This week’s stories from HOAville: (Aug. 4, 2019)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities

This week: Home and condo owners face steep special assessments and challenge their HOA boards; HOA dismantles resident’s memorial to his deceased child; Florida CDD accused of abusing its power.

Condo owners object to hefty special assessments for structural balcony repairs (MI)

According to some owners interviewed for Channel 13, Village at Grand Landing Condominium Association is threatening to foreclose on residential unit owners who don’t pay another $10,000 special assessment to repair balcony bump-outs.

Apparently, this most recent demand is in addition to previously-imposed assessments. As a result, quite a few homeowners don’t trust the condo board.

Of course, homeowners want to see quotes and receipts for these expensive repairs before they pay thousands of dollars more to the HOA.

If the HOA board doesn’t provide access to records, a group of condo owners is threatening to sue.


Grand Haven condo owners may sue association over balcony repairs
Repairs costs for the balconies are $10,000.
Author: Noah Fromson, 13 On Your Side
Published: 6:51 PM EDT July 31, 2019
Updated: 6:51 PM EDT July 31, 2019


HOA trashes items from daughter’s memorial (SC)

The board of Yacht Cove HOA says it received ‘numerous complaints’ about stuffed animals and toys being left on a bench near the bronze memorial of Charli Bobinchuck.

The girl was reportedly killed at the age of 11, after being hit by a vehicle in a crosswalk near her home.

But, in response to complaints, someone from the HOA simply tossed the memorial tokens into a trash bags and left the bags in Charli’s father’s front yard.

Maybe the HOA could have handled this situation with a bit more sensitivity?


“Let’s not do it this way”: Hilton Head HOA removes items from memorial of 11-year-old girl
Brian Bobinchuck says home owners association removed items from memorial to daughter, who was killed last year.
Jacson Kurtz, WJCL 22

Townhouse owners don’t agree on how to share costs for new roof project (IA)

Many people buy into a townhouse community thinking their HOA fees will cover the cost of exterior maintenance needed in the future. But the reality is, most HOAs don’t save in advance for major expenses such as roof replacement.

Pinewood Glens Townhome Association is now grappling with that reality, as owners face a special assessment of about $6,000 per home.

To complicate manners, 42 of the 72 townhomes have all-season rooms, 30 do not. Homeowners without all-season rooms think their neighbors with more roof area to replace should pay a higher special assessment. It’s only fair, they say.

Most of the board members own homes with all-season rooms, and they’re in favor of charging everyone a “uniform” assessment.

Obviously, this will be a hot topic of discussion at the community’s next HOA meeting.


In an HOA, should everyone pay the same for a new roof?

Lee Rood, Des Moines RegisterPublished 4:40 p.m. CT Aug. 2, 2019

HOA objects to curbside American flag emblems (AZ)

When homeowners in Peoria’s Westbrook Village community had their house numbers painted on the curb in front of their homes, several also added a small decorative emblem of the American flag.

Predictably, the HOA objected, and ordered homeowners to paint over the flag. The HOA says it’s a matter of safety. But several homeowners think the HOA is just being petty and unpatriotic.

The homeowner interviewed for this story, Jim West, almost seems to be challenging the HOA to escalate the dispute to the point of taking his home.

And that just might happen, especially if the HOA imposes stiff fines for noncompliance with community restrictions, and West digs in his heels and refuses to pay.

Just ask Larry Murphree, a Veteran who eventually had to sell his HOA home at a loss, following a protracted legal battle over his display of a small flag in a flower pot.

Unfortunately, the HOA industry has made certain that state laws favor the HOA in disputes over enforcement of covenants, restrictions, and rules.


HOA tells Peoria homeowners to paint over American flags painted on curb
Jason Barry, 3TV/CBS 5
Posted Aug 1, 2019

Condo association settled Fair Housing complaint (NJ)

In its investigation, HUD determined that staff from the Hudson Harbour Condominium Association discriminated against a resident with vision and hearing disabilities by insisting that she use the service entrance and cage her service animal in the common areas.

Tell me, how can a service animal do its job if it’s locked up in a cage? How absurd.

Of course the condo association settled! But they didn’t admit guilt.

HUD ordered the HOA to pay $30,000 to the resident, and have its board members and staff attend Fair Housing training. But will this penalty deter discrimination in the future? That remains to be seen.


HUD Order Settles Claims of Discrimination Against Hudson Harbour Condominium Association In Edgewater
July 29, 2019, 3:58 pm |

Homeowner says his “HOA CDD” went overboard by banning him from the fitness center for a year (FL)

Homeowner Chris Novello admits to allowing his 12-year-old son use the fitness center, despite a safety rule that youths must be at least 13 years old to use the exercise equipment. When he got caught, the owner also admits he became angry and verbally abusive.

The homeowner apologized for his outburst, but the “HOA CDD” banned him from using the fitness center for a full year, pending the outcome of his appeal.

Aside from the obvious story line, what I find most interesting is that the news reporter and the homeowner conflate the CDD (Community Development District) with the HOA (Homeowners Association).

A CDD is a public unit of local government, initiated at the request of a real estate developer, and controlled by that developer for at least the first 6 years of new home construction. An HOA is a private organization, and in Florida, it’s usually a non-profit corporation.

Although the CDD and HOA often co-exist and work in tandem, they are two separate organizations creating two additional layers of governance.  In Julington Creek, the CDD maintains and manages the recreational facilities, including the fitness center. The Property Owners Association (POA or HOA) enforces covenants.

So this Veteran must answer to TWO masters in his master planned community. ♦


Veteran says he’s being banned from fitness center by his HOA is ‘absurd’
On July 11 he apparently failed to toe the line.

Author: Kenneth Amaro
Published: 7:05 PM EDT July 19, 2019
Updated: 4:39 PM EDT July 20, 2019

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