Question: I am the president of my homeowners’ association and recently the board voted to proceed with a construction project within the community. Shortly after the vote, the association received a petition signed by a number of owners asking the board to reconsider the issue. Since the board has already discussed and voted on this issue, the board would prefer not to do so again. Does this petition mean the board must consider the issue again and change its decision? (R.B. by e-mail)
Answer: Both Chapter 718, Florida Statutes, the Florida Condominium Act, and Chapter 720, Florida Statutes, the Florida Homeowners’ Association Act, contain a provision that allows association members to petition the board to address a particular matter. Both statutes provide that, if the association receives a petition signed by at least 20% of the total voting interests in the association, the board is required to place the subject of the petition on the agenda of the next regularly scheduled board meeting or a special board meeting called for that purpose. The meeting at which the board will consider the agenda item must be held no later than 60 days after the receipt of the petition.
The fact that the association has received a petition does not require the board of directors to take any specific action or change its previous decision. The only obligation is for the board to place the item on the agenda of a board meeting and address the item at the board meeting. Members must be given the opportunity to speak on the agenda item, but the members have no mechanism by which they can change the decision of the board.