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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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Like so much of the world, Radio Fairfax is closed to protect all the employees and volunteers.  We will be back in full swing as soon as the coronavirus scare is over.  Please take good care of yourselves and keep healthy.  Shu and crew. 

The Curent Show

On the Commons with Ed Allcock

Coronavirus is dominating the news worldwide right now. To add to all the confusion, this strain of coronavirus is new so science and the medical community are working around the clock to learn about it, figure out how to treat the patients who have contracted it and to develop vaccines to prevent the future spread of the virus.  There is much to learn about this virus and there is always fear of the unknown.  However, with all the misinformation floating around, the unknown is creating a lot of confusion and increasing the fear factor manifold.  


Ed Allcock joins us On The Commons.  Ed, an attorney with Marcus, Errico, Emmer and Brooks, a Massachusetts law firm that represents condominiums and HOA.  Ed took a step back and started looking at common sense ways to mitigate the spread of this potentially deadly virus, especially in high density buildings such as high rise condominiums where people come into contact with public facilities.  With a little thought, common sense and some help from his high school daughter's leadership he came up with a plan on how can board members and managers can reduce the risk of cross contamination in their buildings  Ed wrote an article, "Coronavirus:What should Condominium Associations Do?"  With common sense ideas and some very worthwhile ways of combating the spread.  We'll talk to Ed about his article, what he has learned in the process and how we call do our bit to avoid being victims but warriors fighting back.  . . . Insert your text here . . . 

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On the Commons with Carolyn Douglas

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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