Re: Changes in condo fee if a unit is expanded?
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Thu, 5 Jan 2017 06:41:09 -0800 (PST)
> On Jan 4, 2017, at 3:33 PM, Sue STIGLEMAN <sstigleman [at]> 
> wrote:

I’ve spent many years of trying to explain our bylaws to residents (Who reads 
these things?). We have contradictory requirements that are in different 
sections, sometimes far removed, and people don’t see both of them. 

The other problem is long sentences that are really paragraphs. I recommend 
some formatting changes to make this clearer and easier to consult.:The brain 
fog you save will be your own:


Of the total yearly Assessment,

(1) 56% shall be assessed to the Lots in equal portions;  

(2) 28% shall be assessed to the Lots proportionately to each House's heated 
area, as determined by the Board; 

(3) 8% shall be assessed to the Lots proportionately to the area of the wooden 
or composite decks, porches, and stairs attached to each House, as determined 
by the Board; 

(4) 2% shall be assessed to the Lots proportionately to the area of the 
concrete patios and stairs attached to each House, as determined by the Board; 

(5) 6% shall be assessed to all Lots except for G24, regardless of whether 
those Lots are being served by the common heat/hot water system, in proportion 
to the heated square feet served by the system as of the date of recording of 
this Declaration amendment, as determined by the Board.  

These assessments are levied on a monthly basis. 

White space makes documents much easier to read. The lawyerly use of run on 
sentences is probably because of the length of many contracts and shortage of 
paper in the 19th century. Also putting more white space between lines is 
easier to read—1.5 times what is standard in word processors.

And watch out for “shall"s and “will"s. There are several articles on this on 
the web. Our linguist says the proper usage is "I will" and "you shall.” Other 
interpretations attribute compulsory to one or the other. The Plain Language 
recommendations are now for using “will" consistently because people know what 
it means, but “shall” works just as well.

I think what is more important is that you use one or the other consistently. 
Ours has “shall" in some places and “will" in others. There was no difference 
in meaning but the switching seemed to mean something. There was no way to 
decipher if that was true or not.

Bylaws are very important. They put a full stop on certain discussions, for one 
thing. On and on discussions about what noise restrictions should be are clear 
in or Bylaws. Unless we want to do an amendment, we don’t need to discuss it at 

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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