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Solar Restrictions for the District of Columbia [8-1774.51]

§ 8–1774.51. Limitation on authority of homeowners associations, condominium owners associations, and cooperative housing associations to prohibit the installation and use of solar energy collection devices.

(a) For the purposes of this section, the term:

(1) "Condominium owners association" means a unit owners' association, as described in § 42-1903.01.

(2) "Cooperative housing association" means an association, whether incorporated or unincorporated, organized for the purpose of owning and operating residential real property, the shareholders or members of which, by reason of their ownership of a stock or membership certificate, a proprietary lease, or other evidence of membership, are entitled to occupy a dwelling unit pursuant to the terms of a proprietary lease or occupancy agreement.

(3) "Homeowners association" means a mandatory membership association of owners of residential property created and formed pursuant to a recorded instrument including a declaration of covenants, limitations, and conditions, which subjects property within the homeowners association to certain restrictive covenants.

(4) "Solar energy collection device" means a system used to capture and use solar energy, including a passive heating panel or building component and solar photovoltaic apparatus.

(b) A homeowners association, condominium owners association, or cooperative housing association shall not prohibit an owner or member from installing or using a solar energy collection device on the owner's or member's property or residential unit, or on a roof that only covers one owner's or member's property or residential unit, regardless of whether the roof is considered part of the common elements; provided, that a homeowners association, condominium owners association, or cooperative housing association may:

(1) Prohibit the installation or use of a solar energy collection device on the common elements of the association, other than a roof that only covers one owner's or member's property or residential unit; and

(2) Establish reasonable guidelines, other than aesthetic guidelines, on the installation and use of a solar energy collection device for the purposes of preventing nuisance to other owners or members of the association.

(c) Reasonable guidelines established under subsection (b)(2) of this section may provide that an owner or member who installs or uses a solar energy collection device shall be financially responsible for any:

(1) Maintenance or repair to the solar energy collection device; and

(2) Damages caused by the installation or use of the solar energy collection device.
Page update: 9/17/19

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