Barker Martin

Condo-HOA Blog - DanWebert

An Update on Hoarding

A couple of years ago Barker Martin anticipated that hoarding would be an issue for community associations to contend with under laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act and Fair Housing Act. Since then, the issue has continued to garner greater attention in its effect on the community at large. read more

Strategies for Keeping Your Green When the Heat Goes Red

The California water crisis and the hot weather so far this year (and over the last week!) have highlighted the need to plan ahead for community associations' water consumption. For example, in California, where the state government recently mandated a 25% reduction in urban water use, new legislation prohibits HOAs from penalizing residents for replacing their lawns with low-water use plants over concerns about a neighborhood's character. Another California bill prohibits fines for residents who stop watering when a drought emergency has been declared. In other communities across the country, water restrictions have become the norm and residents and architectural review committees clash in disputes over things like the replacement of lawn with artificial turf to reduce water consumption. It may only be a matter of time before these legal issues trickle to Oregon and Washington. Whether you're motivated by the bottom line in the rising cost of water, a wish to help the environment through "greener" practices, or the simple desire to avoid future legal wrangling over landscaping compliance, there are proactive steps your community should think about taking: 1. Amend your community's plan and rules. Consider allowing or even requiring native plants or xeriscaping (sustainable landscaping that may reduce or eliminate the need for supplemental irrigation) in the community's landscaping plan and architectural guidelines. Application of such principles can reportedly reduce water consumption by up to two-thirds and may decrease the need for certain landscaping services. 2. Repair or upgrade irrigation equipment. Leaky and inefficient equipment can lead to costly waste. Efficient drip irrigation systems and soil moisture detectors are available at a reasonable cost. 3. Adjust the timing and frequency of irrigation. Qualified landscapers can recommend the most efficient timing and frequency for watering based upon a host of factors like exposure, season, soil conditions, type of plant etc. 4. Store rain water. The collection of rainwater in cisterns may conserve potable water and reduce water charges. The City of Portland reports that the cost ranges from $200 for a 250 gallon cistern to $5,000 for a 10,000 gallon cistern. Talk to a qualified landscaper if you have questions about these and other landscaping options. Other community and online resources may also be available. Of course don't hesitate to contact Barker Martin if you need assistance analyzing the rules and regulations applicable to your community. read more

Making and Deciding Motions

Earlier this year, Barker Martin released the Practical Guide to Community Association Meetings. We have received some great feedback on what a useful resource the guide is proving to be for association boards. If would like a complimentary copy of the guide please contact our office by clicking here. This week's email highlights a section of the meetings guide and here is an excerpt from Chapter 5 on making and deciding motions. Making and Deciding Motions There are generally four potential motions for each item of business: (1) motion to adopt a specific action; (2) motion to table an item to decide at a later date; (3) motion to make a friendly amendment; or (4) motion to remove an item from consideration. Circumstances will determine the appropriate type of motion. The board is limited to the discussion of one item of business at a time. The agenda should not include the specific wording of any motions to be considered as it may be a source the of confusion with owners. Motions on a specific topic will naturally and properly evolve during discussion by the board. After discussion, the presiding board member will call each motion presented to a vote. Although technically unnecessary, it is common practice for motions to be "seconded" by another attendee. Motions adopted by a majority of the board members present at a board meeting are deemed carried, provided a quorum is present. The fact that a motion has been adopted or has failed does not prevent the item from being added to the agenda to a future meeting. All motions may be reconsidered at a later time. However, if a motion is tabled, the board should be clear about why so that any issues preventing the motion from being voted on can be resolved and a clear timeline can be set for raising the motion again. This ensures that a motion is not raised again and discussed before it is ready. If, at a board meeting, a board member believes that a board action or motion is unlawful or contrary to the authority of the board, that board member may make an oral or written dissent explaining his or her reasons. The dissent should become part of the minutes. Motions may be withdrawn or modified in one of two ways: First, the original movant may modify or withdraw his or her own motion. Second, other board members may make their own motions that are modifications of another board member's motion. read more

A Practical Guide to Community Association Meetings

Presiding over community association meetings as a manager or board member can be intimidating. To assist, the attorneys at Barker Martin have created a practical guide for handling board and association meetings as a ready reference to use within your community association. read more

A Significant Development in Construction Defect Time Limitations in Oregon

A few months ago, we wrote about the Oregon Supreme Court's decision in Rice v. Rabb and its potential impact on the statute of limitations for construction defect claims. We believed at the time that the case represented a welcome step forward in finally (favorably) resolving a split among the trial courts in determining when a construction defect claim could be barred due to the passage of time. read more

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