Saturday, April 11, 2015

WTVC NewsChannel 9 :: News - Top Stories - Utah Homeowner Asked To Remove US Navy Flag From Home

WTVC NewsChannel 9 :: News - Top Stories - Utah Homeowner Asked To Remove US Navy Flag From Home: (KUTV) A homeowners' association in Lehi is facing backlash online after sending a letter to a resident and telling her to remove a U.S. Navy flag displayed in her front yard.

Lucia Sandoval says she put the flag up to remember her husband, who is currently deployed with the U.S Navy. But shortly after the flag went up, she received a notice stating it was out of conformity with neighborhood standards.

"In a recent review of the community, it was brought to our attention that you may not be aware of one or more of the rules for the community," the letter from the HOA reads. "Your front yard had a flag displayed not in accordance with the accepted standards. Please remove the flag ASAP."

In the letter, the HOA cites community guidelines, which read, "Flags and flagpoles shall be uniformly placed and consistent in size and shape and shall not interfere with on site utilities."

Sandoval says she didn't understand how her flag violated any of those policies and is refusing to take it down.


Another flag flap, this one in the Utah sector of Privatopia. Film at 10 on WTVC Channel 9.

Friday, April 10, 2015

The town fascism built

"Nestled in eastern Long Island is a sleepy little town called Yaphank where the streets have cozy names like Oak and Park, names that hide a dark past: they once bore signs like Hitler and Goebbels Streets.Yaphank, in the 1930s, appeared as a haven for Americans--most of them of German heritage--who sympathized with the causes of the Third Reich.

In fact, it was largely founded as a Nazi camp, one of several scattered across the U.S., where the children in the German American Bund (AKA American Nazis) could fish, swim, hunt and learn about things like eugenics."

Read more: 
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Thursday, April 09, 2015

Robert Meisner Says Condo/Homeowners Associations Beware: The Michigan Legislature Has Dealt You a Severe Blow

I don't usually reproduce press releases, but I think in this case it bears repeating. I will be looking into the legislation in question, but for now, here is the word from attorney Robert Meisner:
BINGHAM FARMS, Mich.March 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Robert Meisner, founder of The Meisner Law Group, PC, and nationally recognized as one of the premier community association lawyers in the country, is issuing an alert to anyone living in or thinking about buying a home in a condominium, homeowners association, or a cooperative. In a lame duck session this past December, the Michigan Legislature quietly made sweeping changes to the Michigan Nonprofit Act.
"Here's the hitch," says Meisner. "Every condo, homeowners/cooperative association is a nonprofit corporation, so the new laws apply to them. Among the things these homeowners need to know is that their boards of directors, officers, and others may already be virtually immune from liability and accountability to the association, even for gross negligence and certain intentional acts."
Meisner says that he is also concerned that the changes in the law take away much of the traditional democratic participation of the members of non-profits and make it easier for entrenched directors to remain in office. He says this allows directors to be elected without a meeting, eliminating open debate, passing matters at membership meetings without prior notice and even holding membership meetings without notice to the members. The law even allows the board to turn over complete control of the association to non-members who have no stake in the community.
"It is not just community associations that are affected," Meisner says. "The amendments have the potential to make non-profits of all kinds the tools of fraud and profit for the unscrupulous. I understand that the Michigan Legislature was trying to make the operations of non-profits more streamlined and efficient, but it seems that this legislation was rushed through without careful thought and analysis and without any input from those most affected."
Meisner is advocating that the legislature either modify or revoke the new legislation.
A nationally respected community association law specialist for over 40 years, and adjunct professor of community association law, Meisner has authored numerous legal articles, pamphlets and two books: Condo Living 1 and 2: Authoritative Guides to Buying, Selling, and Operating a Condominium.
For more information on the potential pitfalls of this new legislation, contact Robert Meisner at 248.644.4433 or

update:  and here is another attorney's summary of the changes.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

HOA wins--developer has to pay the electric bill

"An East Naples homeowners association has won its legal battle after a judge agreed Glen Eagle Golf & Country Club didn’t pay their electric bills, leaving 105 homes without streetlights for five weeks after FPL flipped the switch.

Collier Circuit Judge Hugh Hayes ruled that Glen Eagle, the development’s master association, must pay Lago Villaggio Homeowners Association $18,000, with 4.75 percent interest from March 18, 2014, and reimburse the HOA for its lawyer’s fees."

Man vows to take HOA to court over demolition demands |

Man vows to take HOA to court over demolition demands |

Monday, April 06, 2015

Judge rules owners can begin trying to take back property from receiver

Thanks to Ward Lucas for this link.  Across the nation, failing condo projects have been placed in the hands of court appointed receivers who are supposed to make good decisions to get the projects back on their feet, if possible.  Here is one story of a situation where the receiver and  the owners are in major conflict, with allegations that the receiver isn't doing his job.

The Fossum Files--don't miss this!

Would  you like  to read  the most detailed and persuasive analysis of double taxation and differential political  participation of CID owners ever written?  Donna Fossum has just posted it, and it should be read by every policy maker involved in these issuess.  Donna Fossum, J.D., Ph.D., describes herself as follows:  "The author has lived in the West End of the City of Alexandria for over 30 years.  For 23 of these years, she was a member of Alexandria’s Planning Commission.  Professionally, she spent the better part of two decades as a Senior Policy Analyst at the RAND Corporation.  She also spent close to a decade as an attorney on what is now the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in the U.S. House of Representatives and shorter stints as an attorney in the Office of Federal Procurement Policy in the Office of Management and Budget and a Senior Advisor in what is now the Science and Engineering Statistics Division of the National Science Foundation."

And here is a brief  summary of her detailed empirical analysis---

"This is an analysis of the unforeseen consequences of the City of Alexandria, Virginia privatizing many services that it has traditionally provided to its homeowners.  Alexandria was first settled in the mid-1700s and over the years has been home to the likes of George Washington, Robert E. Lee, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors.  Today, after three major annexations of land in 1915, 1930, and 1952, Alexandria now occupies 15.6 square miles directly across the Potomac River from the District of Columbia and is home to an estimated 142,000 people, making it one of the more densely populated cities in the United States.1  On a functional basis, however, Alexandria today is two separate “cities” of relatively equal physical size and population that differ markedly in community structure and political influence.  In one of these “cities,” the average homeowner pays their taxes and receives all their services from City Hall.  In the other “city,” the average homeowner pays their taxes, but receives only some of their services from City Hall."

Here are two links to the page, in case one doesn't work:

Sunday, April 05, 2015

"Condos on the road back"

Thanks to Fred Pilot for this story of one Florida condo development that went through the great recession and seems to be coming out of it, mainly because property values are rising again. The human misery that is referenced thoughout the story is something to consider, especially when you multiply it by tens of thousands of condo projects where many hard working people lost everything. The real estate industry is desperate to get us all buying again, so I think the pressure is on the real estate press to crank up the boosterism again.