Does a homebuilder need Association approval of its plans? NO, unless the condominium documents require it.
The plaintiff was the builder, Canyon Custom Home Builders (“Builder”). The defendant was Somerset Condominium Association, Inc. (“Association”). The Builder wanted to construct on eight vacant lots/units. The entire Association consisted of 37 units. Although some units could have single family homes on them, the Builder lots/units were designated for multi-family buildings. Under the condominium documents the Board was empowered to take various actions, including “to create certain rules for the ‘maintenance, conservation and beautification’ of the Condominium property and the health, comfort, safety, and general welfare’ of the Condominium property’s occupants.” In 1997 the Association approved an Architectural Control Committee (“ACC”), with the minutes of the meeting reflecting an intent to amend the declaration. The Board did not amend the declaration to reflect the ACC’s adoption. In 2012 the Association amended the ACC Guidelines. The Builder, because the declaration had not been amended, argued it could build whatever was not expressly prohibited by the declaration. The Association argued that the Builder was seeking to construct multi-family buildings and the 2012 Guidelines are entitled “Guidelines For Single Family Homes and Lake Front Condominium Remodeling and New Construction.” Builder was not looking to build either single family homes or lake front condominiums. Continue Reading Architectural Control Through Rulemaking Authority is Proper IF YOUR DOCUMENTS ARE PROPERLY WRITTEN