QUESTION: A recent HOA quarterly Board of Directors meeting’s Homeowner Topics segment included an inquiry from a homeowner on whether the HOA prohibits or discourages the installation of solar devices for electric generation on their property.  What was the feedback from the Board or Association Manager?


ANSWER: There is not an HOA prohibition or discouragement for solar devices.  However, a proposed installation of solar devices requires prior approval from the HOA Architectural Review Authority (ARC) prior to the installation, to confirm standards and restrictions comply with the HOA CCRs and Texas Property Code.

 

CCR Article XX, Dishes, Antenna, and Solar Energy Devices, provides details on solar device permitted locations and installation parameters:

 

ARTICLE XX

DISHES, ANTENNA, AND SOLAR ENERGY DEVICES

Solar energy devices (“Devices”).   As defined in Section 171.107(a) of the Texas Tax Code, a solar energy device means a system or series of mechanisms designed primarily to provide heating or cooling or to produce electrical or mechanical power by collecting and transferring solar-generated energy. The term includes a mechanical or chemical device that has the ability to store solar-generated energy for use in heating or cooling or in the production of power.   Such Devices may only be installed with advance written approval of the Architecture Review Authority.  Any such Device must be installed on land or structures owned by the property owner. No portion of the Devices may encroach on adjacent properties or common areas.  Such Devices may only be installed on the roof of the main residential dwelling, on the roof of any other approved structure, or within a fenced yard or patio.  For Devices mounted on a roof, the Device must  have no portion of the Device higher that the roof section to which it is attached, have no portion of the Device extend beyond the perimeter boundary of the roof section to which it is attached, conform to the slope of the roof, be aligned so the top edge of the Device is parallel to the roof ridge line for the roof section to which it is attached,  have a frame, brackets and visible piping or wiring that is a color to match the roof shingles or a silver, bronze or black tone commonly available in the marketplace, and be located in a position on the roof which is least visible from any street or common area, so long as such location does not reduce estimated annual energy production more than 10% over alternative roof locations (as determined by a publicly available modeling tool provided by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory [http://www.nrel.gov] or equivalent entity).  For Devices located in a fenced yard or patio, no portion of the Device may extend above the top of the fence.  All Devices must be installed in compliance with manufacturer’s instruction and in a manner which does not void material warranties.  Licensed craftsmen must be used where required by law.  Permits must be obtained where required by law.  Installed Devices may not threaten public health or safety, violate any law, or substantially interfere with the use and enjoyment of land by causing unreasonable discomfort or annoyance to any adjoining property owner.  All Devices must be maintained in good repair.  Unused or inoperable Devices must be removed.

 

The above guidelines were adopted by The Springs At Stone Oak Board of Directors to incorporate the requirements included in the amendment to chapter 202 of the Texas Property Code by the 2011 Texas State Legislature, which added Section 202.010, dealing with the regulation of solar energy devices, and effective on June 17, 2011.  The guidelines were recorded at the Bexar County Clerk’s Office on December 30, 2011.

 

These periodic CCR discussion topics intend to remind residents of The Springs of the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CCR’s) that apply to all Springs residents solely by our election to live in this community. The purpose of the CCR’s is to maintain specific standards for the good of us all, as articulated in their definition:

“THE SPRINGS AT STONE OAK is encumbered by these Restrictive Covenants for the following reasons: to seek to achieve the best and highest use and most appropriate development of the property; to protect lot owners against improper use of surrounding lots; to preserve so far as practical the natural beauty of the property; to guard against the erection of poorly designed or proportioned structures of improper or unsuitable materials; to encourage and secure the erection of attractive improvements on each lot with appropriate locations; and to secure and maintain proper setbacks from streets and adequate free space.”

If you are a Springs resident who has misplaced your copy of the CCR’s or Bylaws, or are a new resident who wasn’t provided a copy by the previous owners or your realtor, you can view (and download in Adobe Reader [.pdf] format) the complete Springs CCR’s and By-Laws at the Consolidated Bylaws and CCRs section of this website, located in the Pages & Links tab.