Re: Policy Committee & Condo law and Cohousing?
From: Alicia Nowicki (alicianowickigmail.com)
Date: Wed, 17 Jul 2019 09:51:09 -0700 (PDT)
Henning,
Could you explain a little about what you mean as vanilla HOA structure?  Are 
you talking about standard HOA bylaws?r  Or what exactly do you mean by vanilla 
HOA structure?  If one were to use standard HOA structure there still need to 
be some changes that explain the concept of CoHousing.  Can you help me 
understand more fully what you mean and how you have done this vanilla 
structure you speak of?
Curious and longing for more understanding,
Alicia Nowicki
Tierra Nueva CoHo, Oceano, CA
(805) 714-7417 text and cell

> On Jul 17, 2019, at 5:10 AM, Henning Mortensen <hmortensen [at] gmail.com> 
> wrote:
> 
> In our community, we have taken a different approach. We use what is 
> basically vanilla HOA structure making only a few minor adjustments where 
> needed (mostly about the number of board members). 
> 
> We then hold one short meeting per year as the “board” and defer all other 
> rules and meetings to our cohousing techniques. We are fortunate in that our 
> vanilla bylaws allow for making a motion to conduct following business by 
> consensus. 
> 
> We like that we have standard protections under the vanilla laws should 
> someone turn into a criminal or be late with fees. 
> 
> Our one meeting a year is used to meet our reporting responsibilities and 
> approve our budgets and finances. These are previously worked out using 
> consensus and teams.  By the time we hold this meeting the items are just 
> rubber stamping what we have already agreed on. 
> 
> Basically, for half an hour a year we play at being a ‘proper’ board. This 
> has worked very well for us. 
> 
> The board agenda is the same year to year and provides a good checklist that 
> we have our corporate responsibility met. 
> 
> This approach also works well when we have to provide our bylaws to a bank. 
> We provide standard bylaws and a short list of amendments instead of a 
> special and heavily modified set of bylaws. It is easy for the lawyers to 
> understand our amendments and they are comfortable with the vanilla bylaws. 
> 
> 
> Henning Mortensen
> PrairieSpruce, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada 
> 
> Sent from my iPhone
> 
>> On Jul 16, 2019, at 5:41 AM, Alan O'Hashi via Cohousing-L <cohousing-l [at] 
>> cohousing.org> 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!
>> 
>> 
>> *******************************************
>> Alan O'Hashi - ECOS
>> EnviroCultural Organization Systems
>> http://www.alanohashi.com/ecos
>> Colorado 303-910-5782
>> Wyoming 307-274-1910
>> Nebraska 402-327-1652
>> ******************************************* 
>> 
>>   On Tuesday, July 16, 2019, 04:27:38 AM MDT, cohousing-l-request [at] 
>> cohousing.org <cohousing-l-request [at] cohousing.org> wrote:  
>> 
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>> Today's Topics:
>> 
>>  1. Re: Policy Committee & Condo law and Cohousing? (Bob Leigh)
>> 
>> 
>> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>> 
>> Message: 1
>> Date: Mon, 15 Jul 2019 15:50:06 -0400
>> From: Bob Leigh <bobleigh [at] twomeeps.com>
>> To: cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org
>> Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Policy Committee & Condo law and Cohousing?
>> Message-ID:
>>    <CAKbQ-o4Sa1oYhNSdgnKE+N_9ofwgte4tEcrcFSJrHMPp+0=ofA [at] mail.gmail.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="UTF-8"
>> 
>> Phil Dowds wrote:
>> 
>>>> we are currently having some difficulty with FNMA, FHA, etc, over some
>> provisions in the bylaws,
>>>> like rules for rental, right of first refusal in sales transactions,
>> 
>> More specifically, a unit owner is investigating reverse mortgages, and her
>> mortgage broker advised her that, for most reverse mortgages, the community
>> must be FHA-approved.  A company named FHA Review, Inc. advised her that
>> the FHA would not accept our condo documents due to the presence of a right
>> of first refusal and due to a statement that the Managing Board must
>> approve rentals.
>> 
>> That's not quite the same as having difficulty with the FHA itself -- but
>> that's probably a minor point.
>> 
>>  ----
>> Bob Leigh
>> Cornerstone Village Cohousing
>> Cambridge, MA, USA
>> 
>> 
>> On Mon, Jul 15, 2019 at 3:39 PM R Philip Dowds via Cohousing-L <
>> cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org> wrote:
>> 
>>> In Massachusetts, Cornerstone is organized under conventional Chapter 183A
>>> condo law.  Thus the requisite Managing Board (an elected team or circle)
>>> has the overall power and duty for day-to-day management of the condo.  The
>>> ultimate authority, however, is the Association itself, which, acting as
>>> plenary, can supersede or replace the Board.  (An Association rising up to
>>> contradict its elected Board is a rare event, but not unheard of.)
>>> 
>>> But and however, the Association and the Board are free to delegate
>>> substantial power and duty to other groups:  committees, circles, teams,
>>> whatever.  And this is what we do.  By this method, we honor the cohousing
>>> traditions of self-management, broad participation, equivalence, and
>>> distribution of power ? while at the same time, remaining aligned with
>>> State enabling legislation.  Much of this delegation happens in the next
>>> layer down below the bylaws ? that is, in the policies (?rules and
>>> regulations?) adopted by plenary.  Our plenary consensus process is
>>> embedded and articulated in our bylaws, but we were advised by our attorney
>>> that the Association has broad discretion in defining how it makes
>>> decisions.  Thus far, we?ve had no exogenous challenge of consensus
>>> procedures.  All this works in Mass; don?t know how it plays out in other
>>> States.
>>> 
>>> Yes, we are currently having some difficulty with FNMA, FHA, etc, over
>>> some provisions in the bylaws, like rules for rental, right of first
>>> refusal in sales transactions, and so on.  But as it turns out, we don?t
>>> much like our own rules anyway, so we?re looking into re-writing them.
>>> Adjusting these details doesn?t seem to pose any threat to the principles
>>> of cohousing self-governance.
>>> 
>>> Thanks,
>>> Philip Dowds
>>> Cornerstone Village Cohousing
>>> Cambridge, MA
>>> 
>>> mobile: 617.460.4549
>>> email:  rpdowds [at] comcast.net
>>> 
>>>> On Jul 15, 2019, at 2:05 PM, Ann Lehman <ann [at] zimmerman-lehman.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>> 
>>>> Hi Folks,
>>>> 
>>>> We at the national level would like to start a Legislative Policy
>>> Committee
>>>> and are encouraging all who are interested to join.  It won't be until
>>> the
>>>> Fall but please *let me know if you are interested.*  The focus (still
>>>> being formed) would be to highlight legislative successes, offer models
>>> for
>>>> others, and advocate for changes that encourage more cohousing.
>>>> 
>>>> On that note, we had an interesting discussion at our PDX Plus meeting on
>>>> Saturday (July 13th).  It involved the sometimes unnatural hoops we jump
>>>> through to fit our bylaws into condo law.  I'm curious if anyone has
>>> tried
>>>> (or succeeded) in changing condo laws or any other housing law to not
>>> only
>>>> accommodate cohousing but to actually highlight it?
>>>> 
>>>> Best,
>>>> 
>>>> Annie
>>>> 
>>>> *Ann Lehman
>>>> **Zimmerman Lehman
>>>> Board Governance Specialist
>>>> **https://zimmerman-lehman.com/ <https://zimmerman-lehman.com/>
>>>> **510.755.5701*
>>>> 
>>>> *Yoga Instructor
>>>> Slow Yoga for Savvy Bodies
>>>> **https://zimmerman-lehman.com/slowyoga.htm
>>>> <https://zimmerman-lehman.com/slowyoga.htm>
>>>> *
>>>> 
>>>> *CoHousing Association of U.S.
>>>> **https://www.cohousing.org/* <https://www.cohousing.org/>*
>>>> (Board member)*
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>> 
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