Category Archives: Alternative Dispute Resolution

Mediation isn’t as easy as clicking your heels, but it can be a magical way to resolve disputes

We’re Off to see the Wizard

by:Elizabeth A. Tippin

There’s no place like home!

There’s no place like home!

Unless, of course, your home is the source of an unresolved dispute. And condominium and homeowner associations, because of close living conditions, restrictions, and shared property, see disputes on a daily basis. A resident violates the rules by parking his boat in the community parking lot. Someone hangs laundry in their backyard or on balcony railings. Dogs hark, stereos blare, construction defects surface–a myriad of issues can create disputes. Special committees or board members can often resolve these conflicts. But when two sides cannot negotiate a solution, associations should turn to mediation. A mediator can quickly, efficiently, and cost effectively resolve a dispute, in a way that is lasting, educational, and productive. If Dorothy and the witch had consulted a mediator–and shared those red shoes–the witch might never have melted.

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How Annoying?

When it comes to curtailing disruptive behavior inside and outside your community, don’t underestimate the power of state nuisance laws.

Imagine that your community is located in a quiet part of town, far off the highway and miles from traffic-heavy secondary roads. Then imagine that someone buys the undeveloped land down the street and builds a motocross track. From early morning until dark, bikes roar around the turns and over the jumps, filling your neighborhood—and your residents’ homes—with deafening noise. You assume that the track violates a city or county law, such as a noise or zoning ordinance—only to learn that your local municipality has no statutes that would stop the track. What do you do?

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