Private Communities and Societal Norms

In 1992, when planned communities came under heavy criticism and CAI resorted to an intensive lobbying effort, a Journal of Land Use and Environmental Law paper by Todd Brower said the following, among other things:

“By creating distinct community norms and amenities, common interest developments promote the value of private autonomy and personal liberty … Therefore, the ability to structure one’s private environment and to create a shelter from society [in which any goes] becomes particularly valuable, especially in and around the home”.

This holds true today when most HOA residents want to control who can do what next door to maintain property values. But the author continues with,

“Accordingly, to provide this separate sheltered environment. residential association regulations have pervaded community life … residential associations have the power to enter an individual’s home to inspect for violations of residential restrictions and may forcibly expel a non-conforming member from the community … the personal autonomy of some individuals entails joining other like-minded persons in homogeneous communities which must then suppress the individualism of its members to preserve the counter-culture nature of the association. Thus, sometimes personal autonomy and individual liberty in common ownership situations intrude upon other substantive societal values.”

In other words, we must play by the rules for the benefit of property values and to do this the HOA must take away your rights and freedoms. And, the courts have accepted this proposition that you fully agreed to surrender your rights. Brower adds, “The essential premise of a residential private government is that it is fully consensual … this assumption is problematic”.

What has happened, we may ask, in the ensuing 12 years to allow the Arizona Legislature, and other state legisaltures, to pass laws like, taking away the homestead protection, not providing constitutional due process, and allowing HOA attorneys to highly profit from an abuse of the legal system in regard to HOA foreclosures and fines?

Surely, not the influence of the CAI’s, non-enemy, lobbying efforts and the failure of homeowners to effectively organize opposition.

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Published in: on September 3, 2004 at 3:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

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