Maine Alliance for Road Associations
Areyou saying that a statutory road association is not applicable in this case?
Thank you Ray. We have our work to do! You have given us a plethora of information and we will start on the Resources page and get started. Again thank you so much for the information and direction. We look forward to moving this in the right direction. Best, Virginia
Andrew, yes, I believe that to be the case because there is a recorded maintenance declaration referencing the original 2008 subdivision approval. Compliance with the maintenance declaration is listed as a restriction in the deed. The declaration says its binding on the owners of the lots once improved with a residence, lists repairs as well as the type of maintenance, including snow clearing, as costs to be shared, says that costs are shared equally among the improved lots and states that each owner's share "shall be a lien on each of the particular properties" and allows the owners to choose one among them as the manager.
The declaration is silent as to just how and when owners meet to approve maintenance expenses or appoint the manager but otherwise is reasonably complete and written in plain language.
I cannot say that adopting a statutory association under the Private Ways Act would supersede the provisions of the deed and recorded maintenance declaration. That is a legal question. But administering the maintenance declaration is far simpler than establishing and administering a statutory association and there would not be any restrictions on the length of time a lien can remain on a property as required by the Private Ways Act.
Binding arbitration is required by the maintenance declaration but that does not kick in until there is a dispute. If I were an owner in this subdivision I would notify the delinquent owner of the amount due, inform of the intent to file a lien, allow a reasonable time for payment (the declaration says 14 days but frankly more time might be reasonable) and then file a lien as permitted in the declaration. That way it would be the lien that is being disputed and that would require the delinquent owner to initiate arbitration.
If I were an owner in this subdivision I would also draft a set of procedures for meeting and voting and obtaining bids and get the approval of the other owners (just two others, meaning just a 2 to 1 vote would be valid) so that the process is well understood for the future.
The Maine Alliance for Road Associations