Avon Town Council denies Wildridge resident Tom Ruemmler’s solar project
AVON — Calling into question the role of homeowner associations in shaping development approvals, the Avon Town Council denied Wildridge resident Tom Ruemmler’s solar roof project on Tuesday, Oct. 23.
The project had not received approval from Ruemmler’s home owner association, but the town’s planning and zoning commission reviewed it nonetheless during the summer of 2018.
The three-part project — a storage area, deck and solar roof — received partial approval with the commission agreeing to the storage area and deck while denying the solar roof. Ruemmler appealed the decision to the Town Council, seeking approval of all three phases.
Ruemmler’s homeowner association responded by putting a temporary restraining order on the project, which was issued on Oct. 22.
“We will continue to work through the legal process to stop not only the roof, but the entire addition,” said homeowner association president Hugh Joyce. “Our legal case is addressing all three, and we’re asking the judge to put a permanent restraining order so that none can be built.”
Council member Matt Gennett said he doesn’t think decisions like that one should be settled in court.
“It could be avoided very easily on the front end by requiring an HOA letter of approval if you are in an active HOA,” Gennett said.
‘BIG WASTE OF TIME’
Town attorney Eric Heil said compliance with homeowner associations is not among the town’s review criteria, and while some planned unit development agreements in Avon say the town will not accept an application without HOA approval, Wildridge is not among them.
“Theoretically, they could come in and amend their PUD and add that,” Gennett pointed out.
“Yes, there’s a process, you could amend the PUD,” Heil said.
Without association approval, the project will not be built anyway, Gennett said, as it will receive an injunction from the court which restrains any further action.
“It’s a big waste of time,” said Mayor Jennie Fancher.
Ruemmler was not present for the hearing, which was the council’s second attempt at reviewing his appeal after a prior review was tabled on Oct. 9.
Following the hearing, Ruemmler said that his homeowner association — the Beaver Creek Point Association — is a good example of why Avon should not make association requirements a necessary component community development department review.
“The 2001 Beaver Creek Point Association Inc. governing documents do not have nine items required by state law,” Ruemmler wrote in an email. “To show you how poor the documents are, a quorum is 20 percent of the five members. This equals one member.”