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CCOC Decision Summary

#79-07, Yeshaneh v. Redland Crossing Homeowners Association (December 3, 2008) (Panel: Koenig, Negro, Whelan)

The homeowner filed a complaint against his association, Redland Crossing HOA, for improperly towing his passenger car, which he used as a taxicab.He argued that he could cover up the lettering on the sides of the passenger car so that it did not appear to be a commercial vehicle.Redland's rules prohibit the parking of commercial vehicles in its common areas.

At the hearing, the association pointed out that the term "commercial vehicle" included not only certain trucks and vehicles lettered for commercial purposes, but "any vehicle carrying commercial, livery, or taxi license plates."The evidence showed that the homeowner's car had District of Columbia "for hire" plates indicating it was a taxicab.The association also showed it enforced its parking rules consistently.

The hearing panel found that the homeowner was in violation of the parking rules since his vehicle carried "for hire" tags and ordered him to comply with the rules.However, the hearing panel also found that the association had violated Section 10B-9(d) and (e) of the Montgomery County Code because it determined to hold the homeowner in violation of the parking rules and immediately enforced the decision by having his car towed.Under Section 10B-9, the association must notify the homeowner of his right to file a complaint with the Commission and cannot take any action to enforce its decision for 14 days.The panel therefore ordered the association to revise its forms within 30 days and to provide the Commission with a copy of proper forms for review.

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