Monday, September 28, 2009

Texas: join that HOA

The Galveston County Daily News: "The revised ordinance also would put some new requirements on homeowners. Specifically, it requires all property owners of subdivisions with private streets to participate in the neighborhood’s homeowners association.

Homeowner associations have emerged in the last decade as the neighborhood enforcement authority on deed restrictions. In gated communities with private streets, they also control street maintenance procedures.

Those gate or private communities also will be required to build two separate entrances to the neighborhood. One of those entrances can be designated for emergency access only."

I need to read this ordinance in order to understand just what they are requiring here, but it looks like more evidence that HOAs are being built firmly into the structure of local government. Thanks to Fred Pilot for the link.


Fred Pilot said...

"more evidence that HOAs are being built firmly into the structure of local government."

But is this policy if privatizing local government really supported by the voters? I highly doubt it. What we really have isn't so much a deliberate policy choice but what could be more accurately described as a property tax increase by another name -- effected without the consent of the electorate.

Anonymous said...

Note that you have forced creation of public parks but the parks must be privately owned and privately maintained. Why can't they just require that a certain percentage of the land must be set aside for city/county? Would that be a taking requiring compensation? Is this any better?

Because the land is required to be privately owned, all the taxing entities continue to tax the "public park" while only a few homeowners bear the burden for the taxes and the upkeep of the public park under threat of foreclosure on their home. In addition, those homeowners will get no relief from the assessments which are really property taxes.

The platting rules will also require that a homeowner association be created to maintain the public park. Of course the cancer of the homeowner association quickly spreads much further than just the maintenance of the park. Your government is mandating the use of private corporations to divest you of your constitutional rights and then you will be told that you "chose" this.

Fred Pilot said...

Anon wrote: "Would that be a taking requiring compensation?"

File an inverse condemnation action and pose this question to the courts.

Anonymous said...

The homeowners will have no authority to file such an action. The developer will control the HOA and the homeowners are nothing more than involuntary funders of the HOA. What does the developer care? He will get his plat approved, convey the "Park" to the HOA, sell the lots, and leave the homeowners holding the bag for financing the park for the public through the HOA.

Of course the city will claim that you "knew it" when you bought there and that HOAs are democracies. So if the HOA is a democracy, do the members of the HOA have the ability to vote to dispose of the park?

Fred Pilot said...

"The homeowners will have no authority to file such an action"

That's a question of standing for the courts to determine. In any case, whining about this anonymously as a victim isn't constructive. You must act if you want change on these issues.

Anonymous said...

Counties and cities all over the state and undoubtedly all over the country are forcing mandatory HOAs in a similar fashion.

Under the pretext of "community good" there will be a mandate for some amenity or infrastructure and the mandate will require that the amenity/infrastructure be privately owned and maintained. The mechanism used to "hold" the amenity is an HOA. The amenities/infrastructure used to impose involuntary membership associations includes roads, parks, ponds, water retention devices, drainage systems, etc.

This is a tax that costs far more than the tax would cost if it were legitimately accounted for. The homeowners end up paying for the infrastructure plus all the vendors that thrive on the existence of the HOA purely for the existence of the HOA including accounting, insurance, "collections", "newsletters", elections, etc. These all cost money and are wholly unnecessary in the absence of the HOA.

For each dollar that the county saves, the county imposes a cost of unlimited assessments for far more than a dollar on all the homeowners into perpetuity. Wouldn't it be far better to pay a little extra to the county, get the property tax deduction, and be free from the vendors preying upon the involuntary members of the HOA?

The following preview is rated NR said...

Horror flic coming to a community near you: The revenge of Prop. 13 and the hidden HOA property tax. Starring Howard Jarvis, Paul Gann, Byron Hanke and a cast of characters from the "community association industry." NR: Not appropriate for any age.

TR26 said...

Check out HB 4815 from last leg session - The state can force you to join an HOA after the fact, against your will.

Written by an alleged conservative, at that!