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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.


 "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


Its Here! 

The new On The Commons  podcast site

Seven years of easy to find On the Commons Podcasts 



The Curent Show

On the Commons with Carney Garcia

There is a rumor that HOAs protect property values and that 99.9% of all homeowners in HOAs are thrilled with their living conditions.   Really, that is the story.  I have to wonder how the many horror stories that grab the headlines on a daily basis escape the pollsters who seem to only find people who are willing to regurgitate the party line. Remove the veneer covering  these tall tales and expose the underlying stories of what happens in these seemingly placid developments you will notice that the picture is as far from pretty as one can get.

The story we hear about one of the apparently idyllic associations has all the makings of a Bentley Little novel.  We meet the pleasant couple who is well known, liked and trusted in the neighborhood.  As good neighbors Mr.Garcia agrees to serve on the board of directors but soon discovers financial discrepancies, self dealing, mismanagement, abuse of power as can only happen in HOAs.

Things go from bad to worse, where the issues get personal, very personal.
Join us On The Commons where we meet up with Carney Tews Garcia.  Carney and her husband, who was a board member, have since moved out of their unit in the Colony at Seagate condominium - They had to. 

Their story has all the twists and horrors you can imagine.  We'll talk to Carney, we'll hear about all the incidents that led to a board member being jailed for harassing the homeowners, to almost being run over and to several units burning down.       Listen to Carney Garcia

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On the Commons with Larry Murphree
Have you noticed how often the phrase, "it protects property values" is used to justify the most ridiculous behavior in homeowner associations?  It is a one size fits all excuse or explanation for the bizarre, ludicrous, absurd, wacky and outrageous shenanigans by so called kommunity leaders. Over the years we have heard it all - unapproved garden hoses, too many rose bushes, a driveway that is three inches wider than approved, a pudgy pooch or a rogue bird feeder. The list is endless.  

It will come as no surprise to you then that at The Tides Condominium at Sweetwater in Florida fully grown adults sat around one day and came up with "flowerpot rules".  When it comes to property values, you see,  nothing is too insignificant for these selfless altruists who give so freely of their time and expertise to determine what you can put in your flowerpot.  Kompliance with konformity in kondos is of utmost concern as you might have guessed, and violators are sought and penalized lest they devalue property.  

Joining us On The Commons is Larry Murphree.  Larry lives in Jacksonville, Florida where, by the largess of the kondo leaders, he is allowed to have a flowerpot but the tiny flag tucked in with his flowers is verboten.  His flagrant disregard of the rules got him a letter from the kondo kommandos notifying him that there is an "unauthorized object" in his flowerpot.  When Larry refused to remove the flag, passionately believing in his 1st Amendment rights as well as his right to have it there, he was fined $100 a day for protecting his rights.  Florida law allows fines up to $1000 (bless their hearts) but through some very creative accounting, the kondo threatened to foreclose on Larry's unit to collect $8000 they alleged he owed.  Please join us to learn the details of this absurd situation, find out what the most recent law suit filed by the kondo sought and what the local realtors have to say about why buyers are not beating a path to this particular project's gate. Also, check out Larry's website at     On the Commons with Larry Murphree    
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