EPOHOA Latest News

HOA related news articles, happenings and published works by a variety of journalists, authors and homeowners like you. Not a definitive resource, though we do try to keep up with what’s happening during the year.

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Previous years are available within the Library Archives.

 

 

September 8, 2017 by John McVey, Journal
A motion to recommend the zoning change was approved unanimously after … “If you pack 100 townhouses in there, that will be an additional 200 cars on that road,” he told the Planning Commission members. “Think about the quality of life of your constituents, the quality of life of lifelong residents instead of the tax base.”  No one spoke in favor of the zoning change during the public hearing.

 

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September 8, 2017 by League of Women Voters PRESS RELEASE

LWV to sponsor meeting on October 7, 2017 Special Election:  Roads to Prosperity.
The League of Women Voters of Jefferson County is sponsoring an informational meeting on the amendment on Wednesday, September 20 at 7 pm at the Charles Washington Hall at the corner of George and Washington Streets in downtown Charles Town.

Lee Thorne, District Five Engineer for the WV Department of Highways, will make the presentation  (District Five includes Berkeley, Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Jefferson, Mineral and Morgan Counties).

There will be time for questions from the audience

The Roads to Prosperity Amendment will authorize the state legislature to issue and sell state bonds not to exceed $1.6 billion for road building and road improvement projects throughout the state.

 

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August 18, 2017 by WV Department of Transportation
Roads to Prosperity Highway Program “Road.Jobs.Hope.” Project List – Authorized and Candidate(s)
A completed list of new, to repair and widening WV Roads. This will take a special election to pass a West Virginia Constitutional Amendment. This list includes all WV counties and the costs related to each project.  Many eminent domain issues will rise if amended.

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August 7, 2017 by Matier & Ross, San Francisco Chronicle
Thanks to a little-noticed [HOA Common Area] auction sale, a South Bay couple are the proud owners of one of the most exclusive streets in San Francisco — and they’re looking for ways to make their purchase pay. Tina Lam and Michael Cheng snatched up Presidio Terrace — the block-long, private oval street lined by 35 megamillion-dollar mansions — for $90,000 and change in a city-run auction stemming from an unpaid tax bill. They outlasted several other bidders. Now they’re looking to cash in — maybe by charging the residents of those mansions to park on their own private street.

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August 7, 2017 by Camila Domonoske, West Virginia Public Broadcasting
But Presidio Terrace itself? As in, the street? The strip of pavement these tony residents rely on to reach their front doors? The private road the homeowners association has owned for more than a century? That’s a bargain. After the homeowners association failed to pay a $14 tax bill … for three decades … the road went up for auction, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. A San Jose couple snagged it for about $90,000. Tina Lam and Michael Cheng made their strategic purchase in 2015. But now, the newspaper writes, “they’re looking to cash in — maybe by charging the residents of those mansions to park on their own private street.” Or, lacking that, opening the spots up to the general public.

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additionally in Martinburg, WV


July 30, 2017 Reprint – by Landlord Station
Do you know if a house in your WV subdivision is vacant or abandoned? Squatter’s rights in WV outlined and . . . Under specific circumstances, it is possible for a trespasser to come onto someone’s property and occupy it in order to gain its ownership. Often referred to as “squatter’s rights” or “adverse possession,” occupation of the property cannot occur if the property owner has evidence of their occupation in place. It must be unused and considered to be abandoned. Once that stipulation has been met, the squatters must occupy  . . . Possession of a property must be exclusive for a period of 10 years in the . . .

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July 27, 2017 by Carlee Lammers, Staff Writer – Gazette Mail
. . . Homeowners associations will have to vote to petition the county commission to enact the ATV  ordinance within the subdivision boundaries. “My concern is people coming from outside of the subdivision who do not own land in the subdivision and running those roads. This would give the sheriff’s deputies the ability to go in and stop that,” said Commissioner Andy Skidmore. The penalty for the first offense is a fine of no more than $100. The penalty for the second offense is a fine of no more than $300, and for a third or subsequent offense the fine is no more than $1,000 .

EPOHOA TIP TO HOAs: when passing a policy include the effective date, penalty, enforcement, and remember to provide that policy to every member of the Association.

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July 19, 2017 by U.S. Representative Mark Sanford, Sponsor
United States House of Representatives – Disaster Assistance Equity Act of 2017, H.R. 3238. Mark Sanford (R-SC) introduced the Disaster Assistance Equity Act of 2017 as a solution for condominiums, housing cooperatives, and homeowners associations to become eligible for assistance from FEMA to help in the recovery efforts of a natural disaster.

E-mail your Representative and ask them to co-sponsor of the Disaster Assistance Equity Act of 2017, a bill that specifically qualifies community associations for federal disaster assistance.

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July 13, 2017 by Community Associations Institute
Disaster Relief Fairness – Disasters do not discriminate between community association neighborhoods and non-association neighborhoods.  Neither should our nation’s natural disaster response and recovery policy.  U.S. Congressman Mark Sanford (R-SC) introduced the Disaster Assistance Equity Act of 2017, H.R. 3238.  The Disaster Assistance Equity Act of 2017 clarifies community association eligibility for FEMA disaster debris removal and disaster repair assistance and ensures that all U.S. households have equal opportunity and support to recover from natural disasters.

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July 14, 2017 by Tim Cook, Staff Writer – Journal
. . . Sheriff Pete Dougherty said the sheriff’s office and other law enforcement agencies in the county received “several hundred” phone calls from residents complaining about disruptive fireworks during the week of Fourth of July. . .  Many fireworks complaints in Jefferson County have emanated from the Huntfield, Eastland and Cloverdale subdivisions near Charles Town, said Lutz and Nance Briscoe, a board member of the Eastern Panhandle Organization of Homeowners Associations . . . neighborhoods in 10 West Virginia counties, including Jefferson, Berkeley and Morgan counties. . . . complaints escalated this year and last year about 10 days before Fourth of July, . . .

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July 9, 2017 by Norwood Bentley, Berkeley County Administrator – Legal Counsel
Berkeley County Fireworks Ordinance effective July 9, 2017 . . . (b) Discharge of such permitted fireworks during any of the times herein referenced is not permitted within 500 feet of any residence, motel, hotel, bed and breakfast, hospital, nursing home or other facility in which people live, sleep and rest.   . . . COMMENT: penalty included – enforcement excluded

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June 5, 2017 by  Lawrence Szabo, Esq. – HOA Member Services
Dealing with board members who don’t play by the rules  . . . the association finds itself in a position where one person, who is also frequently elected the president, has served on the board for many years and by virtue of his or her seniority and familiarity with the operations of the association, has taken over control and is not challenged by the other directors. As a result, other well intentioned volunteers who have been elected as directors find it difficult, if not impossible, to properly operate the association and ultimately . . .

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April 11, 2017 by Brian M. Christopher – Spirit of Jefferson and Farmer’s Advocate
Pete Appignani, a 65-year-old Navy veteran, recently retired from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission dies. The Harpers Ferry resident died at the University of Maryland Medical Center after three surgeries related to a heart attack he suffered at home a week ago, said Tish Appignani, his wife of 14 years and the president of the Jefferson Arts Council.  Former Jefferson County Commissioner Lyn Widmyer recalled Tuesday how she met the Appignanis through Tish. She immediately connected with her love for the arts but soon came to admire Peter’s knowledge of the community.  “He was so humble and unassuming, he never bragged or talked about his great intellect,” Widmyer said. “Having been in politics, it was really special to talk with someone interested in people like he was. “Peter Appignani was a role model for any citizen activist. Everything he did was in the interest of people. He did his homework.”

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April 10, 2017 by Jeff McCoy – Journal
Cacapon Institute has awarded Spruce Hill Homeowners’ Association a Carla Hardy WV Project CommuniTree “Tree Kit” to plant at the south end of Spruce Hill Estates Homeowners association’s common area along U.S. 340 near Washington High School in Charles Town. “Cacapon Institute and our partners are proud to support this community tree planting project,” said Tanner Haid, Cacapon Institute’s urban watershed forester. Since 2008, they have planted — many times with the assistance of the community — 4,612 trees at 141 planting events. 10,093 volunteers assisted during that time period, donating 18,242 hours of community service. Over 40 volunteers showed up to help plant, water and secure the 50 trees that were awarded in the grant.

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In Memory of Pete Appignani, Founder EPOHOA

April 10, 2017 by Nance Briscoe, EPOHOA Membership Chairman – Tribute
Pete Appignani unexpectedly dies, founding member of homeowners’ non profit organization designed to help HOA’s solve shared problems in 2009, namely the Jefferson County Organization of Homeowners Associations, Inc.. A grass roots organization of random HOA board members with questions concerning the skills of handling the business of an HOA for the increase of knowledge across the county. By 2011 it became overwhelming apparent other WV counties wanted to join and learn too. Thereby the Eastern Panhandle Organization of Homeowners Associations was instituted. Pete was instrumental in growing the Organization into what we have become today – a go-to place for answers, resolutions to issues and camaraderie of like minded people. We will miss Pete, his humor, dedication and faithful determination.

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Memorial 4PM May 12, 2017 Bavarian Inn

 


April 2, 2017 by Richard Belisle – Herald Mail
[SURPRISE HOA ANNEXATION] – Charles Town proposes to add 813 homes, 2,174 residents in annexation request. The Jefferson County Commission took its first look at the city’s [Charles Town] plan Thursday, when the elected board received the city’s petition to annex the properties. “They’re calling it a minor boundary adjustment,” Commissioner Patsy Noland said. “I’d say 2,600 acres is a little more than minor.” Charles Town’s population in the 2015 census was 5,889. If the annexation is approved, it would bring the city’s population to 8,063. The proposed annexation area doesn’t include the city’s entire urban-growth boundary, just targeted high-priority areas.

EPOHOA CONCERNS: HOA assessments, maintenance, rights that run with the land and more.

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 CITY OF CHARLES TOWN URBAN GROWTH BOUNDARY ANNEXATION INITIATIVE

Public Hearing – CANCELLED

The City of Charles Town is scheduled to hold a Public Hearing on Monday April 24, 2017 at 6pm in the Wright Denny Auditorium.


March 21, 2017 by Paul Hess – WVVA
News Release – Deadline approaching for FEMA mitigation grants [homeowners] Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funding is available, when authorized under a Presidential major disaster declaration.  In West Virginia, HMGP funding is then available statewide. Eligible applicants include: State and local governments. Certain non-profit organizations, individual homeowners and businesses may not apply directly to the program; however a community may apply on their behalf.  Applications are still being accepted for the program, but the timeline is short to complete the application by the state and federal deadline. If you are interested in applying or require more information, contact Paula Brown, Greenbrier County Emergency Management at (304) 645-5444.

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February 28, 2017 by Nance Briscoe – Homeowner
Letters to the Editor – Journal
Our West Virginia legislators have been busy this session! I am most appreciative, as a homeowner in an HOA, to read and review 2017’s House Bill 2040 by Delegate Ferro. He has included several benefits we have not had the opportunity to enjoy since the Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act 36B was passed in 1984. Del. Ferro has provided a clause for amendment highlighting reasonableness. Specifically including text “the declarant reasonably believes in good faith that the maximum stated assessment will be sufficient to pay the expenses of the planned community.” Why is this important to HOAs? Because many have a cap chosen by the declarant/developer not to exceed $100 or $300 per . . .

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January 28, 2017 by Bret Hersh, Journal Business News
Reprint  January 28, 2017
Originally published September 28, 2014
Del. Ferro [HB 2040] has provided a clause for amendment highlighting reasonableness. Specifically including text “the declarant reasonably believes in good faith that the maximum stated assessment will be sufficient to pay the expenses of the planned community.” Why is this important to HOAs? Because many have a cap chosen by the declarant/developer not to exceed $100 or $300 per homeowner when their HOA homes number greater than hundreds in a single subdivision with many miles of roads that cannot possibly have sufficient funds to maintain them over the course of 10-20-30 years of use. This amendment will be in the best interests of the homeowner in the long run. And thankfully Del. Fero has recognized the consistently missing point of disclosure of that cost must be in all public offering statements available to HOA home buyers. Del. Ferro also included important text concerning alternate dispute . . .

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January 5, 2017 by Emily Daniels, Martinsburg Journal
Avon Bend HOA  “. . . about 583 customers out, from 2:23 to 4:29 p.m. What we did then — with 583 customers — we restored power to some of the customers by reconfiguring the system to serve them. During that time, we were able to restore power to about 250 customers, so they didn’t have to wait for all the repairs,” said Meyers [Todd Meyers, represents Potomac Edison in the tri-state area] . “When you do that — when you switch them over to a different line — it’s a temporary fix. You always need to come back at some point and change the system back to normal.” Meyers said although the reconfiguration restores power to some customers, it also comes with . . .

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January 2, 2017 by Jack Hanson, Huffington Post
HOAs Gone Haywire, Part IV: How to Decode Your HOA or COA’s CC&Rs  . . . want to know what your HOA or COA is actually responsible for, pay close attention to this language. This section makes clear what the duties of the Association are, including things like establishing and enforcing rules, maintaining common property, collecting dues, conducting  Association business, publishing rules and regulations . . .

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provided by Montgomery County, Maryland
HOA Board of Directors Training
Members of a community association board of directors in Montgomery County, Maryland have been provided with basic training at the start of the new year of 2016. This unique free training is conducive to good management skills to handle the business of an HOA even in West Virginia. EPOHOA encourages any HOA Member, director or not, to increase their knowledge.

Community Governance Fundamentals

TIP: this unique online training course is geared for your own speed. The course will remember where you left off – that’s right,  you have the freedom to come and go at will.

EPOHOA Formal Recognition Board of Directors Training Certificate of Successful Completion