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Berding | Weil Community Association ALERT Newsletter
Legal News and Comments for Community Association Boards and Managers Issue #34 • December 2009
Happy Holidays!
Its the time of year when we reflect on the many friends and clients with who we have had the great pleasure of working
with this year.
Everyone in the Berding|Weil family wishes you the very best
for the holidays and for the new year.
Our office will close on December 24, 2009 and will re-open on January 4, 2010.
Our attorneys and staff will periodically check email, and a receptionist will be on duty to take emergency calls.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if an urgent problem arises.
Aging in Place: A New Plan for the Suburbs?
Could Older Common Interest Developments become part of More Livable, Less Car-Dependent Communities?
By Tyler P. Berding, Esq.
Can we save older common interest developments? Does their eventual obsolescence give us an opportunity to turn them into something else? Perhaps a new form of housing that will be absolutely necessary in the years to come? These questions and many like them have been asked on these pages for years. We have predicted the end of common interest developments as we know them. We have outlined the reasons why this form of housing most likely has a finite life. New Towns and other urban-style developments as successors to existing, low density, car-dependant projects on the outskirts of cities. Discussions about the end of the move to suburbia. But now comes another idea, something so fresh, yet so immediately understandable, that it makes you wonder why it hasn't surfaced before.
Suburbs result from a desire to avoid the density, crime, and expense of the inner city. For the last 50 years developers have sold families on suburban living as an escape to a safer, cleaner, and less congested place to live. Single family homes, and later, condominiums, outside of the city, appealed to young families who made their escape from the city to these new developments. Enormous numbers of baby-boomers embraced the concept and populated the new suburbs which in turn gave rise to other new suburbs a little further from the city, and then others, even further, and so on. Of course, the jobs remained in the cities, which turned us into a nation of commuters. Some rapid transit took up the slack, eventually, but for the most part the flight to the suburbs cemented our dependence on automobiles.
Now, 50 years later, that dependence is complete. In most suburban towns and cities no service, no product, no appointment can be had from home without an automobile trip. There is no walking to the corner grocery for a can of coffee or something for dinner. Doctors are at least a few minutes if not a longer drive in the car away. Jobs, for the most part remain in the city, but with the growth and extension of the suburbs, the commute is now one or two hours in many cases. We grew the suburbs and sold our souls for automobiles.
All of this has crept up on us over the years. In the beginning, and even now, people didn't think twice about hopping in the car to run an errand, take the kids to school or soccer, or shop for clothes or groceries. It was, and still is second nature. All of this works reasonably well during one's working years. But eventually obtaining necessary services becomes more difficult especially when we become too old to drive as much as we used to, or at all.
Berding|Weil Q&A of the Day
By Andrea L. O'Toole, Esq.
Does a towing policy have to go to the members for a 30-day comment period before it is adopted by the board?
Yes - in most cases, a policy concerning the towing of vehicles is subject to Civil Code section 1357.130 and requires that the policy be distributed to the members for review and comment at least 30 days before the board adopts the rule change.

"Are there any limits on Special Assessments?"
The Board of Directors of a Community Association can levy a special assessment of up to 5% of the association's total budget without a vote of the members. By an appropriate majority, the members of the association can approve a special assessment in any amount.
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