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[COLUMN] HOA demands extra cash for solar-panel review

Posted by   /  June 19, 2019  /  No Comments

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“It’s very, very rare to see anything with a fee bigger than $50” for a review of solar panel installation plans, says a co-owner of a solar installation company.
/Mamta Popat / Arizona Daily Star 2016

By Tim Steller | Arizona Daily Star  

(Editor’s note: News releases are published as submitted unless there are errors of fact.)

No one wants to pay more than they have to.

That’s especially true if you’re making a sizable outlay on something expensive and socially beneficial, like rooftop solar panels.

But some homeowners associations say they have a right to charge residents a fee so they can review the plans for new solar panels.

How much is too much for a homeowners association to demand? That’s what Carol Fiore is fighting about with her HOA, at Tucson Mountain Reserve in unincorporated Pima County on the northwest side. Coincidentally, it’s Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry’s home subdivision, though he apparently has nothing to do with this situation.

Is $20 too much for the HOA review? $100? $500?

That’s what this HOA wants, $500, to have an architect review Fiore’s plans for a new array of 14 solar panels from Net Zero Solar. The association also wants a $1,000 refundable deposit to ensure the installation happens as submitted. So that’s $1,500 total on top of the approximately $13,000 cost of the installation that Fiore, a climate activist and the widow of a former Air Force F-15 pilot, says she’s been working for.

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