In 2000, as a naïve and newbie to the politics at state legislatures, Arizona in particular, I addressed the HOA Study Committee on September 7th and submitted a statement titled, “HOMEOWNER’S DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE from homeowner association governments.” In it I quoted parts of the Decl. of Indep. and informed the committee that I had hoped that these hearings would bring forth a list of grievances for which homeowners were seeking redress.
And as in those times of 1776, a small, principled and dedicated group of citizens are seeking a redress of their grievances. They first looked to the existing government, the HOA Board, and failing to obtain satisfaction therein, must seek other means of redress – a radical change in the concept and legal structure of the homeowner association controlling document, the CC&Rs.
Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen of the Committee, at this time I had hoped that the citizens a Arizona would be able to present and enumerate their long list of abuses, and solutions to these abuses, similar to as is found enumerated in the Declaration of Independence, without the interference and obstruction by elements of these ‘oppressive governments.’ I see that this will not be the case.
The people of Arizona only wish to be able to present their case before this Committee in a fair and just manner. However, sadly I feel that, because of the composition of the committee, the homeowners are actually being placed on trial; that they are being asked to justify their grievances before their oppressors.
This statement was referenced in Robert Nelson’s 2005 highbrow book, Private Neighborhoods (p. 342). He covered a lot of material including HOA secession from local government and on constitutions (Part V, “Creating HOA Constitutions”).
The purpose of a constitution is to set the ground rules for governance. . . . Yes the rise of the private neighborhood has resulted in far and away the largest number of new constitutions in recent years. [Is he referring to HOA principalities?] . . . . [T]he real estate lawyers and their developer clients . . . with no previous experience available to understand what the pros and cons would be to live in a community controlled by covenants, [governing documents] were born.
In HOACommon Sense: rejecting private government I outlined 5 broad categories to be addressed by reform legislation.
Today, I think it would be helpful to adopt my statement and add those grievances that you feel need to be solved, and submit the entire package to your legislature and the media. It would be your declaration from HOA governments, your petition for redress. Of course, the more signatures you have the better.