#556-O, Winans v. Stedwick Homes Corp. & Montgomery Village Foundation (November 12, 2002) (Panel: Van Grack, Cihak, Price)
The homeowner (HO) filed this complaint against his homeowner association (HOA) and the umbrella association to which the HOA belongs claiming that the HOA had failed to give him information, that it held an unlawful meeting,and that its rule prohibiting the parking of pickup trucks was unreasonable.
The evidence showed that the HO had owned a pickup truck that he parked in front of his unit.The HOA placed a notice on the truck warning the HO that the truck was parked in violation of rules prohibiting such trucks within the community.Signs posted in the area of the lot also advised of this rule. The HOA gave the HO an opportunity to defend himself at an open meeting, and then went into a closed session to discuss and vote on the dispute. The HOA then found the HO in violation of the rules against parking pickup trucks in the community.
The hearing panel found that the HOA refused to tell the HO the name of the person who placed the tag on his truck, however it also found that he did not make a proper request for that information .The panel also found that the HOA acted properly under the "open meetings" provisions of the Maryland Homeowners Association Act when it went into closed session to discuss and vote on the dispute after the hearing.
Finally, the panel concluded that the rule against pickup trucks was valid and enforceable.The panel stated, We understand Mr. Winan's point that his truck was pleasant in appearance and that the image of trucks has evolved over time.However, trucks can convey different images, and Respondent's interpretation of its documents was reasonable.