Dear Somerset Residents,
With the upcoming 2024 Washington legislative session, a bill potentially threatening to override existing covenants with single-family restrictions may be on the horizon.
Reflecting on recent legislative activities, it's worth noting that during this year’s session, HB1110 was passed, authorizing the construction of multiplexes and accessory dwelling units (ADUs) across most of Washington in an effort to create affordable housing. HB1110 exempted Associations and Common Interest Communities with pre-existing covenants largely due to the advocacy of Innis Arden Club (an HOA), their legal counsel, Peter Eglick (who also represents the SCA), and lobbyist Dylan Doty. They effectively garnered a supportive opinion from former Washington Supreme Court Justice Phil Talmadge, stating that the legislative invalidation of existing covenants could be unconstitutional.
As the Legislature is now preparing for the 2024 session, this protective stance is met with a differing legal viewpoint from Ted Hunter, a local land use attorney. He stated during a Legislature work session on October 26th that a statute overriding restrictive covenants may likely survive a judicial challenge, depending on the legislative findings based on evidence.
In response to the potential upcoming bill, Innis Arden Club is spearheading the formation of a coalition of larger Associations and communities to collaboratively fund legislative representation opposing the covenant override. The goal is to prevent this potential bill from making it through the legislative process. Additionally, we understand that an override on single-family restrictions could have an effect on our other covenant provisions.
The SCA Board is currently deliberating our participation in this alliance and giving thoughtful consideration to financially supporting these proactive legislative efforts. While we place great importance on protecting our covenants, we would also like confirmation from our members that they support this as an appropriate use of SCA funds. Please contact us by email at email@example.com to share your opinion on or contribute to this matter.
Chloe Chen, CRC Chair, on behalf of the
SCA Board of Directors
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