In these difficult and challenging financial times, several community association boards have inquired about the proper procedure to eliminate an association amenity, such as a swimming pool, playground, or tennis court. In general, pressing financial issues may permit a board to close a pool for a season or two; however, if a board desires to permanently eliminate any common element recreational amenity, an amendment to the governing documents is usually required.
Common element amenities, such as swimming pools, playgrounds, and tennis courts, are often referenced in the association’s declaration and also on the plat map drawings, both of which are filed with the county recorder’s office. To properly and permanently eliminate a common element amenity, the amendment vote process must be followed to eliminate these references in the governing documents. The amendment must also give the board the ability to spend the association’s common expense funds on eliminating the recreational amenity. As many board members are aware, Ohio condominium law and most homeowner association declarations require a 75% affirmative vote of the ownership to amend the association’s governing documents.
To complete the amendment process, the board must notify all of the owners in writing of its intention to permanently close the recreational amenity and send to all owners a copy of the proposed amendment prepared by an attorney, together with a written amendment consent form approving the amenity’s permanent elimination. Once the requisite amendment consents are received, the final amendment document must be prepared by an attorney, executed by the board, their signatures notarized, and the document recorded with the county recorder’s office. After that process is complete, the Board may then begin the construction process to permanently eliminate the recreational amenity.
All of that said, each association’s governing documents differ slightly, and board members must review the particulars of their association’s specific documents with an attorney, to ensure complete compliance with the proper process to eliminate an common element recreational amenity.