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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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The new On The Commons  podcast site

Seven years of easy to find On the Commons Podcasts 

 

The Curent Show

On the Commons with Deborah Goonan

Lord Acton said " power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely."  And if what is happening all around us is not proof that he was bang on target, I don't know what is.  I can list all the rights and freedoms Americans have lost and are losing at all levels but this week I want to focus on the most innocent and vulnerable among us - our children.  Yes, they are being targeted by the bullies in HOAs and in local governments. For generations kids have been allowed to set up lemonade stands, make and sell lemonade to make some pocket money, help their parents meet their expenses, raise money for charity and even for neighbors.  They have learned so much and, along the way practiced being responsible adults.  But that's not good enough. 

 

Deborah Goonan joins us On The Commons. Deborah has a blog called  Independent American Communities   where she blogs about everything that is happening in America's HOA controlled neighborhoods  and also the non HOA controlled communities. But as we learn today, it is not just HOAs that behave like thugs and seem to exist solely to "enforce, enforce, enforce".   Local real governments seem to have jumped on the bandwagon and will apparently do anything to increase their revenue, even at the expense of children. We'll talk to Deborah about two states, Texas and Colorado, that have enacted legislation allowing children under 18 to have lemonade stands without having to get a municipal permit to do so.  Can you imagine forcing a 5 or 6 or even an 11 year old to pay outrageous fees for a permit and then FINING the child if they neglected to get one?  These two states appear to be role models because other states are also contemplating legislatively allowing children to be children, including New York.  The other piece of good news I have for you is that  Country Time, makers of lemonade have set up a Lemon Ade,  for a brief period of time they will pay for fines incurred for setting up a lemonade stand as well as permits paid for - with proof, of course. 

 

So proud of the children who are standing up for their rights.  Be sure to watch 8 year old  Branson Burton's testimony  in front of the Texas committee on State Affairs.  Kids like Branson give me hope that all is not lost.

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On the Commons with Bill Davis

The mere existence of a homeowners association does not mean that the HOA has limitless power and authority and can do everything and anything it wants.  Unfortunately that notion seems to be widely accepted.  I've heard board members say, "we are the board and can do anything we want" and their attorneys respond, You are not on solid legal foundation but homeowners don't assert their rights so go ahead.....   So what is a homeowner who is caught in this insane web to do?

 

Bill Davis joins us On The Commons. Bill, a Texas attorney who represents homeowners against their homeowners associations tends to run into some of the strangest cases.  Today's discussion is about one such case and underscores the importance of homeowners doing their own research. We'll talk about one association that may, or may not have the power and authority to do anything it feels like doing.  In this case the homeowner chose to assert his legal rights and in the process uncovered some interesting facts about the association.   . . . Listen to Bill Davis . . .

 

 

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