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CCOC Decision Summary

#57-10, Verchinski v. Plymouth Woods Condominium Association (June 22, 2011) (Panel: Dymowski, Brandes, Fonoroff)

The condominium unit owner filed a complaint over the condominium's decision to reject her application to install her replacement air conditioning unit within a limited common element instead of in her unit's utility closet.  She argued that most available new units would not fit in her existing utility closet; so installing one outdoors was the only practical solution.  She also argued that the condominium's rejection of her application was arbitrary because it allowed other unit owners to have their air conditioning units installed in the common areas.  She lived on the third floor of her building. 

The evidence at the hearing showed that the units in this condominium were designed to have their air conditioning units installed inside each unit's utility closet.   However, the ground-floor units had their air conditioning machines installed on the common area grounds adjacent to their own units.  Although the complaining unit owner had received bids for new air conditioners that could not fit inside her utility closet, she had received one bid for a unit that did fit into that space.  The condominium's board of directors had not allowed any air conditioning units to be installed in the common areas, apart from those assigned to the ground-floor units.  The board explained that it was concerned that the installation of additional air conditioning units on the grounds near the ground floor units would create more noise for those unit owners.  It would also require that the Freon lines run up the exterior walls of the buildings, which would affect the appearance and integrity of the buildings.

The hearing panel, following the Maryland Court of Appeals decision in Kirkley v.   .Seipelt, found that the board's rejection of the application was a reasonable one, not arbitrary, and based on its authority to preserve the overall appearance and harmony of the community.  The panel upheld the decision and dismissed the case.

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