supplied by Public Records and Paula Elofson
Published February 15, 2005
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.
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.
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
part provided by Paula Elofson of Colorado from the public records.
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.
Final - BILL SUMMARY for SB05-100 - SENATE COMMITTEE ON STATE, VETERANS
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
03:09 PM -- Nick Dodich, Arvada, commented on the shortcomings of his
homeowner's association. He wants homeowners to have more recourse than they
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
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.
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
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
04:28 PM -- Senator Hagedorn said that developers often create HOA
covenants. He said that the evolution of urban planing has driven the creation
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
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
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
05:26 PM -- George Taylor, Littleton, commented on the (inability)
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.
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.
Senator Tupa noted that the bill will be put on the table for action in the