Landslide threatens homes in two HOAs in Santa Clarita (CA)

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By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Two homes have been yellow-tagged and several residents in two HOA-governed communities are on high alert, due to an unexplained landslide in Canyon Country, California. Homeowners speculate that recent heavy rainfall may have triggered the earth movement, which began Monday. By Friday, homeowners of two Terri Drive homes were advised to evacuate, pending a geological investigation of structural damage and the cause of the landslide. CBSLA reports that several Continue ReadingLandslide threatens homes in two HOAs in Santa Clarita (CA)

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

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

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