Posts Tagged ‘Common Area’

Common Area Car Charging

November 7, 2014

Straight from Detroit, we have some news angst aimed at the association of a Chevy Volt owner.   It looks like the owner was plugging her car into common area electricity every night.  The board decided to charge her for her presumably higher-than-average electricity load.  A dispute ensued, with some reporter harassing the board repeatedly to get this snarky quote:

Action News contacted the HOA president. After hanging up on us twice, he would only confirm that the HOA board voted 4-1 to kill Forte’s power to her garage, forcing the woman to charge her electric hybrid from her condo from 100 feet of extension cord.

I can’t help but feel sorry for this vilified board.  They didn’t run to the media when one of their owners started taking advantage of a common resources.  But here they are fielding repeated phone calls from the press.  I can’t help but think that if it had been a Nissan or other Japanese plugin car the Detroit media would not have been as aggressive in their reporting.  That’s what you get for living in Motor City, I guess.

Clearly, a plug-in car uses much more electricity than envisioned when electric outlets were placed in a common car port.  As plug-ins grow in popularity (assuming our current oil price dip is temporary), other boards may have to make similar decisions about how to handle the increased load.  Maybe if it became very common for people to use electricity for their primary transportation, associations would agree to pool the cost.  Somehow I doubt it.  Extension cords to the individual condo units sounds like a reasonable solution to me.2011-chevrolet-volt-power-adaptor_100190237_m

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All-You-Can-Eat Politics

October 18, 2012

The other morning I was driving my kids to school here in Boise, and I was surprised to notice that a political sign right outside my neighborhood was not a political sign at all.  It was a sneaky ad for Tucanos restaurant.  Now, I love Brazilian barbeque, and I like a good funny ad, but immediately after I chuckled I started to think, not about grilled pineapple, but about whether advertisers were really permitted the same leeway in placing signs as political candidates are granted.

The Albuquerque Tucanos is also apparently actively campaigning, and the local news covered the issue: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsdW1arRFe4 .  I did not see media coverage here in Boise, even though we got the same ad coverage.  I suspect the answer is the same here:  This is just littering.

It is election season, and those signs are everywhere here in town.  I’m not going to discuss what individual property owners do on their own land, as that is a topic for another day, but HOAs often own prominent roadside common area.  HOAs are just like any other owner, and they can enforce sign-placement laws.  In Idaho, those laws are here: http://legislature.idaho.gov/idstat/Title18/T18CH70SECT18-7029.htm.  So an HOA should act like any other responsible property owner and make a decision to clear the signs off or let everyone have their say.

The law:

18-7029. PLACING POSTERS OR PROMOTIONAL MATERIAL ON PUBLIC OR PRIVATE PROPERTY WITHOUT PERMISSION. It shall be unlawful for any person to erect, install, attach or paint, or cause to be erected, installed, attached or painted, election posters or signs upon public or private property, real or personal, in the state of Idaho, without permission from the owner or occupant of such property, and it shall be unlawful for any person to place or leave any literature or other political, promotional or sales materials upon public or private property, real or personal, in the state of Idaho when the owner or occupant of such property, by a sign conspicuously posted on the property, or by other written or audio communication to such person, has forbidden the placing or leaving of literature or other political, promotional or sales material upon that property. Provided, however, that the granting of such permission by any public utility company on behalf of any candidate for public office shall constitute the granting of like permission by such public utility company to all other candidates for the same public office. Any violation of this section shall be a misdemeanor.

Why Did It Have To Be Snakes?

October 2, 2012

Some association problems are just more attention-grabbing than others.  This Texas HOA is dealing with an invasion of hundreds of rattlesnakes.  According to some owners, there is common area that is maintained by the association that is attracting mice and rabbits and other rattler food.

While the association may be mowing the area, or undertaking other regular maintenance, by getting the media involved, the owners are successfully raising a question as to whether that maintenance is sufficient.  Allegations of hundreds of rattlers certainly gets media attention.

In any event, Mr. Jackson (and Dr. Jones) would not approve.

 

I could see a similar problem arising here in Idaho.  But it probably wouldn’t be snakes.  Perhaps if the clubhouse trash were not cleared regularly, some communities would face an invasion of bears.  The association board has some discretion by law to decide how much maintenance the HOA can afford.   Reporting dangerous animals (if true) might be a good way to challenge that discretion.