Don't mind me, just letting off steam

Sorry, I need to rant for a bit on the latest permitting hassles.

So we're doing a pretty standard on-grid job in an unnamed county only to find out that, for this HOA, they require the planset to be stamped on every page by the HOA prior to submission. Ok, track those people down wait a couple weeks for their meeting, get approval. County accepts application only to tell that - oh by the way, if the house is pre-1993, it needs to have the roof reengineered to 40psf snow load. Homeowner is having trouble coming up with documentation that he bought the spec house in 1994 and could have been built to earlier specs anyway, builder is out of business, county records are somehow absent on this property .... In the meantime, on another job in a nearby AHJ, we find the utility is changing requirements and no longer allows solar disconnects behind a fence. (used to be just a problem with locked fences) Of course, this affects the new job. Need to revise the drawings, resubmit them to the HOA. (go to jail, do not pass go) Plus the utility now requires drawings submitted to them to be stamped by the AHJ, so the whole frustrating business is now a serial process where when anything goes wrong you have to start all over.

The sunshot initiative is doomed. Not only are there 10,000 little feifdoms around the country controlling every little move we make, each with different requirements, but even worse, its a moving target, with these masters of control continually changing the rules!



  • solar_davesolar_dave Solar Expert Posts: 2,389 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Don't mind me, just letting off steam

    LMAO, sorry for your pain but life in the new technology world is always a moving target. When we did the panel add to our system we ran into the new rule of 3 foot fire department clearance to allow for smoke venting. Fortunately they grandfathered our system in because it was less than 12 months old and would require a full reset of the panels to accomplish (there was only 2 sections of the roof totaling about 30% of the ridge where we did not meet the 3 foot rule). The AHJ inspector did hem and haw until he called the permitting office and spoke to the person who signed off on it. My impression was it would not happen again and the rule had just been put into effect.

    APS and the AHJ did require an AC disconnect and solar production meter outside the fenced area from day one, I think they both understood that a DC disconnect should be at the inverters. APS did add a lock to the disconnect so servicing things are a bit of a pain, but flipping the interconnect breaker achieves the same thing. Sounds like I am lucky that our house was built in 1997. I was pretty sure the AHJ drawings went to APS as well.

    I will not get into HOA carp, needless to say I had to drag out the solar rights laws of AZ and threaten court action to get them to buckle. Our HOA has a couple lawyers on the board BTW, I think they told them it would be a losing battle. They did require that we file AHJ approved drawings to the HOA for the perfunctory approval. I was sweating that they would make us paint the frames/racks to match the roof but the subject never came up but they can do that as part of the AZ law.

    Sounds like they have you in the big circle jerk and you are the pivot man.
  • rollandelliottrollandelliott Solar Expert Posts: 834 ✭✭
    Re: Don't mind me, just letting off steam

    I think the ultimate solution is to make legislation that get HOA's out of the picture.
    Sad thing is even though places like AZ and FL have pro solar laws they still give HOA's enough room to be an annoyance.
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