Maine law requires that any municipal ordinance, bylaw, or regulation adopted after September 30, 2009 regulating solar energy devices on residential property follow certain requirements. The rules, bylaws, and regulations of homeowner associations (HOAs) must also follow these requirements. Specifically, these legal instruments may not prohibit a person from installing or using a solar energy device (including a clothesline or drying rack) on residential property owned by that person. In the case of a leased/rented property, the policy protects the renter’s right to use a clothesline or drying rack.
Ordinances, bylaws, or regulations may reasonably restrict the installation and use of solar energy devices to protect public health and safety, buildings from damage, historic/aesthetic values (when a comparable alternative is available), and to protect shorelands (under shoreland zoning provisions). Legal instruments may restrict the use of solar energy devices on residential property that is commonly owned with third parties or in the common areas of condominiums.