Q: Can HOA's create rules in their bylaws that circumvent state laws they operate within.
I live in Florida and the state law identifies what common areas are, but the HOA bylaws say the board has broad discretion with respect to what common areas are and the HOA has used this broad discretion to bill only certain homeowners for cost to maintain common area's deeded to the hoa. Essentially the board segregated the HOA into three parts, parcels 1-6, parcel 7 and parcel 9. Parcels 1-6 are zoned into the CDD, parcels 7 and 9 aren't. Parcels 1-6 pay for their pond mgt through their CDD fees and voted to force parcels 7 and 9 to pay the CDD to mgt the ponds on parcels 7 and 9, thereby, it seems, circumventing county zoning designating parcels 7 and 9 as non CDD communities. Homeowners in parcels 7 and 9 are now billed an annual HOA fee and an annual specific assessment. The reason given for the new annual specific assessment is that the common areas in parcels 7 and 9 were given to the homeowners on those parcels for their enjoyment. Both parcels were deeded to the HOA.
A: The common areas are designated by the plat of the community and the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions. The board has discretion on how to spend HOA funds to maintain common areas. I am not sure what you mean by the last part of your statement "have used the bill only certain homeowners and as a result circumvent county zoning rules," as billing homeowners their equal share of the expenses is unrelated to county zoning.
A: The HOA must comply with local zoning ordinances - but, as Ms. Stage indicated, your inquiry is unclear as to the what zoning ordinances have to do with your issue. You may want to ask your local zoning office if there is an issue; otherwise, schedule a consultation with an attorney.
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