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CAI - Community Associations Institute

Posted by Lincoln Park on October 21, 2014 at 12:45 PM Comments comments (2)

http:/www.caionline.org/Pages/Default.aspx

Here is a CAI background statement on the matter of Constitutional rights in HOAs

Community Associations Institute

www.caionline.org

Homeowner Rights and the U.S. Constitution

Contrary to conventional wisdom, Americans do not waive their constitutional rights when they move into a community association. In fact, courts have found that community association residents, by enacting reasonable rules for their own communities, are actually exercising their constitutional rights of association, contract, expression and assembly.

By purchasing homes in association-governed communities, buyers enter into constitutionally protected agreements with their neighbors that define how they want their communities to be governed and managed. In each community, buyers agree to rules that are established to (1) preserve the nature and character of the community, (2) protect property values and (3) protect the rights of homeowners.

These are not informal understandings, but contractual agreements designed to protect each owner and the community at large. U.S. courts have long recognized the right of American homeowners to enter into these private agreements.

Importantly, these protections were and are designed to prevent restrictions imposed by government. The U.S. Constitution gives community association residents the right to govern their own communities without the need to get government’s permission to adopt rules. This prerogative is at the core of individual property rights and is a tradition that dates to the very founding of our nation.

CAI—and U.S. courts—have long supported the right of elected community association boards to develop and enforce reasonable rules that govern issues like architectural modifications, yard signage, home-based businesses, flags, banners and religious symbols. Such rules are codified in associations’ official governing documents and are essential elements of the contractual agreements among all owners and between each owner and the community association.

This principle was articulated clearly by the New Jersey Supreme Court in the landmark Twin Rivers case in 2007*:

“ … Twin Rivers is a private, residential community whose residents have contractually agreed to abide by the common rules and regulations of the Association. The mutual benefit and reciprocal nature of those rules and regulations, and their enforcement, is essential to the fundamental nature of the communal living arrangement that Twin Rivers residents enjoy.”

In a free society, real and perceived “rights” often come into conflict. Debates about individual versus collective rights take place frequently in our communities, workplaces, schools, athletic organizations and even our religious institutions. Such issues can generate spirited discussion and debate, which is the cornerstone of participatory democracy. All Americans are empowered when we work together to strengthen neighborhood governance and civic participation rather than surrendering the right to neighborhood decision making to state or federal government entities.

*New Jersey Supreme Court Docket Number A-118-12-05 July 26, 2007

CAI media contact: Frank Rathbun, (703) 970-9239, [email protected]

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About Us

Information, Resources and Tools for Success

 

An international organization dedicated to building better communities, CAI provides education and resources to community association homeowner leaders, professional managers, association management companies and other businesses and professionals who provide products and services to community associations.

 

With more than 32,000 members, we work in partnership with 61 chapters, including a chapter in South Africa, as well as with housing leaders in a number of other countries, including Australia, Canada, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

 

Our mission is to inspire professionalism, effective leadership and responsible citizenship, ideals reflected in communities that are preferred places to call home. We do that by:

 

Advocating on behalf of community associations and CAI members before the U.S. Congress, federal regulatory agencies, state legislatures and the courts.

Providing globally respected professional development courses, online and in classrooms, for community managers and other industry professionals.

Providing professional designations that offer recognition of your achievements, as well as continuing education opportunities to help you excel and succeed.

Offering unsurpassed education programs for community association board members and other homeowner volunteer leaders.

Publishing an award-winning magazine, Common Ground™, and specialized newsletters that provide practical information and perspective about association governance and management.

Holding national and international events, including the Annual Conference and Exposition, and chapter events that provide one-of-a-kind opportunities to develop contacts and build support networks.

Publishing both web content and the largest collection of books and guides on community association governance and management available anywhere.

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Offering an extensive, user-friendly Service Directory to help you find thousands of businesses and professionals who provide products and services to community associations.

 

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CAI's 501(c)(3) foundation is the only organization both recording the history of, and identifying trends in, community association living. The Foundation for Community Association Research serves as the catalyst for positive change in the community association industry by supporting and conducting research.

 

Learn more about CAI

 

For additional information, call our Member Service Center at (888) 224-4321 [Call: (888) 224-4321] (M-F, 9–6:30 ET).


World Health Organization Excerpts

Posted by Lincoln Park on May 29, 2014 at 11:25 PM Comments comments (2)

Ventilation is intended to remove or dilute pollutants and to control the thermal environment and humidity in buildings. It must be sufficient either to remove pollutants and humidity generated indoors or to dilute their concentrations to acceptable levels for the health and comfort of the occupants and must be sufficient to maintain the building’s integrity.

The presence of many biological agents in indoor environments is attributable to dampness and inadequate ventilation. Excess moisture on almost all indoor materials leads to growth of microbes, such as mould, fungi and bacteria, which subsequently emit spores, cells, fragments and volatile organic compounds into indoor air. Moreover, dampness initiates chemical or biological degradation of materials, which also pollute indoor air. Dampness has therefore been suggested to be strong, consistent indicator of risk of asthma and respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough and wheeze). The health risks of biological contaminants of indoor air could thus be addressed by considering dampness as the risk indicator.

Persistent dampness and microbial growth on interior surfaces and in building structures should be avoided or minimized, as they may lead to adverse health effects. Indicators of dampness and microbial growth include the presence of condensation on surfaces or in structures, visible mould, perceived mouldy odour and a history of water damage, leakage or penetration. Thorough inspection and, if necessary, appropriate measurements can be used to confirm indoor moisture and microbial growth.

Sufficient epidemiological evidence is available from studies conducted in different countries and under different climatic conditions to show that the occupants of damp or mouldy buildings, both houses and public buildings, are at increased risk of respiratory symptoms, respiratory infections and exacerbation of asthma.

Healthy indoor air is recognized as a basic right. People spend a large part of their time each day indoors: in homes, offices, schools, health care facilities, or other private or public buildings. The quality of the air they breathe in those buildings is an important determinant of their health and well-being. The inadequate control of indoor air quality therefore creates a considerable health burden. Indoor air pollution – such as from dampness and mould, chemicals and other biological agents – is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. About 1.5 million deaths each year are associated with the indoor combustion of solid fuels, the majority of which occur among women and children in low-income countries. Knowledge of indoor air quality, its health significance and the factors that cause poor quality are key to enabling action by relevant stakeholders – including building owners, developers, users and occupants – to maintain clean indoor air. Many of these actions are beyond the power of the individual building user and must be taken by public authorities through the relevant regulatory measures
concerning building design, construction and materials, and through adequate housing and occupancy policies. The criteria for what constitutes healthy indoor air quality provided by these guidelines are therefore essential to prevent disease related to indoor air pollution.

"Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness"

Posted by Lincoln Park on May 25, 2014 at 10:00 PM Comments comments (3)

"Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" is a well-known phrase in the United States Declaration of Independence. The phrase gives three examples of the "unalienable rights" which the Declaration says has been given to all human beings by their Creator, and for which governments are created to protect. In my opinion, the Township of Spring code enforcement officer has forgotten that his job as a government official is to protect the public from harm, rather than looking at the whistleblower that is trying to the right thing for the community. Also, just because the other unit owners do not want to get involved due to potential repurcussions from the HOA and management company or because they take the path of least resistance doesn't mean that the problems of this complex should not be addressed.

 

As far as the Township of Spring they are not impartial because their own code enforcement officer admitted that the prior code enforcement officer did not document properly or file information related to the Township activities while that person was employed there for approximately 30 years. Would the Township want anyone to know that what they were paying for was for someone to not do his job. And there is no documentation on file regarding this buildings original construction, the fire restoration in 1999 that originated in unit "D" and effected (6-8) units, or the myriad of repairs being done throughout 2000. There are missing incident reports also which include the exterior structural west wall falling down in November of 1989.

 

An inquiry was made by a Pennsylvania Boca code expert specifically asking about the dryver vent buckets and after nearly a month, he responds that, "since I discovered that you have been engaged in continuing litigation in regards to this matter, I must refrain from offering any observations or comments." This should not be his concern. His concern should be the code violations, including the dryer vent buckets, that even the Township of Spring discusses in their response dated March 24, 2014.

Effects of Sewage-Contaminated Water on Human Health

Posted by Lincoln Park on March 30, 2014 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (6)


What is sewage and how does it get into marine recreational water?
Sewage is used water that often contains human waste (feces and urine). It is usually pumped through a network of pipes from homes and businesses to a sewage treatment plant. Sometimes large sewage lines break and the contents leak into marine recreational waters and beaches.

What organisms can live in sewage-contaminated water?
A variety of organisms live in the human gastrointestinal tract. These organisms, including bacteria, viruses, and parasites, end up in human waste. Many of these organisms can be transmitted to other humans and animals, including marine organisms like shellfish, through contact with sewage-contaminated water.

For more information, visit CDC's Division of Parasitic Diseases: Waterborne Diseases or the National Academy Press: Microbial Pathogens in Coastal Waters.


What are the possible routes of exposure?
There are many routes of human exposure to the organisms in sewage-contaminated water:

oral - drinking contaminated water or eating contaminated seafood
dermal - getting contaminated water on your skin and in open cuts or rashes
aerosol - inhaling water droplets such as those from breaking waves.

What are the possible diseases caused by exposure to sewage-contaminated water?
The most commonly reported illness associated with oral exposure to contaminated water is generally called gastro-enteritis. Gastro-enteritis is an infection of the gastrointestinal tract. It can result from aerosol exposure to contaminated water, too. Oral exposure to sewage-contaminated water can also cause hepatitis, an infection of the liver. Dermal exposure to sewage-contaminated water often results in the infection of open cuts or rashes.

What are the symptoms of diseases caused by exposure to sewage-contaminated water?
Gastro-enteritis can affect different parts or the whole of the gastro-intestinal tract. Symptoms of gastro-enteritis include vomiting, pain in the abdomen, and/or diarrhea. Sometimes gastro-enteritis is accompanied by a fever. The illness can cause severe dehydration (loss of water and electrolytes) due to the vomiting and/or diarrhea. This is especially common in little children or persons who are already sick with other conditions.

Hepatitis can look exactly like gastro-enteritis. Severe cases cause people's skin to become yellow, or jaundiced, because the liver is not able to clear out its own bile. Bile contains the liver's waste products.

Infected cuts or rashes look swollen, red, and may have a thick yellowish discharge called pus. There is usually a lot of pain at the site of the rash or cut. Sometimes the infection causes a fever. Of note, eyes and ears can be infected in the same way.

For more information, visit Working with Sewage.


What is the risk to people from using sewage-contaminated recreational waters?
Pruss (1998) reviewed all significant existing studies of the effects of exposure to sewage-contaminated recreational water on human health. She found that most of these studies reported a dose-related increase of health risk in swimmers with an increase in the indicator bacteria counts in the recreational water. That means as the number of indicator bacteria in recreational water increased, so did the risk for sickness in humans using it. The indicator organisms that correlated best with the risk of sickness in humans were enterococci/fecal streptococci in marine and freshwater, and E. coli in freshwater. In both marine and freshwater, the increased risk of gastrointestinal illness was associated with water quality values ranging from only a few indicator counts/100 ml to about 30-indicator counts/100 ml. These values are low compared to water qualities frequently encountered in coastal recreational waters. Of note, the majority of these studies were conducted in the US and UK, with few studies evaluated in tropical marine recreational waters.

Haile et al. (1999), among others, evaluated the risk of reported gastrointestinal illness and other symptoms with respect to reported distance from storm drains with untreated run off in Los Angeles County, CA. Over 22,000 persons were interviewed concerning their health nine days after they exposed their faces to recreational beach waters. An increased risk of adverse health outcomes was associated with swimming in ocean water contaminated by untreated urban runoff. There was a significant dose response relationship. That is to say the closer a person swam to a storm drain, the greater their risk of having adverse health outcomes.

How do I know if the marine water is contaminated?
Traditionally, the quality of marine coastal water used for recreational purposes has been regulated by measuring concentrations of indicator microbes. The microbes monitored are those typically found in high concentrations in human feces. An elevated concentration of these microbes in coastal water would indicate that the water has been contaminated by human waste and is unsafe for recreational use.

For more information, visit Microbiological Monitoring of Marine Recreational Waters in Southern California or the US EPA 1999 Progress Report: Detecting and Characterizing Fecal Contamination and Its Sources in Ground and Surface Water (Watersheds and Aquifers.


How can I prevent sickness from sewage-contaminated marine water?
The easiest way to prevent sickness from sewage-contaminated marine water is to avoid exposure. Do not get the contaminated water on your skin, in your eyes or ears, or in your mouth. That means no swimming in contaminated water or eating raw or partially cooked food that came from sewage-contaminated water.

For more information, visit CDC's Division of Parasitic Diseases: Parasitic Pathways - Healthy Swimming Tip.

   

 


MOLD SYMPTOMS

Posted by Lincoln Park on March 30, 2014 at 1:30 PM Comments comments (7)

NO ONE SHOULD HAVE TO LIVE WHERE MOLD IS PRESENT! When the mold was seen by the codes inspector during the inspection on January 8th, 2014, he said to the homeowner that they'd "always have a problem with mold"!!! REALLY??? Here are some examples of what can happen if you always have a problem with mold:

Mold Sickness and related illnesses from Mold Exposure are real. Mold has been linked to Lung Damage, Brain Damage, Cancer and even Death. The latest discovery of "Mold Fine Particulates" in our environment coupled with the associated medical documentation; prove beyond a shadow of a doubt, sickness and disease from mold exposure and exposure to Mold Fine Particulates are very real.

If Mold spores are inhaled or ingested you can become seriously ill. The longer you go undiagnosed, and untreated, the Mold will continue to grow inside your body, making you sicker with each passing day. As Mold continues to grow inside your body it produces poisons called "Mycotoxins", these poisons leach into your body day after day. Each day it is left untreated the colonies of Mold grow larger producing and releasing larger amounts of toxins into your body.

Different species of Mold produce different toxins and people will suffer a wide range of different symptoms. Mold Sickness will affect many people in many different ways and produce a variety of symptoms.

Because the variety of symptoms from mold exposure are so wide in range many physicians deem their patients to have psychological problems.

SHORT TERM MOLD SYMPTOMS:
Sneezing
Itching Skin
Redness and skin irritation
Watery Eyes
Itching Eyes
Headache

LONG TERM MOLD SYMPTOMS:
Constant Headaches
Nose Bleeds
Feelings of Constant Fatigue
Breathing Disorders
Coughing up Blood or Black looking Debris
Nausea
Diarrhea
Vomiting
Loss of Appetite
Weight Loss
Hair loss
Skin Rashes
Open Sores on the Skin
Memory Loss "Short Term"
Neurological & Nervous Disorders
Sexual Dysfunction
Swollen Glands in the Neck Area and under the Armpit
Sudden Asthma Attacks or Breathing Disorders
Ear Infections and Pain
Chronic Sinus Infections
Chronic Bronchitis
Pain in the Joints and Muscles
LATE STAGE SYMPTOMS:
Blindness
Brain Damage
Memory Loss "Long term"
Bleeding Lungs
Cancer
Death

NOW.... PLEASE TELL ME AGAIN, MR. CODES INSPECTOR..... I'M ALWAYS GOING TO HAVE A PROBLEM WITH MOLD????


TOWNSHIP CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER A DISGRACE TO HIS TITLE

Posted by Lincoln Park on March 21, 2014 at 11:00 PM Comments comments (5)

In regards to the Spring Township Codes Enforcement Officer not doing his report 72 days after a preliminary inspection of the property:

This is truly outrageous that it's delay after delay when it's clear to even a 5 year old that this place is disgusting! How can you not take notes when you're at a property to do an inspection? How do you not take a multitude of pictures to document every nook and cranny and then dissect the pictures later like we did with ours? How do you not test the soil/air/water when requested to do so, even after making a joking comment about hearing the property was on contaminated land? How do you not block off the woods when requested to do so with all that debris in there, even after making a comment about hearing about an autistic child playing around there? How do you not let the other residents know about the mold in the "basement"/storage area? How do you not leave notes on the units' doors asking them to contact you if they have dryer vent buckets in use because they're harmful & illegal? How do you not get a report done in a timely manner and start the ball rolling on doing something about condemning this property?

I'll tell you why.... Because HE DOESN'T CARE! He's collecting his nice fat paycheck for his 3 job titles (which apparently he doesn't even know the job descriptions of) and just sits around on his laurels and makes excuses for not doing his job. Well, once this gets out to the media, we'll see how long he has that nice, comfy job position after everyone hears that he's collecting taxpayers' money to do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! THIS MAN IS A DISGRACE TO THE TOWNSHIP AND THE RESIDENTS IN IT!!! How does he sleep at night knowing that all these people in there are breathing this crap in and is doing God-only-knows-what to their bodies? He needs to be called out and soon!



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