PHED Item 6
September 9, 2013
September 5, 2013
Robert H. Drummer, Senior Legislative Attorney
Worksession: Bill 19-13, Common Ownership Communities - Administrative
Hearing - Attorney's Fees
Expected Attendees: Peter Drymalski, Office of Consumer Protection
Bill 19-13, Common Ownership Communities - Administrative Hearing Attorney's
Fees, sponsored by Councilmember Leventhal, was introduced on June 18. A public hearing was
held on July 9, 2013.
The Commission on Common Ownership Communities (CCOC) was established by
Chapter lOB of the County Code, effective on January 1, 1991. The CCOC is comprised of 15
voting members appointed by the Executive and confirmed by the Council. Eight of the voting
members must be residents of common ownership communities and 7 must be professionals
associated with common ownership communities. The CCOC was created to advise the County
Executive and the County Council on ways to handle common ownership of property in
communities; promote public awareness of the rights and obligations of living in common
ownership communities; resolve disputes between community associations and their members
and residents; and maintain property values and quality of life in community associations.
The CCOC has jurisdiction to resolve a complaint filed by a community association
against a member or filed by a member against a community association or another member to
enforce the association documents or a State or County law regulating common ownership
communities. The CCOC's jurisdiction to hear these disputes is non-exclusive; a party may file
a civil action in Court to resolve the dispute
at any "time before a CCOC decision is
issued. Once a CCOC decision is issued, the Court's jurisdiction is limited to judicial review of
the agency's decision. The Office of Consumer Protection provides staff support for the CCOc.
A comprehensive guide to the CCOC dispute resolution process can be reviewed on the internet
at http://www6.montgomerycountymd.gov/content/ocp/ccoc/pdtlstatTsguidenovember20 12.pdf .
The dispute resolution process includes voluntary mediation, and if necessary, an adjudicatory
hearing before a 3-member panel comprised of 2 voting members of the CCOC and a volunteer
.attorney knowledgeable about community association law. A panel decision is binding on the
parties, subject to judicial review.