State Releases Preliminary Findings

Sep 13, 2010

State Representative John Siptroth (D-Monroe) held a legislative hearing on September 8 at Fernwood Resort in the Pocono Mountains to hear testimony on the on-going study of community associations undertaken by the state with the adoption of HR350, sponsored by Siptroth, in 2009. Originally scheduled to be completed in July, the state has only released preliminary findings, and will complete the study by March of 2011. CAI attended the hearing and provided testimony on issues facing community associations in the Commonwealth in general, and the Poconos specifically.

The hearing was held in a packed meeting room as dozens of interested parties came out to hear the state’s testimony and preliminary findings as well as that of other stakeholders. Alan Price Young, Esq., a member of CAI’s College of Community Association Lawyers, along with Pennsylvania and Delaware Valley Chapter Executive Director Tony Campisi and PA Legislative Action Committee member Alan Dolge provided testimony and answered questions on behalf of CAI.

Some highlights of the state’s findings are below. Click here to read the complete testimony provided by Karen Maynard, Economist and Project Manager of HR350. Click here to read CAI’s testimony.

  1. In response to a survey sent to Pennsylvania’s 67 counties, only 18 were able to provide the state with relatively complete information requested. Four Pennsylvania counties indicated they have no common interest ownership communities (CIOCs) within the county with several others indicated only a few communities. Forty one (41) counties did not respond to the survey at all.
  2. It has become evident that many counties and municipalities do not regularly collect information on common interest ownership communities due to a probable lack of staff and resources.
  3. Preliminary findings indicate two primary reasons why CIOCs are prevalent in some parts of the state: 1) There is a demand for the amenities offered by some CIOCs and 2) There may be financial incentives for both municipalities and developers to build CIOCs.
  4. A common issue among CIOC stakeholders is whether or not roadway maintenance within CIOCs should be paid for by the HOA or the municipality. The study also has preliminaryfindings on stormwater management, dams and other services such as school bus transportation within private communities.
  5. The state has also concluded, preliminarily, that, in limited cases, it does appear that residents may be paying twice for some services. The magnitude to which this double payment occurs varies widely depending on the municipality and its relationship with the HOA.

To read the full testimony and preliminary report, click here. CAI will continue to monitor this ongoing study and provide assistance to the state as the study nears completion.

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