Saturday, July 12, 2003

HOA-loaded areas lead nation's growth
From CNN: (see quote from Robert Lang in bold at the end)
Arizona town leads nation in population growth
Thursday, July 10, 2003 Posted: 10:10 AM EDT (1410 GMT)
GILBERT, Arizona (AP) -- Searching for an affordable place to open a business and a quiet community to raise his daughter, Darrell Miklos left California a month ago to settle in this affluent suburb.

Gilbert, 20 miles southeast of Phoenix, offered what Miklos felt was a good deal on a house. He also decided to open a new location for his boat manufacturing business in nearby Mesa.

"Arizona is a godsend when compared to California," Miklos said.

Many here in Gilbert would agree. The town had the biggest population jump in the nation between April 2000 and July 2002, according to estimates released this week by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Gilbert has grown by nearly 25 percent in the two-year period, beating out swelling suburbs around Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Diego for the title of nation's fastest-growing community. It now has 135,000 residents.

The census found that while some of new residents left larger nearby cities, much of the metropolitan growth was attributed to the continued migration to the South and West.

"Most of the places aren't job centers. They are mostly residential, master-planned, large-scale and very homeowners-association heavy," said Robert Lang, a demographer with the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech.

California Appellate Court Rules for HOA in Disclosure Case

The Second District Court of Appeals has ruled that an HOA did not have to disclose to owners that it had filed a lawsuit against its insurance carrier. The plaintiff sold his condo before he found out about the lawsuit, and when the suit settled for $20 million the new owner of plaintiff's unit got a payment of $180,000. Not bad for a unit they bought for $53,500, eh? Read the whole thing here.
AP does story on HOAs
And if you follow the link to the whole story you will find yours truly quoted...

Homeowners following house rules
Associations becoming norm across nation

By Jim Wasserman, The Associated Press
July 6, 2003

GOLD RIVER -- As the war in Iraq became imminent, emergency room doctor and Vietnam veteran Bill Durston protested by taking down his American flag and raising his United Nations flag.

Citing its rules, his neighborhood homeowners association told him to take it down. Citing the Constitution, Durston refused.

The flag remains, as does the dispute between Durston and the association. It's one of many in the growing conflict between the nation's fastest-growing way of life -- life inside a homeowners association -- and traditions of liberty and free speech. Tension among the estimated 8 million Californians and 50 million Americans living under rules of a private residential government has lawmakers across the nation dealing with residents' rising unrest.

In a country founded on private property rights, homeowners associations, practicing what some call "micropolitics," increasingly dictate the nation's home colors, landscaping, pet sizes and placements of satellite dishes. They also restrict many forms of political expression Americans take for granted, even, until recently in many parts of the nation, flying the U.S. flag.

Experts call this still-accelerating trend one of the most stunning transformations in how Americans live, rent and buy homes.