Friday, August 12, 2005

Pasco: Hudson man cited for size of profane sign
This is a Florida story. Nice to see the city government acting like an HOA in this case.
HUDSON - A 43-year-old man was cited Tuesday for painting a sign that reads "Die you miserable bitch" on a house he owns, Pasco County sheriff's deputies said. A neighbor dying of cancer, 73-year-old Carol Hastrich, is believed by her family to be the subject of the message, deputies said. The words were spray-painted in black on the side of the house facing Hastrich's front yard. But it was not the meaning of the message that led to Derick Cooper's citation. Deputies told Hastrich's family the message did not violate any laws, her daughter Dea Albertson said Wednesday. Instead, Cooper was cited for an illegal sign because the wording exceeded the permitted size for a sign in a residential area, Pasco Code Enforcement Officer Patrick Phillips said.

Rockin' the suburbs:
Homeowners associations have the power of government--but what about the accountability?

I didn't write that headline. The newspaper did. This is a story sent on by Marjorie Murray, the legislative advocate on CID housing issues for the California Alliance for Retired Americans. She adds, "Evan -- please post this on your blog. Our two pieces of legislation described in this story -- SB 137 and AB 1098
-- will shortly be sent to the floor for a vote. Don
Chaney's court hearing is August 26th in Auburn, CA
(Placer County.)"

The article describes Don Chaney's lawsuit, which is significant in itself, but then goes on to talk about pending reform legislation, and the larger context of HOAs generally. It's well worth reading.

...two proposed laws making their way to floor votes in the Legislature would do much the same thing. An Assembly bill, sponsored by Dave Jones, D-Sacramento, outlines more clearly what kinds of financial documents homeowners associations would be required to cough up if a member requests them, and also specifies that a homeowner can take an association to small-claims court rather than the more costly Superior Court. A second effort, by Senator Denise Ducheny, D-San Diego, seeks to restrict how homeowners associations are able to foreclose on a home. The proposed changes to state law, which would affect some 9 million Californians, were spearheaded by an unlikely group: retirees.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Supreme Court upholds convictions, sentences of Richard Glassel
Fred Pilot sent this link. Richard Glassel received the death sentence in Arizona for killing two people in an HOA-related dispute. His conviction and death sentence have now been affirmed by the Arizona Supreme Court. Some people have tried to argue that his BOD is to blame for driving him nuts, which I don't buy.
Residents facing light woes:Burden of funding light bill falls to parish homeowners

I think this is from Louisiana. Fred Pilot sent it. I have no idea how he finds this stuff.

SLIDELL-Though the street lights are burning bright now, residents moving to new subdivisions in St. Tammany will have to decide whether its worth paying the electric bill to keep them on. That's the problem currently facing Ashton Oaks subdivision, located in the Slidell-area, St. Tammany Parish Councilman Barry Bagert said. With three phases up and a fourth almost finished, developers will soon turn electric payments for street lamps over to a homeowner's association that does not have enough members to cover costs.

Cost for Bahia dredging now tops $16 million
Assessments push price tag higher for homeowners

Fred Pilot sent this tale of woe from Marin County.
Stuck in bureaucratic limbo, residents of the Bahia neighborhood in northwest Novato are watching the price tag of a court-ordered dredging project continue to climb. Homeowners recently learned the cost of the project had more than doubled. Now, the estimated cost has jumped another $1.2 million - to $16.7 million. The new figure comes from a $90,000 assessment for households directly on the lagoon, and $45,000 for property owners off the lagoon.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The Volokh Conspiracy - Ken Karst on John Roberts-
Ken Karst was one of my constitutional law professors way back when dinosaurs ruled the earth. I will always remember him as a brilliant teacher and distinguished scholar (not unusual at UCLA Law School), a very liberal fellow politically (also not unusual there) and one of the kindest folks you will ever meet (highly unusual at UCLA Law School). Here, from the Volokh Conspiracy, is his take on Judge John Roberts. Follow the link and read it all if you have time.

I am one of those liberal law academics whom Justice Scalia sometimes blames for the Supreme Court's straying from the True Path. Even so, I believe the Senate should confirm Judge Roberts's nomination.

Monday, August 08, 2005

All Eyes on Home Market in San Diego - Yahoo! News
Did I hear a "pop" just now?

Once Southern California's hottest real estate market, San Diego is feeling a real estate slowdown. It's a trend also starting to be seen in other regions, such as Las Vegas, Denver, Boston and Washington, D.C. Dramatic rises in home prices, particularly on the West and East coasts, have sparked a nationwide debate about whether the housing market is engulfed in a bubble that is about to burst. San Diego has become a focal point of that discussion. Those who believe the market is about to implode say San Diego's cooling could be among the first signs of a pronounced downturn or even a possible crash in California. But housing industry leaders say the slowing in San Diego reflects the normal damping of a sizzling market that made millionaires out of many homeowners and investors. Because San Diego was the region's hottest market, it's not surprising that it's one of the first to simmer down and return to more normal conditions, they say.