Khan v. Alpine Haven Property Owners' Association, Inc.Annotate this Case
This case was the latest in a series of lawsuits, spanning more than thirty years, between defendant Alpine Haven Property Owners’ Association, Inc. (AHPOA) and certain home/lot owners. Plaintiffs filed the underlying suit against AHPOA in May 2011. Plaintiffs asserted that their property was not part of a common-interest-community (CIC) and that they were not required by their deeds to be AHPOA members. Plaintiffs acknowledged an obligation to pay the reasonable costs of services provided and accepted, including maintaining the right-of-way, snowplowing, street lighting, and garbage collection. They argued, however, that they should not have to pay AHPOA for special assessments, annual meeting costs, insurance, road expansion or improvements, or any other AHPOA expenses not specified in their deeds. Plaintiffs also argued that a 2011 “Amended and Restated” declaration was not validly adopted. The dispositive question for the Vermont Supreme Court's review was whether the undisputed facts supported the trial court’s conclusion that “chalets” within Alpine Haven constituted a preexisting CIC governed by Title 27A of the Vermont Statutes Annotated. The trial court found a “series of deeds” sufficient to constitute a “declaration” of a CIC under the Vermont Common Interest Ownership Act (VCIOA). Plaintiffs argued that the court erred in reaching this conclusion. The Supreme Court agreed with plaintiffs, and therefore reversed and remanded for additional proceedings.