A September 5, 2017 opinion by a panel of the North Carolina Court of Appeals expands the assessment power of associations beyond limits previously set by that court. In Conleys Creek Limited Partnership v. Smokey Mt. Country Club Prop. Owners Ass’n, COA 16-647 (September 5, 2017) the panel dealt with the association’s assessment of dues for a clubhouse owned by the developer. Although acknowledging three prior decisions by other panels of the Court of Appeals holding that an agreement to pay dues for a golf course was a personal covenant between the lot owner and the original developer, this panel of the Court of Appeals greatly expanded the power of associations.
The association argued that the Planned Community Act did not authorize it to collect dues from homeowners to pay to a third party for use of property that is not a common element. They held that Section 47F-3-102 of the Planned Community Act was intended to provide powers to an association in addition to those already provided by its declaration. The Court went on to state that the Planned Community Act allowed an association to assess payments, fees or charges “for services provided to lot owners.”
An appeal to the North Carolina Supreme Court has been filed. We will monitor the appeal and report on any new developments in the case.