MONROE TWP. — The township council will vote on amendments to an ordinance this month that will require new residential developments with more than 100 homes to create homeowners associations.
The zoning ordinance also requires developers of residential neighborhoods with less than 100 homes to post a basin maintenance fee to contribute toward the upkeep costs of the basins and open space when the land is turned over to the township, according to Dawn Farrell, Monroe’s administrative clerk.
The township must maintain open space and retention basin land in developments without associations. Already, the work in the 38 developments without the groups has become a burden on municipal resources, Farrell said.
A zoning law created a decade ago required all developments, regardless of the number of homes, to establish homeowners associations (HOAs).
“However, it has come to light that smaller developments may not be able to sustain a HOA,” Farrell said Wednesday.
And there you have two things of note. First, ten years ago, Monroe Twp., NJ, started requiring that all new residential developments have HOAs, no matter how small they were. I have been emphasizing this widespread policy for many years--it completely undercuts the bogus argument that CIDs are a response to consumer demand. They are a way for developers and cities to make money. Second, they have now figured out that small HOA-run developments are not sustainable. The fragility of small HOAs, and many large ones, is undeniable, but it pales in comparison to the fiscal nightmare that thousands of condominium associations are facing.
Update 7/5/12: I have permission to include some comments from the person who sent me this link:
"I was looking at an article that related to the recent free speech case when I came across this additional article from the same news source. Admittedly the article is about a year old, however, I think it shows several things of interest:
1) HOAs are being mandated by local government
2) HOAs are being mandated in order to relieve the local government from the costs of maintenance AND to create additional revenue in the form of ad valorem taxes since the property is owned by a corporation rather than by governmental entities. In other words, more support for the proposition that HOAs are imposed out of government mandate rather than some "choice" of the homeowners. So much for the claim that numerosity implies popularity. I always said that numerosity doesn't equate to popularity whether you are talking about cockroaches, epidemics, or HOAs.
3) Local government realizes that HOAs are often unsustainable
4) Most of the argument raised by local government is ridiculous. Academically why would it matter how many homes are in the subdivision when it comes to who should have responsibility for maintenance? Either the obligation to maintain is a local government responsibility or it is not. The people in these subdivisions are paying taxes too."