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Welcome to On the Commons!

Image On The Commons is a weekly radio show, dedicated to discussing the many issues surrounding homeowner associations (HOAs) and condominiums.  It is broadcast live from WEBR, Fairfax, Virginia and available on this web site.

Join us as we explore the world of homeowner associations and condominiums, which are the fastest growing form of residential development in America today.  This housing concept includes homeowner associations, condominiums, cooperatives, and both attached and detached single-family homes.  Unfortunately this type of housing is not as utopian as its advocates would have us believe.  Living in a homeowner association means giving up a part of the American dream.  It means giving up Constitutional rights and control over one’s most valuable asset - one’s home.

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 "Property in a thing consists not merely in its ownership and possession, but in the unrestricted right of use, enjoyment, and disposal. Anything which destroys any of the elements of property, to that extent, destroys the property itself. The substantial value of property lies in its use. If the right of use be denied, the value of the property is annihilated and ownership is rendered a barren right."  --- Washington State Supreme Court Justice Richard B Sanders

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It's Here: The link to the "other" On the Commons Site 

 

The Curent Show

On the Commons with Harry Flagle

A house is just a house, four walls and a door to keep the outside out and the inside in.  It is simply a place where people live.  A home, on the other hand, is a place where our affections are centered, where, to use an old cliché, the heart is.  Sadly, we have gone from acquiring a house and making it our home to living in what is now known as a "unit".  The Dictionary defines a unit as "one of many".  There is nothing special about a "unit".  Nothing unique, nothing to distinguish it from all the others.

 

Notwithstanding the outer changes of our dwelling units, we still need to have a nesting place, a place all our own, a place that reflects who we are, a place that is safe and a place where we escape the outside world, even if just for a short while.  In the homeowner association world that is taking over residential America, the concept of a home is rapidly becoming a thing of the past.  We now live in corporations where every aspect of daily life is controlled, where threats and sanctions are the norm and where fear seems to rule the day.  
 
Harry Flagle joins us On The Commons.  Harry is a multi-talented gent with a heart as big as they come.  A composer and song writer, Harry wrote the lyrics and the music to our theme song, "One Way Ticket to Hell" and donated the song to the homeowners striving to maintain some semblance of sanity in their neighborhoods.  He owns several patents and is an Emmy Award winner for some of his contributions to the film industry. We'll ask Harry why he wrote One Way Ticket to Hell and what the reaction to the song has been and then we'll join Harry on a delightful stroll down memory lane to a time when life was simpler and the unimaginable was possible.  
. . . Listen to Harry Flagle . . .

 

Tell Your Own Story From the HOA Trenches 

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On the Commons with Carolyn Douglas

Due to Inclement Weather, the Fairfax Public Access Offices have been closed this past week. This Show was first aired on MARCH 7, 2020.

 

Just when I thought that nothing in the condo/HOA world could ever shock or surprise me someone comes up with something that leaves me scratching my head and wondering if the entire world has gone stark raving mad.  Is this just the latest out of the CAI book of allowing their members to increase their income without having to do much?  Is it something that is happening just locally or is it more widespread than I realize?  Where do condos/managers get their authority or is this a new trend that you should watch out for?  I'd like to hear from you on this.


Caroline Douglas joins us On The Commons.  Caroline is a non practicing attorney, author of the book "The Dark Side" and a popular guest on the show.  As usual Caroline likes to look at the big picture, see what is going on nationally, analyze the underlying reasons and causes and to provide us with a scenario that ties many aspects together.  Today we talk about choirs, songs and general incivility and focus on the big picture.   But we also talk about parking in condos and something that I have learned about 2 condos in Northern Virginia 20 miles apart.  My daughter and grandson who recently moved back up from Florida  rent condos, both have Florida license plates on their cars and both have been denied parking permits in their respective condos because of it.  I have yet to find the authority for this practice.  Have they been tasked by the State to enforce state statutes?   County ordinances?  What difference does it make to the condo where their license plates are from?  They rent, pay exorbitant  monthly rents but yet they are denied parking passes.  In one case for the tenant, my grandson whose car was towed to the tune of $350.  In my daughter's case, she can park in her driveway but no permits for guests.  I have not been able to visit either one of them because of the draconian parking rules and practices.  Caroline and I talk about this and Caroline shares her thoughts on this situation.   . . .   Listen to Carolyn Douglas . . .

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