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Subject: Can HOA member make a motion at annual meeting
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ElaineT
(Vermont)

Posts:4


09/14/2019 5:27 PM  
The president recently allowed the bottom deck of the condo to be storage for snowmobiles. A survey was taken by the board at the request of a homeowner. The survey indicated that the homeowners did not want to have the snowmobiles stored on decks. When a homeowner asked why the snowmobiles were still on the deck, the president stated "it is only a survey a vote most be taken". The president refused to send a ballot so a homeowner sent a simple ballot out. The results indicated that the majority of homeowners did not want the snowmobiles on the deck. The president still refused to remove the snowmobiles.

Based on the results of the survey and ballot, can a homeowner make a motion at the annual meeting to remove the snowmobiles within 30 days















































PestY


Posts:0


09/14/2019 5:33 PM  
no

a change to covenant restrictions may only be made by amending the covenant

however

the BOD 'may' be able to issue a 'rule' governing a 'limited common area' such as a deck
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6636


09/14/2019 6:20 PM  
It's not clear that the convenants permit snowmobiles ---or were. So there may be room for a rule change. That's good question about putting in on the annual meeting agenda as a vote to change rule.


but can owners put such a thing on an annual meeting agenda? What % would need to approve it?? Must there be a quorum? How do you bylaws talk about rule changes?
AugustinD


Posts:1937


09/14/2019 6:37 PM  
I am with Kerry. I want to know:

What do the HOA's Declaration and Bylaws say about who makes rules that implement the covenants?

What does the HOA's Declaration say about where snowmobiles may be stored; what the purpose of the lower deck is; et cetera?
ElaineT
(Vermont)

Posts:4


09/14/2019 7:45 PM  
It is a newly built development and the builder described the area as a "covered porch" The schematic of the condo deck has furniture sketched on the brochure. So the original purpose was a seating area.

This would be a rule and this is the first rule that we experienced. The by-laws are silent on who formulates the rules. MY concern is that our voice as homeowners has been silenced and this process will set precedent for all the forthcoming rules.

When the President and the homeowners are in conflict regarding a rule, what can the homeowners do?

There has been no consideration for snowmobile storage. This is Vermont and there are many locations to store snowmobiles adjacent to the snowmobile trails.

The consensus of the other condo developments in the area is that they do not want them on the property because it devalues the condos. We shared the results with the president but he refuses to remove them.

AugustinD


Posts:1937


09/14/2019 8:09 PM  
ElaineT, thank you for elaborating. A few more questions:

Is your condominium still under developer control? Or is the board now made up of directors that the membership elected?

The condo board may very well have the authority to make this rule. If so, and if the directors are elected by the membership, then I think the easiest path to take is to elect directors who see things as you do.
PestY


Posts:0


09/15/2019 5:17 AM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 09/14/2019 6:20 PM
It's not clear that the convenants permit snowmobiles ---or were. So there may be room for a rule change. That's good question about putting in on the annual meeting agenda as a vote to change rule.


but can owners put such a thing on an annual meeting agenda? What % would need to approve it?? Must there be a quorum? How do you bylaws talk about rule changes?




I disagree with the use of the word 'permit'. Covenants and restrictions no not, repeat not, 'permit' they merely RESTRICT.

If not restricted then it is permitted.

So the issue is: Do the Covenants restrict either storage or 'parking of toys' on the patios ?
PestY


Posts:0


09/15/2019 6:55 AM  
do not 'permit'
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3362


09/15/2019 7:08 AM  
Its likely its against fire code.

Read local/state fire code on storing gasoline/flammable material under a deck in a condo/multi unit environment. Its likely illegal. If you cant find the law talk to local fire dept.

Its one thing doing it yourself in your own house, its a completely different issue when its a multi unit building.
PestY


Posts:0


09/15/2019 8:27 AM  
steve,

valid point

but

the owner will claim that it is being stored 'dry'

and

the OP's point was covenant based not law based
ElaineT
(Vermont)

Posts:4


09/15/2019 3:18 PM  
The homeowners already voted that they do not want the snow mobiles on the deck. The president refuses to acknowledge it.
my motion would be to remove the snowmobiles within 14 days otherwise there would a penalty. Can I make that motion?

The fire code issue was one I considered. I thought that it would considered lan open garage. However, the deck is constructed of wood and that might be the difference.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3234


09/15/2019 4:24 PM  
If the majority of homeowners don't want them on the deck then it should be possible to get the majority of homeowners to vote to recall the president and toss him off the board. What does your state and/or governing docs have to say about recalling directors? It's always easier said than done, but maybe when he gets wind of a serious recall effort he'll change his tune.
PaulJ6
(New York)

Posts:319


09/15/2019 5:10 PM  
ElaineT, check your governing documents. It might be necessary to submit the agenda item in advance of the meeting.

I agree with the post above: remove the president!
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6636


09/15/2019 5:36 PM  
Elaine, As Augie asked: is the developer still in control, or are Owners?

What does the prx z have so much power? Where/who is the rest of the board?

We suggested you check your bylaws about Board meetings and Meetings of the members (Owners). Owners, for example, probably can v call their own meetings. You'd place your time on that agenda. But, still your bylaws will tell you what quorum size you need for Ownrs to vote, and then what % of Owners must approve of th rule

Most likely, the board should make a rule at a board meeting. How often must you hold them should be in your bylaws. Can Owners place items on Board meeting agendas?

What size is your HOA anyway?

Geno is right, you can vote to recall the prez or the whole board, but you must follow the procedure exactly as in your bylaws.

Check your state's corporations codes for many of the above answers.

Don't your covenants say anyhitng about how rules are made?
MarkW18
(Florida)

Posts:121


09/15/2019 6:13 PM  
The question was can a member make a motion at an annual meeting. It wasn't about the same at a Board meeting.

The answer is yes they can, under Robert's Rule of Order (or some other form of parliamentary procedures), in which is used to conduct member meetings.
SueW6
(Michigan)

Posts:586


09/15/2019 6:38 PM  
Any motion that requires a vote of the Members to pass must be noticed to the members. So that means it has to be in the agenda announced to the members X days before your annual meeting.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8733


09/16/2019 7:25 AM  
Our docs say an owner can request a Motion be put on a BOD Meeting Agenda or the Annual Meeting Agenda. They cannot make Motions at either meeting. We have never had such a request.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3234


09/16/2019 9:42 AM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 09/16/2019 7:25 AM
Our docs say an owner can request a Motion be put on a BOD Meeting Agenda or the Annual Meeting Agenda. They cannot make Motions at either meeting. We have never had such a request.

We haven't, either, but I think it comes down to who sets the agenda for Members Meetings. Getting something on the agenda ahead of time would inform owners that there will be a vote on something they may wish to hear about.

In FL 20% of homeowners can compel a board to put something on the agenda for the next board meeting. I know of no similar provision for members meetings. In principle I agree that since a members meeting is not a board meeting then the members should be in control of it, not the directors.
ElaineT
(Vermont)

Posts:4


09/16/2019 10:22 AM  
Thanks for all your suggestions.
1. The fire code in town allows the snowmobiles on decks. It is akin to cars in a garage.

2. Thanks for the reference from Roberts Rules. We do (sometimes) use it at a meeting. It will be my best defense for a motion from the floor.

3. The HOA is only 36 residents. They are all second homeowners except me. Although my legal address is Massachusetts, I stay in Vermont.

4. Being second homeowners, it is hard to get them "fired up" about the abuse of Board power. We buy these second homes to get away from conflict. They don't want to
"rock the boat". Besides, I have not met a HOA female board president.

5. I am a retired superintendent of schools and my entire career was spent reading case law, rules/regs, etc. So I have the time and experience to investigate this. I was
also the board president of a county United Way so it was easy for me to "see through" the board.

6.. The president is a puppet to the property manager who is also the builder which is a conflict of interest. I think the builder/property manager told the perspective
buyers that he can't lower the selling price but can offer them deck storage for the snowmobiles. I have no proof whatsoever but it is the only conclusion as to why they
are being so persistent about this. The only other thought was a "power-struggle" but they are looking foolish among the residents.

7. I plan to be on the agenda regarding the snowmobiles but I cannot be specific with a motion to remove the snowmobiles. It has to be an element of surprise because I
have done my homework and I do not want them to come prepared to refute this.

8. While I have the floor, I will also discuss the abuse of power, violation of by-laws, and non-fulfillment of the fiduciary duties of the president. I will ask for a change in
leadership.

9. Our by-laws are very general and do not even discuss the process for establishing a "rule" How do your associations establish rules?

10. One last thing, the board will not share email addresses of the residents. So any correspondence that I send is by USPS. Is that controlling? Thank goodness for the
town tax records.
























































































































































AugustinD


Posts:1937


09/16/2019 11:57 AM  
Posted By ElaineT on 09/16/2019 10:22 AM

7. I plan to be on the agenda regarding the snowmobiles but I cannot be specific with a motion to remove the snowmobiles. It has to be an element of surprise because I
have done my homework and I do not want them to come prepared to refute this.
As SueW6 noted, proper 'legal notice' is required. The purpose of this is so members can see this topic on the agenda and so decide whether to show up to vote or not. If a vote is held without proper legal notice, then the vote will not be legally valid.

10. One last thing, the board will not share email addresses of the residents. So any correspondence that I send is by USPS. Is that controlling? Thank goodness for the town tax records.
Check to see if your condo's Bylaws or Declaration require a list of membership address records to be provided to members who request it. Also Vermont statute 27 V.S.A. § 1320 requires the condo to make available to you records of receipts and expenditures. The condo collects assessments. It seems to me that the addresses of all members should be among the receipts. See https://legislature.vermont.gov/statutes/section/27/015/01320

























































































































































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