Bill Text: MN SF2555 | 2013-2014 | 88th Legislature | Introduced

NOTE: There are more recent revisions of this legislation. Read Latest Draft
Bill Title: Residential solar energy systems limits imposition prohibition

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced - Dead) 2014-03-31 - Second reading [SF2555 Detail]

Download: Minnesota-2013-SF2555-Introduced.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) A private entity may not prohibit or refuse to
1.10permit installation, maintenance, or use of a roof-mounted solar energy system by the
1.11owner of a single-family house or townhouse.
1.12(b) A covenant, restriction, or condition contained in a deed, security instrument,
1.13homeowners association document, or other instrument affecting the transfer or sale of, or
1.14an interest in, real property that prohibits or has the effect of prohibiting the owner of a
1.15single-family house or townhouse from installing, maintaining, or using a roof-mounted
1.16solar energy system is void and unenforceable.
1.17    Subd. 2. Definitions. (a) The definitions in this subdivision apply to this section.
1.18(b) "Private entity" means a homeowners association, community association,
1.19planned community, or any other nongovernmental entity.
1.20(c) "Homeowners association document" means a document containing the
1.21declaration, articles of incorporation, bylaws, or rules and regulations of:
1.22(1) a common interest community, as defined in section 515B.1-103, regardless of
1.23whether the common interest community is subject to chapter 515B; and
1.24(2) a residential community that is not a common interest community.
1.25(d) "Significantly" means:
2.1(1) for a solar water heating installation, an amount exceeding 20 percent above the
2.2system cost as originally specified and proposed, or a decrease in the system's expected
2.3production by more than 20 percent; and
2.4(2) for a solar photovoltaic installation, an amount exceeding $2,000 above the
2.5system cost as originally specified and proposed, or a decrease in the system-expected
2.6production by more than 20 percent.
2.7(e) "Solar energy system" means a set of devices whose primary purpose is to collect
2.8solar energy and convert and store it for useful purposes, including heating and cooling
2.9buildings or other energy-using processes, or to produce generated power by means of any
2.10combination of collecting, transferring, or converting solar-generated energy.
2.11(f) "Townhouse" means any single-family dwelling unit in which:
2.12(1) unit boundaries are boundaries of plotted lots and there are no upper or lower
2.13boundaries; and
2.14(2) the owner of the unit is responsible for maintenance, repair, and replacement of
2.15the unit's roof.
2.16    Subd. 3. Allowable conditions. (a) This section does not prohibit a private entity
2.17from requiring that:
2.18(1) a licensed contractor install a solar energy system;
2.19(2) a roof-mounted solar energy system not extend above the peak or beyond the
2.20edge of the roof;
2.21(3) the owner or installer of a solar energy system indemnify or reimburse the private
2.22entity or its members for loss or damage caused by the installation, maintenance, use,
2.23repair, or removal of a solar energy system;
2.24(4) the owner and each successive owner of a solar energy system list the private
2.25entity as a certificate holder on the homeowner's insurance policy; or
2.26(5) the owner and each successive owner of a solar energy system be responsible for
2.27removing the system if reasonably necessary for the repair, maintenance, or replacement
2.28of common elements or limited common elements, as defined in section 515B.1-103.
2.29(b) A private entity may impose other reasonable restrictions on the installation,
2.30maintenance, or use of solar energy systems, provided that those restrictions do not
2.31significantly increase the cost of the system or significantly decrease its expected
2.33(c) A solar energy system must meet applicable standards and requirements imposed
2.34by the state and by governmental units, as defined in section 462.384.
2.35(d) A solar energy system for heating water must be certified by the Solar
2.36Rating Certification Corporation (SRCC) or other nationally recognized certification
3.1agency. A solar energy system for producing electricity must meet all applicable safety
3.2and performance standards established by the National Electrical Code, the Institute
3.3of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and accredited testing laboratories, such as
3.4Underwriters Laboratories and, where applicable, rules of the Public Utilities Commission
3.5regarding safety and reliability.
3.6(e) Whenever approval by a private entity is required for the installation or use of
3.7a solar energy system, the application for approval must be processed and approved in
3.8the same manner as an application for approval of an architectural modification to the
3.9property, and must not be willfully avoided or delayed. A private entity shall approve or
3.10deny an application in writing. If an application is not denied in writing within 60 days
3.11from the date of receipt of the application, the application is deemed approved unless the
3.12delay is the result of a reasonable request for additional information.

3.13    Sec. 2. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 515.07, is amended to read:
3.15Each apartment owner shall comply strictly with the bylaws and with the
3.16administrative rules adopted pursuant thereto, as either of the same may be lawfully
3.17amended from time to time, and with the covenants, conditions, and restrictions set forth in
3.18the declaration or in the owner's deed to the apartment. Failure to comply with any of the
3.19same shall be ground for an action to recover sums due, for damages or injunctive relief or
3.20both maintainable by the manager or board of directors on behalf of the association of
3.21apartment owners or, in a proper case, by an aggrieved apartment owner. This chapter is
3.22subject to section sections 500.215 and 500.216.

3.23    Sec. 3. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 515B.2-103, is amended to read:
3.26(a) All provisions of the declaration and bylaws are severable.
3.27(b) The rule against perpetuities may not be applied to defeat any provision of
3.28the declaration or this chapter, or any instrument executed pursuant to the declaration
3.29or this chapter.
3.30(c) In the event of a conflict between the provisions of the declaration and the
3.31bylaws, the declaration prevails except to the extent that the declaration is inconsistent
3.32with this chapter.
3.33(d) The declaration and bylaws must comply with section sections 500.215 and

4.1    Sec. 4. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 515B.3-102, is amended to read:
4.3(a) Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c), and subject to the provisions of the
4.4declaration or bylaws, the association shall have the power to:
4.5(1) adopt, amend and revoke rules and regulations not inconsistent with the articles
4.6of incorporation, bylaws and declaration, as follows: (i) regulating the use of the common
4.7elements; (ii) regulating the use of the units, and conduct of unit occupants, which may
4.8jeopardize the health, safety or welfare of other occupants, which involves noise or
4.9other disturbing activity, or which may damage the common elements or other units;
4.10(iii) regulating or prohibiting animals; (iv) regulating changes in the appearance of the
4.11common elements and conduct which may damage the common interest community;
4.12(v) regulating the exterior appearance of the common interest community, including,
4.13for example, balconies and patios, window treatments, and signs and other displays,
4.14regardless of whether inside a unit; (vi) implementing the articles of incorporation,
4.15declaration and bylaws, and exercising the powers granted by this section; and (vii)
4.16otherwise facilitating the operation of the common interest community;
4.17(2) adopt and amend budgets for revenues, expenditures and reserves, and levy and
4.18collect assessments for common expenses from unit owners;
4.19(3) hire and discharge managing agents and other employees, agents, and
4.20independent contractors;
4.21(4) institute, defend, or intervene in litigation or administrative proceedings (i) in
4.22its own name on behalf of itself or two or more unit owners on matters affecting the
4.23common elements or other matters affecting the common interest community or, (ii) with
4.24the consent of the owners of the affected units on matters affecting only those units;
4.25(5) make contracts and incur liabilities;
4.26(6) regulate the use, maintenance, repair, replacement, and modification of the
4.27common elements and the units;
4.28(7) cause improvements to be made as a part of the common elements, and, in the
4.29case of a cooperative, the units;
4.30(8) acquire, hold, encumber, and convey in its own name any right, title, or interest
4.31to real estate or personal property, but (i) common elements in a condominium or planned
4.32community may be conveyed or subjected to a security interest only pursuant to section
4.33515B.3-112 , or (ii) part of a cooperative may be conveyed, or all or part of a cooperative
4.34may be subjected to a security interest, only pursuant to section 515B.3-112;
4.35(9) grant or amend easements for public utilities, public rights-of-way or other
4.36public purposes, and cable television or other communications, through, over or under
5.1the common elements; grant or amend easements, leases, or licenses to unit owners for
5.2purposes authorized by the declaration; and, subject to approval by a vote of unit owners
5.3other than declarant or its affiliates, grant or amend other easements, leases, and licenses
5.4through, over or under the common elements;
5.5(10) impose and receive any payments, fees, or charges for the use, rental, or
5.6operation of the common elements, other than limited common elements, and for services
5.7provided to unit owners;
5.8(11) impose interest and late charges for late payment of assessments and, after
5.9notice and an opportunity to be heard before the board or a committee appointed by it,
5.10levy reasonable fines for violations of the declaration, bylaws, and rules and regulations
5.11of the association;
5.12(12) impose reasonable charges for the review, preparation and recordation of
5.13amendments to the declaration, resale certificates required by section 515B.4-107,
5.14statements of unpaid assessments, or furnishing copies of association records;
5.15(13) provide for the indemnification of its officers and directors, and maintain
5.16directors' and officers' liability insurance;
5.17(14) provide for reasonable procedures governing the conduct of meetings and
5.18election of directors;
5.19(15) exercise any other powers conferred by law, or by the declaration, articles
5.20of incorporation or bylaws; and
5.21(16) exercise any other powers necessary and proper for the governance and
5.22operation of the association.
5.23(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a) the declaration or bylaws may not impose
5.24limitations on the power of the association to deal with the declarant which are more
5.25restrictive than the limitations imposed on the power of the association to deal with other
5.27(c) Notwithstanding subsection (a), powers exercised under this section must comply
5.28with section sections 500.215 and 500.216.