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HF 2918

2nd Engrossment - 88th Legislature (2013 - 2014) Posted on 03/26/2014 02:09pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language. underscored = added, new language.



Version List Authors and Status

A bill for an act
relating to real property; prohibiting certain restrictions on the use of residential
solar energy systems;amending Minnesota Statutes 2012, sections 515.07;
515B.2-103; 515B.3-102; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes,
chapter 500.


Section 1.


Subdivision 1.

General rule.

A private entity may not prohibit or refuse to permit
installation, maintenance, or use of a roof-mounted solar energy system by the owner of a
single-family dwelling notwithstanding any covenant, restriction, or condition contained
in a deed, security instrument, homeowners association document, or any other instrument
affecting the transfer, sale of, or an interest in real property, except as provided in this

Subd. 2.


This section applies to single-family dwellings, whether
attached or detached, where the dwelling owner is responsible for maintenance, repair,
replacement, and insurance of the roof of the dwelling.

Subd. 3.


(a) The definitions in this subdivision apply to this section.

(b) "Private entity" means a homeowners association, community association, or
other association that is subject to a homeowners association document.

(c) "Homeowners association document" means a document containing the
declaration, articles of incorporation, bylaws, or rules and regulations of:

(1) a common interest community, as defined in section 515B.1-103, regardless of
whether the common interest community is subject to chapter 515B; and

(2) a residential community that is not a common interest community.

(d) "Solar energy system" has the meaning given in section 216C.06, subdivision 17.

Subd. 4.

Allowable conditions.

(a) This section does not prohibit a private entity
from requiring that:

(1) a licensed contractor install a solar energy system;

(2) a roof-mounted solar energy system not extend above the peak of a pitched roof
or beyond the edge of the roof;

(3) the owner or installer of a solar energy system indemnify or reimburse the private
entity or its members for loss or damage caused by the installation, maintenance, use,
repair, or removal of a solar energy system;

(4) the owner and each successive owner of a solar energy system list the private
entity as a certificate holder on the homeowner's insurance policy; or

(5) the owner and each successive owner of a solar energy system be responsible for
removing the system if reasonably necessary for the repair, maintenance, or replacement
of common elements or limited common elements, as defined in section 515B.1-103.

(b) A private entity may impose other reasonable restrictions on the installation,
maintenance, or use of solar energy systems, provided that those restrictions do not decrease
the projected generation of energy by a solar energy system by more than 20 percent or
increase its cost by more than (1) 20 percent, for a solar water heater, or (2) $2,000, for a
solar photovoltaic system, compared with the generation of energy and the cost of labor
and materials certified by the designer or installer of the solar energy system as originally
proposed without the restrictions. A private entity may obtain an alternative bid and
design from a solar energy system designer or installer for the purposes of this paragraph.

(c) A solar energy system must meet applicable standards and requirements imposed
by the state and by governmental units, as defined in section 462.384.

(d) A solar energy system for heating water must be certified by the Solar Rating
Certification Corporation (SRCC) or an equivalent certification agency. A solar energy
system for producing electricity must meet all applicable safety and performance standards
established by the National Electrical Code, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics
Engineers, and accredited testing laboratories, including, but not limited to, Underwriters
Laboratories and, where applicable, rules of the Public Utilities Commission regarding
safety and reliability.

(e) If approval by a private entity is required for the installation or use of a solar
energy system, the application for approval must be processed and approved in the same
manner as an application for approval of an architectural modification to the property,
and must not be willfully avoided or delayed. A private entity shall approve or deny an
application in writing. If an application is not denied in writing within 60 days from the
date of receipt of the application, the application is deemed approved unless the delay is
the result of a reasonable request for additional information.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 515.07, is amended to read:


Each apartment owner shall comply strictly with the bylaws and with the
administrative rules adopted pursuant thereto, as either of the same may be lawfully
amended from time to time, and with the covenants, conditions, and restrictions set forth in
the declaration or in the owner's deed to the apartment. Failure to comply with any of the
same shall be ground for an action to recover sums due, for damages or injunctive relief or
both maintainable by the manager or board of directors on behalf of the association of
apartment owners or, in a proper case, by an aggrieved apartment owner. This chapter is
subject to section sections 500.215 and 500.216.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 515B.2-103, is amended to read:


(a) All provisions of the declaration and bylaws are severable.

(b) The rule against perpetuities may not be applied to defeat any provision of
the declaration or this chapter, or any instrument executed pursuant to the declaration
or this chapter.

(c) In the event of a conflict between the provisions of the declaration and the
bylaws, the declaration prevails except to the extent that the declaration is inconsistent
with this chapter.

(d) The declaration and bylaws must comply with section sections 500.215 and

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 515B.3-102, is amended to read:


(a) Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c), and subject to the provisions of the
declaration or bylaws, the association shall have the power to:

(1) adopt, amend and revoke rules and regulations not inconsistent with the articles
of incorporation, bylaws and declaration, as follows: (i) regulating the use of the common
elements; (ii) regulating the use of the units, and conduct of unit occupants, which may
jeopardize the health, safety or welfare of other occupants, which involves noise or
other disturbing activity, or which may damage the common elements or other units;
(iii) regulating or prohibiting animals; (iv) regulating changes in the appearance of the
common elements and conduct which may damage the common interest community;
(v) regulating the exterior appearance of the common interest community, including,
for example, balconies and patios, window treatments, and signs and other displays,
regardless of whether inside a unit; (vi) implementing the articles of incorporation,
declaration and bylaws, and exercising the powers granted by this section; and (vii)
otherwise facilitating the operation of the common interest community;

(2) adopt and amend budgets for revenues, expenditures and reserves, and levy and
collect assessments for common expenses from unit owners;

(3) hire and discharge managing agents and other employees, agents, and
independent contractors;

(4) institute, defend, or intervene in litigation or administrative proceedings (i) in
its own name on behalf of itself or two or more unit owners on matters affecting the
common elements or other matters affecting the common interest community or, (ii) with
the consent of the owners of the affected units on matters affecting only those units;

(5) make contracts and incur liabilities;

(6) regulate the use, maintenance, repair, replacement, and modification of the
common elements and the units;

(7) cause improvements to be made as a part of the common elements, and, in the
case of a cooperative, the units;

(8) acquire, hold, encumber, and convey in its own name any right, title, or interest
to real estate or personal property, but (i) common elements in a condominium or planned
community may be conveyed or subjected to a security interest only pursuant to section
515B.3-112, or (ii) part of a cooperative may be conveyed, or all or part of a cooperative
may be subjected to a security interest, only pursuant to section 515B.3-112;

(9) grant or amend easements for public utilities, public rights-of-way or other
public purposes, and cable television or other communications, through, over or under
the common elements; grant or amend easements, leases, or licenses to unit owners for
purposes authorized by the declaration; and, subject to approval by a vote of unit owners
other than declarant or its affiliates, grant or amend other easements, leases, and licenses
through, over or under the common elements;

(10) impose and receive any payments, fees, or charges for the use, rental, or
operation of the common elements, other than limited common elements, and for services
provided to unit owners;

(11) impose interest and late charges for late payment of assessments and, after
notice and an opportunity to be heard before the board or a committee appointed by it,
levy reasonable fines for violations of the declaration, bylaws, and rules and regulations
of the association;

(12) impose reasonable charges for the review, preparation and recordation of
amendments to the declaration, resale certificates required by section 515B.4-107,
statements of unpaid assessments, or furnishing copies of association records;

(13) provide for the indemnification of its officers and directors, and maintain
directors' and officers' liability insurance;

(14) provide for reasonable procedures governing the conduct of meetings and
election of directors;

(15) exercise any other powers conferred by law, or by the declaration, articles
of incorporation or bylaws; and

(16) exercise any other powers necessary and proper for the governance and
operation of the association.

(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a) the declaration or bylaws may not impose
limitations on the power of the association to deal with the declarant which are more
restrictive than the limitations imposed on the power of the association to deal with other

(c) Notwithstanding subsection (a), powers exercised under this section must comply
with section sections 500.215 and 500.216.

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