Florida condo association confusion over common elements

stephen polinsky on Wed, Jan 5, 2011 @ 01:59 PM

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Florida Condo Association Confusion with interpretation of article within declaration regarding Alterations of and Improvements to units and Common Elements. Recently, the board made the decision to approve a change to a common element namely; Light fixtures 2 located on Limited Common Element (Balconies) one at owners doorway and one at owners side garage door entry. I am trying to understand the verbiage in our Declaration, can someone provide their thoughts.

The passage reads: Neither a Unit Owner nor the Association shall make any alterations, improvements or additions to Units, Common Elements, or Limited Common Elements, except in compliance with the following: A. Unless the Unit owner(s) shall first submit plans for such work to the Board, and the Board, by resolution unanimously adopted by the affirmative vote of all members thereof, shall approve and consent thereto, no alteration of or improvement or addition to a Unit, or to any Limited Common Element to which the owner has an exclusive right of use, shall be made, constructed, erected or installed which shall: 1. remove, in whole or in part, replace,reroute, or otherwise affect any column, bearing wall or partition, pipe, duct, wire or conduit, or obstruct any easement herein provided for, or 2. remove, or change the style, pattern, material, texture or outside color of any door, window, screen, fixture, equipment, enclosure, or appliance in or on an exterior Unit or building wall, or 3. cover, from the inside or outside, the glass or other transparent and/or translucent material in any exterior door or window with or apply or affix thereto, any material or substance which shall render the same opaque or change the exterior color thereof, except interior draperies, curtains, shades or shutters which are lined, backed, covered or painted on the side visible from the exterior with a neutral color material, or affix to or over any exterior door or window, or otherwise install on the exterior, of any Unit or building, any storm or hurricane shutter or awning or any protective or decorative panel, paneling, trim, enclosure, fixture, or appliance, or 5. otherwise change, modify or alter the exterior of any Unit or building so that it thereby differs in appearance from any other Units or buildings of the same type. There shall be no material alterations or substantial improvements or additions to the Common Elements except in the following manner: subject to the foregoing restrictions against changing the exterior appearance of Units and/or buildings, the Association shall have the right to make or cause to be made alterations, improvements and/or additions to the Common Elements, except the acquisition of additional real property, which have been approved by the owner of Units to which 75% of the Common Elements are appurtenant. The cost of such alterations, improvements and/or additions shall be assessed against and collected from the owners of all Units as Common Expenses.

My question would be: The board approved a owner to change his outdoor lighting fixtures, which are not consistent with all the other units now. Did the board have the authority to authorize such a change or should they have brought this to the membership and if they wanted to change the fixtures then they would need to vote on it? The President made a comment at the board meeting that if all board members agreed then they would approve the owners request. Was this the correct thing to do? according to our Declaration. Thank you

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