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CCOC Decision Summary

#518-G, OldePotomacPark Community Association v. Oppenheim (February 20, 2002) (Panel: Stevens, Gaffigan, Perlingiero)

The homeowners association (HOA) filed a complaint with the Commission claiming that the homeowner (HO) was violating the architectural rules of the HOA by having a window air conditioning unit.The HO responded that the home's central air conditioning unit did not adequately cool the home and that they needed the window unit to relieve the allergies of a family member.

The evidence at the hearing showed that the architectural rules clearly prohibited window air conditioning units, and that the HO did not request approval to install one, although the rules required such an application for any modification of the appearance of the home.The HOA routinely enforced the rule against window units against other unit owners.Further, interior air conditioning units were available at reasonable cost, and such units did not have to be placed in windows.

The panel found that the HOA was within its authority to adopt a rule prohibiting window air conditioners, that it enforced its rule consistently and did not waive its right to proceed against the HO.The panel ordered the HO to remove the air conditioning unit within 60 days.

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