Constitutional Local Governments

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I am a nationmally recognized homeowner rights advocate, and author of "Establishing the New America of independent HOA principalities."

Thursday, September 01, 2005

The United HOAs of America

Private Neighborhoods and the Transformation of Local Government, Robert H. Nelson, (Urban Institute Press 2005) [Not affiliated with the Urban Land Institute, ULI. See].

In reading Part V, "Creating HOA Constitutions", of Bob Nelson's new book, Private Neighborhoods, its 3 chapters are called: The Neighborhood Legislature, The Neighborhood Executive Office and The Neighborhood Judicial Branch.

In his intro to this part he says, among other things,

"The purpose of a constitution is to set the ground rules for governance. . . . Yes the rise of the private neighborhood has resulted in far and away the largest number of new constitutions in recent years. [Is he referring to HOA pincipalities?] . . . . [T]he real estate lawyers and their developer clients . . . With no previous experience available to understand what the pros and cons would be to live in a community controlled by covenants, [governing documents] were born . . ."

Author Robert Nelson advocates the rewritng of HOA constitutions, allowing for the exercise of pro-active local voice in the governnace of the community. He admits that the big obstacle to creating communities has been the real etate profession's drafting of the CC&Rs with a concern for the profitability of the developer so he can easily exit the governance of the subdivision. In short, he propounds the current special interest view that private HOAs offer more local influence and should replace local governance.

But, he doesn't mention the 14th Amendment protections against state and local government violations of our rights. He seems to think that's not an issue. Rather, he refers to law of covenants and equitable servitudes as rewritten in the Restatement (Third) of Servitudes (2000) as the basis for rewritng the HOA declaration/constitution. So much for the American way of life.

I don't think anyone here is going to create a better set of rules than are already in existence, for better or for worse. This, I believe without reading the details, is what Nelson is promoting: The end game of planned communities is the legitimization of the private HOA form of government, accepted by all, replacing civil local government without the Bill of Rights.

Then, we will become The United HOAs of America. That's where you must be watching.