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Subject: VA New Law
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Author Messages
BH5
(Virginia)

Posts:38


05/18/2020 6:48 PM  
Our county liaison for HOA e-mailed this info:

Effective April 24, 2020, HB 29, Item 4-0.01, paragraph 2g and HB 30, Item 4-0.01, paragraph 2g were signed into legislation by Virginia Governor Northam. The new legislation allows for common interest community association boards to meet by electronic communication means.

g. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any public body, including any state, local, regional, or regulatory body, or a governing board as defined in § 54.1-2345 of the Code of Virginia may meet by electronic communication means without a quorum of the public body or any member of the governing board physically assembled at one location when the Governor has declared a state of emergency in accordance with § 44-146.17, provided that (i) the nature of the declared emergency makes it impracticable or unsafe for the public body or governing board to assemble in a single location; (ii) the purpose of meeting is to discuss or transact the business statutorily required or necessary to continue operations of the public body or common interest community association as defined in § 54.1-2345 of the Code of Virginia and the discharge of its lawful purposes, duties, and responsibilities; (iii) a public body shall make available a recording or transcript of the meeting on its website in accordance with the timeframes established in §§ 2.2-3707 and 2.2-3707.1 of the Code of Virginia; and (iv) the governing board shall distribute minutes of a meeting held pursuant to this subdivision to common interest community association members by the same method used to provide notice of the meeting.

Question: Are VA HOAs applying this legislation to the Annual Meeting that is held for the purpose of electing trustees whose terms are expiring?
MarkW18


Posts:1067


05/18/2020 9:34 PM  
What do you think the legislation means?
SheilaJ1
(South Carolina)

Posts:164


05/18/2020 9:45 PM  
The law means nothing, only applies to regular meeting when it’s not possible to meet in person,

The above law is not relevant at all most elections require a physical vote. Please go read your bylaws.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16778


05/18/2020 10:52 PM  
Completely disagree with Shelia.

The order specifies "public body", aka general membership.

Note: quorum must still be met but may be met electronically and not in person.

Although it does not specify the recent executive order, the following info from an attorney's site discusses the options during this time frame:

https://reesbroome.com/sites/default/files/2020-03/UPDATE%20Coronavirus%20and%20Your%20Community_0.pdf


Here is a link to the bill:

https://budget.lis.virginia.gov/item/2020/1/HB30/Reenrolled/4/4-0.01/
SheilaJ1
(South Carolina)

Posts:164


05/19/2020 12:31 AM  
Okay Tim, I’ll bite, I’m going more off the posters previous posts regarding attempts to hold an election by any means possible.

I think HOA’s should opt to delay the election, this happens all the time when quorum cannot be met and directors continue to serve regardless of their term expiration.

They should read the bylaws looking for provisions of holding the annual meeting and voting of proxies and in person.

Thanks Tim, good link
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16778


05/19/2020 3:29 AM  
I didn't recall the previous posts of the OP.
Simply went off of what was provided.

I agree that the meeting should be held if possible.
I also note that the article from the attorney specified that Associations must still comply with the governing documents and hold it when the documents call for it. However, the law does allow other means of voting now. Still have to have a meeting, meet quorum and cast ballots, but the ballots can come from other venues vs. at the meeting (as was required when I was on the board). Opens the door for electronic voting if the Association is set up for that.
SheilaJ1
(South Carolina)

Posts:164


05/19/2020 4:12 AM  
We’re getting some push back in ours but totally useless because the HOA attorney has a board in his control. Neighbor’s want transparency and do not want any mistakes. Management is quiet but appears to say wait. Electronic can be done but owners are afraid of a challenge if someone is or happy.
BH5
(Virginia)

Posts:38


05/19/2020 1:19 PM  
SheliaJ1,

Which posters are you referring to?
BH5
(Virginia)

Posts:38


05/19/2020 2:13 PM  
TimB4,

Thank you. We just got an opinion from the lawyer that seems to be saying that all the legislation needed to have a totally virtual annual meeting has been in place in VA since 2018 - 2019. Of course, the actual how and wherefore he will provide if asked (i.e.,$$$). Since we have never had a virtual annual meeting or an on-line vote it is not clear how easy it would be for us to jump in now. Many think that at least 2 board members must be in a physical location in case someone wants to attend in person. Some say the emergency legislation negates that requirement. And all manner of voting must be allowed so those who do not want to vote on-line are accommodated. Ideally, most people would vote on-line and that would be stressed due to the emergency, then the option for mail-in ballot, then proxies on request (an accommodation for those who ask for one, given that proxy implies a physical meeting so a paper ballot can be dropped in box by the person named as the proxy).

Interesting challenge. HOAs all around us have already had their director/trustee elections and annual meeting. Because they have long been doing on-line voting it was a simple matter of adding the virtual meeting. These virtual meetings appear to entail reading results of the vote and adjourning. We are waiting for Board guidance while seeing if there is community support for a virtual meeting and on-line voting. Counting electronic ballot votes towards quorum is another new concept to be discussed. I know it is being done in other HOAs. If that doesn't fly, we will have to make sure to get quorum on-line. Whatever happens with social distancing, at least we will have a contingency plan. It has been a big task that is ongoing.

By-law resolution is one item that we've discussed. Do you happen to have an example of a resolution that allowed one of the NoVA HOAs to start voting on-line and/or meeting virtually. If we could work-up a strawman to hand to the lawyer we could save some money. Like I said, seems like HOAs with many thousands of members have been operating this way, or at least voting on-line, for a few years.

TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16778


05/21/2020 5:52 PM  
Posted By BH5 on 05/19/2020 2:13 PM

Do you happen to have an example of a resolution that allowed one of the NoVA HOAs to start voting on-line and/or meeting virtually.





Sorry, I do not.
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