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CCOC Decision Summary

Kobernick v. Fallsltone HOA #15-15 (May 4, 2016) (Panel: Ethier, Winegar, Zajic)

A lot owner complained that the association’s actions against him to enforce a rule against “T-bone” parking was invalid. (“T-bone” parking is the positioning of a vehicle across the driveway, perpendicular to it, instead of parallel to it.) He filed the complaint against the association itself as well as against its board members individually and its managers.

The panel held that the CCOC has no jurisdiction over individual board members, or managers, but only over the association itself.

The evidence before the panel showed that the lot owner was parking three cars in his driveway: two parallel to each other, facing the house, and one at the foot of the driveway, perpendicular to the other two. The third car could not fit into the driveway otherwise as the driveway was not long enough. The rules had stated that vehicles could not be parked so as to block access to a common parking area or to a driveway and that “vehicles may not parallel park in front of the entrance of a townhouse driveway.” In November, 2014, the HOA amended its parking rules to add to the above that “vehicles may not park across a townhouse driveway, i.e., no parking perpendicular to the direction of a driveway anywhere along its length.” The lot owner claimed that the 2014 amendment violated the Articles of Incorporation, which stated that “every owner shall have a right and easement of enjoyment in and to the Common Area, including an easement for the use and enjoyment of the private streets and parking lots and walkways included therein . . .” He argued that the HOA could not ban T-bone parking without amending its governing documents.

Following notice of the violation to the lot owner, the HOA held a hearing which the owner attended, and upheld its rule and imposed fines upon the owner for violating it. The lot owner then filed this complaint with the CCOC.

Following its own hearing on the merits, the CCOC hearing panel made the following rulings:
1. An HOA board has the business judgment right to continue to set aside reserved parking for visitors even it those spaces are infrequently used by visitors and it is not required to convert those spaces into parking for owners and residents;
2. The HOA has the right under its governing documents to restrict owner parking in the common area parking lots because the documents specify that the HOA has the right to adopt rules and regulations on the use of the common areas and can grant rights of use to those who are not HOA members;
3. The restriction on T-bone parking in the private driveways does not contradict the governing documents because those documents only prevent restrictions on a member’s right of access and to the use of the common parking areas and to his own
driveway. The ban does not interfere with the owner’s right of access to his own driveway. Therefore it is not necessary to amend the governing documents in order to regulate how the driveways are used.

The panel dismissed the complaint.
 

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