PA Developers appeal N Strabane Twp 2018 Grading Ordinance

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities According to a report in the Observer-Reporter, two developers of planned housing developments in Washington County, Pa., have filed appeals to North Strabane Township’s “Amended Grading and Ordinance of 2018.” Last year, the Township updated its ordinance after a slope failure in the Majestic Hills development led to a catastrophic landslide and demolition of three relatively new homes. The incident led several homeowners to file a lawsuit against the Continue ReadingPA Developers appeal N Strabane Twp 2018 Grading Ordinance

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Condo HOA not helping owners after balconies collapse (KY)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities It’s good to see that local investigative journalists are covering serious condo and HOA issues, including the dangerous collapse of condo balconies. When I first started this website in 2014, TV news reports focused almost exclusively on disputes over flag displays or paint color. While those are common HOA disputes, they only scratch the surface of dysfunction, waste, and abuse in association-governed communities. Some of the worst HOA disputes Continue ReadingCondo HOA not helping owners after balconies collapse (KY)

Who’s responsible for infrastructure failure in these HOAs?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Homebuyers often assume that a new neighborhood development will be free from defects such as infrastructure failure. Consumers often pay a premium price for the advantages of new construction: an attractive community with smooth roads, and good drainage to prevent flooding & erosion. They expect their new or nearly new home to be built upon a solid foundation. Many hold onto the naive belief that local government would never Continue ReadingWho’s responsible for infrastructure failure in these HOAs?

After a mudslide in this Hawaii community, HOA members assessed $3,900

Hawaii mountains hillsides clouds

Many owners of property in association-governed communities have a fundamental misunderstanding of the concept of “common interest.”   By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Today’s feature article about special assessments features mudslide-plagued Launani Valley in Mililani, Hawaii. The community of more than 800 homes was originally established in 1992-1993. As the reader can see in the photos taken by Civil Beat, several homes were built in cul-de-sacs, with back yards at the foot of steep Continue ReadingAfter a mudslide in this Hawaii community, HOA members assessed $3,900