GA: HOA conflict over gated entry heats up

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities

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Not long ago, I shared a report of a DeKalb County GA community, where owners were shocked to learn that the $80,000 security gate they had previously rejected due to lack of funds, was later approved by the Board president to the tune of $135,000.

Well, now there’s a follow up report, following a Fox 5 News interview with Brighton Village President Michael Pillow. Check out Pillow’s side of the story.

HOA tries to oust board (VIDEO)

http://www.fox5atlanta.com/news/i-team/113298140-story

 

One fact that is not reported: most HOA governing documents specify that at least a majority of members must approve a material change to the community. According to both reports, no gates existed prior to the current installation. Therefore, adding gated entries would create a material change. But homeowners say no vote was taken, and, according to the previous report, no board of directors vote was taken either.

If those allegations are true, then one person’s “take charge” behavior has created a commitment of all fellow owners to pay for installation and ongoing maintenance of a gated entry system, like it or not.

The video report touches on a few points that don’t appear in the transcript. For one thing, the HOA is now using the gated entry as a way to shake down owners that happen to be in default on their assessments. Anyone who owes money to Brighton Village is now unable to enter with their vehicle through the new gate. They now have to park outside the gates and walk in.

This is the HOA’s new, creative collections strategy, I guess.

Fox 5’s Dana Fowle also reports that there have been threats of physical violence over the contentious issue. Many owners are very upset about the looming special assessment for the new gate.

And if an owner cannot afford that unexpected special assessment – for something they really didn’t want in the first place – they will now have to park their vehicles outside the $135,000 gate and walk back and forth to their own homes? Or, even worse, owners may face the threat of a lien against their properties, and possible foreclosure? Really?

As is predictable in these situations, owners have attempted to recall Pillow and some fellow members of the board, but their attempt was unsuccessful. Next on the agenda: the attempt to “vote the bums out.”

Will that be successful? I suppose we’ll have to wait and see.

 


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