HOA Bill stirs up discussion in Senate

Another state speaks out against HOAs


Information supplied by Public Records and Paula Elofson
Published February 15, 2005


A Little Comment:

Now the discussion about reforms of existing laws regulating homeowners' associations has reached Colorado. The main players are the same as in all other states wuth problems in homeowners' associations. Homeowners on one side, and the Community Associations Institute and related service supplier on the other side of the fence.

Main issue: State enforcement of the laws regulating homeowners associations. The argument of the opposition of homeowner-friendly bills is nothing new. The owners signed a contract. Yea, right - but we would like to see the contracts being enforced. 


Reading the comments can just make you wonder: How can enforcement of existing laws lead to an increase in insurance rates? And again we hear the ridiculous statement that everybody is happy, but just a few disgruntled owners. Are these people serious or are they just wearing blinders - trying to black out reality?


This part provided by Paula Elofson of Colorado from the public records.  Thanks!

(Text in red is comment added by Paula Elofson)

CAI and opposition can be found at the 4:00 entries -- no comment, once again, about the injustice repeatedly mentioned by homeowners.  Well, maybe it's because we stopped their false statements about  "it's only a handful of malcontents who don't know how to get along".

The public hearing on SB05-100 that was held on February 9th before the Senate State Affairs Committee posted a synopsis of our comments. If HOA boards and the management companies would act ethically there would not be so much controversy over this bill. I can't understand why anyone would oppose this bill if they were compliant with CCNR's.


02:26 PM -- Senate Bill 05-100
Senator Hagedorn commented on the bill's provisions. The bill is intended to improve the operation of homeowner's associations (HOA). Senator Groff asked about an amendment that would address conflicts of interest requiring disclosure by HOA board members.

02:40 PM -- Paula Elofson, Lakewood, Colorado said that her HOA Board is "vindictive" and asked that a State HOA Ombudsman's Office be created. She has had a dispute with her neighbor.
Talk about filtering, a meth lab and $5,000 of damage to our home from the 12+ people living in a 2 bedroom home goes beyond a DISPUTE, we could not sell our home because of this family. She commented on abuses occurring at her housing complex. The abuses and frustration over time will develop into anger, which is one letter short of danger. There should be one place you can go to find refuge - your home. When you can't do that - you are boxed into a corner with no relief in sight. This is what makes some of these situations dangerous over time. Please find an answer to help - don't pass a meaningless bill.

02:46 PM -- Michael Marotta, Denver, commented on closed door meetings by homeowner's associations. He said that the bill will reign in runaway HOAs. He supports state regulation of HOAs.

02:48 PM -- Brad Dempsey, Arvada, stated his support for the bill. He expressed concern about any limitations on the placement of yard signs, an "important medium of communication." The bill prevents HOAs from banning political signs 45 days prior to an election, and allows reasonably sized signs He said that the bill is a compromise. He said that many HOA agreements are generally drafted by developers and are not negotiable. These agreements are not often read by residents. The bill is a "bill of rights" for residents in HOAs.

02:56 PM -- Michael McCracken, Arvada, said that the state should not limit the placement of political signs, a "means of political participation" He supports the ability of homeowners to use xeriscaping if they choose. He said that it's important to have participation from homeowners in HOA board meetings.

02:59 PM -- Jim Eddins, Broomfield, commented on the encroachment of residents on common areas and the homeowners right to review and veto proposed HOA budgets. He said the bill will make HOAs more "user friendly."

03:02 PM -- Doug Snyder, Littleton, said that he believes that the bill doesn't go far enough. He said that the current regulatory statutes for HOAs are ambiguous.

03:09 PM -- Nick Dodich, Arvada, commented on the shortcomings of his homeowner's association. He wants homeowners to have more recourse than they presently do.

03:12 PM -- Marilyn Cohn, Denver, commented on mismanagement by management companies for HOAs.

03:18 PM -- Dinah Land, Aurora, commented on poor behavior of HOA Board members that restricts dissemination of opinions of residents.

03:22 PM -- Jim Burneson, Aurora, said that homeowners must enforce the law currently under HOA regulations. He said that the law should be enforced by the Real Estate Division.

03:33 PM -- Jim Holzman, Denver, commented on his experiences with his HOA. He said that his HOA is trying to restrict the dissemination of information and should be required to follow open meetings laws.

03:42 PM -- Senator Tupa read into the record a statement by a woman, J. M. Fay of Denver, who was present but unable to speak. She supports the bill and wants restrictions placed on HOAs.

03:44 PM -- Maria Fritchey Aurora, commented on the bill.

03:46 PM -- Bob Fritchey, Aurora, commented on harassment by his HOA.

03:47 PM -- Don Svedman, Fort Collins, commented on the operations of his HOA.

03:53 PM -- Joe Felice, Denver, commented on the bill. He said that homeowners should control HOA activities rather than having these activities addressed in legislation. He opposed the bill.

04:00 PM -- Rita Guthrie, Aurora, testified in opposition to the bill She said that 50 million Americans live with HOAs. She said that HOAs are businesses that provide important services and insurance for homeowners. She noted that the failure to pay dues rightly results in the elimination of services. She stated that many times foreclosure is the only option for continuing HOA services.

04:06 PM -- Chris Pacetti, Community Associations Institute, said that 1.5 million Coloradans live with HOAs. He said that the issue under consideration is not "one-sided." He said that property owners agree by contract to pay their HOA dues.

04:11 PM -- Mitchell Powell, Aurora, testified in opposition to the bill. He is afraid that the bill could lead to higher insurance costs for HOAs.
How can following procedure increase insurance costs?

04:14 PM -- Doug Dean, Commissioner of Insurance, stated concerns about insurance provisions in the bill. He said that the bill could result in higher insurance costs for HOA members. He said that he expects Senator Hagedorn to address this situation in an amendment.
How can following procedure increase insurance costs?

04:15 PM -- Frank DeFilippo, representing himself, commented on the bill.
What were his comments?

04:16 PM -- Bill Imig, Property Casualty Insurers Association of Colorado, echoed Doug Dean's comments.
How can following procedure increase insurance costs?

04:17 PM -- Ron Whiteman, Centennial, testified against the bill.

04:20 PM -- Michael Rouse, Arapahoe County, testified against the bill. He said that the bill will increase costs for the many HOA members that support their HOA's goals and that the bill may result in litigation. He said that most HOAs have the ability to remove HOA board members.
If an HOA State Ombudsman's office is established, there may not be a need for litigation. If you believe that it is easy to remove a HOA board member you are WRONG

04:28 PM -- Senator Hagedorn said that developers often create HOA covenants. He said that the evolution of urban planing has driven the creation of HOAs.

04:29 PM -- Ginny Zinth, Aurora, said that HOA boards are similar to small city councils. She commented on xeriscaping provisions in the bill. She also opposes the ability of HOAs to foreclose on property owners.

04:35 PM -- Don White, Littleton, commented on how the failure to pay dues is addressed by HOAs.

04:44 PM -- Jerry Orten, Wheat Ridge, said that the bill will increase the conflict that the committee is hearing about today.

04:53 PM -- Ray Colavita, Aurora, stated that many homeowners do not read the covenants of their HOAs and yet complain about how the HOAs are being run.
The covenants are WHY we purchased into an HOA community, too bad the rules are not upheld in ours.

04:57 PM -- Donna Beck, President of Roundtree Aurora Townhomes, a homeowners association, discussed the sections of the bill that caused her concern. She gave an example of a previous resident of the townhomes who lived there for years without paying any HOA fees and how that negatively impacted the other homeowners.

05:01 PM -- Pat Pascoe, representing the 9,000 members of the ACLU of Colorado stated that they support the section of the bill dealing with the display of flags and signs. She stated that this supports free speech.

05:03 PM -- Michael Pinter, Boulder, said that he believes that HOA boards should not exceed their authority.

05:09 PM -- Neal Berlin,
(used to be the City of Arvada Manager) Denver, said that he is concerned about auditing requirements in the bill. He wants a provision permitting a majority of homeowners to exempt their HOA from this requirement. He said that the auditing requirement would be a burden on small associations.

05:10 PM -- Jake Jacoby, Arvada, commented on the need for a requirement for mediation in the bill and suggested other amendments to the bill.

05:13 PM -- Allen Barber, Denver, said that HOAs should be set up to maintain the values of their homeowners. He said that the HOA agreements are not written in language which is easily understood by homeowners.

05:18 PM -- Maureen Loyacono, Denver, said that boards act on their own time frame and that homeowners are at a disadvantage. She is concerned about homeowner liability when HOAs make improvements to property.

05:24 PM -- J.R. Crane, Aurora, testified in support on the bill.
His comments?

05:26 PM -- George Taylor, Littleton, commented on the
(inability) ability of homeowners to make improvements to their property.

05:30 PM -- Donna Jack, Evergreen, said that there has been an extreme abuse of power in her association and stated her support for the bill.

05:32 PM -- Jenn Boulton, Audubon Colorado, and Colorado Trout Unlimited, stated her support for Section #1 of the bill only.

05:34 PM -- Bernie Lumbert, Crestone, stated support for secret ballots by HOA boards.
Secret ballots smack of abuse of power.

05:36 PM
Senator Hagedorn said that he is seeking a "balanced bill" and that most HOAs are operating well, but that there are problems that must be addressed. He said that some HOAs have been abusive. He said that homeowners are oftentimes powerless compared to their HOA boards. He stated that it is prohibitively expensive for most homeowners to litigate against an HOA.
He is right about the cost! He said that there should be standards for allowing xeriscaping.

05:44 PM

Senator Tupa noted that the bill will be put on the table for action in the following week.

05:45 PM