Sun Sets On Omaha Doctor’s Solar Panels

I suspect we will see more and more of this type of conflict as environmentally-friendly technologies get cheaper and smart grids and other factors encourage home power use reduction and/or power generation.  As far as I know, Nebraska is no hotbed of environmentalist activism, and yet, it was the setting for a heated dispute between one homeowner and his HOA over some extensive solar panels.

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The local coverage indicates that a settlement was reached, in which the HOA chipped in some money towards the cost of removing the panels.

 

I suspect this was a tough call for that HOA board, who were attacked by the owner in billboards and other fora.  They no doubt did some math and realized that it was going to cost more to get a result in court.

However, the enforceability of CC&Rs in situations like this is not really in question.  Covenants are not trumped by environmental concerns, no matter how deeply felt.   Until a state or federal law explicitly overrules property covenants  (see, e.g. OTARD) , homeowners should be wary of preemptively installing solar, wind, or any other power-generating devices without consulting their CC&Rs.  This owner apparently is out $75,000 plus court costs.

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