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CCOC Decision Summary

#279-O, Pomykala v. The Willoughby of Chevy Chase (May 12, 1995) (Panel:  Stevens, Auvil, Szajna).

The condominium owner (CO) complained that the condominium association (CA) improperly adopted a rule that denied swimming pool privileges to the owners and staff of commercial units in the CA.

The evidence at the hearing showed that the CA has 10 commercial units and 800 residential units; the CO is the owner of 3 commercial units, used as a dentistry.  The CA Declaration states that the word "Unit" includes residential and commercial units and that all "Unit Owners" have the right to use the common elements.  The CA Bylaws give the board of directors the right to regulate the use of the parking and recreational facilities of the CA.  The common elements include a swimming pool, and the swimming pool rules state that pool admission cards will be issued only to "residents and guests."  The CA will not issue pool admission cards to commercial and other non-resident unit owners.

The hearing panel held that the board did not have the legal authority to adopt a rule that contradicted the Declaration.  The Declaration granted equal access to the common elements to all unit owners without distinction.  The rule limiting pool access to residents only violated the Declaration.

The panel ordered that the CA issue pool access cards to all unit owners, including the CO.

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