Having built a swimming pool for his children in his backyard, Matt Burdick of Chandler, Arizona planned to heat it in winter with solar hot water panels. It would be an environmentally responsible and economical way to heat a non-essential part of his home, he thought. But the $5,000 panels had not been in place on his roof for long before he received an official letter ordering their removal. Not from the State of Arizona, the local police department or the Chandler Planning Department, but from the Homeowners' Association of which he was a dues-paying member.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that individual homeowners trying to 'go green' still face an uphill battle when dealing with HOA boards, but when state laws are on their side the scales usually tip in the homeowners favor.