Neighbors question, fight HOA changes

November 12, 2009 9:11:24 PM PST
People who live in one Missouri City subdivision were able to table some HOA changes and deed restrictions Thursday. Beth Blankenship is on a door-to-door mission. She wants the Meadowcreek homeowners in Missouri City to know about the possible changes to their deed restrictions and annual dues.

There is a group of homeowners who think the association is trying to push through a due increase of $100 per year without telling residents. That it comes with a 22-page document which rewrites the restrictions.

"They are extremely, extremely restrictive," said Tommy Blankenship, Meadowcreek homeowner. "I think a lot of our neighbors and a lot of people I have spoken to in the neighborhood have been diluted."

The Homeowners Association president would not give an interview, and neither would the association's attorney. But he did say the dues haven't gone up in 20 years, and the increase is needed to maintain the three-decade old neighborhood. He also said the restriction changes are reasonable.

"As the community grows and evolves, then, yeah, the association would have to meet to amend or consider bylaw changes," said Veronica Mullenix, Houston Association of Realtors board member.

Mullenix said it's not uncommon for a community to change and expand its restrictions as times change, but that communicating those changes is paramount.

"It's key to everything," she said. "If you don't communicate, you don't get anything done."

Still, Beth and Tommy Blankenship said what's going on here isn't on the up and up, and if the restrictions pass, they're leaving.

The board cannot unilaterally approve the new deed restrictions. They need 51 percent of the people who live in the community to vote on them.

During the Thursday night meeting, homeowners sounded off at the HOA board, eventually leading the board members to table the fee and deed restriction decision.

The board president said that, in the future, he will get residents' input before drafting a new proposal. But it could be too late -- there was at least one petition at the meeting calling for the removal of the entire board.

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