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Can anyone give me some free legal advice? - Condo Association rules

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Can anyone give me some free legal advice? - Condo Association rules

Old 10-13-11, 01:22 PM
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Can anyone give me some free legal advice? - Condo Association rules

Hi all... its been a long time since I posted..

I am having a problem with my condo association and was hoping if some of you think I have a case to get the rules changed.. Furthermore I plan to take every legal action I can if some of you think I can win.. Can anyone help me?

Here is the proposal I sent to the board that they rejected.. I feel my civil rights are being violated because my kids can not play with their toys

I would like to propose to the board to please consider a revision to the rule that “no one under the age of 16 is allowed to operate a motorized vehicle on property.” I am proposing a change to the rule so my children and others can ride their age appropriate electric toys on the property.

When this rule was written as such, I believe it was the intent of the board and rules committee to prevent those under the age of 16 from driving/riding gasoline powered vehicles. Gasoline powered vehicles can be dangerous due to the extreme speeds they can obtain. Not to mention their noise levels can be a nuisance to residents. Most small electric ride on toys cannot go faster than 15mph and certainly make no noise. At the time the rule was written, small electric ride-on toys either did not exist or were not as popular as they are today. These small electric ride on toys are marketed towards kids and are age appropriate.

These electric ride-on scooters come in motors that vary in wattage. The federal government has decided that 750Watts is the threshold for electric power. A 750watt motor or less do not go any faster than a bicycle. These motor scooter are not any more or less dangerous than a bicycle. The average speed of a bicycle is about 13-16mph. People can even attain faster speeds on a bicycle by changing gears or peddling harder, but a small electric scooter with a motor less than 750Watts is only capable of a max speed of 18MPH. This top speed varies with weight, battery condition, and charge. Most electric ride on toys only holds a charge for about 45 minutes with ever decreasing speeds as it is ridden.

Under Federal Law, low speed electric bicycles are not considered “motor vehicles”. Federal Electric Bicycle Law H.R. 727 says that an electrically driven bicycle is considered a "bicycle" and the laws of bicycles apply if:
• Electrically driven bicycle has less than 750 watt motor • Max speed is less than 20 mph

The Wisconsin DOT has no clear way of defining these small electric toys and leaves it to the discretion of local authorities.
http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/safety/...d-scooters.pdf

The Town of xxxx prohibits the use of off road motorized vehicles to anyone under 12 years of age. This is noted on the Town of xxxx website in the ordinances chapter 7.12/:


The current rule as it stands today is listed below:

“Snowmobiles, Motorized Scooters, Motor Bikes, Motorcycles, All-Terrain
Vehicles, and Golf Carts

1. Snowmobiles, motor bikes, motorcycles, and all-terrain vehicles
(or go-carts), may not be operated on the common grounds of property. You may, however, enter with these vehicles at no more
than 15 M.P.H. and leave by taking the most direct route to the main road or snowmobile trail.
2. Motorized scooters may be operated only on the roadways of by licensed drivers at least 16 years of age.

I am proposing a change to the rules(highlighted in red) as follows:
“Snowmobiles, Motorized Scooters, Motor Bikes, Motorcycles, All-Terrain
Vehicles, and Golf Carts

Motorized scooters and motor bikes are classified as being gasoline powered or electric powered with a motor larger than 750Watts.

1. Snowmobiles, motor bikes, motorcycles, and all-terrain vehicles
(or go-carts), may not be operated on the common grounds of property. You may, however, enter with these vehicles at no more
than 15 M.P.H. and leave by taking the most direct route to the main road or snowmobile trail.
2. Motorized scooters may be operated only on the roadways of property by licensed drivers at least 16 years of age. Motorized scooters with an electric motor less than 750Watts may be operated by users less than 16 years of age. These vehicles must be operated at speeds less than 15MPH.


My kids enjoy coming to the property and they love having the opportunity to ride their toys on the property. To prohibit them from riding these toys is very disheartening to them. Safety is everyone concern especially for me, but as a parent I feel these toys are age appropriate and are not any more or less dangerous than bikes. It is my job as a parent to make sure my kids are riding their toy scooters in a safe manor with respect to themselves and others. Any incident that may occur is sole the responsibility of the homeowner and not the Association nor the board. I ask the board to change this rule so my kids and others can enjoy coming to said property.
Old 10-13-11, 01:25 PM
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Re: Can anyone give me some free legal advice? - Condo Association rules

So... someone must have complained, right?
Old 10-13-11, 01:35 PM
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Re: Can anyone give me some free legal advice? - Condo Association rules

I live in a cooperative housing development and sit on the board of our HOA. I would vote against changing the rules on this issue, because the first kid that gets hit and killed by a driver who doesn't see him on his electric scooter will result in a mega-lawsuit that the corporation would probably lose.
Old 10-13-11, 01:36 PM
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Re: Can anyone give me some free legal advice? - Condo Association rules

Yep... they say their worried about the kids safety.. I don't need a board to tell me how to raise my kids... I have t least 3 othe owners that feel the same way.. the board members our older people and they run it like a retirement community.. the property is in wisconsin so most people only use it 3 months out of the year..

I plan on doing what I can, including joining committes, running for the board and even going around to get rfesident to sign a petition. The biggest problem they are threatening with fines and property liens.

I am planning my attack.... 1. Petition, email announcement to all owners, mass mailing, the court if need be..
Old 10-13-11, 01:38 PM
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Re: Can anyone give me some free legal advice? - Condo Association rules

Originally Posted by Vibiana View Post
I live in a cooperative housing development and sit on the board of our HOA. I would vote against changing the rules on this issue, because the first kid that gets hit and killed by a driver who doesn't see him on his electric scooter will result in a mega-lawsuit that the corporation would probably lose.

The problem is these scooters are no different then bikes.. they go slower than a bike.. also this is why I pay howowners insurance.. they will sue me... not the board. plus I was told that residents can not sue the board or association..

They could also be walking and get hit by a car...
Old 10-13-11, 01:39 PM
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Re: Can anyone give me some free legal advice? - Condo Association rules

If you don't want to follow the rules of an HOA, here's a bright idea: move somewhere that isn't governed by one.
Old 10-13-11, 01:48 PM
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Re: Can anyone give me some free legal advice? - Condo Association rules

I know.. but like I said these are summer properties where people go to have fun.. including the kids.. I'm just trying to understand their rationale... it makes no sense.. scooter or bike they can get hurt either way. They allow bikes... I just don't like how they are telling me how to raise my kids..

These aren't scooters that go 20 or 30 mph.. I'm talking little razor scooters.. like e100 or e300
Old 10-13-11, 02:22 PM
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Re: Can anyone give me some free legal advice? - Condo Association rules

Originally Posted by Vibiana View Post
If you don't want to follow the rules of an HOA, here's a bright idea: move somewhere that isn't governed by one.
This is what I was thinking, too. I'm sure they didn't try to hide any of the rules.

Originally Posted by ANDREMIKE View Post
I know.. but like I said these are summer properties where people go to have fun.. including the kids.. I'm just trying to understand their rationale... it makes no sense.. scooter or bike they can get hurt either way. They allow bikes... I just don't like how they are telling me how to raise my kids..

These aren't scooters that go 20 or 30 mph.. I'm talking little razor scooters.. like e100 or e300
I don't see where the speed thing makes much difference if a child is driving their little vehicle in the road or crossing the street. If they go slower than a bike as you say they do, I would think it creates a bigger safety or traffic hazard because the kid can't get out of the way as quickly or drivers would have to wait longer for them to cross. Also as you said, if a child were on a bike and realized he was blocking traffic, he could simply pedal faster to quickly get out of the way. You wouldn't be able to speed up in this little vehicle.

No, I'm not saying *your* kid drives in the middle of the street. I'm sure you are a responsible parent who watches your child, but there are many who don't and would just allow their child to ride around, potentially causing problems for drivers. I don't know how things are set up at your condo, but there might be few roads within the complex, which would make kids riding around a bigger problem. I don't know, but I can see some logic in it. Not saying I necessarily agree with it.
Old 10-13-11, 02:24 PM
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Re: Can anyone give me some free legal advice? - Condo Association rules

Oh, just one more thing. Your civil rights are not being violated. You knew about this when you signed your lease. They aren't forbidding your child from ever riding on his little toy, just not on their property. Your kid not being able to play with his toy is NOT a civil rights issue.
Old 10-13-11, 02:30 PM
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Re: Can anyone give me some free legal advice? - Condo Association rules

If it's slower than a bike, why are they not on a bike?
Old 10-13-11, 02:35 PM
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Re: Can anyone give me some free legal advice? - Condo Association rules

Get your kids a foot powered mini-vehicle/toy. No motor and they get a little exercise on the side. Win!
Old 10-13-11, 02:37 PM
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Re: Can anyone give me some free legal advice? - Condo Association rules

Originally Posted by Thor Simpson View Post
If it's slower than a bike, why are they not on a bike?
Because the youth of today is lazy! Which is why this is such a great solution ...

Originally Posted by VinVega View Post
Get your kids a foot powered mini-vehicle/toy. No motor and they get a little exercise on the side. Win!
Old 10-13-11, 02:49 PM
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Re: Can anyone give me some free legal advice? - Condo Association rules

Aren't things like this usually voted on by a quorum of the condo owners? So if it was rejected, most of the other owners don't want the rule changed? If so, you may be SOL.

Maybe you can try to get a certain area designated as a play area where they could be allowed to ride?
Old 10-13-11, 02:53 PM
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Re: Can anyone give me some free legal advice? - Condo Association rules

Get all the kids horses and BB guns. You want to be safe and follow idiotic rules.
Old 10-13-11, 02:54 PM
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Re: Can anyone give me some free legal advice? - Condo Association rules

Originally Posted by clckworang View Post
Oh, just one more thing. Your civil rights are not being violated. You knew about this when you signed your lease. They aren't forbidding your child from ever riding on his little toy, just not on their property. Your kid not being able to play with his toy is NOT a civil rights issue.
*lower lip trembling* B-b-b-but think of the chyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyllllll-dren!! *full throated wail and running from the room sobbing*

P.S. I'm not wearing my Vibiana The Kid-Hating Old Grouch hat here. The reason behind this policy is safety and liability concerns all the way. The speed limit in our development is 20 MPH. Do you know how many people follow that speed limit? Depressingly few. So far nobody's kid has been run over, but with the drivers on the road nowadays, I wouldn't want my kid to take the chance. Take your kid to a park or someplace that's specifically clear of motorists where they'll be safe on their scooters.
Old 10-13-11, 02:58 PM
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Re: Can anyone give me some free legal advice? - Condo Association rules

It was the 4 Members of the board that said no. I agree all homeowners shoul have a voice.. I have talked to about 20 residents that were shocked about the rule.. read my letter above.. alwas thought it applied to highspeed gas powered scooters and dirt bikes.. and I believe that was the intent. There is a 15mph sped limit on the property
Old 10-13-11, 03:04 PM
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Re: Can anyone give me some free legal advice? - Condo Association rules

Originally Posted by ANDREMIKE View Post
It was the 4 Members of the board that said no. I agree all homeowners shoul have a voice.. I have talked to about 20 residents that were shocked about the rule.. read my letter above.. alwas thought it applied to highspeed gas powered scooters and dirt bikes.. and I believe that was the intent. There is a 15mph sped limit on the property
*sigh* How high up does your kid sit on the scooter as opposed to on the bike? Because I'm thinking of those little motorized jeep vehicles and that kind of thing. They are low enough to the ground that visibility would be a real issue for motorists.
Old 10-13-11, 03:06 PM
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Re: Can anyone give me some free legal advice? - Condo Association rules

You don't sit on scooters. You stand on them.
Old 10-13-11, 03:14 PM
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Re: Can anyone give me some free legal advice? - Condo Association rules

Well, if there were any way to keep kids from bicycling and scootering and so forth in the street, it would be one thing. Sidewalks are for pedestrians, so you can't confine bikes and scooters to them. I think it's sensible to ban them in a planned community. Like I said, if you don't like rules don't live in a planned community with a homeowners' association.
Old 10-13-11, 03:21 PM
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Re: Can anyone give me some free legal advice? - Condo Association rules

Originally Posted by ANDREMIKE View Post
It was the 4 Members of the board that said no.
Plus the lawyer who advised them. Like Vib said, most likely it's a liability issue. I live in a townhouse community where the kids play in the parking area and sometimes they are hard to see so I can see why the board rejected the proposal. Like I said before, your best bet is to get an area designated where they can be allowed to ride.
Old 10-13-11, 03:28 PM
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Re: Can anyone give me some free legal advice? - Condo Association rules

This isn't legal advice, but here ya go.

1st, your civil rights don't appear to be violated. There is no right to operate such vehicles. the rules seem valid.

2nd, you absolutely can change them. Follow your HOA by laws' procedure for changing HOA rules. Good luck!
Old 10-13-11, 03:30 PM
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Re: Can anyone give me some free legal advice? - Condo Association rules

Just have your kids play in the street like all the other kids...
Old 10-13-11, 03:40 PM
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Re: Can anyone give me some free legal advice? - Condo Association rules

Here's my marginal legal advice:

a) Your rights are not being violated

however

b) Don't try to change the law...knowing most housing associations, they could care less about you and your kids. Here's what you do: Just let your kids use the vehicles. If someone complains, let them. If someone threatens to take action, let them make the first legal step and THEN argue your case in a court of law.
Old 10-13-11, 03:43 PM
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Re: Can anyone give me some free legal advice? - Condo Association rules

ANDREMIKE, you have my sympathy. And, you're right about the older folks running it like an old folks home. I'm not a fan of kids, but even I understand that kids need to play and the parking lot is their backyard. I see no difference in scooter to bikes. Meanwhile, even though it's a rule, no one is stopping those driving in the lot from speeding are they? But, don't let those kids ride a scooter. Sadly, you're probably fighting a losing battle.
Old 10-13-11, 04:12 PM
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Re: Can anyone give me some free legal advice? - Condo Association rules

Its actualy not even a parking lot were talking about.. there just roads around the complex. The complex consists of all townhomes. Town homes have drivways. No sidewalks..

Thanks pizza for agreeing with me..

My kids will now be riding bikes and manual scooters all around the complex.... manual scooters don't have breaks.... the electric one are much safer, but oh well.


Someone please explain the liabilty issue because that is why I have insurance. The even funnier thing is the complex next door doesn't mind. They also do more things as an association.. fun things.. our board is alll old farts with no kids...

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