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Palos Verdes Estates HOA Wants $200 For Solar Panel Sign-Off

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We've got all the makings of a classic NIMBY tale down in the Palos Verdes Estates, where a snooty homeowners association is doing battle with a tenacious solar panel peddler. Bradley Bartz owns ABC Solar, and he objects to the policies of the "quasi-governmental" Palos Verdes Homes Association ("considered by many to be stodgy"), which require a $200 fee and a review by the architects of the "infamously fussy art jury" for any homeowner who wants to install solar panels on his house, reports the Daily Breeze. Years after doing battle with the PVHA over blue-colored solar panels, Bartz has filed a complaint with the California attorney general's office, saying that the review process is a violation of state law, which says that "the timely and cost-effective installation of solar energy systems is not a municipal affair?but is instead a matter of statewide concern." The paper says "That concern says local agencies may not adopt laws 'that create unreasonable barriers' to the installation of such systems 'including, but not limited to, design review for aesthetic purposes.'"

One of Bartz's clients is caught up in all the fussing--a couple years ago, Bartz installed solar panels on a Palos Verdes house without getting permission from the art jury (because he believes he doesn't need it). Now his client's been "red-tagged"--he can't do any work on his home until the $200 is submitted and the Association does its review. But meanwhile, the Association sounds like they have no problem with solar panels, so long as they get their fee: they "approved three solar panel projects within the last week?including an application filed by Bartz." Image via ABC Solar
· Solar installer clashes with homeowners group [Daily Breeze]