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CCOC Decision Summary

#325-O, Meyers v. Montgomery Village Foundation (December 24, 1996) (Panel: Stevens, Krampf, Glancy)

The homeowners (HO) complained that the homeowner association (HOA) unreasonably required them to remove an awning from the front door of their home.

The evidence at the hearing showed that the HO wanted to install an awning over their front door because it was deteriorating due to exposure to sun and rain.  The HO claimed they asked the HOA's architectural control staff if awning required community approval and were orally told that they did not.  The HO then ordered and installed an awning; and the HOA notified them that they were in violation of the community rules by not having approval.  The HO then applied for approval, which the HOA then denied on the grounds that the awning was not architecturally compatible with the house.  Further appeals and reconsiderations took place but the HOA stood firm in its decision.  The HO then submitted a petition with 73 signatures asking that the rules be changed to permit awnings and the HOA denied the petition as well.  The rules of the sub-association to which the HO belonged provide that the sub-association's Declaration can be amended on a vote of two-thirds of the members, and this sub-association had approximately 800 members.  The HOA had never approved any awnings on the front entrance of a home after taking control from the developer.

The hearing panel first held that the governing documents required written approval of all alterations to the homes and therefore the HO were not entitled to rely upon oral approval.  The panel further held that the HOA rules specifically placed all architectural control responsibility in the HOA (Montgomery Village Foundation), and that the rules regarding amendments to the Declarations only applied to the local community association (East Village) which did not have architectural control authority., Thus, the right to amend the architectural rules on a two-thirds vote did not apply to the Montgomery Village Foundation, which therefore had the right to reject it.  The panel held that the HOA Montgomery Village Foundation acted reasonably and consistently with the overall architectural plan of the community, and within its rules, when it denied the application to install awnings.  

The panel ordered the HO to remove the awning within 60 days.

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