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CCOC Decision Summary

#63-07, Resnik v. Montgomery Village Foundation (June 5, 2008) (Panel: Dymowski, Farrar, Gannon)

The homeowners (HOs) complained after the homeowner association (HOA) found that they were in violation of rules regarding the color of the trim around their front door sidelights.They argued that the paint color complied with the rules of the HOA that existed at the time they applied for, and received, permission to install a new front-door-and-sidelight unit.They also argued that the molding around the sidelights was not "trim" because the manufacturer of the unit only considered "trim" to be the molding around the entire unit, not around the door and windows.

The evidence at the hearing showed that in 2005 the HOA rules required that all house trim be brown.That year the HOs requested permission to install a new front door and sidelight unit (the front door with its two sidelights is built as a single piece in the factory) with a unit that was "mahogany" on the outside and white in the inside of the house.The HOA approved the application.However, once the HOs placed the order for the unit with the factory, the factory informed them that "mahogany" was no longer available.The HOs then decided to install a unit that was white inside and outside.The HO did not apply for permission for the change.After the new unit was installed, in 2006 the HOs repainted the new front door in gray, and then later applied for permission to use this color.The HOA responded to the new application by notifying the HOs that the door must be painted the color of "Bull Run" and the trim of the sidelights must be brown, as per the existing rules.The HOs painted the front door in "Bull Run" but appealed the requirement of repainting the sidelight trim.

The hearing panel found that the color of the house trim is an important factor in the community rules, that the rules required the trim of this house to be brown, and that the HOs never had permission to install white trim.The panel found that the HOs had violated the rules by not asking for permission and by using a color that did not comply with the rules.The panel further found that the word "trim" in the HOA rules was broad enough to include the decorative molding around the sidelights even though the manufacturer of the unit did not consider that molding to be "trim".

The panel ordered the HOs to repaint the sidelight molding in the proper color within 60 days.

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