My townhouse HOA, has decided to change the color palette of our exterior walls to what we, the property owners are calling, prison gray, that would also apply to our back patios. This decision was made without the consultation of property owners and now they just want us to vote for a color.
This is Arizona and our townhouses are territorial style with brick details and block walls painted a light, happy yellow – it has always been this color. It is attractive, makes you happy to come home and in case you are selling, it is a good color to have as a first impression. While it is understandable if the HOA wanted to change the shade of the yellow (darker/ligher), deciding to change the palette to a gray – a color that is black pigment based – it is not.
The HOA decided on the colors on their own and now want us to vote which color – I was contacted by my neighbors because I am a city planner and they are all against it and don’t want to vote for any color changes.
For a forty-year old complex, this sorrowful prison color that will make our concrete carports and walkways look even older and force us to have grey patios, which are an extension of our living rooms. This could negatively impact the value of our homes from inside and out – nothing better than coming to a gray sad complex.
The ballot the HOA sent out contains errors that invalidate the ballot and also failed to have a box if property owners do not want to vote for any color.
Is a change of color palette considered a material alteration that would require a vote by the property owners?
What can property owners do? Should a vote have been required to change the palette? Should the HOA board have to provide an explanation why this is desired?
What happens if the majority of the property owners write that they will not vote for a change?
There is a Florida case, “Ivanovski v Golden Horn” that found that while the HOA could do certain changes, that when it came to changing the color of the building, both inside and out (which they did), the court ordered the association to obtain owner approval for the changes (vote) and failing approval, the association would have 90 days thereafter to return the hallway walls and building exterior to their original color and restore the lobby walls to their original form and/or condition.”
Thanks for any input you can provide. Would prefer not to get into a legal fight that would be a cost to both, property owners and the Association.