House Bill 1279 requires a majority of condo owners to approve any legal action against developers, increasing the current standard that only requires a majority of homeowners association board members to agree to move any complaint forward.
Developers and business leaders who’d backed HB 1279 said the law was likely to help developers be willing to put up condominium projects, which now comprise less than 3 percent of the new housing market, a minuscule percentage as compared to other major cities. However, they said the fear that a large number of residents could push a costly legal action in the court system rather than through arbitration was likely to keep most developers out of the market for the foreseeable future.
Judge Daniel M. Taubman wrote that “competent evidence in the record supports the City Council’s rezoning decision such that the neighbors have failed to rebut the presumption of integrity, honesty and impartiality in favor of the City Council’s decision.”
Kerwin has cited Councilwoman Mary Beth Susman’s frequent e-mail correspondence with Metropolitan lobbyist Sean Maley before the vote. But Taubman’s opinion echoed the earlier district court ruling in noting that Susman asserted her impartiality several times and ultimately voted against the rezoning.
This week, Kerwin said in response to the latest ruling: “The developer and its lobbyists controlled this rezoning process, and city officials admitted in court that the Planning Board and City Council do not consider traffic and parking problems when evaluating a proposed rezoning.”