PA Twp to amend Zoning requirements for private roads

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by Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Every day I see more evidence that creation of homeowners associations (HOA) — with duties to maintain private roads and storm sewers — benefits developers, not homeowners. Real estate developers and home builders don’t want buyers to know the truth. Local governments have a bad habit of relaxing zoning codes to allow for cheaper construction costs and higher density. In industry lingo, density refers to the number of residential Continue ReadingPA Twp to amend Zoning requirements for private roads

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Lake community owners to vote on Watershed Improvement District (VA)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Because its homeowners’ association cannot raise enough money to dredge Timber Lake, Campbell County recently approved a referendum vote to establish Virginia’s second Watershed Improvement District (WID). According to The News & Advance, lake front homeowners will have a chance to vote for or against the WID on March 2. If a majority of homeowners votes in favor of the WID, an official election will take place on April Continue ReadingLake community owners to vote on Watershed Improvement District (VA)

NH real estate developers favor new Housing Appeals Board

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Across the U.S., an “affordable” housing policy war brews between suburban homeowners and promoters of New Urbanism.” For readers who aren’t familiar with the terminology, the international organization, Congress for the New Urbanism, defines the concept as follows: New Urbanism is a planning and development approach based on the principles of how cities and towns had been built for the last several centuries: walkable blocks and streets, housing and Continue ReadingNH real estate developers favor new Housing Appeals Board

Good government leaders could end double taxation of HOA property owners

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By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities A few days ago, I explained, by example, the outrageous reason that local governments mandate homeowners’ associations for all new residential development: double taxation. For decades, most government leaders bought into the misguided notion that they could privatize public services by shifting responsibility to HOAs. Under the guise of saving money and keeping property taxes low, city and county governments created the ultimate bait and switch scheme. But in the Continue ReadingGood government leaders could end double taxation of HOA property owners