I feel that my Footnote 1 from an upcoming commentary on SB 1454 should stand by itself. Here’s the paragraph and the Footnote.
Rep. Ugenti stated that each year there was “a plethora of personal HOA legislation” and tried “to spare the [committee] members the constant agony of many personal pieces of HOA legislation,” as contrasted to the industry legislation.
Footnote 1. I digress. My emphasis reflects, to good extent, homeowners failing to see the broader picture beyond their HOA problem, such as raising substantive issues of constitutionality. Ugenti is saying that homeowners don’t really understand the problems with HOAs, which only the HOA industry special interests can solve. It is evident that this is the view held by all state legislatures across the country. Homeowners have failed to deal with this reality.
A good part of this failure must be laid on the leaders of the homeowner rights advocacy movement. The leaders who appear, while paying lip service to constitutionality issues, to have failed to provide the necessary and adequate guidance and direction to accomplish HOA reform legislation. Instead, take for example the recent SB 1454 post and comments on the Privatopia Papers where portions of just one news article are quoted. The quotes indicate that the plaintiffs had “done wrong to homeowners” by winning their constitutionality challenge. The challenge was against certain actions taken by a rogue legislator with respect to an HOA bill. The balancing and explanatory parts of the article were not quoted.
Fred Pilot, a long term participant in HOA reform issues commented about “So does this mean local governments can continue to utilize CID mandates?”, which is totally irrelevant and non-applicable to the victorious lawsuit. Or to his biased quote from the article. “What has “CID mandates” got to do with the article? And attempts to clarify the matter as to the implied, “the plaintiffs have harmed the homeowners when they won”, resulted in their non-publication by the owner, Evan McKenzie.
Yet, McKenzie wrote that it was a fair question deserving an answer, but apparently not as a comment on Privatopia Papers. He wrote “my understanding is that SB 1454 . . . prohibited municipalities and planning and zoning commissions from requiring developers to create HOAs.” McKenzie lacks the understanding that these provisions were twice killed in this legislative session; and that Ugenti had to underhandedly get the bill passed in the wee hours of the morning on the last day of the session. But, I guess that has no bearing in this matter. It was only us evil plaintiffs who done homeowners in, under the principle that the end justifies the means.
Not a word about how this lawsuit sent a message to pro-HOA legislators and lobbyists that they can’t get away with such flagrant abuse of the laws. Not a word. But the charges stand, unanswered on the Privatopia Papers.
Unless the leaders get their act together, the arguments and implications of Ugenti’s quote above will continue to dominate attempts at HOA reforms.