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Lauriemcg

Adding policy rules

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We, a newish small HOA, have recently completed the process of revising our bylaws (a successful endeavor, with thanks to those who answered questions here).

 

Now we, the Board, are needing to clarify policy regarding access to the fenced storm pond.  It is part of the HOA common area, however its sole purpose is for runoff control.  We have legal responsibilities for maintenance of that pond with the city and a requirement to keep the fence in good condition and a lock on the gate.  The question before us is should there be any other reason a homeowner can go into the pond. There are half a dozen properties which are adjacent to the pond area. For example if a ball is inadvertently tossed there, or an adjoining property fence needs repair, or an adjoining property wants to mow the grass just outside their fence in the pond area to get a better view of the ducks on the pond. 

 

I believe it is on the Board's shoulders to clarify and communicate what our decision is about access to the pond, and we will be meeting to write up those "rules".  What I'm not sure about is where those rules would sit in the hierarchy of governing documents.  Would we have a separate set/book of HOA policy maybe?

 

This may not be the correct forum and I'm not sure Roberts Rules has bearing, aside from process, on such supplemental documents.  But thought it worth asking.

 

Thanks ;)

Laurie

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If the board has the authority to do so, it may adopt standing rules regarding administrative matters regarding the HOA's property..  RONR (11th ed.),  p. 18.

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Whatever you come up with (and you might do well get some legal aid on the liability issues) your HoA would adopt them as "Standing Rules", the only category of rules that is appropriate.  Also, check the bylaws carefully to see if the Board has the authority to adopt such rules for all of the HoA, or whether they should be adopted by the general membership.

 

I suppose you could call them "policies" (as an earlier edition of RONR did) but they are still in the nature of Standing Rules - see p. 18.  After adopting them, gather them up and print them right along with the bylaws (under a "Standing Rules" heading, of course) for future reference.  Its a lot easier to find them there (and there will be more adopted as your HoA grows) than by looking back in old minutes.

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Laurie, agreeing with Mr. Mervosh and Dr. Stackpole, RONR can help you with the process of adopting policies and rules, but not with the substance of those policies and rules.  Those issues are beyond the scope of this forum and probably get into legal issues and questions of liability. 

 

I agree with both responses above that those rules would be more in the nature of "standing rules" or rules regulating land usage and property owners' rights rather than rules of order.

Edited by Richard Brown

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Guest Laurie

Great.  Thanks all for your comments.  I will pull out my RONR and review those references.  Good point on if the Board has authority.  I'm pretty sure there isn't anything in the bylaws stating what entity (Board or general membership) has authority to set Standing Rules. And we are meeting with our attorney on another matter, so I will suggest we also ask the question of liability then.

 

Laurie ;)

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 I'm pretty sure there isn't anything in the bylaws stating what entity (Board or general membership) has authority to set Standing Rules. And we are meeting with our attorney on another matter, so I will suggest we also ask the question of liability then.

 

Laurie ;)

 

If your bylaws are completely silent (rather unlikely for an HoA) on the Board adopting  rules then the default rule-body is the general membership.

 

Look at RONR p. 577-578 for "authority of the board" details, and the page references in that text. Then "compare and contrast" (remember high school?) what is there with what is in your bylaws.

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Great.  Thanks all for your comments.  I will pull out my RONR and review those references.  Good point on if the Board has authority.  I'm pretty sure there isn't anything in the bylaws stating what entity (Board or general membership) has authority to set Standing Rules.

 

It is possible that both the board and the membership have the power to adopt standing rules, in which case it would be a very good idea for the document in which the adopted rules are collected to indicate which rules have been adopted by which entity. The reason for such a practice is that, in general, an executive board does not have the power to alter any decision made by the membership, but the membership has the power to alter any decision made by the executive board.

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