Now that mass produced homeowner associations have become the norm rather than an anomaly, we tend to just shrug our shoulders and accept them as a necessary evil. But why do we have them in the first place? And why, as time goes on, do we lose more rights in our own homes than we had even a decade ago? Why do HOAs come with a Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions? Why not a Bill of Rights instead? Or better yet, why not go back to the free form of ownership where the owner is the “king (or queen) of the castle? Proponents of HOAs gasp and claim we’d end up with utter chaos. But by stripping away basic, fundamental rights are we even thinking of how this increasingly restrictive form of ownership will affect future generations? Or are we only concerned about increasing the tax coffers of local municipalities and feeding the insatiable HOA industry beast?
Chuck Welsh joins us On The Commons. Chuck is a former developer with a lot of experience on the formation of associations. He has some insights on what goes into turning several acres of raw land into a development where people will live and raise families. We’ll talk to Chuck and try to get into a developer’s mind to understand what he sees when he looks at several acres of nothing but dirt, stones, trees and shrubs. What is he thinking and what is he hoping to build? Chuck was not involved with some of the more massive developments that are larger than some cities but more with the smaller ones. The ones on a more human scale. But why inflict a homeowners association on future owners? Chuck believes that the clean water act of the late 70’s gave birth to retention ponds seen all over the place and their maintenance is ultimately responsible for HOA mandates across the country. We also talk about property values and the future of homeownership.