Re: CC&Rs, bylaws, etc.
From: Lynn Nadeau (welcomeolympus.net)
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2006 08:23:37 -0800 (PST)
Indeed, different legal formats (coop, condo, nonprofit with HOA, etc) have distinctive documents, in some respects. And state laws vary. So primarily look to the most similar documents you can find, when creating your own. But there's also lots of overlap. RoseWind Cohousing is not a condo (we're a "miscellaneous" mutual benefit nonprofit with a Homeowners' Association), but our documents include Bylaws, and a "Master Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions", which we call our CC&Rs, which runs with the deeds. In the case of the EcoVillage, a cooperative, that document is called something else, and includes the necessary descriptions of the coop blocks of shares, conditions on resale, subletting, etc. And there is still a lot of overlap. So, be aware that, within your state, there are differences between documents for various legal structures, but don't be afraid to look at a range of samples. When we wrote ours, there were not many models around, but we found useful material and food for thought in documents ranging from a Norwegian Sailors old age home, a hippie homestead, a cohousing cooperative, a recreational time share place, and a local gated community: the latter was in fact an HOA model, and had regulations for everything one could think to regulate. We took a machete to that document, saying no we don't need to regulate/worry about this and that, but it provided us with a very useful start (and had obviously had a lot of lawyer input, on their bill....). And documents CAN be changed. We are glad we also have Rules and Regulations, which are simply matters we've come to consensus on in meetings, and which are easy to evolve, but after our first seven years, we did a full overhaul of our documents, based on the realities of our experience, and so we now should be good for another seven years or so! (I hope so, since I usually end up on that Task Force.)
Lynn at RoseWind
Port Townsend WA
PS our buyer who turned out to be so unhappy did in fact see the documents - just goes to show you that you can't control everything..........

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