Legal

The UC Berkeley research team will support the community participants in creating a Homeowners Association (HOA)-type organization to manage the EcoBlock. All participating property owners will be members of the HOA, which will be governed by a 5-member board that is elected by the members. The board can include representation from tenants, technical experts, and others.

The HOA serves as a method of collecting the necessary funds for the continued operation, maintenance, and insurance of the microgrid after the EcoBlock project ends. Through this organization, participants collectively own and are responsible for managing shared assets such as the energy storage, microgrid control, solar panels, and shared curbside electric vehicle (EV) charging

The organization, whether HOA or cooperative, is flexible and can be designed to support the best outcomes for sharing management responsibility and ensuring the long-term success of the communal microgrid. Tuttle Law Group will be listening to the community to help design an organization that meets their short- and long-term needs.

In general, property owners who establish an HOA incorporate as a special kind of non-profit organization where they are the members and co-owners of any shared assets like the micro-grid. The members vote to:

  • Elect a board of directors who run the organization;
  • Adopt bylaws which determine how the organization is run;
  • And adopt certain rules and restrictions on the use of their properties, which are sometimes called “Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions” (CC&Rs).

Each member agrees to record a notice that their property is subject to these CC&Rs. This means that any new owner will buy the property knowing of the existence of the CC&Rs and will automatically be a part of the HOA. One way of thinking about this is that the property itself is in the HOA, regardless of who is living there.

Tuttle Law Group will provide the community with an initial set of draft documents for the organization’s bylaws and CC&Rs. We anticipate that there will be a series of community meetings or conversations where we can hear everyone’s ideas and answer questions. Using a consensus-based decision-making process, we can develop a final governance structure that reflects the community and will launch the organization to enable members to achieve long term success. (Please refer to the graphic below for more details)

Creating a democratic organization will not only ensure the long-term success of the EcoBlock project but deepen existing community ties as well. Tuttle Law Group is excited to work with the EcoBlock team and looks forward to contributing to this collective effort in shaping a stronger, more sustainable, and resilient neighborhood.

How is an HOA formed? Infographic
Pre-formation: 1. Assess operational needs. How will the HOA run? What is the process when rules need to change? 2. Rules: CC&Rs + Bylaws. What are the rules? How does one enter or exit the HOA? 3. Budget. What does the budget need to cover? 4. Fee schedule. What is the criteria for collecting fees (e.g. based on energy use)? How often will fees be collected? 5. Name of HOA. Voted on by the community. 6. Form non-profit HOA. File articles of incorporation with the CA Secretary of State to establish the HOA. Post-formation: 7. Elect Board of Directors. Members vote to elect the board, board elects officers. 8. Adopt governing documents. Members vote to approve governing documents which are adopted by the board of directors. 9. Daily operations. Ensure regular communication and member participation.

For more information, visit the FAQ’s.

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Energy
Urban Planning and Process
Design and Construction
Mobility
Water
Legal
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