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CCOC Decision Summary

#73-07, Zich v. Decoverly I HOA (August 22, 2008) (Panel: Fleischer, Kali, Whelan)

The homeowner (HO) complained that the board improperly allowed two directors to vote on each other's architectural change applications because those two directors had a conflict of interest and should have recused themselves.

The evidence at the hearing showed that two homeowners who had disputed architectural change applications pending before the HOA board of directors were part of a movement to expand the size of the board from five to seven, and then when this proposal passed, they both ran for seats on the board and were elected.Both of them campaigned for seats on the board by taking positions that the board was excessively strict in refusing to permit changes.Subsequently, each of the two new directors voted on the other's architectural change application.One application passed, the other application failed.Neither of the new directors voted on his own application.The HO did not produce any evidence of any agreement or collusion between the two directors to vote favorably on each other's applications.

The hearing panel upheld the board's vote adopting the application that passed.The panel held that although the HO produced some evidence of a conflict, he failed to produce sufficient evidence to prove any improper agreement between the two directors.The two directors had campaigned for office on the grounds that the board should be more tolerant of architectural changes, and their votes could have reflected a principled policy rather than collusion to favor their own interests over the interests of the community.

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