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Subject: Architectural improvement application
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Author Messages
KarenH19
(Maryland)

Posts:15


11/02/2020 7:51 AM  
The arc committee missed reviewing an improvement application with the 30 day period our documents call for. Therefore, can the arc still do the required inspection? Also should the committee still review even though it’s an automatic approval?
AugustinD


Posts:4421


11/02/2020 8:12 AM  
Posted By KarenH19 on 11/02/2020 7:51 AM
The arc committee missed reviewing an improvement application with the 30 day period our documents call for. Therefore, can the arc still do the required inspection? Also should the committee still review even though it’s an automatic approval?
-- The reason I asked if this is a condominium is because this usually translates to having to check one less statute.

-- Has the Owner who applied for the ARC approval stated that 30 days have gone by, so the HOA/condo (guess!) has forfeited its right to approve or disapprove?

-- If the answer to the above is "No," and the change for which the Owner applied has huge repercussions, I suggest having the ARC try to backpedal a bit and ask to do what the docs ordinarily allow it to do (within the 30 day limit).
KarenH19
(Maryland)

Posts:15


11/02/2020 8:19 AM  
It is not condominiums
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:3577


11/02/2020 9:45 AM  
Augustin makes good points - I'd start with contacting the owner and apologizing for the delay, giving him/her a date where the committee should have a decision - and do it in writing.

If the change won't make a major impact on the area, go ahead and approve the request, but I'd also have a sit down with the committee to find out why it missed the deadline. If this is a one-time thing, they should learn from it and move on, but if this has happened before, it's time to take a long look at what's not being done and why. It may be the board will need to shuffle some committee members around to ensure they do their work in a timely manner.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:10130


11/02/2020 12:27 PM  
Posted By SheliaH on 11/02/2020 9:45 AM
Augustin makes good points - I'd start with contacting the owner and apologizing for the delay, giving him/her a date where the committee should have a decision - and do it in writing.

If the change won't make a major impact on the area, go ahead and approve the request, but I'd also have a sit down with the committee to find out why it missed the deadline. If this is a one-time thing, they should learn from it and move on, but if this has happened before, it's time to take a long look at what's not being done and why. It may be the board will need to shuffle some committee members around to ensure they do their work in a timely manner.



Sound advice.
KellyM3
(North Carolina)

Posts:1575


11/02/2020 3:59 PM  
Posted By KarenH19 on 11/02/2020 7:51 AM
The arc committee missed reviewing an improvement application with the 30 day period our documents call for. Therefore, can the arc still do the required inspection? Also should the committee still review even though it’s an automatic approval?




The project should be automatically approved by the ARC's lack of a decision within 30 days. The ARC can inspect what it wants and ensure it complies with the ARC request. The 30 day notice does not open the doors for a property owner to freelance the project.
BillB17
(South Carolina)

Posts:66


11/16/2020 8:50 PM  
Remember the old saying "Ya snooze, Ya lose.

By not acting within the 30 day provision, the application from the homeowner is automatically approved. You can inspect the work, however, you can only inspect to ensure the work was done as described in the application. And, Lord forbid, there is an aspect of the work described in the application that does not comply with your documents or design standards, you may also have forfeited your right do require the homeowner to change that aspect. That part starts getting hairy.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:10130


11/17/2020 11:19 AM  
Posted By BillB17 on 11/16/2020 8:50 PM
Remember the old saying "Ya snooze, Ya lose.

By not acting within the 30 day provision, the application from the homeowner is automatically approved. You can inspect the work, however, you can only inspect to ensure the work was done as described in the application. And, Lord forbid, there is an aspect of the work described in the application that does not comply with your documents or design standards, you may also have forfeited your right do require the homeowner to change that aspect. That part starts getting hairy.




Do not be so sure about this:

Columbia SC

NEIGHBORS COMPEL MAN TO RAZE GARAGE
PUBLICATION: State, The (Columbia, SC)
DATE: September 14, 2011
Page: 1


David Matthews, a Columbia optometrist, has agreed to tear down his garage to settle a lawsuit brought against him by his neighbors.

The settlement, reached last week in the middle of a trial in front of Judge Joseph Strickland, brings to a close a year of tense litigation that turned neighbors into spies and increased homeowners’ association dues so much that it threatened the sale of one home.

And it will cost homeowners thousands of dollars in attorneys fees.
"The sad part is nobody wins," said association president Lanier Jones. "But I would say that the homeowners are victorious in doing what they set out to do. There are nine of us on that street. It’s just been a wonderful little street of dreams. This (lawsuit) has just caved a lot of that."
Cameron Court, whose nine homes are squeezed on one acre of land just off Devine Street near Kilbourne Road, is one of hundreds of homeowners associations in Richland County. To live there, buyers must sign a contract that governs what they can and cannot do with their property. In Cameron Court, the homeowner owns the home, while the association owns the yard. Homeowners pay dues to the association, which pays for things like landscaping and sprinkler systems.

In Cameron Court, Matthews built a 20- by 12.5-foot brick garage at the end of his driveway. According to the rules, Matthews had to give construction plans to the association’s board for approval. If the board does not respond in 60 days, the request is automatically approved.
Matthews said he submitted the plans and the board did not respond. The board denies this.
Attempts to reach Matthews were unsuccessful.

According to the settlement, Matthews has two weeks to remove the garage at his own expense. And he must restore the property to its original condition before he started construction. The association agreed to deed Matthews his back yard. While Matthews will own the property, he still must abide by the association’s contract before building anything.

The association, meanwhile, is stuck with an enormous legal bill. It’s unclear how much the work will cost. Earlier this year, the association increased its annual dues to $8,100 from $1,320 to help pay for the attorneys fees, which were estimated at $50,000.

One homeowner, Polly Osborn, told The State newspaper that homeowners would have to pay an extra $15,000 each. Jones disputes that, saying the legal fees are still being tallied.
"Litigation is expensive. Taking a case to trial is very expensive," said Tina Cundari, the association’s attorney. "We were fully prepared to try the case. It would be a three-day trial. We had a lot of depositions in this case, and it was a pretty contentious fight up until the end."
The outcome of the case might be a bit extreme. But that kind of fight, it turns out, isn’t all that rare.

Homeowners associations increased significantly during the housing boom of the past decade, according to Ryan McCabe, an attorney with Columbia’s Rogers, Town-send and Thomas law firm, which represents 285 homeowners associations.

"During the real estate boom, especially from ’04 to ’08, you started seeing the average lot size shrink as developers were trying to put more and more lots in less space," McCabe said. "You got a lot more of these townhomes and patio communities, things of that nature. People who live closer together are just bound to have more friction."

McCabe said his firm averages two homeowners association lawsuits a month, but said it was rare for a homeowner to have to tear down an existing structure.
But it’s not unprecedented.

NASCAR driver Todd Bodine built a 14-by 42-foot pool house and tiki hut at his home in Mooresville, N.C. The Harris Village Property Owners Association sued, because it had only given Bodine permission to build a 10-by-14-foot pool house and tiki hut.

The case did not end until four years later, when the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled Bodine had to tear the structure down.

NOTE: The quoted attorney Ryan McCabe is my associations attorney.
AugustinD


Posts:4421


11/17/2020 11:49 AM  
JohnC46, great post (regarding real-life HOA lawsuits having to do with alleged or actual ACC violations).
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