“The Sky is Falling” Mentality of HOA Legislation

Shared by Deborah Goonan

Vicki MacHale has hit the nail on the head. Some in the HOA industry have serious Control Issues! 

Instead of focusing on civic involvement and social interaction, there’s an unhealthy obsession with maintaining an “always-ready-to-show-to-a-buyer” appearance. Maybe we all need to lighten up.

Originally posted on Linked In Pulse by Vicki MacHale, A.R.K. Management

“The Sky is Falling” Mentality of HOA Legislation

Maybe it’s me, and I just don’t get “it”, but it seems as if each year when new legislation is chaptered, HOA Managers and Board Members go into The Sky is Falling mode. Now don’t get me wrong, there has been some pretty poorly executed legislation in the State of California, but not all of it has been bad.

On October 8th Governor Brown signed AB 1448 into law, officially making California a “Right to Dry” State through limiting an Association’s ability to prohibit clotheslines within separate interest rear yards. On October 9th, and as recent as yesterday, my Facebook Page and various conversations were filled with Doomsday predictions! “Can you believe this? What are these legislators thinking? Can you imagine having to look at granny-panties flopping in the breeze? Property values are going to plummet. What’s next, parking on the grass; old appliances thrown in the yard?” And on. And on. And on.


Perhaps I’ve outlived my usefulness in this industry, or maybe I just don’t get it. My first thought upon learning of this legislation was, “That’s great, I don’t have to deal with the complaints any longer and I no longer have to cart my huge down comforter to the Fluff and Fold to use their large capacity dryer.”

Some of my fondest childhood memories are of running in between drying sheets while playing hide-and-go-seek and snatching clothespins so that I could attach playing cards to my bike spokes. Few things smell or feel better than sleeping between sun dried sheets.

I am all for enforcement of reasonable restrictions. In the case of a clothesline in somebody’s rear yard, call me a rebel, but I don’t think property values are going to plummet. I don’t think we will look into our back yard and see bloomers for as far as the eye can see. As a matter of fact, I think this will blow over much like other Sky is Falling Legislation of the past. The world didn’t stop and property values did not plummet over signs, flags and banners, regardless of the predictions and lost sleep. Most of the associations being skewered in the press over flying of the American Flag are hardly ever in California!

Remember when a solar system installation turned the community on its axis? People don’t even notice them anymore. Many communities have adopted pre-approved architectural guidelines for the installations. While a handful may still complain, nobody has run screaming from the community and property values have kept up with the market. Go figure!

As Managers and community leaders, we need to accept the fact that our world is changing and much of that change is aimed towards limiting Board control through legislation. Watch the video. While entertaining, there is an underlying theme, and it revolves around control issues. Homeowner associations of today are not the same as associations twenty or even ten years ago. Generational differences, forced deed restricted living and dwindling natural resources are creating a metamorphosis. The sky will not fall and the world will not end if we relinquish some control and implement common sense solutions. Not all change is bad, and perhaps, as the metamorphosis continues, focus will shift from over-control to creating Unity through enforcement of restrictions that truly do impact property values.



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