Bill Text: NY A05896 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Introduced

Bill Title: Relates to prohibiting homeowners' associations from restricting the installation of or use of solar power systems.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 25-1)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-02-20 - referred to housing [A05896 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-A05896-Introduced.html

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    February 20, 2019
        Introduced by M. of A. GALEF, PEOPLES-STOKES, BARRON, DE LA ROSA, ORTIZ,
          QUART, CARROLL, JONES -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. LUPARDO, STEC,
          STECK -- read once and referred to the Committee on Housing
        AN  ACT to amend the real property law, in relation to prohibiting home-
          owners' associations from restricting the installation or use of solar
          power systems
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section  1.  The  real property law is amended by adding a new article
     2  9-C to read as follows:
     3                                  ARTICLE 9-C
     4                              SOLAR RIGHTS ACT
     5  Section 342. Certain covenants, conditions, and restrictions of homeown-
     6                 ers' associations prohibited.
     7    § 342. Certain covenants, conditions, and restrictions of  homeowners'
     8  associations  prohibited.  1.  Definitions.  For  the  purposes  of this
     9  section:
    10    (a) "restriction on use" means any covenant, restriction, or condition
    11  contained in:
    12    (i) a deed;
    13    (ii) a contract;
    14    (iii) the by-laws of a homeowners' association;
    15    (iv) any rules or regulations adopted by a homeowners' association;
    16    (v) a security agreement; or
    17    (vi) any other instrument affecting the transfer or sale  of,  or  any
    18  interest in, real property.
    19    (b)  "solar  power  system" means a photovoltaic system, comprising of
    20  solar electric generating equipment, installed  on  a  rooftop,  with  a
    21  rated capacity of not more than twenty-five kilowatts.
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 5896                             2
     1    2.  A  homeowners'  association  may not adopt or enforce any rules or
     2  regulations that would  effectively  prohibit,  or  impose  unreasonable
     3  limitations  on,  the  installation  or  use  of a solar power system. A
     4  restriction on use which effectively prohibits the installation  or  use
     5  of  a  solar power system is unenforceable and shall be void as contrary
     6  to public policy. For the purposes of this subdivision, an  unreasonable
     7  limitation includes, but is not limited to, any restriction on use that:
     8    (a)  inhibits  the solar power system from functioning at its intended
     9  maximum efficiency; or
    10    (b) increases the solar power  system's  installation  or  maintenance
    11  costs  by an amount which is estimated to be greater than ten percent of
    12  the total cost of the initial installation of the  solar  power  system,
    13  including the costs of labor and equipment.
    14    3.  Notwithstanding  subdivision  two  of  this section, a homeowners'
    15  association may adopt or enforce a restriction on use  to  prohibit  the
    16  installation  of  a solar power system that is located on property owned
    17  by the homeowners' association or that is located on property  owned  in
    18  common by the members of the homeowners' association.
    19    4. Any denial of a homeowner's installation of a solar power system by
    20  a  homeowners'  association  must  include a detailed description of the
    21  exact basis for rejection in writing with specific examples of the home-
    22  owners' association's concerns, if applicable.
    23    5. A solar power system must meet the requirements established by  any
    24  local,  state  or  federal  law, rule or regulation on health and safety
    25  standards and those requirements imposed by state and  local  permitting
    26  authorities.
    27    6. A person may bring a civil action in a court of competent jurisdic-
    28  tion  for  any violation of this section. In any action brought pursuant
    29  to this section, the court may award the appropriate remedies and  costs
    30  of  litigation,  including reasonable attorneys' fees, to the prevailing
    31  party.
    32    § 2. This act shall take effect on the sixtieth  day  after  it  shall
    33  have become a law.