The future of HOAs: Secession from or absorbtion into municipalities?

Over the past 44 years, the mass merchandisers of homeowners associations (see TB#50: The Mass Merchandising of HOAs by ULI) were successful in creating a mindset that HOAs are nothing more than contractual corporations, having nothing to do with governing the people within the community.  The policy makers have accepted that argument, because they have their own “personal” agenda — less work for municipalities.  The justification was easily acceptable given the current trend on the views of big government:  “the voice of the people”, “voluntary consent”, “direct democracy in action”, interference with [unconscionable adhesion] contracts, etc. (See Homeowner Associations: ex post facto amendments, consent to be governed, contracts to avoid the Constitution).
But, there must be some form of governance on the existing subdivisions and their “common areas” and amenities.  That form must be within our Constitution.  The direction to be taken would be the “merging” of these hundreds of HOAs within a county into a handful of municipal entities, as there are townships in states back east, to form  towns and villages. They, of course, would  be subject to the municipality laws of the state.  That is the only way out. It allows a degree of “home rule”, but home rule that, like in other areas of the application of home rule, is subject to state laws on the delegation of county responsibilities and obligations. (See A proposal for the ‘Muni-zation’ of HOAs; Stop developers from granting private government charters).
Or, if we as advocates  fail, the secession of the HOA from the county as Robert Nelson wrote in Private Neighborhoods and the Transformation of Local Government . (See HOA Secession from Local Government: The future of Planned Communities?)   
There are no simple answers — it’s too late for that.  Your choice. 
It’s up to you!

Published in: on July 7, 2008 at 6:31 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] (See also The future of HOAs: Secession from or absorbtion into municipalities?). […]

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