N. Carolina HOA In Tatters

guest blog by Andrea Barnes

HOAs across the country are begging local governments for help supporting their dilapidated “amenities”, roads and buildings.

Two issues:

1. Buyer beware. Most HOA contracts now have language that allows the sale of common land. All that lovely “green space” you paid a hefty price for may soon be public property.

2. Municipalities have relegated their “governmental” duties to private contracts. Since they operate as such and are being given the same powers to maintain infrastructure, manage neighborhood safety and health concerns, it’s long past time to acknowledge HOAs as mini municipalities.

The neighborhood group previously asked the town for help paying for maintenance, but was turned down because town officials didn’t want to spend public funds on a private pond. The town has turned down many neighborhoods that had similar requests, Frantz said.

But at Coronado Village, he said, “There are some concerns now that it’s potentially becoming a health problem.”

(link to News Observer story on Coronado Village)

(link to additional story in News Observer)


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Ward Lucas is a longtime investigative journalist and television news anchor. He has won more than 70 national and regional awards for Excellence in Journalism, Creative Writing and community involvement. His new book, "Neighbors At War: the Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association," is now available for purchase. In it, he discusses the American homeowners association movement, from its racist origins, to its transformation into a lucrative money machine for the nation's legal industry. From scams to outright violence to foreclosures and neighborhood collapses across the country, the reader will find this book enormously compelling and a necessary read for every homeowner. Knowledge is self-defense. No homeowner contemplating life in an HOA should neglect reading this book. No HOA board officer should overlook this examination of the pitfalls in HOA management. And no lawyer representing either side in an HOA dispute should gloss over what homeowners are saying or believing about the lawsuit industry.

1 thought on “N. Carolina HOA In Tatters

  1. Deborah Goonan

    Angela, poor maintenance of infrastructure is a growing problem for private HOA communities in the US.

    Crunching the numbers based upon CAI’s statistical estimates of numbers of Associations by age of community, the following facts emerge:

    40% of private Residential Associations are at least 15 years old
    two-thirds of Associations are at least 25 years old

    Retention ponds, depending upon location and environmental factors, will require dredging of excess silt or aquatic vegetation as often as every 10 years. Usually by the time retention ponds, storm water drainage components, and roads are 15-25 years old, expensive maintenance and repair is needed. That’s especially true when building code standards are relaxed at the time of initial construction, often the case for new HOA subdivisions. Local planning officials figure that since Public Works won’t be maintaining these components, it will be the homeonwer’s problem anyway.

    At one time in the not-too-distant past, roads and storm drainage were the sole responsibility of the local governing district, be it a city, county, village, township, or other classification. These were always considered PUBLIC services, without regard to specific location or neighborhood. That’s because our roads and storm drainage are ultimately interconnected. Any part of the system that is not adequately maintained creates potential health and safety hazards, not only for the people who live in a particular neighborhood, but also for those that live outside the neigbhorhood. Flood control, prevention of watershed contamination, safe egress upon roadways, prevention of West Nile virus and toxic algae are all examples of public health and safety concerns.

    It was a BAD IDEA to entrust private corporations — usually created for the benefit of developers — to proper construction and ongoing maintenance of major infrastrucure. That includes retention ponds.

    There is no need to create a park. The city merely needs to treat this pond as what it is — part of its storm water control system. I don’t anticipate that the general public will flock to this pond unless it were created as a park with benches, sidewalks, playgrounds, etc.


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