Property Owners' Association Act; reformation of declarations. (SB1489)

Introduced By

Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel (R-Winchester)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Virginia Property Owners' Association Act; reformation of declarations. Includes in the definition of "development" real property located within the Commonwealth developed in phases and subject to individual declarations corresponding to each such phase when the phases are part of a uniform and overall scheme of development. The bill also (i) clarifies the definition of "declaration" and (ii) establishes a judicial procedure for reformation of a declaration under certain circumstances. The bill has an emergency clause and contains technical amendments. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/22/2009Presented and ordered printed 097817338
01/22/2009Referred to Committee on General Laws and Technology
02/04/2009Stricken at request of Patron in General Laws and Technology (15-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)


Private Contract writes:

This is a bad one, folks. Hang on to your hats. This Bill declares an "emergency" in Virginia Homeowners Associations.

Last year, Ms. Vogel introduced SB 6016. It went down to a well deserved failure -- but it's back.

Homeowners Associations (HOAs) in Virginia have vast powers, but the Boards that run these HOAs are bound by the governing documents that created the HOAs in the first place. As HOAs are quick to remind you, "you're bound by that contract."

Well, the "contracts" have provisions that sometimes limit the powers of the Boards. And Boards don't like limitations.

The "contracts" have provisions that establish the process for amending them. Boards don't like it when they can't get the homeowners to vote for an amendment the Board wants.

Like eliminating homeowners' protections against assessment increases beyond a specified percentage without a super-majority vote.

So Ms. Vogel wants to allow the Board to go to a Court and get the Court to "reform" the governing documents that the homeowners REFUSED to "reform."

As if HOAs in Virginia don't have enough problems already.

Private Contract
(Used to be Private First Class, but not after this.)

SB 6016 is back? writes:

I'm looking for a stake and a mallet!

Which CAI lobbyist drafted THIS version, Senator?

For those in doubt, do a google search on "CAI lawyers" and you'll understand who will be the "winners" if this bill passes.

The "losers" will be the millions of Virginians who live in HOAs. They will lose the protections in their governing documents that limit the power of HOA boards of directors. Then they will start losing MONEY, because that's what the CAI folks are ALWAYS AFTER.

SB 1489 = SB 6016 writes:

I've done a side-by-side read, and there's nary a word of difference.

Sen Vogel should follow this up with a bill "Celebrating the Life of Phil Filechurner, Esq."

HOAGOV writes:

This bill attempts to co-opt th homeowner rights bona fide arguments for genuine reforms that affect their rights and freedoms. There is no homeowner protections in the so-called reformation of the declaration.

For a detailed analysis please see

Shu Bartholomew writes:

There is a very lively discussion on this bill on The Privatopia Papers . This blog is owned and maintained by Professor Evan McKenzie, an expert on HOAs and HOA law and author of Privatopia: Homeowner Associations and the Rise of Residential Private Government. Check it out.

John writes:

Jill A Developers Best Friend Vogel. She even spins this very bad bill on her website. She will run from this come election time!

Shu Bartholomew writes:


I couldn't find her spin on it. Can you post a link to her page where she talks about this bill?

Jennifer Watson writes:

Homeowners need more protection from the HOAs...Virginia lawmakers, please do NOT pass this bill.

I own a home in a subdivision and the covenants and restrictions are what keeps the peace. Some of the members tried to pass an extra purpose of the HOA and I quote "to promote the harmonious co-existence of the landowners." That would leave all doors open for landowners to nit-pick at EVERYTHING!
This bill would allow more HOA rules than what I bought into.

What happened today in the Va Senate? writes:

SB 1489 was scheduled to be considered today by the Senate Committee on General Laws and Technology?

I hope the Committee killed it.

Does anyone know what happened?

Pulled for a week? writes:

I heard that Sen Vogel pulled it for a week to "improve" it. My bet is that the "improvement" is being written by CAI's own Bob Diamond.

And it won't "improve" anything for homeowners.

I'd also bet that the "revised" bill won't see the light of day until it gets handed to the Senate Committee next week.

Why let folks like us get to see it and point out why it's bad?

wontbefleeced writes:

The re-write is NO DIFFERENT! This is STILL an abhorant bill that must be squashed! It will be voted on Wed, Feb 4th...INUNDATE THE COMMITTEE MEMBERS with phone calls and e-mails that they must vote "No". The members' names are as follows: Locke (Chairman), Colgan, Houck, Wampler, Stosch, Martin, Ruff, Wagner Herring, McEachin, Hurt, Petersen, Barker, Vogel (forget her), and Miller. All of their e-mail addresses and phone numbers are available on the Virginia General Assembly Legislative Information System website. Also, I URGE everyone to follow this link: Not only will you better understand why this bill is a colossal disaster, but you'll also learn about the liar Jill Vogel really is!

D Fernandez writes:

I came across this article on SB 1489.

The one question that no one seems to be asking: why is Vogel doing something that is so obviously bad, which is trying to interfere with peoples existing property deeds and contracts? I can't imagine that she has a good reason to justify this.

frank writes:

There's somebody pushing Vogel to take care of it. Most savvy politicians avoid things that stink, but Vogel is up to her elbows on this one trying to push this very bad bill. I have seen her in action and been disappointed every time. She’s probably stuck on autopilot now just reading off her POA cue cards that were supplied by someone else. I also don’t buy her sweet story that she’s trying to help fix a minor technicality contained in the POA act, but help a powerful friend in a jam at the expense of lots of folks living in associations all over Virginia. Voters need to hold Vogel accountable for working overtime to the wrong thing. Virginia does not need a Senator like Vogel.

Barry Bless writes:

I built a home in a small subdivision with 9 lots. When the land was developed a road maintenance association was formed. Many small rural subdivisions are like this.
This bill would expand the power of our road maintenance association and make it into a quasi-government that could control land use, building codes etc.
The covenants and restrictions I agreed to and built my financial future around are just fine. If someone doesn't like a set of covenants and restrictions that are deeded with a piece of property, then they shouldn't purchase that property.
This bill would turn HOA's into little fiefdoms!

LarryG writes:

I'm concerned about how this bill might affect the original covenants on property especially if it essentially allows those covenants to be changed by someone other than the property owner.

However.. it's also clear that covenants that go with property after it has been subdivided are fertile ground for disagreements.... making a lot of lawyers rich.

In our own subdivision - we had a knock-down, drag-out over the definition of a stick-built home..... for instance...

Bill is officially dead! writes:

The official website of the Virginia legislature states that SB1409 was "sticken at the request of the patron" in the Senate Committee on General Laws and Technology.

The bill is dead.

Thank you, Senator Vogel, for listening to Virginia homeowners.

We will remember that you did the right thing.

Jerome writes:

Jill Vogel did the right thing? She’s not familiar with that new fangled concept. It’s really pretty simple. She decided to cut and run instead of facing the music. It’s sad but she doesn’t even know the song to sing.

Axed writes:

I'm glad she pulled the bill, and lets remember, please, that LAST SUMMER this smoking turd of a bill PASSED THE FULL SENATE!

She could have just let it ride, and we might very well have been stuck with it.

I think that by pulling a bad bill, and maybe eating a little crow, she earned herself a little slack with homeowners like us.

Especially in light of the Chita flips she's going to have to put up with from the CAI lobbyists.

SG writes:

Hey Jill, Be sure to leave your 2010 POA/Developer/lawsuit meddling bill out in direct sunlight to give it a good disinfectant. It's probably going to really stink the third time around, and you don't want to bring in so much stink into the Virginia Senate!

not a fan of vogel writes:

There’s been some talk about the Lake Holiday HOA in Cross Junction,VA. I googled the organization, and I really doubt that Senator Vogel did any research before jumping to save their bacon. She would have talked to some of the membership lot owners at the community. Check out the complaint at member id 3485 26. It talks about the Lake Holiday membership lot owner problem. It’s been going on for over 30 years! It seems that these lot owners are trapped at Lake Holiday. They have been waiting for the organization to get water/sewer to their lots ( it seems the HOA owned the utility for most of this time), and at the same time forced to pay high dues back to the HOA to avoid going to foreclosure. Even worse, these lots have a 2K transfer fee that’s not authorized in the deeds, and without water/sewer service the lots are worthless. There’s more. The organization restricts access to these lots. If all of that’s not bad enough. Someone on a Lake Holiday committee sent around a 5 page letter mocking another owner’s handicap to all 1500 members. When the directors were made aware of the incident – they did absolutely nothing! It sounds like a really bad situation, but what's really sad is that Senator Jill Vogel did not use her public office to fix this mess for everyone. Instead, she worked hard to pass a very bad bill to help one party. She almost introduced a whole new set of problems and almost made the existing problems at Lake Holiday more expensive to solve for the next guy. Thank GOD she failed and Virginia does not need a meddling politician like Jill Vogel!