Enforcing the CC&Rs

One of the major issues that continually comes up in discussions about residential airparks is how a homeowners association or an airpark developer enforces the covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) that have been established.

The violations of the CC&Rs can be extremely minor or they can be dramatic.
For example, if the CC&Rs require setbacks and someone builds a structure without abiding by these requirements, does the homeowners association make the person tear the structure down?

How about the CC&Rs that forbid low passes and someone insists on performing them?

Another issue that seems to pop up all the time is how to collect an assessment that has been levied by the association from those who refuse to pay?

There are lots of additional issues that people ask us about at every forum we present. How are issues of CC&Rs violations handled at your airpark?

Please share information with your fellow residential airpark residents. You can include your name and address if you want or simply include the state in which you reside.

2 replies on “Enforcing the CC&Rs”

At a restricted residential airpark, do not expect any help prosecuting safety violations from the FAA, state aeronautics, or county sheriff. Public use privately owned airports are in a little better position. If the violator shows signs of being unreasonable, expect to file a law suit. Do so without delay. The longer you wait, the more likely the violator’s defense will say, “You can’t sue us because you didn’t sue us earlier.” The legal system is weighted in favor of the violator. I say this from experience.

Neither the FAA nor other agencies (in my experience) care about setback violations that may endanger the general public. If the violator stalls for more time, don’t wait to file a law suit. If you wait, the defendent will ding you with claims of waiver, laches, and estopples. I say this from experience.

Most covenants allow dues to be collected via lien. Do so without delay. If you do not take action, you will set a precident that allows all residents to stop paying dues. This goes for all other CC&R safety violations. If you do not take action, you set a precident that makes the safety violation unenforceable. I say this from reading a good deal of cases.

Good luck. If you’re the good guy, you’ll need all the luck you can get.

My business office is located in an extremely well run business park. In addition to signing a lease, the property management group had us initial every page of the CC&Rs to acknowledge that we had read and understood them. This might be something to consider with Airpark CC&Rs. I personally would have much less trouble dealing with someone who was willfully violating CC&Rs as opposed to someone who didn’t have a clear understanding/or claimed not to have a clear understanding of what was expected.

As always, communication is the key. Any prospective owner should have a clear understanding of expectations in advance a purchase. Existing owners should be satisfied that a prospective purchaser has a clear understanding of the CC&Rs and intends to comply with them. It is difficult to anticipate every situation, so it is wise to have a means of conflict resolution and CC&R ammendment spelled out in the original CC&Rs. Ammendments should not require 100% approval (that gives one person veto power), but should require a very high percentage of owner approval, IMHO. We had a problem with our airpark that was not covered in the original CC&Rs. Nor was there any specific plan for a problem resolution. The airport owner and the property owners are all really decent people, yet hard feelings were created, personalities became involved, and it took three years for the issue to get sorted out and relationships to get back to normal.

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