Wendy Dowse Speaks with Desert Sun About Major California HOA Dispute

Indian Wells, Calif. (August 20, 2019) – Indian Wells Appellate Practice Partner Wendy S. Dowse recently spoke with the Desert Sun for their article about a Coachella Valley homeowners association (HOA) dispute that’s pending in the California Supreme Court.

Ms. Dowse, an appellate specialist, is representing The Orchard Homeowners Alliance in this matter before the state’s highest appellate court, which centers on the Indio community’s election result in 2016 to amend its declaration of covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) to prohibit short-term rentals. Even though over 91% of the HOA’s members voted on the short-term rental amendment, with 62% in favor of the amendment, it did not reach the 67% supermajority required by the HOA’s CC&Rs. However, another amendment to the community’s governing documents did pass by supermajority vote at the same time. The HOA board then petitioned a trial court to pass the short-term rental amendment anyway. The case has now made it to the state’s Supreme Court and its decision in the matter could ultimately affect the conditions under which a court can override an HOA’s voting requirements.

In the Desert Sun article, “How a short-term rental dispute in Indio landed in the California Supreme Court,” Ms. Dowse explained that petitioning the court to overturn a vote is meant to be “a last resort” when HOAs can’t get enough homeowners to vote, stating “It is not meant to give an HOA board and the superior court the power to substitute their judgment about how homeowners should be governed for the judgment of the homeowners themselves — especially when almost 100% of homeowners have spoken through their votes.”

Read the full Desert Sun article to learn more about this case (subscription may be required).

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