Re: Policy Committee & Condo law and Cohousing?
From: Kathleen Walsh (
Date: Tue, 16 Jul 2019 07:22:04 -0700 (PDT)
One issue I have become aware of is the link between the legal definition
of condo "owner" and the potential risk of uncoupling voting from this
definition.  In Oregon, the relevant statutes do not define condo ownership
in terms of any percentage of deed holding.   The statutes just indicate
that only one vote can be made by the owner, or owners, of any single
unit.  So, someone who legally owns 1% of a unit has the same legal right
to participate in decision-making as someone who owns 100% of a unit in
process based on "consensus" verses voting, whether or not they live on the
property.  Potentially, this sets up situations in which HOA members who
face minimal financial risk are deciding how to spend the monies members
who face substantial risk are legally forced to pay as dues and property

At Columbia Ecovillage we use a version of sociocracy in which small team
members can make decisions that impact members not on their circle, such as
the Reserve Study team.  Several years ago our Reserve Study team was
populated by a single person who owns .5% of a rental unit.  This person
added a large amount of money to the study (over $10,000), indicating that
this was an operational decision governed by members of the team, which is
why she did not inform the members of the next level circle of her
actions.  The HOA, in turn, did not inform all owners because they were not
aware of the action.

This is a complex issue that will require considerable thought in order to
protect the financial stability of individual owners who have fully
invested in their units and the HOA itself.

Kathleen Walsh

On Tue, Jul 16, 2019 at 4:50 AM Alan O'Hashi via Cohousing-L <
cohousing-l [at]> wrote:

>  Annie, Phil, et al. - At my place we're updating our declarations and
> bylaws by cohousing-izing them, but compliant with state HOA laws. In a
> nutshell, we have a governing board as required by law called the steering
> team (ST). We have basically emasculated the ST into a body that
> coordinates and implements the actions of the community at large.
> The ST consists of a representative of the standing operational teams that
> deal with the common house, parties, gardens, buildings, finances who each
> are approved by the community. Action items originate from the community
> that directs the ST to figure out the details and bring back the final
> products for three readings. The community approves the actions and the ST
> reaffirms community decisions. Nothing comes from the ST to the community
> without first originating in a standing team or from the community at large.
> The Colorado state law - as does all the other states - talks a lot about
> voting and majorities and super majorities, etc. We took out all references
> to voting and changed those to decisions and make reference to our decision
> making community agreements, which are around consensus.
> There are MANY subtleties around insurance, disclosures, conflicts of
> interest, how dues are determined, the super majorities and other esoteria,
> that I won't go into here. We've spent quite a bit of time - two years -
> and money - thousands - going through this with an HOA lawyer who also is
> comfortable with our work. This isn't typical intellectual property and as
> such, we're trying to figure out how to let others have access to the
> documents.
> Thx,
> Alan O
> PS - if all HOAs operated like a cohousing HOA, there would be no need for
> all the state requirements around how to get rid of deadbeat HOA board
> members and their criminal behaviors!
> PS2 - to Fred, I resent this because the first time, I forgot to delete
> the thread 'tail.'
> *******************************************
> Alan O'Hashi - ECOS
> EnviroCultural Organization Systems
> Colorado 303-910-5782
> Wyoming 307-274-1910
> Nebraska 402-327-1652
> *******************************************
> _________________________________________________________________
> Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at:

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.