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BILL AS INTRODUCED 2007-2008

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S.302

Introduced by   Senator McCormack of Windsor District

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Planning; ordinances; conveyances; renewable energy devices

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to require that new highway construction include paved shoulders adequate for bicycle and pedestrian traffic.  It proposes to prohibit municipal ordinances and bylaws from prohibiting the installation of solar collectors, clotheslines, or other energy devices based on renewable energy resources, a prohibition that does not extend to patio railings in condominiums, cooperatives, or apartments.  It proposes to prohibit deed restrictions or covenants that would prohibit installation of solar collectors, clotheslines, or other energy devices based on renewable energy devices, a prohibition that does not extend to patio railings in condominiums, cooperatives, or apartments.

AN ACT RELATING TO ASSURING THE ABILITY TO INSTALL RENEWABLE ENERGY DEVICES, AND REQUIRING NEW ROAD CONSTRUCTION TO HAVE SHOULDERS ADEQUATE FOR USE BY BICYCLISTS AND PEDESTRIANS

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:


Sec. 1.  19 V.S.A. § 2310 is amended to read:

§ 2310.  PAVEMENT OF HIGHWAY SHOULDERS

(a)  Notwithstanding the provisions of section 10c of this title, it is the policy of the state to provide paved shoulders on major state highways with the intent to develop an integrated bicycle route system and to make it easier and safer for pedestrian traffic.  This shall not apply to the interstate highway and certain other limited access highways.

(b)  Any construction, or reconstruction, including upgrading and resurfacing projects on these highways, shall include paved shoulders unless the agency deems certain sections to be cost prohibitive.  Any new construction shall include paved shoulders adequate to accommodate bicycle and pedestrian traffic.

Sec. 2.  24 V.S.A. § 2291a is added to read:

§ 2291a.  RENEWABLE ENERGY DEVICES

Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, no municipality, by ordinance, resolution, or other enactment, shall prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting the installation of solar collectors, clotheslines, or other energy devices based on renewable resources.  This section shall not apply to patio railings in condominiums, cooperatives, or apartments.


Sec. 3.  24 V.S.A. § 4413(g) is added to read:

(g)  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, a bylaw adopted under this chapter shall not prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting the installation of solar collectors, clotheslines, or other energy devices based on renewable resources.

Sec. 4.  27 V.S.A. § 544 is added to read:

§ 544.  ENERGY DEVICES BASED ON RENEWABLE RESOURCES

(a)  No deed restrictions, covenants, or similar binding agreements running with the land shall prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting solar collectors, clotheslines, or other energy devices based on renewable resources from being installed on buildings erected on the lots or parcels covered by the deed restrictions, covenants, or binding agreements.  A property owner may not be denied permission to install solar collectors or other energy devices based on renewable resources by any entity granted the power or right in any deed restriction, covenant, or similar binding agreement to approve, forbid, control, or direct alteration of property with respect to residential dwellings not exceeding three stories in height.  For purposes of this subsection, that entity may determine the specific location where solar collectors may be installed on the roof within an orientation to the south or within 45° east or west of due south, provided that this determination does not impair the effective operation of the solar collectors.

(b)  In any litigation arising under the provisions of this section, the prevailing party shall be entitled to costs and reasonable attorney's fees.

(c)  The legislative intent in enacting this section is to protect the public health, safety, and welfare by encouraging the development and use of renewable resources in order to conserve and protect the value of land, buildings, and resources by preventing the adoption of measures which will have the ultimate effect, however unintended, of driving the costs of owning and operating commercial or residential property beyond the capacity of private owners to maintain.  This section shall not apply to patio railings in condominiums, cooperatives, or apartments.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us