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CCOC Decision Summary

#64-06, GreencastleLakes Community Association v. Chan & Yau (August 30, 2007) (Panel: Shontz, Gramzinski, Oxendine)

The community association (CA) complained that the homeowners (HO) had several defects on and around their home.However, the HO made most of the repairs before the hearing, and the matter went to a hearing only on the issue of whether the HO had applied for, and obtained permission for, the new railings they had installed on their deck.

The evidence showed that the HO had applied for permission to construct a stairway on their deck, and that the CA approved the request.However, the HO went on to install a new railing around the deck as well.This railing consisted of 3 horizontal boards, giving it the appearance of a fence.The railings on the neighbors' decks, and the community standards, were composed of closely-spaced vertical mullions, much like those on interior stairways.

The hearing panel found that the CA had properly adopted architectural standards and that the HO's railing was in violation of those standards; it also found that the HO violated the community rules by failing to obtain permission in advance for the railing.The panel ordered the HO to apply for permission to install a railing that conformed to the community standards within 30 days and to remove the current railing.

The HO did not appear at the hearing despite being properly served with the Summons.At the hearing, the CA also complained, and produced evidence to support its position, that the deck was too large and violated the community setback rules.This was the first time the issue had been raised in the case, and the HO was not informed of it.The panel refused to consider the new issue.

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