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

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-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. Definitions. (a) The definitions in this subdivision apply to this
1.11(b) "Private entity" means a homeowners association, community association, or
1.12other association that is subject to a homeowner's association document.
1.13(c) "Homeowners association document" means a document containing the
1.14declaration, articles of incorporation, bylaws, or rules and regulations of:
1.15(1) a common interest community, as defined in section 515B.1-103, regardless of
1.16whether the common interest community is subject to chapter 515B; and
1.17(2) a residential community that is not a common interest community.
1.18(d) "Solar energy system" has the meaning given in section 216C.06, subdivision 17.
1.19    Subd. 2. General rule. (a) Notwithstanding any covenant, restriction, or condition
1.20contained in a deed, security instrument, homeowners association document, or any other
1.21instrument affecting the transfer, sale of, or an interest in, real property, a private entity may
1.22not prohibit or refuse to permit installation, maintenance, or use of a roof-mounted solar
1.23energy system by the owner of a single-family dwelling, except as provided in this section.
1.24(b) If approval by a private entity is required for the installation or use of a solar
1.25energy system, the application for approval must be processed and approved in the same
2.1manner as an application for approval of an architectural modification to the property,
2.2and must not be willfully avoided or delayed. A private entity shall approve or deny an
2.3application in writing. If an application is not denied in writing within 60 days from the
2.4date of receipt of the application, the application is deemed approved unless the delay is
2.5the result of a reasonable request for additional information. An application must be
2.6approved unless it fails to comply with allowable conditions under subdivision 4.
2.7    Subd. 3. Applicability. This section applies to single-family dwellings, whether
2.8attached or detached, where the dwelling owner is responsible for repair, replacement,
2.9and insurance of the roof of the dwelling.
2.10    Subd. 4. Allowable conditions. (a) This section does not prohibit a private entity
2.11from requiring that:
2.12(1) a licensed contractor install a solar energy system;
2.13(2) a roof-mounted solar energy system not extend above the peak of a pitched roof
2.14or beyond the edge of the roof;
2.15(3) the owner not modify the existing style of roof design or type of roofing material;
2.16(4) the owner or installer of a solar energy system indemnify or reimburse the private
2.17entity or its members for loss or damage caused by the installation, maintenance, use,
2.18repair, or removal of a solar energy system;
2.19(5) the owner and each successive owner of a solar energy system list the private
2.20entity as a certificate holder on the homeowner's insurance policy;
2.21(6) the owner and each successive owner of a solar energy system be responsible for
2.22removing the system if reasonably necessary for the repair, maintenance, or replacement
2.23of common elements or limited common elements, as defined in section 515B.1-103; or
2.24(7) a solar energy system for heating water be certified by the Solar Rating
2.25Certification Corporation (SRCC) or an equivalent certification agency; or a solar energy
2.26system for producing electricity meet all applicable safety and performance standards
2.27established by the National Electrical Code, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics
2.28Engineers, and accredited testing laboratories, including, but not limited to, Underwriters
2.29Laboratories and, where applicable, rules of the Public Utilities Commission regarding
2.30safety and reliability.
2.31(b) A solar energy system must meet applicable standards and requirements imposed
2.32by the state and by governmental units, as defined in section 462.384.
2.33(c) A private entity may impose additional reasonable restrictions on the installation,
2.34maintenance, or use of solar energy systems. Additional restrictions are presumed to be
2.35reasonable if they do not decrease the projected generation of energy by a solar energy
2.36system by more than ten percent or increase its cost by more than ten percent, compared
3.1with the generation of energy and the cost of labor and materials certified by the designer
3.2or installer of the solar energy system as originally proposed without these restrictions.
3.3A private entity may obtain an alternative bid and design from a solar energy system
3.4designer or installer for the purposes of this paragraph.
3.5EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective January 1, 2015, and applies to
3.6common interest communities or residential communities created on or after that date.

3.7    Sec. 2. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 515.07, is amended to read:
3.9Each apartment owner shall comply strictly with the bylaws and with the
3.10administrative rules adopted pursuant thereto, as either of the same may be lawfully
3.11amended from time to time, and with the covenants, conditions, and restrictions set forth in
3.12the declaration or in the owner's deed to the apartment. Failure to comply with any of the
3.13same shall be ground for an action to recover sums due, for damages or injunctive relief or
3.14both maintainable by the manager or board of directors on behalf of the association of
3.15apartment owners or, in a proper case, by an aggrieved apartment owner. This chapter is
3.16subject to section sections 500.215 and 500.216.

3.17    Sec. 3. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 515B.2-103, is amended to read:
3.20(a) All provisions of the declaration and bylaws are severable.
3.21(b) The rule against perpetuities may not be applied to defeat any provision of
3.22the declaration or this chapter, or any instrument executed pursuant to the declaration
3.23or this chapter.
3.24(c) In the event of a conflict between the provisions of the declaration and the
3.25bylaws, the declaration prevails except to the extent that the declaration is inconsistent
3.26with this chapter.
3.27(d) The declaration and bylaws must comply with section sections 500.215 and

3.29    Sec. 4. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 515B.3-102, is amended to read:
3.31(a) Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c), and subject to the provisions of the
3.32declaration or bylaws, the association shall have the power to:
4.1(1) adopt, amend and revoke rules and regulations not inconsistent with the articles
4.2of incorporation, bylaws and declaration, as follows: (i) regulating the use of the common
4.3elements; (ii) regulating the use of the units, and conduct of unit occupants, which may
4.4jeopardize the health, safety or welfare of other occupants, which involves noise or
4.5other disturbing activity, or which may damage the common elements or other units;
4.6(iii) regulating or prohibiting animals; (iv) regulating changes in the appearance of the
4.7common elements and conduct which may damage the common interest community;
4.8(v) regulating the exterior appearance of the common interest community, including,
4.9for example, balconies and patios, window treatments, and signs and other displays,
4.10regardless of whether inside a unit; (vi) implementing the articles of incorporation,
4.11declaration and bylaws, and exercising the powers granted by this section; and (vii)
4.12otherwise facilitating the operation of the common interest community;
4.13(2) adopt and amend budgets for revenues, expenditures and reserves, and levy and
4.14collect assessments for common expenses from unit owners;
4.15(3) hire and discharge managing agents and other employees, agents, and
4.16independent contractors;
4.17(4) institute, defend, or intervene in litigation or administrative proceedings (i) in
4.18its own name on behalf of itself or two or more unit owners on matters affecting the
4.19common elements or other matters affecting the common interest community or, (ii) with
4.20the consent of the owners of the affected units on matters affecting only those units;
4.21(5) make contracts and incur liabilities;
4.22(6) regulate the use, maintenance, repair, replacement, and modification of the
4.23common elements and the units;
4.24(7) cause improvements to be made as a part of the common elements, and, in the
4.25case of a cooperative, the units;
4.26(8) acquire, hold, encumber, and convey in its own name any right, title, or interest
4.27to real estate or personal property, but (i) common elements in a condominium or planned
4.28community may be conveyed or subjected to a security interest only pursuant to section
4.29515B.3-112 , or (ii) part of a cooperative may be conveyed, or all or part of a cooperative
4.30may be subjected to a security interest, only pursuant to section 515B.3-112;
4.31(9) grant or amend easements for public utilities, public rights-of-way or other
4.32public purposes, and cable television or other communications, through, over or under
4.33the common elements; grant or amend easements, leases, or licenses to unit owners for
4.34purposes authorized by the declaration; and, subject to approval by a vote of unit owners
4.35other than declarant or its affiliates, grant or amend other easements, leases, and licenses
4.36through, over or under the common elements;
5.1(10) impose and receive any payments, fees, or charges for the use, rental, or
5.2operation of the common elements, other than limited common elements, and for services
5.3provided to unit owners;
5.4(11) impose interest and late charges for late payment of assessments and, after
5.5notice and an opportunity to be heard before the board or a committee appointed by it,
5.6levy reasonable fines for violations of the declaration, bylaws, and rules and regulations
5.7of the association;
5.8(12) impose reasonable charges for the review, preparation and recordation of
5.9amendments to the declaration, resale certificates required by section 515B.4-107,
5.10statements of unpaid assessments, or furnishing copies of association records;
5.11(13) provide for the indemnification of its officers and directors, and maintain
5.12directors' and officers' liability insurance;
5.13(14) provide for reasonable procedures governing the conduct of meetings and
5.14election of directors;
5.15(15) exercise any other powers conferred by law, or by the declaration, articles
5.16of incorporation or bylaws; and
5.17(16) exercise any other powers necessary and proper for the governance and
5.18operation of the association.
5.19(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a) the declaration or bylaws may not impose
5.20limitations on the power of the association to deal with the declarant which are more
5.21restrictive than the limitations imposed on the power of the association to deal with other
5.23(c) Notwithstanding subsection (a), powers exercised under this section must comply
5.24with section sections 500.215 and 500.216.