For those of you who follow our blog, you know that I recently concluded a series of blog entries on the new HOA records bill (“HB 1237”) which has been signed into law by Governor Hickenlooper and will go into effect on January 1, 2013. This is just a first step the Colorado legislature has taken to address “homeowner bill of rights” provisions in the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (“CCIOA”).
As I have shared in recent blog entries and in articles I have written for the Rocky Mountain and Southern Colorado Chapters of Community Associations Institute, in 2013 legislators in Colorado have pledged to introduce legislation to provide an enforcement mechanism that homeowners can utilize to ensure their HOA boards are complying with CCIOA. This legislation could even institute penalties for failing to comply.
While some boards may purposefully not comply with provisions of CCIOA, I believe the vast majority of boards are acting in good faith and strive to do the right thing. Instead, they may not know about or fully understand important provisions of CCIOA that provide rights to homeowners/members of their associations. As a result, over the next several weeks, I am going to be posting a series of blog entries entitled CCIOA 101 for HOA Boards aimed at getting HOA board’s up-to-speed on important provisions of CCIOA. The first few blog entries in this series will focus upon the rights of members relating to HOA meetings.
Open Meetings and CCIOA
The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (“CCIOA”), at C.R.S. 38-33.3-308, addresses a variety of issues relating to association meetings – including requirements for open meetings. Here’s a synopsis of key provisions of the statute relating to open meetings:
● Board of directors and committee meetings must be open to members of the association or their designated representatives.
● Agendas for board meetings must be made reasonably available to members of the association or their designated representatives.
● While CCIOA does not require associations to provide notice of board or committee meetings, we recommend this information be posted on association websites or in other convenient locations when reasonably practical. In addition, you should check the bylaws of your HOA to determine whether that document requires notice of board or committee meetings be given to members. If such a provision exists in your HOA’s bylaws –please make sure to comply with it.
Transparency and Open Meetings
In addition to open meetings being required under CCIOA, there’s no question that open meetings promote transparent communications between homeowners and the volunteers who govern their associations. Frankly, there’s no better way to prevent misunderstandings, mistrust and unrest from taking root in communities than by boards and committees openly discussing and taking action on issues.
Keep an eye out for the next entry in this series, where I will address the right of members to speak at board meetings.