Re: Meeting quorum questions
From: Larry Miller (larry.millercharter.net)
Date: Sat, 20 Jun 2009 15:00:42 -0700 (PDT)
Part of the answer depends on exactly what the CC&Rs say and whether a
business meeting is actually an "official" membership meeting. At OCC, the
CC&Rs only require membership votes for the Board of directors and certain
major financial issues. We have determined that business meetings are not
actually covered by the CC&Rs and have set the quorum requirements based on
our own needs. From the CC&R viewpoint, only our Board has the power to make
decisions. We resolve that by having consensus decisions made by the
community which are then "ratified" by the Board.

The alternative is to actually amend the CC&Rs. Oak Creek Commons has done
that twice for other reasons. One was to lower the requirement for a super
majority of 75% to pass anything. Our CC&Rs require 50% of mortgage holders
to approve, but also state that no response within 30 days is deemed
approval. Our experience is that the vast majority of mortgage holders
simply don't respond to a request for approval, so an amendment to the CC&Rs
is actually not as difficult as it looks. It does require collecting a list
of mortgage holders and doing a mailing. It does not require an attorney,
although it is an opportunity to update the CC&Rs if there are other things
that need to be changed and an attorney could at least review the proposed
changes.  

Larry Miller
Oak Creek Commons

-----Original Message-----
From: David Entin [mailto:davidentin [at] comcast.net] 
Sent: Friday, June 19, 2009 5:36 AM
To: Cohousing-L
Subject: [C-L]_ Meeting quorum questions


A neighbor at adjacent Pathways Cohousing called me to inquire about quorum
requirements for their meetings, which are one over half the member
households.  However, they are having difficulty achieving a quorum at
meetings where business decisions need to be made.  I told her that our
community had recently lowered our quorum from 14 (exactly half of the 28
households) to 10 to ease obtaining a quorum at meetings.  She pointed out
the problem is a quorum requirement is listed in the by-laws, which are
often incorporated into mortgage documents, as required by lending
institutions.   To make a change would in turn therefore require amending
all mortgages in the cohousing community, a difficult and perhaps expensive
task.  She asked me to put this question up on the cohousing listserv to ask
for comments and suggestions on this matter and how other communities deal
with difficulties in achieving a quorum or lowering the quorum for business
meetings.   Thank you.   David Entin, Rocky Hill Cohousing, Northampton, MA.
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