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Homeowners' association battles to keep developers away

California is replete with homeowners' associations that govern many high-valued real estate communities throughout the state. A homeowners' association exists to maintain standards in landscaping, recreational facilities and other land restrictions that are mandated in the group's bylaws. Theoretically a protective device for homeowners, they have also become famous for the variety and intensity of disputes and lawsuits that they engender with member homeowners.

From a legal perspective, it is always best to go over the regulations and rules of the homeowners' association prior to purchasing a home in such a community. Some of the disputes and complications that arise can become costly and even financially crippling. One recent dispute in another state is a good example.

In the University Park community in Florida, a country club comprising 366 acres borders the development. It presents a danger to the homeowners' home values because developers are toying with buying the country club and putting in a complex of new homes surrounding the University Park community. Right now, the country club and the University Park land itself are primarily green space with trees, dozens of lakes, golf courses and long stretches of pure nature.

Homeowners come to the complex to buy into a piece of that kind of nirvana where they can relax in the most lush and green surroundings obtainable. Now with the threat, however, they are being challenged to buy the adjoining country club land or allow it to become the fodder of aggressive land developers. The price they need to come up with is $16.75 million.

The financial hit on the homeowners will be reportedly lessened by the formation of a government entity that will float a bond that will have to be approved by ballot, according to the Homeowners' Association. Some homeowners are fighting the purchase, and others want to buy the land but don't want to pay a perceived inflated price. With the bond issue, the homeowners may have to pay $99 per month for the 30-year term of the bond. In California, similar controversies arise when developers get close to the heart of a high-value residential community.

Source: heraldtribune.com, "University Park at odds over country club's fate", Chris Wille, Feb. 11, 2018

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