Tag Archives: solar panels

Seething Over Solar Seems Senseless In Kehrs Mill Estates

guest blog by Nila Ridings
Most of our readers can relate to being an activist working towards changes in America’s HOAs. We understand being passionate about sharing our knowledge of the abuses and corruption. We can relate to Frances and Jim Babb in many ways. For one, they live in an HOA. And they are strong supporters of solar energy. They believe it is right for America for many reasons. And it’s the most efficient way for them to provide energy to their upscale Victorian mansion in Clarkson Valley; a posh Saint Louis suburb.The Saint Louis Dispatch stated, “The Babbs’ ordeal has turned Frances Babb into a advocate. She’s lobbied state legislators over the past year for the Senate Bill 579, which bars homeowners associations from prohibiting solar energy.” The bill passed. End of the story…or is it? No, it isn’t.

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.

A Smackdown in Texas

Increasing numbers of homeowners associations across the country have learned there’s profit in being confrontational. Lots of profit.  HOA attorneys advise their clients to attack every violation of the covenants with a vengeance. Insignificant fines often turn into tens of thousands of dollars in fees, fines, collection costs and attorneys’ expenses. Some of those confrontations defy common sense.

Ted Faraz of Irving, Texas, found that out the hard way. He installed some solar panels on his roof. His intent wasn’t malicious. He wasn’t doing it to intentionally anger his HOA. He actually invested $15,000 in an effort to be more environmentally responsible.