I live in Tualatin, Washington county. Moved here in 1999, and the rules and regs of the NA's CCRs were given to us with the deed. My annoying next-door neighbor told me immediately she was president of the NA. But we've never had meetings, no dues were collected. 17 years later, she still claims to be president. I was told that it's expired. She uses this to tell people they're painting their house the wrong color, their fence is the wrong material, etc. Now I am installing a beautiful fence. She claims she's getting calls from neighbors (yeah, right) that they're concerned that's it's too tall near my garage (6 feet, and within city code). I'd like to tell her to take a flying leap. Haven't responded yet. How long can a NA and the CCRs exist without any activity?
I assume by neighborhood association you are really referring to planned community. Most of the laws governing planned communities can be found here: http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/94.565. Be sure to read all the related links. Note that which of these statutes apply to your community depends on when it was built so pay attention to the parts that tell you the dates when the particular statute started to apply.
I don't expect there is anything specific in the statutes about the specific rules of the associations, the electoral periods, or the longevity of such groups in the Oregon Statutes. I suspect that there were bylaws adopted at the time of the formation of the community which you will need to track down and read to get the answers to your questions.
Make a formal demand on the "President" for a copy of the original Bylaws, any book containing the minutes of any meetings and and resolutions that have been voted on, and if she doesn't have these materials ask her where you can go to get a copy. If that is still a dead end you may need to talk to an attorney to find the documents. It is possible that the rules or at least the documents that formed the association were recorded in the real estate records when the property was first platted and developed so you could go to the county recorder's office and see what you find there. There may be an agency in the State of Oregon, the City or the County that such documents are submitted to - I am not sure about that, possibly an agency that deals with land use planning. (The County surveyor's office may know where such records are submitted and kept.)
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Joanne has given you good advice about leg work you can do to try to find the right answer, or more importantly, really what the situation is. I would also ask your neighbors if they know of or have been involved in a neighborhood association. I would also probably check the supposed name of this association under the business registry at Oregon.gov. If there is a corporation, it will show the registered agent and contact - and if it is active. But, beyond that kind of leg work, I think you will need a lawyer depending upon what you want. The statutes assume that it is an organization of neighbors, not just one neighbor imposing her views on others, and - and thus she cannot hold the title "president" unless there have been meetings and that the entire board (president, secretary, etc)give notices and follow the requirements including how these matters are handled.
CCRs are separate from NAs. They are recorded but since some say things like no black here (illegal now) or water comes from X site (usurped by the city water utility) they may not be fully enforceable. There may also be a non functioning NA established at the time of the CCRs but unless it is currently active, and following the rules, and the majority of the neighbors agree with the directions, it has no teeth. In other words, the non active NA does not get to act inconsistent with current law. Generally the CCRs cannot name a person for life to enforce the CCRs so its likely she is misinformed and enjoying the control. Her remedies if you put up the fence, is to sue you in the name of the (possibly nonexistent) neighbor association. She has no other real ability to enforce a supposed limitation. The sheriff will not come out and tear it down. If she did that herself, she would be subject to criminal and civil claims. If she sued you, she would have to show that you were given written notice of the violation, be able to show that the limitation is in the rules which were duly enacted by giving you a copy and when it was done, who the officers were, who is on the board. This is a general view of CCRs and NAs and your situation may be different which is why I suggest a lawyer and some legwork.
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