Arizona Senators debate HOA legal status

 The Voice of Times Past  and the Voice of Times Present

 

A lengthy exchange, exemplifying  the polarized views of the HOA legal concept occurred between two committee members  during the Senate VMGA Committee hearing on SB 1113, control of public roadways  (Jan. 31, 2012).  I refer to the two Senators as the Voice of Times Past and the Voice of Times Present.

Senator  John Nelson, Times Past,  speaks from the past and echoes the pro-HOA themes of maintaining property values, of freedom of contract, and unquestioned consent to agree  and full compliance with contract law.  His position speaks in favor of HOAs as independent principalities above all other laws of the land, holding that private parties can contract to avoid the Constitution and laws of the land.

I do not mean to be disrespectful,   as the Senator appears to truly believe in his position — and we all are entitled to our beliefs — yet he  has not realized the implications of his beliefs on his duties and obligations as a state senator.   He has  failed to address the consequences and impact on society of such beliefs, which have become  ingrained and dogmatic over the many years

Senator Frank Antenori, Times Present, speaks of constitutional infringements by the HOA legal concept and of violations  of our principles of democratic government by de facto  private entities unaccountable under the Constitution. These issues were  also raised by the bill sponsor, Senator Nancy Barto. 

What is apparent in this exchange is that to resolve the alleged safety issues on street parking, the HOA simply refuses to make use of the legal vehicle of seeking planning board variations, thus making this a political power issue between public government and private HOA principalities.  Furthermore, putting “we can contract to do anything we want,” even to ignore the laws of the land, is an absurdity too often used by those seeking unrestrained power, and too  often irresponsibly thrown about.  Case law has repeatedly rejected any such unqualified authority. 

(It should be noted that CAI did not speak at this hearing, and it’s member blog did not address constitutional issues of de facto private governments seeking special treatment above the laws of the land).

What  the Voice of Times Yet To Come  will have to say depends on what occurs today, in Arizona, and  in all state legislatures across the country.   Will the 200 plus year American experiment in democratic government be extinguished by a successful second, 48 year American experiment in private, authoritarian government functioning  under fascist principles?

The bill squeaked by and was passed by a 4 – 3 vote.

 The complete public video of the hearing can be found in the Arizona Legislature video archives for that hearing (click here).   Jump to 39:00 minutes for the 30 minute exchange.  After viewing the video, you will better understand how HOAs have become a second political government at the local level, and what legislative obstacles lay in the way to susbstantive HOA reform legislation. 

At about the same time as this Arizona debate, an NPR radio talk show took place  in Charlotte, NC (WFAE,  Charlotte Talks, Mike Collins, host)  that also addressed the good, the bad and the ugly of HOAs.  It is well worth listening too, as it also addresses public policy concerns. The link can be found at the  North Carolina Coalition for Homeowners Rights website.

See also, 

1.  Evan McKenzie’s Privatopia Papers contribution to the constitutional issues debate, HOA debate: illegitimate government and invalid CC&Rs contract.

2.  HOA-Land — the failure to democratize.

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Published in: on February 1, 2012 at 10:03 pm  Comments (2)  
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  1. […] such unconstitutional powers of private government HOAs over regulating public streets. (See Arizona Senators debate HOA legal status and The power of private HOA contracts, and other “voices of the people”). HOAs have become the […]

  2. […] comes out loud and clear, from the Arizona senatorial debate (Arizona Senators debate HOA legal status), as obstacles to substantive HOA reform legislation is the dogmatic belief by many in the […]


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