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Subject: Previous ARC Committee approved non-compliant improvement
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Author Messages
DavidG45
(Delaware)

Posts:10


09/14/2020 1:33 PM  
I am the sole resident board member on our HOA, and I was approached by a resident who was refused approval to install a storm door because of an outstanding violation.

It turns out that three years ago, when our community was just getting started, he submitted an ARC request for a deck. His description included the color of the balustors (black) whereas our restrictions limited the color to white. He didn't know about that restriction at the time, and apparently the ARC Committee (none of whom are still around) did not know either, because he has the approval form from the committee, and the deck was built.

About a year later, when a new ARC was appointed, they walked around the community and cited him for a violation. He explained all of the above, but the current committee insists this is still a violation and have issued fines.

I am curious as to who is in the right in this case. Can an ARC submit approval for an improvement, then revoke the approval after the improvement has been constructed? On the one hand it seems unfair, and opens up a possibility of a committee interpreting rules differently at any point in the future and revoking a prior approval; which could be a nightmare. On the other hand if the ARC cannot correct past errors that could also open the door to problems.

CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:1231


09/14/2020 2:04 PM  
The homeowner's deck application was approved, everybody acted in good faith, so no, the current ARC Committee can't rescind the approval. The only appropriate action at this point would be to notify the homeowner, apologize for the error and grandfather the deck with the caveat that if he replaces/repairs the deck in the future that it should be brought into compliance with standards.

Also, unless your bylaws give the ARC committee the power to issue violation notices, that authority lies with the board. The committee can notify the board but the board has the final say on what action will be taken.
DavidG45
(Delaware)

Posts:10


09/14/2020 2:10 PM  
Thanks.

And good point in the last paragraph. I will need to review the declarations for that.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:1231


09/14/2020 2:13 PM  
Oh, and let him put up his storm door if that complies with community standards. Otherwise you're punishing him for someone else's mistake.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:9870


09/14/2020 3:44 PM  
Posted By CathyA3 on 09/14/2020 2:04 PM
The homeowner's deck application was approved, everybody acted in good faith, so no, the current ARC Committee can't rescind the approval. The only appropriate action at this point would be to notify the homeowner, apologize for the error and grandfather the deck with the caveat that if he replaces/repairs the deck in the future that it should be brought into compliance with standards.

Also, unless your bylaws give the ARC committee the power to issue violation notices, that authority lies with the board. The committee can notify the board but the board has the final say on what action will be taken.



I agree.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:9870


09/14/2020 3:44 PM  
Posted By CathyA3 on 09/14/2020 2:13 PM
Oh, and let him put up his storm door if that complies with community standards. Otherwise you're punishing him for someone else's mistake.



I agree.
DavidG45
(Delaware)

Posts:10


09/14/2020 3:59 PM  
I agree with this, and it is the argument I'm going to make. I wanted to get the take of others who have more experience.

Thanks for all the input!
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:7496


09/14/2020 4:09 PM  
I think that Cathy's correct on all three topics.
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