The saga of the Darbybrook Home Owners Association (HOA) came to a close last night as the Berryville Town Council voted unanimously to decline the HOA’s request that the Town of Berryville take ownership and maintenance responsibility of the properties held by the HOA. The issue has garnered the attention of the council for the past year as the HOA has attempted to make a case that it is in the Town’s best interest to help the residents of Darbybrook by taking over two pieces of common property in the development; a playground and a storm water retention pond.
The issue languished as letters were exchanged and the HOA retained legal council to represent their request to the town. The slow motion process picked up speed at the meeting last month when the council took the opportunity to make their thoughts on the matter clear. At that meeting, Mayor Wilson Kirby said he did not support the idea, and last night he reiterated his position saying, “The HOA is not something that the Town of Berryville requested them to do. It was not forced upon them, it was placed as a condition on the subdivision by the owners and I see that it has failed simply because there was no enforcement from the HOA. So, it looks like they have given up. I don’t think that’s the right decision.”
He summarized his position on the matter saying, “I’m in favor of getting rid of this agenda item because I don’t think we should undertake the responsibility of managing property that was not intended for us to manage.”
The mayor opened the floor for comments from council members and Councilman Allen Kitselman voiced his position on the matter saying, “I have never heard of an HOA being dissolved, personally. It is a legally binding document that is part of their mortgage and the citizens of the Town of Berryville are being asked to assume the responsibility that they haven’t bargained for. So I’m baffled by this.”
Town Recorder, Jay Arnold said he believed there are other alternatives to resolve the issue that had not been explored.
Councilman David Tollet expressed his position that the residents of the town should not be burdened with this responsibility and said, ” I’m in favor of disposing of it right now.”
Mayor Kirby asked the Council for a motion to decline the request and Councilman Mary Daniel said, “They are in a tough spot, but there are a of people in a lot of HOAs in similar tough spots.” She characterized the HOA’s request as not being a fully formed plan and made the motion to decline the proposal and instruct the Town Manager to inform the legal council for Darbybrook by letter of the Town Council’s decision. Councilman Larry Russell seconded the motion.
The Council voted unanimously to approve the motion.