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Virginia Supreme Court ruling puts townhouse parking issue out front

A recent Virginia Supreme Court ruling might have additional implications for homeowner associations throughout the state.

In September, the court determined that the Manchester Oaks Homeowners Association, located in Alexandria, violated its own covenants by having restricted parking spaces for some homeowners but not others. In that instance, a portion of the homes had garages and driveways and some did not. That case originated when several homeowners sued the HOA regarding parking.

Now, some other HOAs throughout Fairfax County are starting to react to the latest ruling, which is not the first litigation in the state regarding parking in townhouse communities.

“This is percolating into an important issue and it will be on the Federation’s agenda,” said Tania Hossain, president of the Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations, although the organization has not taken a formal position yet.

The measure recently has caused some angst in one Centreville neighborhood as residents fear losing their reserved parking, resident Ken Schwartz said.

The Singletons Grove Board of Directors began reviewing its parking policies after receiving complaints from homeowners and subsequently learned about the Virginia Supreme Court case. The board initially told homeowners in a letter that they would have to remove all assigned parking spaces.

Schwartz said the Singletons Grove Declaration of Covenants contains the same language that was cited in the Manchester Oaks case, because many HOAs pulled from the same source materials.

At a community meeting last week, Schwartz said, residents learned that they could petition to amend the declaration or the HOA could implement a permit parking system in place of the reserved parking. Many residents are concerned about having to park far from their homes, as the community contains about 675 homes on either side of New Braddock Road.

“I’m hoping at the end of the day it’s a non-issue, but it sure scared a lot of people,” Schwartz said.

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Yes @enuf. This article doesn’t make it very clear what the issue is here. I think, if I remember from when the case was first litigated, that reserved spaces were only given to those who had no garage or driveway. So if you had a garage, and used it for a workshop for example, you would be out of luck with no reserved space. In a nutshell, the common spaces were not being made equally available to all.

What exactly was the issue again? Those with garages and driveways didn’t like those without having reserved spaces?  It’s pretty common that most townhome and apartment complexes don’t have enough parking especially in harder times when there tends to be more roommate situations.

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