With the economy theoretically on the upswing, it is likely we will see more commercial development occurring. Oftentimes, this development isn’t something that residents in your community association want or support as this story points out.  However, before your community association decides to fight a development and heads to the city council meetings, as a board member you need to ask a few questions to make sure you are acting within your scope and appropriately:

  1. Does the association have the authority to spend association funds to fight the development?
  2. Does the board know what the residents think about the development?
  3. Does the board speak for a majority of the residents for a vocal minority?
  4. What does the board hope to accomplish, both ideally and realistically?

To answer these questions boards should understand the development approval process, consult with legal counsel regarding authority, have meetings with owners and perhaps even survey the community.  Only then can a comprehensive strategy be developed to fight the development.

One response to “Fighting Development
  1. It’s hard to stop progress. In most cases I would think that the homeowners, or at least a representative group of them, should undertake opposition on their own. There are cases, however, when the entire association would be negatively affected, and in such instances, the board could represent the association. It is up to the board at that point to make a prudent business decision as to the propriety of spending association money, but that should only be done if a majority of the owners agree to oppose the development. Most cities allow residents to oppose development based on the developer’s past track record. A group of owners from our HOA used this as a basis for opposing further development by the developer of our community, and the city refused to approve further development by him.
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