Laurelhurst Community Club
Serving 2800 Households and Businesses in Seattle’s Laurelhurst Neighborhood
February 27, 2008
Senator Brian Weinstein, Chair
Senate Consumer Protection and Housing Committee and
Members of the Committee
220 John A. Cherberg Building
P.O. Box 40441
Olympia, Washington 98504-0441
RE: Yes SHB 3071 is about Property Rights – Vote No
Dear Senator Weinstein and Members of the Committee,
At Tuesday’s public hearing before the Consumer Protection and Housing Committee questions were raised from committee members regarding property rights as SHB 3071 would change the requirement for dissolving a condominium complex created prior to 1990 from 100 percent approval of homeowners to 80 percent. The prime sponsor of the bill mistakenly stated that there was nothing in the Declarations signed by condominium property owners regarding dissolution and that the property interest outlined in the contract just refers to the state statute regulating condominiums, which can be changed. This is incorrect.
The Declarations document signed by Laurelon condominium property owners does, in fact, address dissolution and calls for agreement by ALL property owners. Section 16.3 of the document states:
“Abandonment of Condominium Status. Except when acting pursuant to the provisions of the Act involving damage, destruction, or condemnation, the Association shall not, without consent of all institutional first mortgagees and institutional first deed or trust beneficiaries of any apartment, seek to abandon the condominium status of the project.”
This provision of the contract contains no reference to the state law governing condominiums, as stated by the prime sponsor. The prime sponsor also incorrectly stated that under the agreement, the property owners collectively agreed to subject itself to the condominium law and any dissolution requirements as might be changed by the Legislature.
Condominium ownership is a valuable property right. The Declarations document signed by Laurelon property owners was signed and recorded with King County in 1978. All property owners were aware of the terms of the agreement and the requirement that everyone must agree to dissolve the condominium complex.
As you move forward in considering SHB 3071, we hope you know that you will be impacting property rights in a major way. SHB 3071 is bad public policy. We urge you to reject the bill.
Jeannie Hale, President
3425 West Laurelhurst Drive NE
Seattle, Washington 98105
206-525-5135 / fax 206-525-9631