|Unit Owners Association
of Buildamerica-1, A Condominium v. Harry F. Gillman, et ux.; Harry F.
Gillman and Saundra K. Gillman v. Unit Owners Association of Buildamerica-1,
A Condomium, John R. Pflug, Jr., Trustee, and Board of Managers of the
Unit Owners Association of Buildamerica-1
Record Nos. 800180, 800171
SUPREME COURT OF VIRGINIA
223 Va. 752; 292 S.E.2d 378; 1982
June 18, 1982
David C. Canfield (Tolbert, Smith, FitzGerald
& Ramsey, on brief) for appellant. (Record No. 800180).
Fredrick H. Goldbecker for appellees.
(Record No. 800180).
Fredrick H. Goldbecker for appellant.
(Record No. 800171).
David C. Canfield (Tolbert, Smith, FitzGerald
& Ramsey, on brief), for appellees. (Record No. 800171).
Carrico, C.J., Cochran, Poff, Compton,
Stephenson, and Russell, JJ., and Harrison, Retired Justice. Harrison,
R.J., delivered the opinion of the Court.
OPINION BY: HARRISON
[*756] [**379] The Unit
Owners Association of BuildAmerica-1, a condominium, filed its bill to
enforce liens recorded against condominium units owned by Harry F. Gillman
and Saundra K. Gillman based upon fines it had levied [***10] for
alleged violations by them of its rules and regulations. It also sought
to enjoin the Gillmans from bringing their garbage trucks onto the common
elements of the condominium. The Gillmans filed their bill against the
Board of Managers of the Association, seeking a declaratory judgment of
their rights under the bylaws of the Association, injunctive relief, and
the recovery of damages. The causes were consolidated, and upon trial,
the lower court found the provision in the bylaws of the Association providing
for the collection of fines to be unlawful, unconstitutional, and therefore
unenforceable. The court did grant the Association certain injunctive
relief and a judgment for $ 1250, representing counsel fees incurred by
it. The Association and the Gillmans noted appeals.
The Association contends here that Article
III, paragraph 2(m) of its bylaws, providing for the levying of fines,
is not unlawful or unconstitutional as violative of the due process guarantees
of either the federal or state constitutions, and that the award made by
the trial court of counsel fees is unreasonably low. The Gillmans
contend on appeal that the trial court failed to construe properly the
bylaws, [***11] rules, and regulations of the Association as
applied to them; erred in not applying the equitable defense of laches
and estoppel against the Association; and erred in granting an injunction
order which lacked standards for compliance or ascertainable scope and
which, because of its vagueness, will give rise to further litigation.
The condominium involved is located in
the southern part of Fairfax County and is described as a single, large
industrial structure comprised of twenty-six small warehouse or garage-type
units, surrounded by a parking area. The paved, blacktop parking
[*757] area, which is a common element of the condominium, is designed
to allow vehicles to drive around the entire length of the structure and
to facilitate on-site parking in spaces which were lined off but undesignated.
The condominium was established under
the Condominium Act, Code § 55-79.39, et seq., by master deed
of John R. Pflug, Jr., dated August 16, 1974, and recorded in Fairfax County
along with the bylaws of the Association. Article 6 of the deed provides
[**380] that "[a]ll present and future owners, tenants, visitors
and occupants of units shall be subject to, and shall comply [***12]
with the provisions of this deed, the By-Laws and Rules and Regulations
... [of the condominium] as they may be amended from time to time." The
deed stipulates that the condominium shall be administered by an Association
whose membership is comprised of unit owners.
Article III, Section 2 of the bylaws of
the Association prescribes the powers and duties of its Board of Managers
to include the operation, care, upkeep, and maintenance of the common elements,
controlling the general use of all common elements, and taking all other
necessary action for the sound management of the condominium. Article V,
Section 11(c) enumerates certain restrictions on the use of units, and
provides that "[n]o nuisances shall be allowed on the Condominium nor shall
any use or practice be allowed which is a source of reasonable annoyance
or which unreasonably interferes with the peaceful possession or proper
use of the Condominium by its owners and occupants." Regulation 15 for
the Condominium provides that "[n]o noxious or offensive activity shall
be carried on in any Unit or in the common elements, nor shall anything
be done therein, either willfully or negligently, which may be or become
an [***13] annoyance or nuisance to the other Unit Owners or occupants."
By deed dated July 12, 1976, the Gillmans
purchased Unit 17, and one year later, on July 13, 1977, purchased Unit
21 of the condominium. In each deed are the following provisions:
SUBJECT TO the reservations, restrictions
on use, and all covenants and obligatons set forth in the Master Deed,
dated August 16, 1974 and recorded in Deed Book 4088 at page 266 and as
set forth in the By-laws of the Unit Owners Association attached thereto
and as it may be amended from time to time, all of which restrictions,
payments of charges and all [*758] other covenants, agreements,
obligations, conditions and provisions are incorporated in this Deed by
reference and shall constitute covenants running with the land, to the
extent set forth in said documents and as provided by law and all of which
are accepted by the Grantees as binding and to be binding on the Grantees
and their successors, heirs and administrators, executors and assigns or
the heirs and assigns of the survivor of them, as the same may be.
AND the Grantors do hereby covenant and
agree that the purpose for which the Unit may be used is for such uses
as may [***14] be permitted under the zoning ordinances subject to
such limitations as may be contained in the Master Deed and the By-laws
of the Unit Owners Association.
The Gillmans, trading as Gillmans Five
Star Trash Service, owned and operated a fleet of trash-collecting-trucks.
From the date of their purchase of the units, and in the course of operating
their business, they have been using these units and the common elements
of the condominium as a location on which to repair, clean, and park overnight
several of their vehicles. The Gillmans testified that they purchased
the condominiums for this express purpose and that this purpose was clearly
stated to Pflug, the grantor and declarant in the master deed, as well
as to his employee, Roger Thornton. While this testimony was contradicted,
it does appear that when the Gillmans purchased the last unit from the
Association, Thornton wrote a letter for the Gillmans to sign, requesting
a loan from a local bank to finance their purchase, and setting forth in
the letter that the intended use of the condominium was for a storage facility
for the Gillmans' commercial vehicles and trash receptacles used in their
business. Further, to encourage [***15] the Gillmans' purchase
of the second unit, Pflug accepted a second deed of trust on the unit.
The Gillmans apparently conducted their
operations out of their units without incident or complaint until the spring
of 1978. Between May 2 and August 10, 1978, they received a series
of four letters from the Association complaining about the manner in which
they were parking vehicles, of oil and gas leakage from their trucks, and
of [**381] offensive odors which emanated from the vehicles.
They were finally ordered to remove their trucks from the condominium on
or before June 12, 1978, or have the trucks physically [*759]
removed by the Association and be subjected to a special assessment for
the cost of removal.
On August 10, 1978, the Association, by
its attorney, notified the Gillmans that it had imposed a fine on their
units based upon their continuing violation of the bylaws, rules, and regulations
of the Association. The fines were imposed pursuant to Article III,
Section 2(m) of the bylaws, which gives the Board of Managers the power
[Levy] fines against Unit owners for violation
of the Rules and Regulations established by it to govern the conduct of
[***16] the Unit owners, provided, however, that no fine may levied
in an amount in excess of $ 25 for any one violation. But for each
day a violation continues after notice, it shall be considered a separate
violation. ... Where a Unit owner is fined for an infraction of the
Rules and Regulations and fails to pay the fine within 10 days after notification
thereof, the Board may levy an additional fine or fines to enforce payment
of the initial fine.
The Board of Managers imposed a fine of
$ 25 against each truck for each day that such truck had allegedly "produced
noxious odors on the Common Elements of the Condominium." The fine imposed
for five trucks was $ 125 a day, a total of $ 8000 for the period June
7 through August 10, 1978. The Gillmans were also advised that if
they did not pay the $ 8000 within ten days, an additional fine of $ 8000
would be imposed; and further, that the Managers would impose a similar
$ 25 fine for each day that any truck continued to generate an intolerable
odor while parked on the common elements.
This action by its counsel was formally
ratified at a special meeting of the Board of Managers held August 31,
1978. At that meeting, counsel explained [***17] Virginia's
Condominium Act to the Managers, with particular reference to "the right
of assessment and the right to lien for failure to pay assessments based
on the unit owners pro rata portion of condominium expenses." It was his
opinion that the Association had "a sound foundation for assessing against
Gillmans' and [recovering] the cost of attorney's fees if we do prevail."
However, he advised the Board that "it's a matter of Gillmans' attorney's
theory versus our theory of the condominium act." At this meeting, the
Board also amended the Association's [*760] rules and regulations
to provide that no unit owner be allowed to maintain on the condominium
property more than three trucks per unit with an empty weight of 10,000
pounds or over.
The Gillmans did not pay the $ 8000 fine
within ten days, and the Board levied an additional fine of $ 8000.
Ultimately it levied fines totaling $ 20,500 on the Gillmans for their
alleged violations and filed memoranda of liens in that amount in the Clerk's
Office of Fairfax County, pursuant to Code § 55-79.84(a) (1979
Cum. Supp.), which provides, in part:
The unit owners' association shall have
a lien on every condominium unit [***18] for unpaid assessments levied
against that condominium unit in accordance with the provisions of this
chapter and all lawful provisions of the condominium instruments. ...
On November 2, 1978, the Association filed
its suit to enforce the liens and enjoin the Gillmans from parking their
trucks on the common elements. The next day the Gillmans filed suit
for a declaratory judgment.
The condominium is built in a zone that
permits the operation of a trash-and-garbage-collection-business such as
that conducted by the Gillmans. There is nothing in the master deed,
or in the bylaws, which prohibited a sale by Pflug of one or more units
for use by a purchaser in conducting such a business, and in using, repairing,
and storing vehicles in connection therewith. Purchasers of other
units from Pflug were charged with knowledge of the permitted uses.
[**382] Although it may have been
planned originally that each unit owner would be allocated four parking
spaces per unit, this understanding admittedly was not observed by the
various unit owners. Prior to August 31, 1978, there were no restrictions
or limits on the number of vehicles that each unit owner could own, use,
store, [***19] or park in the units or on the common elements.
The Association fined the Gillmans because their trucks caused an "odoriferous
nuisance" in that they "produced noxious odors on the common element of
the condominium," which were "offensive and intolerable to the other unit
The Gillmans deny that they operated their
business or trucks in the manner alleged by the Association; admit that
they have parked their trucks on the common elements of the condominium;
[*761] and claim that they have a vested property right to do so.
They testified that the Association had made no objection for more than
two years to the manner in which they had operated their business, and
emphasize the conveyance to them of a second unit after they had been conducting
a garbage-and-trash-collecting-business from their first unit for a full
year. They further say their business was being operated in compliance
with the zoning laws of Fairfax County and consistent with uses of other
unit owners and owners of surrounding properties. At trial, the Gillmans
introduced copies of numerous inspection reports made by representatives
of Prince William and Fairfax Counties reflecting the cleanliness [***20]
of the trucks and full compliance with all health regulations.
John T. Summers, an inspector for the
Fairfax Health Department, was accepted as an expert witness. He had inspected
the Gillmans' operation some twenty-five times. He said the Gillmans
had cooperated fully with the Health Department, and he found no violations
and observed no significant health hazards. When asked to evaluate
the cleanliness of the Gillmans' trucks in comparison to those of other
such companies, Summers stated they "were no better nor no worse" than
other trash trucks. He testified that on warm humid days he had noted some
odor from the trucks, but this was only when one was close to a truck,
and even then he found the odor slight.
Four unit owners, members of the Board
of Managers, testified that they detected offensive odors emanating from
the Gillman trucks. Carl Moorefield said that he could smell "rotten garbage"
from the front of his unit even when the Gillman trucks were not on the
premises. He also said that the trucks leaked oil and hydraulic fluid
and caused damage to the surface of the driveway area. Moorefield
admitted that he had seen heavy vehicles, other than those of the Gillmans',
[***21] on the common elements of the condominium, and that he routinely
had ten or eleven employee automobiles associated with his operation parked
on the common elements during the day.
Board member William Crawford testified
that to his knowledge "at least five trucks were parked [by the Gillmans]
on the premises every day." Crawford said the trucks were leaking oil and
hydraulic fluid on the parking area and they were often parked and repaired
in the driveway area, thereby interfering with other vehicles. He
complained of an odor emitted by the trucks [*762] and said
that he had seen maggots on the pavement which he attributed to the Gillman
William Rydell, unit owner, operated a
retail automobile glass shop. He said that the odor of the Gillman
trucks bothered his customers more than it bothered him. He admitted
that while the Gillman trucks sometimes leaked oil and hydraulic fluid,
his own trucks "leaked some of the same," the difference apparently being
one of degree. He said that while the Gillman trucks caused congestion,
everyone at the condominium caused congestion to others at some time or
another. Rydell regularly used seven or eight trucks in his business.
Pflug testified that he then owned only
one unit of the condominium and that it was rented. He said that
when the Gillmans' problem was brought to this attention, he visited the
condominium and found the odor nauseating. In characterizing the
Gillman trucks, he said "they stink."
[**383]  No condominium shall
come into existence in Virginia except on the recordation of condominium
instruments pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 4.2 of the Code of Virginia,
cited as the Condominium Act. Code § 55-79.39, et seq. The entire
condominium concept, and all pertaining to it, is therefore a statutory
creation. For a review of the historical background and nature of
this method of real estate ownership, Virginia's present Condominium Act,
and its predecessor, the Horizontal Property Act, Acts 1962, c. 627, reference
is made to Mr. Justice Compton's opinion in United Masonry v. Jefferson
Mews, 218 Va. 360, 237 S.E.2d 171 (1977).
We consider first the Association's assignment
which questions the action of the trial court in setting aside as unlawful
the fines levied against the Gillmans. The Association argues that
the requirement of the Condominium Act (Code [***23] §
55-79.73(a)) that "a set of bylaws providing for the self-government of
the condominium by an association of all the unit owners" is designed to
foster the evolution of a condominium into "a self-governing community"
and a "fully self-governing democracy." It argues that there is no limitation
inherent in the Condominium Act on the powers that may be created by the
condominium documents, relying upon Code § 55-79.80(c), which
provides: "This section shall not be construed to prohibit the grant, by
the condominium instruments, of other powers and responsibilities to the
unit owners' association or its executive organ."
[*763] The Association further contends
that consistent with "the deference to the condominium documents" that
appears throughout the Condominium Act, Virginia Code § 55-79.84
does not limit the lien it permits to assessments levied "in accordance
with the provisions of this chapter," but extends the lien also to assessments
levied "in accordance with the provisions ... of the condominium instruments."
It maintains that since the bylaws of the Association give its Board of
Managers the power to levy a fine against a unit owner, and to collect
such fine as [***24] if it were a common charge, every unit owner
purchased subject to this power.
 We do not agree that it was ever the
intent of the General Assembly of Virginia that the owners of units in
a condominium be a completely autonomous body, or that such would be permitted
under the federal and state constitutions. Admittedly, the Act is
designed to and does permit the exercise of wide powers by an association
of unit owners. However, these powers are limited by general law
and by the Condominium Act itself. Code § 1-13.17 provides
that "[w]hen ... any ... number of persons, are authorized to make ...
bylaws, rules, regulations ... it shall be understood that the same must
not be inconsistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States
or of this State." The Condominium Act also sets limits on the powers that
may be created by the Condominium documents. All unlawful provisions
therein are void. Code § 55-79.52(a). "Common expenses"
mean expenditures lawfully made or incurred. Code § 55-79.41(b).
 We find no language in the Condominium
Act which authorizes the executive or governing body of a condominium to
levy fines, impose penalties, or exact forfeitures [***25] for violation
of bylaws and regulations by unit owners. Code § 59-79.83
provides in detail the various circumstances under which common expenses
associated with the maintenance, repair, renovation, restoration, or replacement
of any common element shall be assessed. Code § 55-79.84
provides that a unit owners' association shall have a lien on every condominium
unit for unpaid assessments levied against that condominium unit in accordance
with the provisions of the Condominium Act and all lawful provisions of
the condominium instrument.
The Condominium Act provides the manner
in which an association shall compel compliance with condominium instruments.
Code § 55-79.53 reads as follows:
[*764] The declarant, every unit
owner, and all those entitled to occupy a unit shall comply with all lawful
provisions of this chapter and all provisions of the condominium
[**384] instruments. Any lack of such compliance shall be grounds
for an action or suit to recover sums due, for damages or injunctive relief,
or for any other remedy available at law or in equity, maintainable by
the unit owners' association, or by its executive organ or any managing
agent on behalf [***26] of such association, or, in any proper case,
by one or more aggrieved unit owners on their own behalf or as a class
The statute does not purport to grant an
association the power to secure compliance with its bylaws, rules, and
regulations by the imposition of a fine or the exaction of a penalty.
The accepted definition of "fine" is found in Black's Law Dictionary 569
(5th ed. 1979), and is as follows:
To impose a pecuniary punishment or mulct.
To sentence a person convicted of an offense to pay a penalty in money.
A pecuniary punishment imposed by lawful
tribunal upon person convicted of crime or misdemeanor. A pecuniary
penalty. It may include a forfeiture or penalty recoverable in a
civil action, and, in criminal convictions, may be in addition to imprisonment.
The Condominium Act authorizes assessments,
not fines. The term "assessment" is in no way synonymous with the word
"fine" or the word "penalty." Assessment is defined in Black's, supra,
at p. 106, as follows:
In a general sense, the process of ascertaining
and adjusting the shares respectively to be contributed by several persons
towards a common beneficial object according [***27] to the benefit
received. A valuation or a determination as to the value of property.
 The imposition of a fine is a governmental
power. The sovereign cannot be preempted of this power, and the power
cannot be delegated or exercised other than in accordance with the provisions
of the Constitutions of the United States and of Virginia. Neither
can a fine be imposed disguised as an assessment.
[*765]  The controversy here arose
over the alleged objectionable manner in which the Gillmans were conducting
their business from their privately owned units and on the common elements
in which they jointly had an interest with other unit owners. The
trucks emitted an offensive odor, as would be expected of trucks that haul
garbage and are periodically disinfected. However, the Gillmans were
operating a lawful business in a permitted zone and apparently to the satisfaction
of the health authorities of two counties. They maintained that they
were complying with the law and with the bylaws, rules, and regulations
of the Association. Assuming that the Gillman trucks, and their mode
of operation, created noxious and offensive odors and amounted to a nuisance,
Code [***28] § 55-79.53 provided the Association with
a remedy to correct the condition and obtain compliance with its bylaws
and regulations. Instead of proceeding in that manner and having the rights
of the respective parties determined as provided by law, the Board of Managers
called a special meeting, the four members who attended decided what they
objected to was a "nuisance," fined the Gillmans $ 20,500, and encumbered
their property. The mischief that could be wrought if it were constitutionally
permissible for a condominium association to levy fines on and exact penalties
of unit owners is dramatically illustrated by this case. Pflug frankly
admitted that he regretted selling any units to the Gillmans, and said
the sale was "... a bad deal ... the worst one I've ever made" and that
the only way to solve the pavement problem was "to get rid of all Gillmans'
trucks." Moorefield, another member of the Board "fining" the Gillmans,
testified that the imposition of fines better served the purpose of getting
the Gillmans out of the condominium since the only way this could be accomplished
was to "ruin them." We think it clear that the Gillmans were being punished,
not assessed, and [***29] hold the action of the Association to have
We now turn our attention to the Gillmans'
assignments of error in which they question the action of the Association
in amending its rules and regulations. They [**385] allege
that their purchases of units were made after full disclosure of their
intended use to the declarant Pflug, that their use of the property was
in accordance with the zoning ordinance and with the understanding they
had of permitted uses, and that their continued and alleged reasonable
use of the common elements for the repair and parking of their trash collection
vehicles was ratified by the Association. They argue [*766]
that their business has been conducted in compliance with "industrial standards"
and that to now apply the words "noxious" or "nuisance" to such operation
amounts to a retrospective reinterpretation of the condominium documents.
They object to the amendment to the rules and regulations attempting to
reduce the number of trucks the Gillmans are allowed on the parking area.
They regard such amendment as destructive of their alleged vested right
to continue to use the same number of spaces as they were permitted to
use [***30] at the time of their respective purchases. The
specific regulation or restriction of which the Gillmans complain is that
enacted by the Managers of the Association on August 31, 1978, decreeing
that no unit owner be allowed to maintain on the condominium property more
than three trucks per unit with an empty weight of 10,000 pounds or over.
 The narrow issue is the right of a
condominium association to amend its rules, regulations, and bylaws from
time to time. As we have heretofore pointed out, the bylaws of the
Association recorded with the master deed expressly provide for such amendments.
And the master deed conveyed the units to the Gillmans with the express
understanding that the rules, regulations, and bylaws of the Association
were subject to amendment. The power exercised by the Association
is contractual in nature and is the creature of the condominium documents
to which all unit owners subjected themselves in purchasing their units.
It is a power exercised in accordance with the private consensus of the
unit owners. While the unit owners are vested with an undivided interest
in the common elements, the authority to control the use of the common
elements is vested [***31] in the Association by the condominium
documents and such amendments thereof as may thereafter be adopted.
[7-9] A regulation which restricts the
use of parking spaces and the weight of vehicles permitted to occupy such
spaces is in no sense a zoning regulation adopted under the police power.
Rather, when adopted lawfully and reasonably, it becomes a mutual agreement
entered into by the condominium unit owners. A prospective purchaser
of a unit is charged with notice of the contents of the master deed and
of the bylaws and therefore has the option at the time of purchase to determine
whether to sign an agreement and purchase a unit with such a restriction
or limitation. It has been universally held that reasonable restrictions
concerning use, occupancy, and transfer of condominium units are necessary
[*767] for the operation and protection of the owners in the condominium
concept. The necessity for such restrictions on condominium living
was aptly explained in Hidden Harbour Estates, Inc. v. Norman, 309 So.
2d 180, 181-82 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1975). The court adopted a test of
reasonableness to determine the validity of association regulations and
It [***32] appears to us that inherent
in the condominium concept is the principle that to promote the health,
happiness, and peace of mind of the majority of the unit owners since they
are living in such close proximity and using facilities in common, each
unit owner must give up a certain degree of freedom of choice which he
might otherwise enjoy in separate, privately owned property. Condominium
unit owners comprise a little democratic sub society of necessity more
restrictive as it pertains to use of condominium property than may be existent
outside the condominium organization. ... Certainly, the association
is not at liberty to adopt arbitrary or capricious rules bearing no relationship
to the health, happiness [**386] and enjoyment of life of the
various unit owners. On the contrary, we believe the test is reasonableness.
If a rule is reasonable the association can adopt it; if not, it cannot.
It is not necessary that conduct be so offensive as to constitute a nuisance
in order to justify regulation thereof. Of course, this means that
each case must be considered upon the peculiar facts and circumstances
thereto appertaining. *
* Subsequent to its opinion in Norman,
that court took occasion to protest the manner in which the word "reasonable"
used in its decision had been interpreted. In Hidden Harbour Estates,
Inc. v. Basso, 393 So. 2d 637, 639-40 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1981), the court
pointed out that there are essentially two categories of cases in which
a condominium association attempts to enforce rules of restrictive uses.
It said that in the first category dealing with restrictions found in the
declaration of condominium itself, "the restrictions are clothed with a
very strong presumption of validity which arises from the fact that each
individual unit owner purchases his unit knowing of and accepting the restrictions
to be imposed. ..." It held that "[s]uch restrictions are very much in
the nature of covenants running with the land and they will not be invalidated
absent a showing that they are wholly arbitrary in their application, in
violation of public policy, or that they abrogate some fundamental constitutional
right. ..." Continuing, it held that in the second category of cases, "where
a use restriction is not mandated by the declaration of condominium per
se, but is instead created by the board of directors of the condominium
association, the rule of reasonableness comes into vogue. The requirement
of 'reasonableness' in these instances is designed to somewhat fetter the
discretion of the board of directors. ..."
[*768] A condominium restriction
or limitation, reasonably related to a legitimate purpose, does not inherently
violate a fundamental right and may be enforced if it serves a legitimate
purpose and is reasonably applied.
While our attention has not been drawn
to any Virginia case in point, a number of cases in other jurisdictions
have upheld the right of a unit owners' association to add or to change
its rules and regulations governing activities within the condominium.
See also Code § 55-79.73. In Norman, supra, an association
adopted a rule prohibiting the use of alcoholic beverages in certain areas
of the common elements. Ritchey v. Villa Neuva Condominium Ass'n,
81 Cal. App.3d 688, 146 Cal. Rptr. 695 (1978), approved the prohibition
of residents under eighteen years old. In Ryan v. Baptiste, 565 S.W.2d
196 (Mo. App. 1978), a regulation provided for the installation of locks
on common elements to restrict access. And in Coquina Club v. Mantz,
342 So. 2d 112 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1977), and Riley v. Stoves, 22 Ariz.
App. 223, 526 P.2d 747 (1974), age restrictions on the occupants of condominiums
withstood attack. In Riley [***34] , the court found the age
restrictions reasonably related to a legitimate purpose and declined to
hold that their enforcement violated the defendant's right to equal protection.
In the instant case, there was originally
no limitation or restriction on the size, type, or weight of vehicles that
could be parked on the common elements of the condominium. However, this
fact did not give each unit owner the unfettered and vested right to use
the common elements in whatever manner he chose, or to occupy an unlimited
number of spaces. The necessity for a regulation governing the number of
spaces to which each unit owner is entitled and the weight of vehicles
was probably not of importance at a time when all the units were not occupied.
But with the sale and occupancy of all units, and with changes in methods
of operation, it may become necessary and reasonable for some rules and
regulations to be adopted concerning the allocation and use of parking
spaces and possibly the weight of vehicles to be parked on the common elements.
 It is our conclusion that amendments
to condominium restrictions, rules, and regulations should be measured
by a standard of reasonableness, and that courts [***35] should refuse
to enforce regulations that are found to be unreasonable. In doing
so, inquiry must be made whether an association has acted within the scope
of its authority as defined under the Condominium Act and by its
[*769] own master deed and bylaws, and whether it has abused its
discretion by [**387] promulgating arbitrary and capricious
rules and regulations bearing no relation to the purposes of the condominium.
The condominium involved in the instant
case is not a residential condominium but one designed for industrial uses.
Any rule or regulation adopted by the Association cannot ignore the purposes
for which the condominium was created and the intended uses by the purchasers
of units in the condominium. Whether a regulation restricting each unit
owner to three parking spaces is reasonable depends upon the number of
spaces that are available in the parking area, the traffic in and around
the condominium, and numerous other factors. In determining the reasonableness
of a weight restriction, the Association would necessarily have to consider,
among other things, the type, size, and weight of vehicles normally used
in the businesses conducted therefrom by the [***36] unit owners,
as well as the potential damage such vehicles could do to the common elements.
A unit owner could be regulated out of business by an unreasonable and
unrealistic weight restriction imposed on his vehicles by other unit owners
or their boards of managers.
 By the same token, the operator of
a business out of a condominium must operate with due regard to the rights
of neighboring unit owners and the effect his operation has on the business
of others. While some odor from the disinfectant or otherwise will
most likely emanate from any garbage truck, nevertheless it is obvious
that a trash-collecting-business cannot be operated from a condominium
with the same freedom as from an isolated rural area. Because of
varying facts and circumstances in each case, the courts have universally
adopted the standard of reasonableness in their review of condominium rule
In its bill of complaint, the Association
sought to permanently enjoin the Gillmans from allowing their garbage trucks
on the common elements of the condominium "for any purpose whatsoever."
The trial court enjoined the Gillmans from (1) "maintaining, parking, or
retaining their trash collecting vehicles [***37] on the premises
or common areas until the trucks had been washed thoroughly with a disinfectant/insecticide
substance designed to reduce odor and kill insects," and (2) "from having,
keeping, parking, or maintaining at any given time any vehicles in any
Unit or Common Area of ... [the] Condominium in excess of the number permitted
by the Rules and Regulations of the Condominium."
[*770]  An injunction is an
extraordinary remedy. An injunctive order must be specific in its
terms, and it must define the exact extent of its operation so that there
may be compliance. It should set forth what is enjoined in a clear
and certain manner and its meaning should not be left for speculation or
 We are unable to determine from the
record before us the reasonableness of the regulation adopted by the Board
of Managers of the Association restricting the number and weight of vehicles
that may be parked on the common elements. We cannot tell from any
rule or regulation in the record, or from the trial court's order, whether
the Gillmans are permitted vehicles in their two units as well as in six
parking spaces, or whether their number of vehicles is restricted [***38]
to a maximum of six under any circumstances. Further, it appears
that at the time the regulation was adopted, the Gillmans' business required
the use of eleven vehicles, nine having an empty weight of more than 10,000
pounds. It may be impossible for the Gillmans to operate a business
if the number and weight of vehicles that they could service, or have available
to inspect or service in any one day, were unduly restricted. This
must be considered in making any determination of reasonableness and whether
the regulation serves a legitimate purpose or is arbitrary and oppressive
in its application.
 The order of the lower court enjoining
the Gillmans from maintaining or parking their vehicles on the premises
or common elements until the trucks have been washed thoroughly with a
disinfectant/insecticide substance "designed" to reduce odor and kill insects
provides no realistic [**388] standard for compliance.
We cannot conceive of any disinfectant or insecticide, however worthless
or ineffective it may be, that is not "designed" to reduce odor or kill
insects. How many washings and how often would amount to compliance
with the order? And would running a garbage truck [***39] through
a car-wash be thorough enough? The order would inevitably promote
litigation and possibly a contempt proceeding. Further, there has
been no finding of fact by the court below that the Gillmans' operation
created "the intolerable nuisance" which resulted in "the irreparable loss
by the members of the Association of the use and enjoyment of their property,"
as alleged in the Bill.
 We find no merit in the Gillmans'
assignment which raises the equitable defense of laches and estoppel against
the Association. We do not address the question of the adequacy of
attorney's fees, the Gillmans having substantially prevailed. Accordingly,
we [*771] affirm the decree of the court below directing that
fines levied on the Gillmans by the Association be set aside and vacated,
and the assessment liens released of record. The action of the court
below granting the injunctions is reversed, and the injunctions are dissolved.
The trial court's allowance of a fee to counsel for the Association is
reversed. The case is remanded for further proceedings not inconsistent
with the views expressed in this opinion.
Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and