Want to turn your house green? Not if your homeowner association can help it.

April 26, 2007 | By | 3 Replies More

According to Alternet, instead of applauding those new solar panels you just installed, your homeowner association might sue you:

On April 14, in more than 1,400 locations from coast to coast, Americans rallied around the goal of reducing carbon emissions by 80 percent within the next four decades. On April 22, the San Francisco Chronicle‘s Earth Day editorial spoke for millions of us when it urged, “The whole planet, with billions of people and scores of governments, must work together on the same page. It’s the only way to curb the global threats of rising temperatures, dirty air and polluted and life-depleted oceans. One day in late April isn’t enough.”

But too many cities, counties, towns and subdivisions are still working off the wrong “page” by banning ecologically sound practices and even mandating consumption and waste. Rooted in outdated aesthetics and plain old snobbery, those regulations make less sense than ever on a planet in peril . . .

Homeowner association regulations often make environmental responsibility impossible by outlawing clotheslines, solar panels — even gardens.

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Category: Consumerism, Energy, Environment

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (3)

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  1. grumpypilgrim says:

    A real estate developer bought a house a relative of mine recently sold. One of the changes the developer made to "update" the house was to remove the front screen door. The house sits on a nice wooded lot, and the shade provided cool cross-ventilation through the house on all but the hottest (95+ degrees) summer days. But that was if the front door was open, which will no longer be practical without a screen door to keep out bugs. Now, the house will require air conditioning throughout the summer.

    Some people in our society call this "progress." I call it stupid.

  2. Dan Klarmann says:

    Anti-clothesline ordinances are common. Ecologically unsound (net carbon generating) grass lawns are often mandated, as opposed to climate appropriate, non-mowed ground covers like ivy, creeping juniper, creeping phlox, etc.

  3. Skblllzzzz says:

    In The Netherlands many municipalities still do not allow laundry outside the house. These rules stem from the time when rich people had their laundry done by poor people, which meant that you could easily distinguish rich from poor by the laundry outside on the grass (bleaching).

    So banning laundry outside was an easy way for municipalities of looking rich, and depriving a few more poor people from a source of income.

    As far as I know these rules are no longer enforced, but they might come in handy some day, so they are still maintained……

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