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Subject: new board member
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08/03/2006 6:29 PM  
Our bylaws state that no swimming pool above 12 inches are allowed in the condominium. This becomes a two part question at this point. The homeowners claim that it is not a pool, but a bag of water. He claims that the state of michigan defines a swimming pool as being 24" deep. This bag of water has a filter and a ladder, but is said to be 23" in height. We feel confident that we are right in our assessment. However, before he has had a chance to defend, he filled a vacancy on our board through a write in ballot. That was on August 1, the hearing is August 8th. First of all, is it a swimming pool, or a bag of water? Second of all, Should we instate him on the board before we settle the existing dispute? We welcome all to the board, and he is no exception. However, by being in violation we feel that he implicates the whole board by his actions. All opinions would be welcome. Thanks. By the way great site, refer to it often. Thanks


08/03/2006 7:14 PM  
Bruce, I would enforce your HOA restriction of 12". Usually if he is not in good standing he is not allowed to vote or be on the Board. However, you should check your controlling documents on this.


08/03/2006 7:18 PM  

I agree with Roger, you need to make a determination and I would say what he has is illegal. Board members need to lead by example.


08/03/2006 7:23 PM  

IMO, I would definitely settle that situation before you instate him to the board. I see this being a large issue, if he were to be on the board. He feels he is right, so no one is going to tell him differently. A “bag of water” Thanks for the laugh. Appreciate that!
I’m still learning about the laws and regulation of an HOA. As a HO though, I would be terrible angry to know that so and so is in violation but since he has a seat on the board he can get away with it. The BOD can’t expect the HOA community to respect the BOD if this HO isn’t told he is WRONG! Come on, you even said his bag of water has a ladder and a filter. I don’t know that many people that will refer to their pool as a “bags of water” I’m embarrassed for this HO.

You got me laughing for the rest of the night.

Good luck with that one.
Chuck W.

Charles E. Wafer Jr.


08/03/2006 8:08 PM  

I find your matter somewhat frivolous, but not a laughing matter at all. Certainly not something that would keep me Chuckling for the rest of the night.

Why was the 12" height established? Was it based upon the fact that a child can drown in a foot of water? Is there an insurance liability the association is concerned about, is there a waiver of liability the owner must sign if he is granted the right to his 23" high pool or bag of water? These concerns by your association would be reasonable, even if the association is innocently not in compliance to Michigan laws.

Your bylaws define a swimming pool is something below or at 12 inches in height. If Michigan state law defines it as 24" deep, your bylaws are restrictive IF and only IF your by-laws are subject to all state laws and statutes existing within the state of Michigan.

Your by-laws probably are subject to MI laws, and If the by-laws are, I believe you should hold your confidence in abeyance.

Your board has some fact finding to accomplish before restricting owners.

Aren't owners innocent until proven guilty? Just because there is a dispute, does not mean the owner is not in good standing. Unless he is not in good standing, it seems to me, you do not welcome all to the board.

Other existing board members may one day have claims during their terms? Should they resign their spots, creating another vacancy if they have a claim, or just recuse themselves from judgement and discussion as board members.

If his filling the vacancy was by proper methods, I feel you should ABSOLUTELY instate him on the board immediately. Otherwise, I feel your board runs the risk of being accused of discrimination. His filling the vacancy prior to the matter being resolved should be with the proviso that he must recuse himself 100% from ruling upon the subject matter of his claim, and no discussions of the matter because the claim has been filed and there is a hearing date.

Plus, who's mediating this claim of height differential and are they objective to err on the side of reasonableness and laws that supercede your by-laws.

Once the guy joins, hopefully he will learn the many factors that good board members must consider, and that decisions the board makes are not always as arbitrary as they seem.

Best of luck!!



08/04/2006 6:55 AM  
It appears the new board member has not been determined to be in violation yet, therefore, he would be a member in good standing and become a board member as long as he followed proper procedure. Our documents will not allow anyone who is not in good standing to be on the board and will lose their seat on the board if they become a member not in good standing.

This person may be motivated to become a board member to help his case in keeping the pool. We do not allow board members to vote on approval/disapproval of their own ACC requests in which case he will not be able to have an effect on the outcome of his request.

If you looked up the definition of a pool, I'm sure his 'bag of water' would qualify. I would research all the items brought up in the previous post. Hopefully this person will see how much work goes along with being a board member and sorting out issues, especially with difficult homeowners.
(North Carolina)


08/05/2006 9:53 AM  
I must be missing something. Who in the world can swim in 23 inches of water, or worse yet, the allowed 12 inches? Why would anyone need a ladder for 23 inches?

Best regards,


08/05/2006 10:13 AM  
These 'bags of water' are meant for children. My little guy could swim in 23" of water...

Of bigger concern is that these types of pools are so readily available everywhere now, and can get as big as 14' round.

This is a problem we are having. Our municipality does not enforce safety rules for pools on these inflatables. Conseqeuntly, since it is easy for a child to fall into them (most are now 30-42 inches deep...) and hard to get out, and they are not atractive IMHO, we have addressed them in our HOA. We do not allow them in an any yard that does not have a fence. They must be deflated at season end, and stored inside. Also, while inflated and filled they must be maintained (clear water)

Just curious...when the gentleman you mention purchased his 'bag of water', what exactly did the box say? My guess is 'Inflatable pool'. Consequently, since that is what it is intended to be per the manufacturer, I would enforce the bylaws.

I would also suggest letting him join the Board, but recuse himself in regard to the decision on HIS pool.

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