At today’s Senate confirmation hearings of Judge Jackson, an intriguing dialogue took place between Jackson and Senator Lee (Utah). The topic raised by Lee focused on the role that the Supreme Court is to say what the law is, and the role of Congress (or state legislature) is to say what the law should be creating public policy. The Court deals with the policies set by Congress.
The role of homeowner rights advocates is to say to the legislatures what the law should be with respect to HOA-Land. It is not to say that this happened to me and it’s wrong, or my HOA does so and so, which does not rise to the level of setting policy for all HOAs/condos — no special laws for special entities.
And that’s another area where reform legislation often fails — too local. Reforms must be broad as to have general concern for the state; as the courts have held from time to time, “This case Involves legal issues of statewide importance.” And it must be explicitly stated or implied.
Public policy today is harmful to the private property rights of HOA owners, and to a denial of due process protections and violations of the equal protection of the laws, treating HOAs as if they were independent principalities. These policies and attitudes have created unjust, bad laws enforced by the courts, and used as precedent for more bad laws.
The cycle ends by advocates addressing the root cause of pro-HOA laws that treat HOA members as second-class citizens, which they are not!
Depending on what side of the fence you’re sitting on in a controversial issue, you may be arguing that the end justifies the means, Yes or NO. It is a moral and ethical decision and raises the question as to when and how. In a culture where its values have been deteriorating over the years to, what’s in it for me, greed is good, and I want it now, a valid and acceptable “means” has consequently also deteriorated.
In general, this end-means assertion is introduced as a defensive justification for some course of action being challenged by others. It usually involves a discretionary decision by some authority entity, like a town council, board of directors, management, etc. Not surprisingly, we find this defensive reaction in many HOA-Land situations; I discuss one such incident based on real events.
Read the full paper
An excerpt from the HOA “bible” that was the source of the HOA legal scheme and structure, and included appendices on model CC&Rs and bylaws (Appendices F, G, and H, pages 384 – 402). While over time minor changes have appeared in governing documents, they are for the most part, and in particular on fundamental issues, boilerplate covenants contained in the Handbook.
Note that no mention is made of the homeowner, the HOA member, whose property interests are at stake and the subject of the legal scheme. “Association officers,” as we have discovered, represent the association and not the personal property interests of the members. The members are there, it seems, to fund the HOA. It is a top-down governmental structure with little concern for protecting principles of democratic government.
To the concerned public and HOA members:
I am extending an invitation for the public at large, and in particular to members of HOAs across America, to join this FB group and keep abreast of critical developments and information regarding your membership and property rights in your castle, your home. Information not covered by the establishment, the self-proclaimed HOA educators.
In 2020 I released my 68-page A Plan Toward Restructuring the HOA Model of Governance, after 20 years of HOA reform activism. I also published a FAQ to answer questions regarding concern that a restructuring would damage the highly desirable HOA real estate package. “HOA” can also refer to the de facto local government of the real estate package, the condo or subdivision PUD. I believe that my plan would return HOAs to constitutional government with its protections for the rights and freedoms of citizens, severely lacking under your declaration of CC&Rs.
A detailed 27-page supplement, supporting the positions contained in the Plan and documenting the events and developments of a $22 million HOA in Arizona is now available.
Just visit the site Restructure HOAs Plan and click on the JOIN button. It’s that easy.
Hope to see you there!
The creators and developers of the homeowner association concept and legal structure (1964) immediately ran into problems and by 1973 had to form the Community Associations Institute (CAI) to resolve them. In 2000, CAI and ULI boasted of their long-term success in institutionalizing homeowners associations into the American fabric – HOA-Land. The subtitle of their self-congratulatory book reads: “The Emergence and Acceptance of a Quiet Innovation in Housing”.
After 58 years, the public, the legislators, the media, and the HOA boards of directors and vast majority of members have remained quietly accepting HOAs as a private form of local government.
“People could care less about the truth. People buy promises and dreams. They’ll do anything to avoid reality” (anonymous)
The above quote, reflecting human nature, gets to the very heart of the HOA-Land problem. It applies to all HOA members throughout America. In a sarcastic Nextdoor post, the writer expressed his feelings that my posts presenting justifications for restructuring HOA-Land were, in my words too cute. He didn’t want “to be in an association that George had anything to do with . . . and take his trouble making rhetoric to other lucky people.”
“My HOA right or wrong! So what if it has violated state laws and the governing documents, and refuses to defend itself. So what! As long as the amenities keep coming and assessments stay low, I guess all is OK.”
I have high hopes that all HOA members will follow their conscience and do what is right for their community, their state, and for America. The alternative is a rejection of our democratic institutions, our constitutional government, and the principles and values that we, as Americans, stand for. The alternative is an acceptance of the HOA-Land Nation Within America.