Re: Documents v. Reality
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2012 16:10:39 -0800 (PST)
On 1 Feb 2012, at 11:33 AM, Holly McNutt wrote:

> Here at Nyland our Board of Directors, on which I serve, is looking into 
> revising our governing docs (CC&R's and Bylaws) to more accurately reflect 
> the agreements we truly live by.  In a nutshell, the docs are pretty much 
> standard issue HOA variety, which helps people get mortgages and such, and 
> the community agreements are more "cohousing-ish."  This has worked for 20 
> years now, but some people feel they really ought to be more in line.

From experience at TVC it is really hard for new people to understand what is 
what when the documents don't reflect what truly happens in the community. It 
makes them feel out of step even more. Everything has to be learned first hand 
from several people before they "get it right."

In the other extreme, a new person who comes in expecting things to be the way 
they were presented on paper before they moved in has a big stone to swallow 
and they may not. 

Legally, what is on paper is binding. 

The other reason to rewrite is that the process of sorting out what you are 
really doing is important to understanding who you are and to be sure everyone 
is operating on the same assumptions.

I have a friend who teaches plain English for Lawyers. Most of what sounds like 
gobbledygook is. And the requirements that banks want to see has to be tested. 
The state of looking for a construction loan is very different from refinancing 
or purchasing in a stable 20 year old community with sales to provide 

It may be a lot of work to rewrite but it might also enrich your community 
sense of who you are.

Sharon Villines, Washington DC
"Behavior is determined by the prevailing form of decision making." Gerard 

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