Legislative Issues for Community Associations in 2015

2014 was a busy year for Community Associations Institute’s Pennsylvania-Legislative Affairs Committee (PA-LAC) in addressing legislative issues that impact common interest communities (CICs) and we expect 2015 to be even busier. As we begin the New Year, there are several key legislative issues we are actively working on (all bill numbers refer to the 2013-2014 session):

Edward Hoffman, Jr.

Edward Hoffman, Jr.

Electronic Voting/Proxies (Senate Bill 1302): The LAC is working on revisions to the voting section of the state’s CIC statutes (UCA – Section 3310; UPCA- Section 5310) that would provide for and allow various methods of electronic voting within a CIC. These revisions are being sought as CICs begin to embrace evolving technology that is decreasing in cost and changing the way in which association residents can vote.

An amendment to the “Amendment of declaration” section of the CIC statutes (UCA-Section 3219; UPCA – Section 5219) that would provide for a statewide standard for fees related to recording in CIC declaration amendments. The goal would be to eliminate a “per unit” recording fee for any county that requires indexing the declaration amendment by reference to each uniform parcel identifier number assigned to all the units within the community- in other words, no “per lot” recording fees would be permitted for a declaration amendment; the only recording fee that would be permitted would be for indexing the declaration amendment in the name of the planned community in both the grantor and grantee index.

PA-LAC is working on a legislative solution to the opinion issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in the matter of In re Kelly L. Makowka. The Makowka Court held that the lien for assessments created by Section 5315 of the UPCA can only be preserved, for statue of limitation purposes, by an in rem foreclosure action, and, as a result the association’s filing of a lawsuit against the unit owner for a personal judgement was insufficient to toll the three year statute of limitations for enforcement of the associations statutory lien. As a result, in the context of bankruptcy, the statutory lien for assessments which accrue more than three years prior to filing of a bankruptcy is unenforceable outside the realm of a foreclosure action. PA-LAC is seeking to address the issue created by the Makowka opinion legislatively by proposing amendments to the pertinent sections of the CIC statutes.

PA-LAC is working on a legislative solution to the increased DEP permit fees and bonds for private dams located within CICs.

Some ongoing legislative issues that CAI-LAC continues to focus on are:

  • HB 1688- Planned Unit Development Data Collection Act- HB 1688 would mandate the collection of data including information such as name, physical location, land area, lot size, number of units, location, infrastructure age, and articles of incorporation or other non-profit organization registration information filed with the Department of State.
  • HB 551- provides for a 75% deduction on a PA individual personal income tax return on amounts paid for association assessments.
  • SB 557, HB 319 and HB 1254 – relating to open meetings and document access.
  • HB 2133– dealing with the emerging sinkhole problems in CICs.

2015 PA-LAC Visit to Harrisburg

On February 24, 2015, the PA-LAC visited Harrisburg and met with many members of the State Legislature to discuss substantive issues and pending bills.  All who participated viewed the visit as a great success!

Initially published in the January February 2015 edition of “Community Assets,” the monthly magazine of CAI’s Pennsylvania-Delaware Valley chapter.

2014 was a busy year for Community Associations Institute’s Pennsylvania-Legislative Affairs Committee (PA-LAC) in addressing legislative issues that impact common interest communities (CICs) and we expect 2015 to be even busier. As we begin the New Year, there are several key legislative issues we are actively working on (all bill numbers refer to the 2013-2014 session):

rel=”nofollow” >Edward Hoffman, Jr.

Edward Hoffman, Jr.

Electronic Voting/Proxies (Senate Bill 1302): The LAC is working on revisions to the voting section of the state’s CIC statutes (UCA – Section 3310; UPCA- Section 5310) that would provide for and allow various methods of electronic voting within a CIC. These revisions are being sought as CICs begin to embrace evolving technology that is decreasing in cost and changing the way in which association residents can vote.

An amendment to the “Amendment of declaration” section of the CIC statutes (UCA-Section 3219; UPCA – Section 5219) that would provide for a statewide standard for fees related to recording in CIC declaration amendments. The goal would be to eliminate a “per unit” recording fee for any county that requires indexing the declaration amendment by reference to each uniform parcel identifier number assigned to all the units within the community- in other words, no “per lot” recording fees would be permitted for a declaration amendment; the only recording fee that would be permitted would be for indexing the declaration amendment in the name of the planned community in both the grantor and grantee index.

PA-LAC is working on a legislative solution to the opinion issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in the matter of In re Kelly L. Makowka. The Makowka Court held that the lien for assessments created by Section 5315 of the UPCA can only be preserved, for statue of limitation purposes, by an in rem foreclosure action, and, as a result the association’s filing of a lawsuit against the unit owner for a personal judgement was insufficient to toll the three year statute of limitations for enforcement of the associations statutory lien. As a result, in the context of bankruptcy, the statutory lien for assessments which accrue more than three years prior to filing of a bankruptcy is unenforceable outside the realm of a foreclosure action. PA-LAC is seeking to address the issue created by the Makowka opinion legislatively by proposing amendments to the pertinent sections of the CIC statutes.

PA-LAC is working on a legislative solution to the increased DEP permit fees and bonds for private dams located within CICs.

Some ongoing legislative issues that CAI-LAC continues to focus on are:

  • HB 1688- Planned Unit Development Data Collection Act- HB 1688 would mandate the collection of data including information such as name, physical location, land area, lot size, number of units, location, infrastructure age, and articles of incorporation or other non-profit organization registration information filed with the Department of State.
  • HB 551- provides for a 75% deduction on a PA individual personal income tax return on amounts paid for association assessments.
  • SB 557, HB 319 and HB 1254 – relating to open meetings and document access.
  • HB 2133– dealing with the emerging sinkhole problems in CICs.

2015 PA-LAC Visit to Harrisburg

On February 24, 2015, the PA-LAC visited Harrisburg and met with many members of the State Legislature to discuss substantive issues and pending bills.  All who participated viewed the visit as a great success!

Initially published in the January February 2015 edition of “ rel=”nofollow” >Community Assets,” the monthly magazine of CAI’s Pennsylvania-Delaware Valley chapter.

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