Saturday, January 06, 2007

Inventor of instant noodles dies at 96
A moment of silence, please. And don't tell my daughter. She loves Ramen Noodles.
Mesa senior community residents angered by club fees
Pat Haruff sent this item. I know developers need to get creative with names, but "Dreamland Villa"? Please. How about "Hallucination Acres"? "Coma Corners"?

Since 2003, neighbor-against neighbor confrontations and lawsuits have become the norm in the sprawling Dreamland Villa, which draws retirees to the unincorporated area. Last month, 39 court summonses filed by Dreamland attorney Charles Maxwell were delivered to residents for not paying annual dues — which could lead to liens on homes in default, and even foreclosure. Joe Kuka, 78, who lives on Evergreen Street, recently received court documents stating he owed $769.30 in dues, legal fees, monthly penalties and interest for a club he said he doesn’t want. “I pity the poor (person) who would come up and put a for-sale sign in front of my house,” Kuka said. “I worked hard for this house.” The summonses were the latest in an ongoing legal feud that centers on changes three years ago to the 45-year-old neighborhood’s rules and restrictions. Those rules now require around 1,400 homeowners to pay annual dues and will eventually include nearly all of the 3,000 homes in Dreamland Villa, which would generate hundreds of thousands of dollars per year for the Dreamland Villa Community Club.
AP Wire | 01/05/2007 | City bans tossing candy during parades
See? More evidence that cities are acting like HOAs.
Bradenton Herald | 01/05/2007 | Heritage Harbour forbids signage
Shu Bartholomew sent this report of anti-sign activity. Wouldn't it be nice if the Twin Rivers case was the beginning of the end for this sort of thing?

EAST MANATEE - When a job opportunity led Heritage Harbour homeowner Richard Brody to move across the country, he knew selling his house would be rough. "By the time I listed my home, the market had already gone sour," Brody said. Now, a new regulation is further challenging how long it will take for Brody to sell his home. The Heritage Harbour Master Association sent a letter to Brody last month telling him the small For Sale sign he had in his yard is no longer allowed.
Medford Central Record - Judge orders the proceeds of home sale held in escrow
Thanks to Shu Bartholomew for sending this report of suburban trench warfare:

MOUNT HOLLY-A Superior Court Judge has ordered that some proceeds of a house sale of the former president of a Kings Grant neighborhood homeowner's association be put in an escrow account that will be subject to court control.
A class action lawsuit is pending between residents of the Oak Hollow section of Kings Grant and the former president of the Oak Hollow Condominium Association, Inc., which alleges that the board unlawfully used money collected from homeowners.

Friday, January 05, 2007 > News > Mexico > Tijuana & The Border -- Tijuana police force ordered to turns in guns
I think this qualifies for the "Municipal Government Failure of the Year Award," even though it is still only January 5. Nominations will be accepted until December 31, though.
NPR : Storm-Door Case Tests Property Rights for Millions
NPR's Day to Day did a piece on the Twin Rivers case because the arguments before the New Jersey Supreme Court were held yesterday. Here's the link to the audio. There is a bit from me in there. I like the part where the CAI/Twin Rivers HOA attorney says that we have city, county, state and federal government, and "that's enough." True. So very, very, true. But he says this in support of his argument that the law should not treat HOAs like government. This is a "let's pretend" argument. Let's pretend they aren't behaving like governments, so then we don't have to act as if they were doing what they are really doing. In truth, his point supports the ACLU's position. Since we already have enough government, maybe HOA regulation is more than we need. So of course it needs to be regarded with some judicial skepticism and oversight, doesn't it?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

"The Association"...the movie!
Hollywood producer Andrew Wahlquist has a feature film in development about life in a homeowner association. You can follow the link above to his website for the film, which includes a trailer and a teaser. Don't miss it! I read the script and offered a few suggestions a while back. This is a funny and insightful film. The plot involves Dave Miller, an independently minded person who moves to a gated community with his wife and children. He soon begins to have problems with an over-controlling HOA. He falls in with the local rebel group, and the conflict unfolds. I won't give away the plot twists, because it is a good story. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

High court to hear dispute over homeowners association rules -
More press coverage of the upcoming Twin Rivers argument before the New Jersey Supreme Court on January 4. If the court rules that the New Jersey state constitution limits the activities of HOA boards, it will be one of the biggest events in common interest housing...ever.
Neighborhoodtimes: County admits fault in auction of condo
Oops. Make that double oops.

Pinellas county officials have conceded they were acting unlawfully when they neglected to contact more than 900 time-share owners of a Pass-a-Grille condominium before they auctioned it off in a tax deed sale in November, according to court documents...The county sent several notices to the condo board but did not receive a response.