Re: Policy Committee & Condo law and Cohousing?
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Wed, 17 Jul 2019 13:24:20 -0700 (PDT)
On Jul 16, 2019, at 10:21 AM, Kathleen Walsh <kathleen [at]> 

>  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
> taxes.

But there is only one vote per unit. The owners have to agree on how that vote 
is to be cast — unless you allow people to vote percentages. The law doesn’t 
require that. If they don’t agree they can’t vote.

>   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.

Aren’t your reserve deposits approved as part of the annual budget? And aren’t 
they made on the basis of a certified study of requirements? DC law and other 
states require the budget to be approved in an annual meeting of the Owners?

In addition to these stipulations, we have dollar amounts that teams can spend 
without approval of the Owners. They must also approve amounts from the 
Replacement Reserve and the Reserves for Special Projects. The budget is 
approved once a year and a team couldn’t possibly add $10,000 to their own 
budget without community approval. Some approvals can be done by email — ask 
for objections and hearing none, approved.

We also don’t have % ownership of units. I can’t imagine how complicated that 
would be. We also don’t allow people to own a unit for investment purposes. 
They can rent for 2 years and can ask for another year. Otherwise owners must 
in residence.

We may soon be discussing whether a resident can purchase a second unit to 
rent.  In our case, we have had very good experience with renters and would 
like for them to be able to remain in the community although they may not be 
mortgage approvable.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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