I Can Park Here-I Can Park Here Not

Written by: on Thursday, January, 24th, 2013

An association in the Colorado Springs area passed a rule prohibiting owners from parking on public streets that run through the community (although guests may park in the streets).  The rule was adopted in reliance on the following covenant provision, “Boats, recreational vehicles, campers, motor homes, trailers and other such vehicles shall be kept in the garage . . .  and shall in no event be parked on the streets” [emphasis added].   Now an all-out community feud has begun over the enforceability of this rule.

At the crux of the battle is the question of what “other such vehicles” means.  Does the term encompass all vehicles, including owners’ cars, or does it only apply to boats, recreational vehicles, campers, motor homes, and trailers?  Even attorneys can’t agree on an answer!

One local HOA attorney provided an opinion that the term “other such vehicles” includes owners’ cars and therefore such cars may be banned from parking in the streets.  Other local HOA counsel disagreed and asserted the term only includes the listed vehicles, which means the covenants do not authorize the association to adopt this type of rule. 

Although a judge may ultimately need to decide on this issue, what do you think is the “right” answer?  As a general rule, boards are authorized to create resolutions and rules clarifying ambiguous provisions of the covenants.  For additional information on adoption and enforceability of rules, read our article entitled “The Components of a Good Rule.”  Is “other such vehicles” vague enough to allow the board discretion to interpret its meaning and adopt the current parking rule?  One might argue it is, since attorneys can’t even agree on its meaning.  Do you agree?

Elina B. Gilbert