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The Council finds that there is often unequal bargaining power between governing bodies, owners, and residents of homeowners' associations, residential condominiums, and cooperative housing projects. Owners and residents in these common ownership communities are in effect citizens of quasi-governments, which provide services in lieu of government services, levy assessments, and otherwise have a significant impact on the lives and property of owners and residents.
Owners and residents in common ownership communities require the protection of democratic governance. In furtherance of this goal, the Council finds a need to regulate elections, budget adoption, enforcement procedures, and resolution of disputes with adequate due process protections. The Council also finds that the creation of a Commission on Common Ownership Communities will through regulation and education promote an equitable balance between the powers of governing bodies, owners, and residents.
The County Council finds that a Commission on Common Ownership Communities is necessary to advise the County Council, the County Executive, and offices of County government as necessary on ways to:
(a) ensure proper establishment and operation of homeowners' associations, condominium associations, and cooperative housing corporations;
(b) promote education, public awareness and association membership understanding of the rights and obligations of living in a common ownership community;
(c) reduce the number and divisiveness of disputes, and encourage informal resolution of disputes;
(d) maintain property values and quality of life in these communities;
(e) assist and oversee in the development of coordinated community and government policies, programs, and services which support these communities; and
(f) prevent potential public financial liability for repair or replacement of common ownership community facilities. (1990 L.M.C., ch. 33, § 1; 1994 L.M.C., ch. 9, § 1; 1996 L.M.C., ch. 13, § 1.)