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Subject: Assigned Parking for no garage houses. What about those with garages?
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MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


07/05/2021 9:53 PM  
RaR

This might be of interest to you: http://ashley-place.org/forms-rules/rules-bylaws-site-plan/

Go to the one titled, 2013 Parking Resolution Filed. BTW, this is in Maryland.
BancsS
(Iowa)

Posts:100


07/06/2021 6:18 AM  
Posted By RaR on 07/05/2021 9:12 PM
Posted By SheliaH on 07/05/2021 8:33 PM
You didn't answer my question about the numbers, something a few others have asked about. If assigning ONE parking space to the tasteless units still leaves enough room for first come first served, you'll still have to show how even that hurts you - and so far, you haven't shown me that it does. But that's just me.





They did the parking assignment painting overflow parking spaces with house numbers just last week, on Thursday! Walking through my neighborhood, about 2/3 of the already limited spots have been assigned and that leaves 1/3 for visitor parking. Some of those brash garage-less HO even have the audacity to still take over the overflow parking spaces reserving their newly assigned spaces for their other cars (some of them have 3 or more cars)!

I requested an updated site map showing the new parking listing last Friday and I am still waiting.

This is a very new townhouse development. I was one of the few ones that have my house built here on 2017 and did not know that not all houses will have garages! If I knew back then, I wouldn't have done it. I was under the impression at that time that all houses will have garages and every HO will have equal access to the overflow parking spaces for visitors.




Ahh, the ongoing problem of parking! Since this just happened last Thursday, why don't you give it some time and observe and document the parking situation. If it looks like the garageless HO are utilizing the overflow parking on a regular basis (or unfairly in your eyes), present your idea of one space per HO/unit to the board and see if that can be implemented. Of course the more support you have from the other owners, you may have a better chance of achieving that.

Obtaining a lawyer is a very expensive endeavor. I do have experience in that regard and I live in the Midwest where attorneys fees are not as much as in your part of the country. I can see how the parking arrangements would have been overlooked or not as you envisioned them to be when you purchased in 2017. Even if we think that we have done all of the research and buy into an HOA, things don't always go as we plan. Was it in your housing plan to use overflow parking for your extra vehicles on a regular basis? Is it that much of an inconvenience to you? Is it worth the time, money, and mental irritation to pursue the issue since you do have 4 parking spaces. These are all questions I would be asking myself. Things don't always work out as we envisioned. Sometimes excepting those things is better than taking on a battle that is not that significant and a bit inconvenient.

BTW, I interpret that your HOA board can make parking rules.




BillH10
(Texas)

Posts:783


07/06/2021 7:05 AM  
I am not an attorney, nor did I sleep in a Holiday Inn Express last night. I believe the issues are:

1. Do the Documents of the Association permit the BoD to designate Common Elements as Limited Common Elements then grant exclusive use of the designated LCE to an individual unit owner or does such action require approval of whatever percentage of the owners is required to amend (probably the declaration)?

2. If the Common Elements are designated LCE by whatever process is appropriate, does doing so in any way change the method or process of calculating the assessments for all, or all affected, units in the association?

3. Do the documents of the Association permit assignment of parking places (now, apparently, unrestricted use Common Elements) to specific unit owners? Does doing so conflict with the definition of Common Elements in the Declaration, especially the right of any owner to access and use a Common Element.

4. Can a parking place be assigned in this process or must the deed to the unit be amended to include the assigned parking place. This has assessor/property tax implications.

5. If the deed is not amended, may the Association unilaterally reassign or even rescind the parking place assignments? What are the implications of a rearrangement in the event of unit resale when one of the 'selling' points was an assigned parking place located 'here', and not 'over there'?

I do not believe the what-ifs and comments regarding fair, how many places exist, how many are available for guest parking, etc. are germane to this discussion. They may be compelling talking points in a campaign to amend documents if doing so is necessary but, to me, the Board and Association should first obtain guidance on the points listed above. It may cost $$$$ to explore these questions but it will cost a great deal more to defend against a suit if the allocation of Common Elements and parking places is not done properly.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2599


07/06/2021 7:39 AM  
Posted By BillH10 on 07/06/2021 7:05 AM
I am not an attorney, nor did I sleep in a Holiday Inn Express last night. I believe the issues are:

1. Do the Documents of the Association permit the BoD to designate Common Elements as Limited Common Elements then grant exclusive use of the designated LCE to an individual unit owner or does such action require approval of whatever percentage of the owners is required to amend (probably the declaration)?

2. If the Common Elements are designated LCE by whatever process is appropriate, does doing so in any way change the method or process of calculating the assessments for all, or all affected, units in the association?

3. Do the documents of the Association permit assignment of parking places (now, apparently, unrestricted use Common Elements) to specific unit owners? Does doing so conflict with the definition of Common Elements in the Declaration, especially the right of any owner to access and use a Common Element.

4. Can a parking place be assigned in this process or must the deed to the unit be amended to include the assigned parking place. This has assessor/property tax implications.

5. If the deed is not amended, may the Association unilaterally reassign or even rescind the parking place assignments? What are the implications of a rearrangement in the event of unit resale when one of the 'selling' points was an assigned parking place located 'here', and not 'over there'?

I do not believe the what-ifs and comments regarding fair, how many places exist, how many are available for guest parking, etc. are germane to this discussion. They may be compelling talking points in a campaign to amend documents if doing so is necessary but, to me, the Board and Association should first obtain guidance on the points listed above. It may cost $$$$ to explore these questions but it will cost a great deal more to defend against a suit if the allocation of Common Elements and parking places is not done properly.



I agree that those would be the points the board should address.

In addition, the board needs to consider what will happen if one of the residents without a garage requests a reasonable accommodation since that would likely involve a reserved parking space close to the home. Just about every community I've ever visited had a number of spaces reserved for those who are disabled, and state laws may change regarding the minimum number required. (FWIW, some years back our attorney recommended that we reserve an additional space in our common area based on the number of units in our community and there was no need to amend our governing documents to do so. Just sayin'...)

So a number of the what-ifs others brought up may actually be relevant in this case. Also, when an OP doesn't provide enough info for us to provide a specific answer, we tend to provide general answers that can vary widely depending on those what-ifs. And even though we've now seen some of the language in the OP's CC&Rs, that still may not be enough to answer the question. State law may override some of it, or there may be additional language in the governing docs that overrides some of what was quoted.

Sometimes this stuff just is not straightforward. The theory may be, but the details can trip you up.



BancsS
(Iowa)

Posts:100


07/06/2021 7:47 AM  
Posted By BillH10 on 07/06/2021 7:05 AM
I am not an attorney, nor did I sleep in a Holiday Inn Express last night. I believe the issues are:

1. Do the Documents of the Association permit the BoD to designate Common Elements as Limited Common Elements then grant exclusive use of the designated LCE to an individual unit owner or does such action require approval of whatever percentage of the owners is required to amend (probably the declaration)?

2. If the Common Elements are designated LCE by whatever process is appropriate, does doing so in any way change the method or process of calculating the assessments for all, or all affected, units in the association?

3. Do the documents of the Association permit assignment of parking places (now, apparently, unrestricted use Common Elements) to specific unit owners? Does doing so conflict with the definition of Common Elements in the Declaration, especially the right of any owner to access and use a Common Element.

4. Can a parking place be assigned in this process or must the deed to the unit be amended to include the assigned parking place. This has assessor/property tax implications.

5. If the deed is not amended, may the Association unilaterally reassign or even rescind the parking place assignments? What are the implications of a rearrangement in the event of unit resale when one of the 'selling' points was an assigned parking place located 'here', and not 'over there'?

I do not believe the what-ifs and comments regarding fair, how many places exist, how many are available for guest parking, etc. are germane to this discussion. They may be compelling talking points in a campaign to amend documents if doing so is necessary but, to me, the Board and Association should first obtain guidance on the points listed above. It may cost $$$$ to explore these questions but it will cost a great deal more to defend against a suit if the allocation of Common Elements and parking places is not done properly.




These are excellent points to consider. Shows my ignorance in the complexities of HOA topics. Many homeowners, myself included, look at the expense of maintenance issues, attorneys' expenses, etc. and their first question is: How much is this going to cost me? Unfortunately, that behavior resulted in the tragedy in Florida. Getting some guidance on this topic seems to be a very prudent use of $$$. In my own HOA an important common element (sanitary sewer) was neglected for years then things started to breakdown causing some major maintenance expenses.

Bill, what did you mean by you didn't sleep in a Holiday Inn Express? I have never heard that saying.
AugustinD


Posts:1920


07/06/2021 8:20 AM  
Posted By BillH10 on 07/06/2021 7:05 AM

1. Do the Documents of the Association permit the BoD to designate Common Elements as Limited Common Elements then grant exclusive use of the designated LCE to an individual unit owner or does such action require approval of whatever percentage of the owners is required to amend (probably the declaration)?
At this point I have gotten away from questions about LCE because first, the OP went searching for info on this and found none. Second, I am aware of condo communities that do assign parking in the common areas but do not designate the parking spaces to be LCE. Why not? For one, I figure because the maintenance responsibility is still entirely the HOA's. For another, I know plats that clearly designate and identify LCEs like patios. This designation has legal meaning. Assigning parking spaces technically would require an amendment to the plat. It's a big deal.

At this writing, I tend to think many condo associations' documents allow the board to manage, regulate, create reasonable rules for common areas. Designating parking spaces arguably falls within the board's lawful powers to manage, regulate and create reasonable rules for the common area.

I am pondering what RaR posted about 2/3rds of the parking spaces now being designated for specific homes, with the remaining third or so often occupied by still more vehicles belonging to the garage-less.

I thnk BancsS's 6:18 AM post today has wisdom.

Also RaR's HOA's Board may at some point need to review CathyA3's point about reasonable accommodation of disability under fair housing laws.

I checked Maryland's HOA statute and did not find anything germane at this point.
BillH10
(Texas)

Posts:783


07/06/2021 8:22 AM  
BancsS

The Holiday Inn Express statement is a tongue-in-cheek reference to a series of Holiday Inn Express commercials some years ago in which the guest performed some 'feat' he or she was in no way qualified to perform. I don't recall the details of what was done, it would be analogous to a guy who ran a slow 440 in high school track winning the Gold at the upcoming Tokyo Games or something similar, the implication being the night at the HIE somehow empowered him or her--

https://ben-girl-notesfromthetside.blogspot.com/2011/04/i-stayed-at-holiday-inn-express.html

BillH10
(Texas)

Posts:783


07/06/2021 8:26 AM  
CathyA3, yes, I should have added your points to the list of issues to consider. It may be that issue would jump to the head of the line tomorrow.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:4290


07/06/2021 10:04 AM  
Goodness no! I remember the days when I lived in an apartment and it was a race to get hone and hope I could park close to my house or that it wouldn't snow so hard that I'd need a groom to sweep off all the snow. It was even worse if there was icy rain and thats why i insisted on a garage when i bought my unit.

That said, people do the best they can with the resources they have available - what irked me the most about Ra's post was that "sorry they don't have a garage, but they knew what they were buying" tone. He's not wrong, but if there was something available to resolve the problem, why not try it - it wouldn't take anything away from him because he already has four spots. If people start using the lot like some sort of car lot, that's a different story . A former neighbor who was also a car salesman tried that stunt with the small parking area near my home. There were only three spots and once this guy filled them with his cars, no one could use it

Too many people have this "it don't affect me, so F them" attitude in HOAs and other places and thats usually the first step in creating an environment of neighbor vs. neighbor. Thats a disaster for a HOA where everyone co owns the common areas and must work together to maintain acleam, safe and attractive community. We know how volatile disputes over pets, parking, pools, etc., can get. I've actually seen instances where people get SHOT over parking issues and I would hope bickering between the parking haves and have not doesn't escalate to that.
AugustinD


Posts:1920


07/06/2021 10:43 AM  
SheliaH, I realize the "tasteless" in your statement below was a posting-by-phone-or-tablet or butterfingers mistake or just a post-o like many of us make.
Posted By SheliaH on 07/05/2021 8:33 PM
You didn't answer my question about the numbers, something a few others have asked about. If assigning ONE parking space to the tasteless units

Though the appearance of the "tasteless" (in lieu of "garage-less"?) cracked me up majorly.

At this point, I think I am roughly where you are with regards to the problem. I agree parking problems plague many a HOA/COA and are probably on the top five list of most aggravating aspects of HOA/COA life. I know it was a huge reason why I sold my last condo. Searching for a parking space at 11 o'clock on a Friday night was highly annoying. Now it's bad at 11 in the morning as well. Stupid Board let people buy parking spaces, up to two per unit. If all the association's units reserved two parking spaces at this condo, it would be short about 100 spaces.

It's hard to decide who to cuss out: Developer; single persons with two vehicles; couples with three vehicles; the Board; the management; whoever invented HOA/COA living in general; the City, which has rules specifying a certain number of parking spaces for a condo and other buildings; English common law on covenants going back 150+ years. Best choice is to move. I am so grateful my vehicle sits ten feet from where I live now.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8729


07/06/2021 12:45 PM  
Too busy to do worthwhile justice to Augustin's & others' wise remarks. But Augie's physics one doesn't work for me. We have many common areas that only can accommodate a few residents at a time, e.g., the spa, the billiards table. BUT no particular owners can have complete control of either all day every day or even for an hour. They are available equally to all residents, just as Ra's declaration states about the common areas in that HOA.

I do not see why Ra would have to show some kind of "harm" to self to take an enforcement action against the Board for removing some of the common area from use by all as is caller required in the declaration. The new rule (if that is what it is) privileges garageless owners at the expense of others especially, I can only guess, 1-car garage owners. I cannot call it "reasonable." As a reminder in the hierarchy of covenants in associations, the CC&Rs take precedence over Bylaws and over rules and regulations. Boards may not simply say, "but our approach is "reasonable" and also kind and ignore a covenant.

Bill's list looks very good. If true, as Ra writes that lots of garaged owners are P'O'd by the new rule, the Board would be smart to seek advice from the HOA's attorney.

Again, apologies for being unable to respond more thoroughly.
AugustinD


Posts:1920


07/06/2021 2:32 PM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 07/06/2021 12:45 PM
The new rule (if that is what it is) privileges garageless owners at the expense of others especially, I can only guess, 1-car garage owners.
This is an interesting point.

Do you think folks with two-car garages and driveways, and say three teenagers in the house who are driving age, should be allowed to park three cars in the parking lot on a regular basis? I am not trying to play "gotcha." I am just curious.

Should any category of home owner at this HOA have any priority over another category when it comes to using the parking lot? Or should it just be a free-for-all, every day and especially every night when folks are generally coming home from work?

I am favoring the responses here saying the developer set up a lousy situation with regard to parking, and the covenants are not all that helpful to resolving it. So the OP has to put up with the BS, unless she/he wants to roll the dice on litigation.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2599


07/06/2021 3:03 PM  
Posted By AugustinD on 07/06/2021 2:32 PM
Posted By KerryL1 on 07/06/2021 12:45 PM
The new rule (if that is what it is) privileges garageless owners at the expense of others especially, I can only guess, 1-car garage owners.
This is an interesting point.

Do you think folks with two-car garages and driveways, and say three teenagers in the house who are driving age, should be allowed to park three cars in the parking lot on a regular basis? I am not trying to play "gotcha." I am just curious.

Should any category of home owner at this HOA have any priority over another category when it comes to using the parking lot? Or should it just be a free-for-all, every day and especially every night when folks are generally coming home from work?

I am favoring the responses here saying the developer set up a lousy situation with regard to parking, and the covenants are not all that helpful to resolving it. So the OP has to put up with the BS, unless she/he wants to roll the dice on litigation.



For what it's worth, and keeping in mind I'm in a different state and in a condo with its own parking restriction:

When we were drafting an amendment to our restriction, I asked our attorney about a situation we had (married couple, two adult children living with them, four cars, a one-car garage which of course they were using as a storage unit). The lawyer said that people have to choose housing that meets their needs, it's not up to the association to solve the problems that arise when the people don't, and our COA would have been on solid legal footing if we'd said "you folks have two parking spaces available to you, the parking pads are for guests, and you have to figure out what to do with the extra cars."

We ended up amending our restriction with an eye to ease of enforcement, since a rule is worthless unless it's enforced. I found out that you can expend a TON of time and effort trying to police parking in the community, and it.never.stops. While the board/manager is doing that, they're not doing other things that may be higher priority. Anything that relies on prompt attention - eg. parking tags for guests who show up without warning - was out because we don't have an on-site manager and no manager works 24/7. People park on the street right next to the No Street Parking signs! And the squabbles that arise - OMG. Dealing with parking was a big factor in burning me out, and we made it easy for ourselves (our current board tried to change things recently and found out quickly that the existing system is the only one that works unless they want to lose their minds).
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8729


07/06/2021 5:41 PM  
I don't see how household size or number of cars a household owns matter one bit UNLESS the CC&Rs limit numbers of cars per household that park on the street, or number so people per sq ft. of house (which has been done). As Cathy points out, enforcement would be a problem.

We did have a developer's rule in our condo building that only 5 persons/guests from a household were allowed in the pool area. Since it doesn't get huge useage, we eliminated that rule.

And maybe Ra is just annoyed due to no longer getting his fair & contractual share of the common area, yet paying to maintain it. Equitable legal principals might apply here; I don't know. Some ppl. would be more mad about this than others.
AugustinD


Posts:1920


07/07/2021 1:37 PM  
Supporting KerryL1's (and others?) position, from https://www.davis-stirling.com/HOME/Renting-Guest-Spaces:

"QUESTION: Some residents hog the guest parking to the point where enforcement has become a full-time job. The board is tired and inquired if HOA owned guest parking spaces could be rented on a long-term basis to individual unit owners.

ANSWER: For most associations, guest parking is quite limited. Renting the spaces to owners only makes it worse. In my opinion, boards cannot take away parking meant for all owners and give it to a few owners. You can deter parking hogs with increasing fines (as provided for in your fine schedule), suspension of parking privileges, and towing (provided you have proper signage)."
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8729


07/07/2021 6:22 PM  
As often as I visit Davis-stirling.com, you'da thunk I'd have found that citation. Thanks for the fair play, Augustin.

AugustinD


Posts:1920


07/07/2021 6:28 PM  
KerryL1, you bet. I am trying to decide which way I would rule, and of course what legal reasoning I would use, if I were the judge here. It's "reasonable rules" for parking (in a situation where the parking lot spaces are not sufficient in number) competing against "all owners should have access to all common area."

I expect a judge would borrow from Shakespeare and think to herself, "Kill all the developers... "
AugustinD


Posts:1920


08/13/2021 7:19 PM  
Posted By AugustinD on 07/07/2021 1:37 PM
Supporting KerryL1's (and others?) position, from https://www.davis-stirling.com/HOME/Renting-Guest-Spaces:

"QUESTION: Some residents hog the guest parking to the point where enforcement has become a full-time job. The board is tired and inquired if HOA owned guest parking spaces could be rented on a long-term basis to individual unit owners.

ANSWER: For most associations, guest parking is quite limited. Renting the spaces to owners only makes it worse. In my opinion, boards cannot take away parking meant for all owners and give it to a few owners. You can deter parking hogs with increasing fines (as provided for in your fine schedule), suspension of parking privileges, and towing (provided you have proper signage)."
For the archives, I am now running into case law (appeals court and higher court decisions) saying that, even if it is a disabled person, admittedly with certain protections under the Fair Housing Act, needing a closer or wider parking space, if the covenants say that all owners must vote on giving exclusive use rights to parking spaces, then the Board lacks the authority to provide the allegedly "reasonable accommodation" (giving the disabled person exclusive rights to a common area parking space) that the disabled person has requested. In other words, the accommodation requested is not reasonable.

https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/FSupp/879/798/2264295/

https://casetext.com/case/sawko-v-dominion-plaza-one-condo-assn
AugustinD


Posts:1920


08/14/2021 7:56 AM  
Posted By AugustinD on 08/13/2021 7:19 PM
For the archives, I am now running into case law (appeals court and higher court decisions) saying that, even if it is a disabled person, admittedly with certain protections under the Fair Housing Act, needing a closer or wider parking space, if the covenants say that all owners must vote on giving exclusive use rights to parking spaces, then the Board lacks the authority to provide the allegedly "reasonable accommodation" (giving the disabled person exclusive rights to a common area parking space) that the disabled person has requested. In other words, the accommodation requested is not reasonable.

https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/FSupp/879/798/2264295/

https://casetext.com/case/sawko-v-dominion-plaza-one-condo-assn
California CIC/COA/HOA statute states that a California CIC/HOA/COA board, without a vote of the owners, may grant exclusive use of common area "to accommodate a disability." See https://www.davis-stirling.com/HOME/Statutes/Civil-Code-4600 . I checked several other states' statutes (Florida, Texas, Washington, Virginia, South Carolina). None have a provision like California's. California may be unique in this respect.
AugustinD


Posts:1920


08/15/2021 11:06 AM  
For the archives, and as is brought up here from time to time, the "ownership rights" of condominium members differ from those of non-condominium HOA members. From one site:

"The key difference between a condo association and a homeowners’ association is what the individual members actually own.

With a condo, each member owns their individual unit and they have a joint ownership interest in the common areas. As an example, a condo owner has a joint ownership stake in the lobby of the building. All condo owners are members of their community’s association and they share ownership stake in what that association owns.

The scope of ownership is a bit different with homeowners’ associations. With an HOA, each member owns their individual property and their lot. However, common areas are owned by the homeowners’ association itself—meaning there is no joint ownership interest in the common areas. The HOA may be a wholly independent entity or it may be owned by the developer of the community.
"

This appears to have produced slightly different reasoning for why common areas (including parking spaces on common areas and sometimes, limited common areas) may not be just assigned away to an individual member.

Condominium case law is pretty clear about the prohibition of a board, without an owner's vote, taking away an owner's right to use a common area parking space. The grounds are that limiting an owner's access to common area changes the ownership interest that the owner has in the condominium. Per the typical condominium declaration such interest may only be changed by a vote of the owners. Hence the board alone cannot change ownership interests.

Non-Condo HOA case law relies on more express language in covenants to prohibit boards from taking away an owner's right to use common area parking space without an owner's vote. For example, where a covenant has language like, “Every Owner shall have a right and easement of enjoyment in and to the Common Area, which shall be appurtenant to and shall pass with the title to each such Owner’s Lot, subject to reasonable rules," the courts are likely to say that a rule designating a parking space for exclusive use by one owner is not reasonable and violates the covenant. See for example the 2012 Virginia Supreme Court (appeals court?) decision Manchester Oaks Homeowners Association Inc. v. Patrick K. Batt, https://cases.justia.com/virginia/supreme-court/111949.pdf. The latter decision slammed the HOA for denying access to certain common area parking spaces to some owners. The court decisions involved included ordering the HOA to refund some of the assessments it had been billing certain owners for maintenance of the all of the parking spaces. The plaintiff HOA owners won an award of most of their attorney fees as well. That is, the courts involved ordered the Defendant HOA to pay a huge chunk (or all?) of the attorney fees of the Plaintiff Owners.

Outside of California, and even when an owner makes a request to use a common area parking space for disability and Fair Housing Act reasons, I think there is no state that allows a HOA/COA board, without an owners' vote, to give away common area for the exclusive use of one owner or less than all owners, unless the covenants somehow grant this permission to the board.
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