Monday, December 29, 2008

General Growth (Or the Lack Thereof)

Saturday's online Salt Lake Tribune included a reprint of an article from the Wall Street Journal from several weeks ago, regarding the developer [?] of the site that used to be the Cottonwood Mall. It appears that the developer will be giving us more progress in the form of another vacant lot. Perhaps that's better than a vacant mall.

Yet another condominium project being put on hold for a while.

Not exactly cutting edge, but since the Tribune's running this old story, and because I missed it, you may have as well.

Monday, December 22, 2008

We're Number One!

The new Census reports are out, and Utah leads the nation in growth.

That's good and bad news, of course. Good news in that it indicates that there will be a continued need for housing; bad news in that there will be a continued need for housing.

Most of the growth, not surprisingly, comes in small packages. 64 percent of the state's growth in the last year comes from "natural increase" -- births minus deaths.

The Governor's Office of Planning and Development has predicted that at current growth rates, there will be no farmland in Davis County be 2020. And more residents mean more roads, more traffic, more pollution, and more consumers of our state's limited water resources.

Needless to say, it's time to support wise land use decisions.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Upcoming Seminars

On February 19, I'll be teaching a seminar for NBI, Legal Aspects of Condominium Development and Homeowners' Associations. My topics will include:
1:00 - 2:00, Lincoln W. Hobbs

Understanding the Concept of Initial Consent of Homeowners' Associations
Resolving Conflicts Between Governmental Rules and Association Rules
Maintenance and Improvements
Rights and Obligations of Unit Owners
Meeting Procedures, Voting and Elections
Operation of Association
Management and Control
Setting Up Budgets, Reserves and Special Assessments
Fulfilling Insurance Obligations
Managing Conversions
2:00 - 3:00, Lincoln W. Hobbs

Understanding Who Your Client Is
What if Provision of the Governing Documents Conflicts With the Law?
Avoiding Conflicts of Interest
Determining and Collecting Attorneys' Fees

Karin Hobbs will be presenting with me; her subjects will include:
3:15 - 4:15, Karin S. Hobbs

Construction Defect Litigation
Association Methods of Enforcing Governing Documents
Enforcement of HOA Rules and Regulations
Owners' vs. Association Conflicts
(collection disputes, use restriction violations, major community association renovations and repairs)
Association and Board of Director's Liability Issues
(business judgment defense, statutory and contractual protections, insurance issues)
Disputes Between Individual Owners
ADR and Other Effective Dispute Resolution Strategies
Litigation Process Overview

And, if you're looking to attend a seminar in a warmer climate, I'll be presenting at CAI's Thirtieth Annual Community Law Seminar. That presentation will deal with the greening of communities; the presentation description is:
Earth, Wind & Fire:
The Environmental Debate & its
Impact on Community Associations
Lincoln W. Hobbs, esq., Amy H. Bray, esq., Loura
Sanchez, esq. and Marvin J. Nodiff, esq.
Higher energy costs, regulation of greenhouse
gases, water usage and changing values
will all start to create conflict with existing
association rules and deed restrictions. As the
most local form of governance, community
associations are uniquely positioned to adapt
to this changing environment; the challenge,
however, is to turn obstacles into opportunities.
This interactive panel discussion will kick
off an ongoing dialogue, tackle hypothetical
situations and engage attendees in seeking
solutions to these emerging challenges.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

More Risks Associated With Smoking

In case you missed it, there was a rather spectacular and very unfortunate fire at the Incline Terrace Condominiums last Friday night; as a result of the fire, 80 residents were displaced, and 39 units were destroyed. Here are some links to stories on the fire: KSL, The Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News.

Fortunately, no one was killed or seriously injured in the fire. Unfortunately, a few pets were apparently not rescued, and a number of unit owners (and renters) were without insurance for the contents of their units.

Please, regularly remind your owners and tenants that the contents of their units are not insured by the association's policy. And if you prohibit smoking in the units, you probably ought to prohibit it on the decks, as well. (There is a conflict, in the various news stories, as to whether the association tried to stop the on-deck smoking.)

The photo was taken by Jason Denney, and posted on

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Collapse of Communism?

A community in Eagle Mountain is suffering from the business failure of Sundance Homes; according to KSL, the developer abandoned the partially-completed community, leaving the association in a mess.

KSL reported on the story yesterday; the story was not very informative, but the comments certainly were. I learned, for example that community associations are communist.

By this morning, for whatever reason, most of the communism references were gone. (A communist plot? KSL protecting its readership?) Anyway, the comment page still has some rather amusing and enlightening comments.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

As Gas Prices Fall, Trash Prices Fall

Not that there's a direct correlation between those two. Rather it's the tanking economy that leads to less expensive (used) gas tanks and their contents.

Recycling, it appears, may be yet another victim of the economic downturn. As demand for new goods drops, so does the demand for the recycled products that those new goods are replacing, as well as the packaging that they came in.

This New York Times Article details the problem; the bottom line is that municipalities are back to paying for their recycling programs.

Don't let this bad news discourage you and your association from actively recycling, however. Low gas and trash prices should not distract anyone from the need to reduce consumption and increase conservation.