Real Estate Development

The growing popularity of residential planned community lifestyle in the past several decades has led to a developing and evolving body of law addressing their creation and the organization of entities governing them. Nearly every subdivision which has been established since the 1980s has some form of commonly owned property and amenity which is available for use and enjoyment by all owners, supported by a mandatory contribution of assessments and managed by a community association. With this is a significant increase in a hybrid of residential and resort communities, built alongside or within golf courses, marinas, aircraft runways, and other leisure activities.

Creation of these communities begins with the real estate developer recording a set of documents containing the plan for development and essentials of ownership and operation, often referred to collectively as governing documents or dedicatory instruments. Pursuant to Texas law, a POA is the representative designated to initiate, defend, or intervene in litigation or an administrative proceeding affecting the enforcement of a restrictive covenant or the protection, preservation, or operation of the property covered by the dedicatory instruments.

Texas community association law is a web of ever-changing statutes. Now, with legislative restraints such as codified use restrictions (e.g. prohibitions regarding religious and flag displays) and policies regarding POA operations, such as open meetings and document retention guidelines, the Texas Legislature placed new burdens on POAs, which have made Texas Property Code regarding POAs even more complex and arduous. Comprehensive documentation of processes and legal boundaries has been put in place, attempting to hold POA boards and their attorneys more accountable.

Revisions to the Texas Property Code are not the only complicated legal issues with which POAs are faced. Legislative action begets subsequent judicial proceedings and court rulings for interpretation, creating a minefield for management developers, boards, and management professionals. Attorneys representing developers and associations must be expert counsel on a variety of issues to ensure clients act in full accordance with the law.

Attorney Rosemary Jackson has served as general counsel for hundreds of property owners and condominium associations in Texas, and is board-certified in Property Owners Association Law and Residential Real Estate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

Ms. Jackson possesses authoritative knowledge of the Texas Property Code and other State and Federal real property development and community association laws. She understands the cycles of the real estate market, governing document preparation, and planning and development advice and assistance.

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