disturbing activity, or which may damage the common elements or other units;
4.2(iii) regulating or prohibiting animals; (iv) regulating changes in the appearance of the
4.3common elements and conduct which may damage the common interest community;
4.4(v) regulating the exterior appearance of the common interest community, including,
4.5for example, balconies and patios, window treatments, and signs and other displays,
4.6regardless of whether inside a unit; (vi) implementing the articles of incorporation,
4.7declaration and bylaws, and exercising the powers granted by this section; and (vii)
4.8otherwise facilitating the operation of the common interest community;
4.9(2) adopt and amend budgets for revenues, expenditures and reserves, and levy and
4.10collect assessments for common expenses from unit owners;
4.11(3) hire and discharge managing agents and other employees, agents, and
4.12independent contractors;
4.13(4) institute, defend, or intervene in litigation or administrative proceedings (i) in
4.14its own name on behalf of itself or two or more unit owners on matters affecting the
4.15common elements or other matters affecting the common interest community or, (ii) with
4.16the consent of the owners of the affected units on matters affecting only those units;
4.17(5) make contracts and incur liabilities;
4.18(6) regulate the use, maintenance, repair, replacement, and modification of the
4.19common elements and the units;
4.20(7) cause improvements to be made as a part of the common elements, and, in the
4.21case of a cooperative, the units;
4.22(8) acquire, hold, encumber, and convey in its own name any right, title, or interest
4.23to real estate or personal property, but (i) common elements in a condominium or planned
4.24community may be conveyed or subjected to a security interest only pursuant to section
4.25515B.3-112 , or (ii) part of a cooperative may be conveyed, or all or part of a cooperative
4.26may be subjected to a security interest, only pursuant to section 515B.3-112;
4.27(9) grant or amend easements for public utilities, public rights-of-way or other
4.28public purposes, and cable television or other communications, through, over or under
4.29the common elements; grant or amend easements, leases, or licenses to unit owners for
4.30purposes authorized by the declaration; and, subject to approval by a vote of unit owners
4.31other than declarant or its affiliates, grant or amend other easements, leases, and licenses
4.32through, over or under the common elements;
4.33(10) impose and receive any payments, fees, or charges for the use, rental, or
4.34operation of the common elements, other than limited common elements, and for services
4.35provided to unit owners;
5.1(11) impose interest and late charges for late payment of assessments and, after
5.2notice and an opportunity to be heard before the board or a committee appointed by it,
5.3levy reasonable fines for violations of the declaration, bylaws, and rules and regulations
5.4of the association;
5.5(12) impose reasonable charges for the review, preparation and recordation of
5.6amendments to the declaration, resale certificates required by section 515B.4-107,
5.7statements of unpaid assessments, or furnishing copies of association records;
5.8(13) provide for the indemnification of its officers and directors, and maintain
5.9directors' and officers' liability insurance;
5.10(14) provide for reasonable procedures governing the conduct of meetings and
5.11election of directors;
5.12(15) exercise any other powers conferred by law, or by the declaration, articles
5.13of incorporation or bylaws; and
5.14(16) exercise any other powers necessary and proper for the governance and
5.15operation of the association.
5.16(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a) the declaration or bylaws may not impose
5.17limitations on the power of the association to deal with the declarant which are more
5.18restrictive than the limitations imposed on the power of the association to deal with other
5.20(c) Notwithstanding subsection (a), powers exercised under this section must comply
5.21with section sections 500.215 and 500.216.