The Nebraska Judiciary Committee recently heard testimony on a proposal that would prohibit homeowners associations (HOAs) from restricting the installation of solar panels. LB1119, introduced by Lincoln Sen. George Dungan, would prohibit HOAs from restricting the installation and use of solar panels in any covenant, declaration, bylaw, deed contract or other agreement. Under the bill, any regulations prohibiting solar installations would be deemed void, and homeowners would have a civil cause of action if a violation occurred.
Homeowners, within reason, should be able to do what they wish with their property, Dungan said. The bill would not harm any person or entity, he said, but rather would allow landowners to improve their homes without infringement of their personal property rights.
Al Davis testified in support of the bill on behalf of the Nebraska chapter of the Sierra Club. Davis said there is no evidence that homes with solar panels lower the value of neighboring properties.
“Solar panels on a roof are not an eyesore but an adaptation to a new technology, which is helping our planet reduce the use of fossil fuels and should be encouraged rather than opposed by local and state governments,” Davis said.
Merlyn Bartels of Lincoln testified in opposition to LB1119. He expressed concern that installing solar panels on a home could increase costs for people who obtain property insurance through their HOA.
The committee took no immediate action on his proposal.
News item from Nebraska Legislature