Arizona law protects individual homeowners’ private property rights to solar access by dissolving any local covenant, restriction or condition attached to a property deed that restricts the use of solar energy. This law sustained a legal challenge in 2000. A Maricopa County Superior Court judge ruled in favor of homeowners in a lawsuit filed by their homeowners association seeking to force the homeowners to remove roof-top solar panels. The judge found that the association's "guidelines combined with [its] conduct 'effectively prohibited' the defendants from placing solar heating devices on their residence, contrary to the provisions of A.R.S.-33-439 (A)." The opinion can be reviewed at GARDEN LAKES COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION INC v. MADIGAN.
Senate Bill 1254, enacted in July 2007, stipulates that a homeowners association may not prohibit the installation or use of solar-energy devices (panels and associated devices). An association may, however, adopt reasonable rules regarding the placement of a solar device if those rules do not prevent the installation of the device, impair the functioning of the device, restrict its use, or adversely affect the cost or efficiency of the device. The bill also grants reasonable attorney fees to any party who substantially prevails in litigation against an association's board of directors.
The Arizona Legislature passed ARS-33-439 in 1979 in order to protect individual homeowners private property rights to use solar energy.
- A.R.S. Â§ 33-1816 (33-1816 - Solar energy devices; reasonable restrictions; fees and costs)
- A.R.S. Â§33-439 (33-439 - Restrictions on installation or use of solar energy devices invalid; exception)
Also see Arizona SB 1417-2016 impacts
Interesting article on Enforceability of HOA Regulations (but it is really an advertisement that is not endorsed by the Arizona Solar Center, Inc.)