Adams Stirling PLC


QUESTION: We have a problem with children riding bikes, skateboards, scooters, etc. down a steep hill to a blind intersection. The streets are owned and maintained by the association and the board would like to restrict the street to automobiles only. How can they do this, and how would they enforce it?

ANSWER: Unless your governing documents state otherwise, your board has the authority to restrict your street to vehicles only. Doing so benefits the association by reducing or eliminating potential injuries and litigation. If the board were to do nothing and someone is seriously injured, the likelihood is high that the association would be sued. At a minimum, plaintiffs would argue that the directors were negligent and in breach of their fiduciary duties because they knew of the dangerous condition and did nothing to correct it. It may be possible to defeat such claims (depending on the circumstances), but everyone would have to suffer through expensive and emotional litigation before that occurred. They could also lose.

Enforcement. Once the restrictions were adopted, enforcement would be through hearings, fines, and suspension of privileges. The board does not need to hire someone to stand on the corner and write tickets but it could do so if circumstances justify it. Typically, rules enforcement for most associations relies on information from residents and periodic inspections. In your case, when someone reports a violation, the board would notify the parents of the young scofflaws, hold hearings and, if appropriate, impose penalties.

Recommendation: Your board should work with legal counsel to adopt and publish rules regarding the unsafe street--ones that do not discriminate against children. In addition, the board should talk to counsel about posting signs on your street.

ASSISTANCE: Associations needing legal assistance can contact us. To stay current with issues affecting community associations, subscribe to the Davis-Stirling Newsletter.

Adams Stirling PLC