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The Growth of Home-Based Businesses is forcing Many Condos to Update Their Bylaws
As the lingering effects of the “Great Recession” continue to influence the lives of countless average Americans, more and more displaced workers are turning to home-based businesses (HBBs) in an attempt to reverse sagging fortunes.
And as U.S. Small Business Admin-istration statistics indicate, over half of all small businesses begun in the last decade have been home-based – more than 24 million in real numbers – with a new home-based business being launched every 11 seconds.
They’re facts that should not be lost on many condo board members, some of which still preside over properties with express prohibitions against such activities. But should associationsmove to amend their governing guidelines, often requiring an amendment to the property’s declaration or master deed, to eliminate these provisions? Yes, say experts in both business and legal fields.
Architectural Review is a vital part of maintaining the aesthetics and property values in Homeowners Associations. Most Community Associations have architectural restrictions designed to maintain a pleasing and uniform aesthetic by limiting the types of fences, outdoor sheds and garden structures that owners can erect and controlling neighborhood paint schemes. From a practical perspective, this process is typically administered by an Architectural Review Committee or Architectural Control Committee that is appointed by the Homeowners Association Board of Directors.
Homeowners who live in Community Association have differing opinions and lifestyles, yet live in very close proximity. Like all groups that wish to live in harmony, community association boards of directors must seek to blend the individual’s rights with the desires of the majority of the members. Rules and regulations preserve the beauty and architectural design of the community while allowing owners to live in the manner and lifestyle they choose. An ongoing challenge of any association is how to educate members on these guidelines. The following are suggestions on how to communicate this program with members.
The Right to Dry: Using Clotheslines in Community Associations
In recent months, articles in numerous publications – including Time, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times – have examined a growing environmental movement that has been dubbed “The Right to Dry”, namely, the right to utilize clotheslines and air-drying in community associations. Individuals and advocacy groups are taking sides – lining up over clotheslines, if you will – regarding the rights of residents to use clotheslines to dry clothes versus the rights of associations to ban or restrict such conduct.
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