Are common elements considered public or private?
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 2021 12:31:41 -0800 (PST)
The general assumption of residents is that our common spaces are private. In 
other words do the sidewalks have to conform to city rules for evenness, width, 
etc. I know when we were designing in the late 1990s we have to meet the 
current construction. And we installed the innards we would need if the kitchen 
as classified as a commercial kitchen—but it wasn’t.

When we were writing the pet policy, the Animal Welfare people said that if we 
allowed dogs to run free, unleashed, on the property that the Association would 
be liable for any damage or injuries — not the homeowner. It isn’t the 
homeowner’s property.

It’s tricky ground and difficult to research.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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