Re: HOAs
From: Martie Weatherly (
Date: Sat, 12 Sep 2020 15:26:24 -0700 (PDT)
Yes I agree that you will mainly be dictated by the rules of your state. When 
we developed Liberty Village, we used an attorney and a standard Maryland HOA 
Bylaws. The only change we made was to make decisions by consensus. However, we 
felt the bank loaning us the money would think that was too far out, so we put 
in a back up vote which was acceptable. One of our first decisions as a Liberty 
Village Community Association was to write our pathway to consensus without a 
back up vote. 
The covenants have a lot of standard legal details about easements, property 
rights etc. We added our own restrictions but kept them pretty general e.g. 
animal owners are responsible for their pets rather than getting into how many 
dogs and cats we can have. 
We are required to have a general meeting once a year and elect our Board, 
Secretary and Treasurer which we do by consensus. The job of the Board has 
evolved over the years from almost nothing to more structured now. 
For financial issues such as reserves, we decide our budget at the end of every 
year for the next calendar year.
My advice is make a general structure and don't get too detailed - you will 
have plenty of time for that.

Martie Weatherly
Liberty Village

-----Original Message-----
>From: Mac Thomson via Cohousing-L <cohousing-l [at]>
>Sent: Sep 8, 2020 3:39 PM
>To: Coho-L-postings <cohousing-l [at]>
>Cc: Mac Thomson <macthomson [at]>
>Subject: Re: [C-L]_ HOAs
>Wow, that’s a lot of big questions.
>I’d be happy to share our HOA covenants with you, although I don’t think they 
>are wonderful (and I think they may be somewhat state specific). The challenge 
>is that most HOA’s operate very differently from cohousing communities. 
>Lawyers typically start with a standard set of covenants and tweak them to try 
>to make them fit for a cohousing community.
>Our covenants were developed by an attorney who had written covenants for 
>another cohousing community, but my guess is that they were originally based 
>on covenants from a standard HOA. In any case they seem to be an adequate 
>legal foundation, but don’t always reflect how we actually do things here.
>We are very good about documenting decisions and reflecting them in our 
>agreements, but they don't always get reflected in our covenants. Revising 
>covenants is a whole bunch more work and money.
>Good luck!
>Mac Thomson
>Heartwood Cohousing
>Southwest Colorado
>"I used to be an agnostic, but now I'm not so sure."
>> On Sep 7, 2020, at 11:58 AM, James Lesniak <jlesniak [at]> wrote:
>> Friends: 
>> My family are members of a newish cohousing community, Village Hill 
>> Cohousing in Northampton, MA. The community will transition from the 
>> developer-contractor being responsible for a HOA type agreement to the 
>> community having responsibility for a HOA document. I am researching to find 
>> various models, various cohousing community HOAs so our community can design 
>> and agree on our new HOA document. 
>> Would you please assist us as possible with following questions: 
>> 1) How is your HOA organized and written? 
>> 2) What are rules, regulations, practices or methods for achieving your 
>> community's goals, etc? 
>> 3) What is the HOA's composition, role, jurisdiction and methods for making 
>> decisions as the board 
>> 4) What is the % of HOA dues set aside for capital reserves? 
>> 5) What policies are there for late or nonpayment of HOA dues? 
>> Thank you for any assistance that you can give, 
>> James 
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  • HOAs James Lesniak, September 7 2020
    • Re: HOAs Martie Weatherly, September 12 2020

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