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CCOC Decision Summary

#23-11: Hawkins Landing HOA v. DelVecchio (February 28, 2012) (Panel: Shontz, Weinstein, Whelan)

The HOA complained that the homeowners failed to maintain their lot in good condition by filling in a sink hole, by failing to maintain the plants, by installing a plastic mesh fence and by building an unsafe stairway.  The HOA claimed that it had given permission to the owner to install a waterfall and pond in the sink hole but he failed to do so in the 2 months allowed by the board for the project.  The HOA claimed that some plants were overgrown weeds and that the stairway did not meet the requirements of the county code and did not have a proper railing.  The plastic mesh fence was unsightly and did not conform to the architectural harmony of the community.

The hearing panel held that the HOA could not impose a 2-month deadline for completion of the sink hole work because its own governing documents allowed completion in a 6 to 12 month period.

The hearing panel held that the HOA could not take action against the owner's ornamental plants, which included tall grasses.  The governing documents only banned weeds and stated that no approval was necessary for the planting of shrubs, trees, lawns and flowers.  The HOA could only require the owner to maintain his ornamental plants in good condition.

The hearing panel held that the plastic mesh fencing, which was intended to keep deer out of the lot, was a violation of the HOA's rules because it was installed without the necessary approval and did not conform to the HOA's standards.

Finally, the hearing panel held that although the HOA had the right to regulate the construction of a stairway, it unreasonably rejected the owner's application.  The HOA offered no proof that the stairway did not meet the County Code and the HOA had no rules or guidelines of its own concerning the proper or desirable construction of a stairway.  The panel ordered the HOA to either develop rules for stairways, or prohibit stairways altogether.  The panel ordered the homeowner to comply with whatever rule the HOA adopted.

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