17 February, 2012
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Imagine living in a jurisdiction where the HOA or condominium corporation can deny your document requests with impunity. If you live in Colorado, that is exactly what can, and does, happen. State legislation indicates the association can deny providing documents unless there is “proper purpose” for the request.
There is absolutely no way to determine proper purpose, and owners are being forced to hire lawyers in order to get the documents they need. That is totally ridiculous.
Thankfully it looks like HOA regulations in Colorado are going to get a huge overhaul. In 2011 the state started tracking complaints voiced against HOAs – and the information is amazing. Complaints are not focused on pets, parking, and paint – which most people have always assumed. The complaints are about board and associations being closed for review, tightly controlled, and abusive in the use of their power.
From the 2011 Annual Report of the HOA Information and Resource Centre:
An additional and perhaps one of the more troubling complaint types the Office heard was that
the HOA board or manager was harassing, discriminating or retaliating against homeowners.
Many homeowners felt that their boards had singled them out and were arbitrarily fining them
for violations, when they were not in violation; engaging in selective enforcement of covenants;
and precluding them from participating in meetings.
The 2011 Report is a great read – and truly eye opening about the nature of a person’s relationship with their HOA. It’s a well suggested read for anyone involved in condominium and HOA work.
Anyways, it’s always nice to write a blog post about how a group or organization “gets HOAs and Condominiums” and a big, positive, tip of the hat to the Colorado State Legislature in drafting new legislation to address some well needed change.
7 February, 2012
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Gateway Plaza Condominium Association, Vail Colorado, has been unsuccessful in preventing the Arthrex company from opening a surgical training centre in their complex.
The complex, a mixed use building, holds 9 residential condos and about 9 current commercial tenants (realtors, a couple marketing/media companies, designers, financial advisors, and some home contractors and an upscale restaurant). The space Arthrex is looking to utilize previously held a medical office with OB/GYN and ear, nose and throat doctors.
Charles Lipton, president of the condo association, in what I can only read as an act of pettiness and donkey-ness, has indicated the board will examine fining the company for every day it runs the surgical training center. This is a classic example of a board looking at its quasi-judicial powers, and the ability to be their own judge, jury, and executioner (as the real courts didn’t award them their court case) to sledgehammer whoever ticks them off or fails to meet their level of decency.
Hey, if you don’t win in a actual, honest to goodness, real court – you might as well utilize your divine right of condominium to correct that!
Arthrex’s cardinal sin – the surgical (note “surgical”) training lab will utilize parts of actual cadavers. Specifically, the training will use human joints in educating surgeons on orthopedic procedures.
It’s not like the training lab is serving Soylent Green. There’s already a restaurant in the complex.
1 November, 2011
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In Parker Colorado partners Aimee Whitchurch and Christel Conklin get to receive free community presents. One day it is “Kill The Gay” painted across their garage door, and another it is a noose laid at their front door.
Most HOA have rules about the appearance of garage doors. So when the HOA came over and painted (I use “painted” very loosely here) over the words in white paint (link to news video showing crappy whitewashing), where the garage door is otherwise brown, and obviously paid no attention to the work (there’s paint splatter all over the driveway, and the coverage is a mess) – it’s the little detail that says “this HOA are a bunch of shits”.
The HOA has a responsibility to make everyone’s lives safe, secure, and supportive. When a unit is targeted by hate (it is hate, plain and simple) – the board should be the first out there to offer whatever they can, and they should step up to the plate. The message should always be tolerance as an HOA is a communal living agreement, with many people, of all walks of life. If you fail to give up on one, you give up on all.
As a bonus gift, they are under constant surveillance from a neighbour who continually keeps a video camera pointed to their house! With such supportive neighbours who are so worried about the two women’s home and health, it should only me a matter of time before the footage is turned over and the culprits captured.