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CCOC Decision Summary

#505-G, Doral Homeowners Association v. Georgakopoulos (December 29, 2001) (Panel: Reilly, Neel, Subin)

The homeowners association (HOA) filed a complaint against the homeowner (HO) for constructing a fence without approval and in a style that did not meet the community standards.  

The evidence at the hearing showed that the HOA's architectural rules required that fences in the back yards not extend further forward than the rear wall of the house, and that this fence violated that rule.  The HOA declarations allow the HOA to adopt detailed architectural rules and this rule was properly adopted and within the authority granted by the declarations.  The evidence further showed that there were two other houses in the community that had fences extending past the rear wall of the houses and the HO argued that this meant that the enforcement of the rule was inconsistent and unreasonable.  However, these fences had been installed by the developer of the community and the declaration specifically exempted the developer from the architectural controls.

The hearing panel held that the HO had violated the rules.  It further held that under Maryland law, the HOA had the discretion either to grant a waiver or to enforce the rule as written, and that the panel would not interfere with the HOA's decision, so long as it was reasonable.  The panel ordered the HO to submit an application for his fence, and to comply with the decision of the HOA on his application, including moving his fence if the HOA required it.

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