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Maine Alliance for Road Associations

Circular Problem

  • 20 Jun 2024 12:01 PM
    Message # 13372546

    I fully understand that an association can define parcels in the bylaws.  But for the organizational meeting before bylaws are adopted who votes to form an association--- Parcel owners.

    This is being raised as an issue right now for our attempts to form and association.  Who can vote before a parcel is defined. 

    We have agenda item number one as whether to form and association, and agenda number two to adopt by laws, and so on

    If agenda number one does not pass then there is no sense to move onto item two.

    Again we come back to this circular problem of voting on an article when the definition of a parcel has not been approved by the parcel owners. 

    Thoughts please.

  • 21 Jun 2024 9:47 AM
    Reply # 13372883 on 13372546

    You start out with the basic premise that anyone who owns a parcel of land along the road is a voting member of the Association. Then once the conversion to a formal association is approved, you modify voting and financial responsibilities based on whatever criteria you choose, and the owners agree to. I feel that it is easier to get people on board with going to a formal association first, and then come up with a set of by-laws at a later meeting.

  • 21 Jun 2024 7:09 PM
    Reply # 13373160 on 13372546
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    All owners of properties along the private road notified of the organizational meeting have the right to vote items on the agenda. If the owners approve item one by majority vote then I believe you can continue voting items on the warrant including the by-laws defining a parcel for your statutory association.

    I agree the by-laws could be delayed. I am an advocate of by-laws but ant least one association I know doesn’t even have by-laws. 

    Last modified: 22 Jun 2024 7:48 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • 22 Jun 2024 11:37 AM
    Reply # 13373277 on 13372546
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I understand your "catch 22."  But I think the answer lies in the exact wording of the statute.  Title 23 section 3101 (2) says, "When 4 or more parcels of land are benefited by a private road, private way or bridge as an easement or by fee ownership of the private road, private way or bridge, the owners of any 3 or more of the parcels, as long as at least 3 of the parcels are owned by different persons,..."

    I think that indicates that the statute gives more importance to the number of different owners than to the number of parcels.   So for the initial vote,  I think each owner should get only one vote, even if an owner has multiple parcels.  Once you have succeeded in getting enough votes to form the association, then if you need to refine your definition of "parcel" to fit your specific circumstances, you could do so.

    Another consideration is whether the definition of parcel is actually likely to  produce a different outcome in the initial vote.  If you have ten owners present, one of whom owns two parcels, and the other nine agree that they want to form a road association, then it's not going to matter whether you give the owner of two parcels one vote or two.  His vote won't change the outcome.  If the nine are divided, the tenth person's one vote or two votes could tip it one way or the other.  But if you're a brand new subdivision where one developer owns a dozen parcels that he has not sold yet, and the only other owners are five people who bought parcels from him, then if the developer disagrees with the other five as to whether or not to form an association, it would obviously make a huge difference whether you gave the developer one vote or a dozen votes.  In that situation I'd go with one vote per owner, and if the developer objects, I'd point out that if each lot is a parcel, he will owe a dozen dues payments.

    Last modified: 25 Jun 2024 5:34 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • 24 Jun 2024 12:36 PM
    Reply # 13373871 on 13372546

    Thank you all

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