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The Official RONR Q & A Forums


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  1. Again, much obliged, for the help. No, the court was not a party to the settlement, that's correct, but the mediation process was "supervised" by the court under mediation procedures and local rules of court,. The same court would promptly entertain a motion to enforce the agreement, and its terms provide for any non-breaching party to have immediate access to court for an injunction and award of attorney fees. Again, many thanks.
  2. Thanks J.J. (and all the other cogent and helpful comments: The governing documents (including the by-laws) allow a non-resident owner to vote, one vote per lot. A renter cannot vote. An investor could own several homes (lots are not sold alone - the developer owns bare lots and builds residences to specification) and when the City issues a certificate of occupancy to the developer he can sell it to a third party. The settlement agreement specifically references amendment of the CC&R's (one of a set of inter-related governing documents) extending the voting rights granted the developer during his control period. This is described by an algorithm ( total lots in a master plan minus lots sold to third parties lots) at the time of voting (which in the recent board election was about 80 lots). Thanks again for all the help.
  3. Thanks J.J. and all the very insightful comments: Yes, the voting is by lot number and owner. If a non-resident investor owns several homes and rents them our (under this restricted community rules) he can vote each lot, or even if the house is vacant half the time, and he may live in a NYC condo, visiting one of his homes in the prime season. But, there is something about "painting yourself in a corner" that is easy to comprehend too when the By-laws are silent and the agreement was not submitted to a full vote of the membership.
  4. Much obliged: Query- if the 80 votes are "illegal" under RONR , can the developer walk into circuit court and get an injunction against enforcing RONA , if the by-laws are silent or don't mention the specific procedure adopted by the mediation settlement? This agreement is not a common law contract with parties alone. The court is a party inasmuch as it approved the settlement to end litigation, dismissing it with prejudice, removing it from a crowded court docket.
  5. Many thanks for all the insights about RONR in this "voting challenge" (one that may become more common as these HOAs built out). It appears that the 80 developer votes would affect the election as to one candidate, if they were assumed for this person. If excluded, another candidate finished second in a multi-candidate - two vacancy race. The challenged ballots were segregated. The mediation agreement was binding in settlement of a lawsuit between the HOA and the developer that involved several other disputed points, e.g., completed homes not paying base lot fees to the HOA until a certificate of occupancy is issued by the developer - one of the concessions made by the HOA in return for the developer paying fees on all his unsold lots regardless of completion once platted. - hence he being allowed to then vote the 80 lots - as he has been doing for two years, without challenge. Query: does RONR require this "voting concession" to be an amendment to the by-laws before it is valid?
  6. Thanks for the very detailed comments on the governing documents explicitly allowing the developer to vote unsold lots. There seems to be this authority in the so-called CC&R's of the HOA which were voted on by the members and adopted after the mediation.
  7. Much obliged for the comments. The HOA appointed a committee to negotiate the transition from the developer control phase. Both sides hired lawyers.This went to a protracted mediation with a retired judge as mediator. The mediation resulted in a binding agreement enforceable in court approved by the HOA board. In it the developer retained the right to vote his remaining unsold lots (80), a right he had under his control period for all platted lots until sold to new residents. There have been eight votes by the community since mediation agreement was posted on the HOA web site, each time the 80 votes were counted. Now there is a challenge in a board election where there are two vacancies and several candidates, some of whom object to the mediation settlement, especially the developer voting unsold lots. The point is made in this protest that these votes are cast by secret, sealed envelopes, one per lot, which have to identify a lot number and be signed by a lot owner on the outside of the envelope,. without which the ballot inside is supposed to be rejected. The developer's lots have no lot number or owner to sign the outside of an envelope other than his own platt designation for the 80 lots and his company president signing, presumably voted in the past by putting 80 ballots inside a single envelope listing the platt/designation on the outside. Thanks for all your counsel and advice.
  8. Thanks Bruce, (1) This is an HOA, each homeowner gets one vote and must put his lot number on the sealed ballot envelope and sign it, to identify his right to vote. (2) The supposedly illegal ballots are from unsold lots voted by the developer beyond his authorized control phase. The control period notwithstanding, the HOA agreed to allow him to vote the remaining few unsold lots. This decision is being challenged, along with these votes (maybe 80 out of about 3000 possible).
  9. Hey Rob: Thanks. Could the ballots being challenged be segregated and if enough other ballots existed for a majority to elect the new board members, could the election be 'certified' under RONR without counting the challenged ballots.
  10. Can a board election under secret written ballot be challenged by one member who believes certain votes are 'illegally'?
  11. Much obliged, Messrs Kapur and Martin, you have understood the main issue. HOA boards are caught in a transition going from the initial developer control period to the later HOA control period when the project is nearly built out. Enter the legislature, at this critical stage, it inserted the Community Association Act. Closed board meetings become open., except for categories of sensitive subjects. Contending factions, only small groups, try to seize control. Board members , catering to one constituency or the other become more loyal to it than the board, believing they are acting in the best interests of the community as a whole. This violates the board policy adopted before the Act requiring director confidentiality, loyalty to the purpose, honesty and integrity, ignored now by the directors who want to reach their constituency. The community, most of whom know nothing about the Act, or other governance issues, just expect everything to run as smoothly and expertly as before under the developer control period. RONR has no way to steer back into calm waters, it seems, but thanks for your wise counsel. Let me know if there is any information you would like to have, that is not confidential, and I can supply..
  12. Thanks ,, Mr. Kaput, afraid you are correct again.The sate law opens a 'Pandora's Box.' With unlimited confidentiality elements for private purposes (journalists) could have a disgruntled member 'wired', or even with video recorder, or voice recorder transcribe an entire meting enabling a newspaper to carry a story damaging the HOA's reputation nationwide. Confidentiality now exists partially to the extent meetings are sparsely attended (less than 1% of lot owners) and the HOA's web site's posted minutes are cursory, very few visit to actually read them. Question: RONR says board minutes are only accessible to the board, unless the board grants permission to "...a member...to inspect them...." and the Act requiring meetings to be open does not address minutes of board meetings, only member meetings, could there be a path through by having a designated single member attending a meeting can only inspect the minutes at the next meeting after they were approved? There is a big difference between inspecting and having a copy. No extracts or notes are permitted in only an "inspection permission" I would argue.
  13. Further to this, Gary, the minutes referred to in the nonprofit association act are the minutes of members meetings, not directors. These are not mentioned. The Community Association Act references the nonprofit act on minutes, which are only the minutes member meetings, like the annual meeting. Thanks again.
  14. Yes, Gay - I meant RONR (eleventh edition, I believe. Sorry!
  15. Mr Kapur: You are correct. The Community Association Act, requiring open meetings of the board is silent about the minutes being published. There is no board resolution that authorizes the minutes being posted on the HOA's web site. Thank you for the RONA reference, it definitely applies since the by-laws specifically reference RonA as authority.
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