Ocean County Press Release

SAYING THAT A complex 30-page bill passed by the state Senate could weaken the authority of private homeowners associations, the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders joined with two local legislators in opposing the measure.

On the surface, Senate Bill S-2425 seems to consolidate existing laws concerning common-interest communities, including rules governing the taxation of common property and the effects of eminent domain.

However, the Freeholders agreed with the concerns of Sens. Christopher J. Connors and James W. Holzapfel, both R-Ocean, that the bill may also weaken the private associations
"Many Ocean County private communities, including adult communities, rely on their homeowners associations to address the unique concerns of each particular development," said Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari, liaison to the Ocean County Office of Senior Services.

Vicari said he fears that language buried in the bill would give the state authority to supersede and overturn decisions made by the local associations.

"Our seniors chose to move into these communities in part because they would have a strong voice in making local decisions," Vicari said. "They do not want, nor do they need, Trenton's interference in how their neighborhoods are governed."

Vicari thanked Connors and Holzapfel for putting the concerns of local seniors ahead of those in Trenton and voting against the bill.

"We join with our legislative leaders in questions the impact of this bill," Vicari said. "Surely there are more pressing concerns in Trenton than how seniors are governing their own communities."

The bill has already been approved by the Senate and is awaiting a hearing in an Assembly committee.

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