Re: Consensus and voting bylaws (Willow Murphy)
From: Mary Ann Clark (
Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2013 21:01:17 -0800 (PST)
"Covenants, conditions and restrictions" standard HOA governing documents. 

Mary Ann

I only write when I am inspired. Fortunately I am inspired at 9 o’clock every 
morning. ~William Faulkner

On Jan 12, 2013, at 2:21 PM, Willow Murphy <willowm7 [at]> wrote:

> Mary Ann, excuse my inexperience, but what is "CC&R"?
> Willow
> On Sat, Jan 12, 2013 at 8:04 AM, <drmaryanngroups [at]> wrote:
>> Several years ago (5+?) because of changes in state law we needed to
>> re-write our CC&Rs and By-Laws at that time we re-defined our governing
>> documents as a three-legged stool of those two documents plus our Policies
>> and Procedures manual. The P&P is in non-legalese and can easily changed as
>> our needs change. In it we have detailed procedures for gaining consensus,
>> what to do in the case of unresolved blocks and when a decision is taken to
>> a vote. (Copies available for purchase from our website
>> We also define three types of members: homeowners, renters, and affiliated
>> members (who don't live on the property). In general, all three types of
>> members have full rights and responsibilities including participating in
>> the consensus process with four exceptions. Only homeowners (members of the
>> official HOA) can vote on:
>> 1) Revising the CC&Rs and By-Laws
>> 2) Electing the HOA board of directors (required by state law but being
>> "titular" in practice since except in very unusual cases they merely ratify
>> decisions made by the community as a whole)
>> 3) Levy special assessments
>> 4) Raise the monthly dues
>> In general, even in these cases, the decision is hashed out in a plenary
>> session before being brought to vote of the home owners.
>> Mary Ann
>> Manazanita Village, where we're having a beautiful but cold Arizona morning
>> On Jan 11, 2013, at 11:36 AM, Willow Murphy <willowm7 [at]> wrote:
>>> I like the simplicity and trust suggested by your bylaws structure.  I
>> have
>>> a concern related to the primacy given or not given to consensus in our
>>> community:   Our proposed bylaws amendment defines which final decisions
>>> are made by voting: ie organizational or administrative structure,
>>> finances, choosing board of directors, property interests, legal
>> concerns,
>>> etc.  Have any other communities defined "voting rights" in this way in
>>> their bylaws?  Comments?
>>> On Fri, Jan 11, 2013 at 11:03 AM, R.N. Johnson <cohoranda [at]>
>> wrote:
>>>> Our bylaws are structured such that our consensus process supersedes the
>>>> legally required majority voting process unless there is an urgent
>> reason
>>>> to do so and we are unable to make a decision by consensus.
>>>> Randa Johnson
>>>> New Brighton Cohousing
>>>> Aptos, CA
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>> --
>> Inspiration is for amateurs - the rest of us just show up and get to work.
>> Mary Ann Clark
>> drmaryann49 [at]
>> Check out DrMaryAnn's Academy at
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