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Subject: Denied Access to Board
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MonicaD


Posts:0


04/05/2006 12:50 PM  
I am a homeowner in a development in Arizona that will elect its first homewoner run Board this week. For several months prior I have had a serious problem with one of our Design Guidelnes in our CC&Rs that currently allow basketball hoops (portanle and permanent) to be installed in front yards. There are only 2 people in a community of 2600 who have installed these permanent hoops and unfortunately my neighbor has one right on my property line. The basketballs have caused me property damage and loss of use of my driveway. I have tried for nearly 4 months to gain access to our current Board, made up of the Builders and Devlopers of this community. Our Property Management Company has denied my numerous formal requests to go before the Board to request that this Design Guidleline be changed to either banning basketball hoops in front yards or by having them moved to the other side of an owner's driveway, letting the balls fall into their own yard rather than into their neighbor's. My question is, "Does a Property management Comapny have the right to deny me access to the Board?" Also, can a Design Guideline be rescinded without grandfathering those 2 parties who currently have basketball hoops? Perhaps it can be modified to have the offending hoops moved to another part of their owner's yard? HELP, I'm being bombarded!!

MonicaD
RogerB
(Colorado)

Posts:5067


04/05/2006 1:55 PM  
Monica, for the nth time --- the property management is only hired help and do not run the HOA. The Board is ultimately responsible to see that the CC&Rs are enforced. To change the CC&Rs to eliminate future basketball hoops takes an amendment to the Declaration of CC&Rs which must be approved by the homeowners.

If the basketball hoop causes damage to your property and/or requires your neighbors to go onto your yard to retrieve balls then my first would be to request the owner move the hoop to the other side away from your property. If they don't they are tresspassing on your property and you can confiscate their basketballs.

Also, a Declaration of CC&Rs usually has a nuisance clause which they would be violating. Write to the Board with a copy to the management company demanding they enforce the restrictions which are currently violating (the nuisance and property damage, not the hoop). You can also request a response to your letter within 14 days which should get them moving.
MonicaD


Posts:0


04/05/2006 3:09 PM  
Thanks, Roger. I've done all that and more. The neighbor is unwilling to cooperate by moving his hoop, the Property Manager says that it's beyond their control and should be dealt with by legal means and did not forward the issue to our current Board.

I've requested follow-up with our "Noxious Activity" rule, but cannot get buy-in from the Property Management Company. We do have a "No Trespass" law here that I am asking to have enforced by local authorities, but I wanted to have the issue dealt with by changing our Design Guidelines. And, I am told that because it falls in the Design Guidelines, and not in the body of the CC&Rs that it can be changed to eliminate future hoops by merely a majority vote from the Board, not the homeowners. My problem is if they are grandfathered, then I have no support within my association and have lost enjoyment of my home.

The address we were given for our Board is "in care of" the Property Manager, and they have refused to give me names and contact info for our current Board. I know this cannot be right or just.

Thanks anyway,
MonicaD
RogerB
(Colorado)

Posts:5067


04/05/2006 4:50 PM  
Monica, you first said it was in the CCRs and now you say it is only in the Design Guidelines. When you contact the management company and the Board you need to be clear what you want. Do you want the hoop moved? Do you want to outlaw future hoops? You have not right to ask them to remove the hoop, but can request it be moved.

If your management company contract calls for enforcement of the CC&Rs then it is not only under their control but they should be fired if they do not do their job. Contact the management company in writing and copy the letter to the Board with the address "TO BE OPENED ONLY BY THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS". Advise theM that it is their responsibility to enforce the (specific) CC&R violation. And if they do not think it is a violation to promptly advise you why it is not.

Let them know that if they do not want to do their fiduciary duty they can be held personally liable. Therefore, they would be wise to comply or resign immediately.
SamuelB
(North Carolina)

Posts:83


04/09/2006 5:55 AM  
Roger's response is "right on". Also, Monica, it is a responsibility of the Board to make the members of the board known. This has to be advertised to all homeowners. You have a legal right to know that information and to know how to contact them.

I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things . . . - Antoine de St-Exupéry
LisaS
(Illinois)

Posts:341


04/11/2006 6:38 PM  
Regarding the 'grandfathering'...even if the basketball hoops were elminated or deemed acceptable only on the opposite side in the future, the one you have a problem with would remain.

They were obviously given permission to install it, and paid to buy a basketball net and install it. To make them remove it in that respect is unfair.

I am not in any way saying that trespassing or damage is OK...quite the contrary. They should use more crae, or move the item.
BrianB
(California)

Posts:2820


04/11/2006 6:43 PM  
a longer term "response" to this would be, especially in Arizona, to plant some cactus six inches inside your property line. Try Cholla, or something very hardy and obnoxious. It won't take long for the boys/girls next door to either destroy it (and you can then file a claim for several hundred dollars to replace) or figure out they don't like picking spines out of their skin every night. Oleander works well too, and makes a nice wall of green.
MonicaD


Posts:0


04/12/2006 8:32 AM  
Thanks to everyone for your responses regarding the basketball hoop issue. I have sent yet another certified letter to the Property Management Company requesting to address the HOA Board, but still no response from them. I did find out that they do NOT have to be grandfathered and allowed to keep the hoop where it is, especially if it is causing me damage. They had a temporary, portable hoop in the same spot for several months prior, and we had an ongoing situation with that as well. They only rushed to put in a permanent hoop a couple of weeks ago, perhaps thinking that they would be grandfathered. I spoke with Board memebers from other HOAs in the area and they too dealt with this issue by having the "harmful" hoops moved to the other side of the owner's driveway. Planting a "border" on my property line requires approval from our Architectural Comittee because it is considered a "change" in my landscaping. So, here we are at square one...I can't seem to get access to our Board. I'll keep fighting the battle, but thanks for your support.

MonicaD
SamuelB
(North Carolina)

Posts:83


04/13/2006 5:29 AM  
Monica, If your development has a newsletter or any other type of publication, chances are that it has to be approved by the board. Maybe you can see if you can find the person responsible for its publication and try to track down a board member that way.

I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things . . . - Antoine de St-Exupéry
JanetS
(Arizona)

Posts:14


04/28/2006 9:07 AM  
Denial of basketball hoops should be incorporated in the CC&R's by a quarum vote or estabished in the Rules & Regs. by the board. Having basketball hoops is a liability and insurance companies may have hire rates for the association because of this, or not insure your association at all.

JanetS
P.S. I'm a former Board Pres. and the oldest homeowner for our complex in Phoenix, Arizona.
MonicaD


Posts:0


04/28/2006 9:44 AM  
Thanks, Janet, that's a great response. I am also in the Phoenix area. I am trying to get these hoops banned from front yards because they are a safety issue...to neighbors and to the public with kids running in the streets to chase balls. I saw 2 legally parked vehicles hit by kids at play. My personal issue is having the exisiting neighbor's hoop removed because of the damage to my roperty. I've spoken to another past president of an HOA near where I live and he said they had the same issue when his community was new. They looked at each situation and if it was determined to be a problem then that homeowner was told to remove the hoop. There was no grandfathering...the problem outweighed the neighbor's selfish need to have the hoop in his yard. We have ample places for kids to play basketball, so this is NOT about playing ball in a safe environment.

MonicaD
TomJ
(Arizona)

Posts:42


04/28/2006 9:52 AM  
I am also from Arizona and there were several laws passed last year dealing with HOAs and their boards.

You need to look into those laws and make the Management company aware of them if they are not.

I believe you have the right to address the board concerning this issue.

I am on our board and we allow home owners to address the board both at open meetings and also at closed meetings by appointment.
MonicaD


Posts:0


05/17/2006 6:29 PM  
I posted in April and am still waiting to address our new HOA Board on the issue of having basketball hoops removed. I am now told that I have to submit written documentation outlining my issue, but it must be funneled through the Porperty Management Company (who is part of the problem). I have just been told that I have to wait for an Open meeting (maybe at the end of June) to address the Board. (TomJ, I told our Board that you allow "by appointment" and it seemed totally foreign to them!)

I am new to the whole concept of an HOA, but this does not sound right to me, especially since the Police have been involved (more than once) due to excessive property damage. Do any of you in Arizona (Phoenix area) have Boards that only allow issues to be addressed in Open Meetings? How about something critical...a safety issue...such as this one? Also, has anyone written/adopted a "Homeowner's Bill of Rights"? We should be able to hold our Board accountable to the members, and certainly they should respond to issues more quickly than this.

Thanks for the help!

MonicaD
DavidF
(Texas)

Posts:8


05/17/2006 7:11 PM  
Posted By MonicaD on 05/17/2006 6:29 PM
I am new to the whole concept of an HOA, but this does not sound right to me, especially since the Police have been involved (more than once) due to excessive property damage. Do any of you in Arizona (Phoenix area) have Boards that only allow issues to be addressed in Open Meetings? How about something critical...a safety issue...such as this one? Also, has anyone written/adopted a "Homeowner's Bill of Rights"? We should be able to hold our Board accountable to the members, and certainly they should respond to issues more quickly than this. MonicaD


Do you have a complete set of all the documents regarding your Association? The Articles of Incorporation, The By-Laws, The CC&R's?? If not get them, and read them until you thoroughly understand them. Remember that knowledge is power.

Then, see if your CC&R's have a clause similar to this: Our Enforcement section:

Section 1. Enforcement. The Association or any Owner shall have the right to enforce, by any proceedings at law or in equity, all restrictions, conditions, covenants, reservations, liens or charges now or hereafter imposed by the provisions of this Declaration. Failure by the Association or by any Owner to enforce any covenant or restriction herein contained shall in no event be deemed a waiver of the right to do so thereafter.

You don't need the Board, and yes, you will have to front the money for your Attorney up front, but you will be able to recoop those expenses when you win.

Also continue the trespass complaints with the police.

Don't give up.



SwanB
(Washington)

Posts:199


05/18/2006 6:27 AM  
First off, there are so many issuea here. The subject line is 'denied access to Board' but then there is the lack of clarity for us on whether the ruling on basketball hoops exists in the CCRS or the Design Guidelines and if it does exist in the Design Guidelines, do your bylaws list that set of Guidelines as one more of your ruling documents? (I ask because our bylaws clearly list our ruling documents as: Bylaws, CCRs, Minimum Property Standards document, the Declaration of Charges and Assessments and Liens and the Rules and Regulations.)
On one hand and as an association member I am upset to read when ever someone is denied access to their board or governing body because the governing body is supposed to be made up of representatives of the association members. Call me 'stupid' for believing this but isn't that our role as Board members along with the business, property and affairs of our associations? Likewise, wouldn't this be the role of any agent an association hired to manage their business, property and affairs?
However, as a Board member when faced with an issue like this I would recommend to the member with the problem that their issue was one to be dealt with personally. Sorry. You point out there are only two basketball hoops in a very large community. I agree this problem could be solved if your neighbor would move the hoop to the other side of his or her driveway but both sides of the driveway are his or her property and not community property.
I am not negating your problem, I would hate to have to deal with it. But the Board should not be stepping in between two property owners on this one.
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