guest blog by Nila Ridings
The Babbs requested approval for the installation of the solar panels from their HOA board at Kehrs Mill Estates. There was no response within the time allowed by their CC&Rs. Next they applied for a permit from the City of Clarkson Valley where they ran into a snag that ultimately had to be resolved with litigation and a great deal of nonsense. The Babbs prevailed. The City of Clarkson Valley appealed the court’s decision but were again ordered to issue the permit. The Babbs installed the solar panels and looked forward to living in peace while setting a trend towards using cleaner energy and doing their part to make America less dependent on Arab oil.
Suddenly, guess who has an issue with their solar panels? I know you guessed it right, THE KEHRS MILL ESTATES HOA! Some neighbors claim the solar panels might cause car accidents or bring rabies into the exclusive community. So, now do they want them removed? The Babbs’ house sits a football field length away from the road surrounded by trees so it’s barely visible to passersby.
Will there be another legal battle or will the Kehrs Mill Estates BOD realize how senseless it would be to file suit when the State of Missouri has passed a law that allows solar panels, the City of Clarkson Valley has lost court battles twice, and they didn’t follow their own CC&Rs? We know how this historically goes….after $100,000 or more is spent in legal bills somebody gets tired or goes broke in the fight.
I’ve spoken with Frances Babb and I am 99.9% sure she isn’t going to take her solar panels off of her roof! I’m cheering her on and I hope you will, too. HOAs expect their members to jump at every command and demand but when they don’t follow their own CC&Rs it can sure come back and bite them. Perhaps this will be a lesson learned?
Oh! And a word of caution to our pilot readers. Please do not mistake the Babbs’ solar panels as the runway lights for Lambert Field. Landing your Boeing 757 on one of the HOA private streets is strictly prohibited!
The three attached links are well worth reading!)
(St Louis Post-Dispatch story on the solar fight)
(followup story on solar fight)
Good for Francis Babb! Its a real shame that it has to go to this extreme. The power companies have continued to dismantle solar energy here in Arizona. (Of all places) Sneaky legislation and ending tax credits for those who decide solar is the best way to go. The link to the story below will surely ‘darken’ solar enthusiasts.
It’s happening all over the country for quite some time, due to the efforts of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Just search for “solar ALEC”
George Staropoli has written about ALEC’s involvement with H.O.A. legislation before, at https://pvtgov.wordpress.com/tag/alec/
Even Ward’s buddies at the Independence Institute have jumped on the anti-solar bandwagon. In typical Ayn Randian fashion, they refer to solar users as “moochers” :
“Freedom Minute: Solar Moochers” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AE1XVJ9gis
( see also https://twitter.com/i2idotorg/status/581498690713444352 )
Interestingly, there is pushback against ALEC’s efforts from the political right:
See also “ALEC Offshoot Takes Aim At Local Government” at Evan McKenzie’s blog (August 03, 2014)
Funny how these people are against “collective bargaining” for workers, but in favor of “the grip of ‘collective bargaining'” when it comes to home owners.