Virginia bill granting HOAs broad powers faces fight from Democrat, Tea Party

A bill giving Draconian extra-legal powers to homeowner associations is taking a beating from Democrats and Tea Party Republicans — and it’s on the verge of becoming law.

House Bill 791 “aims to protect residents living in homeowner and condominium associations … from overly aggressive enforcement of association rules,” said sponsoring Delegate Jim LeMunyon, R-Chantilly.

Critics say the measure does the reverse, and they call it “an end-run around property rights.”

“Somewhere, George Orwell is rolling over in his grave,” said state Sen. Chap Petersen, D-Fairfax.

“What we’re doing here is saying that a homeowners association, even if it doesn’t have powers stated in (its) charter, will be allowed to exercise additional powers,” Petersen said during debate on the bill.

Leaders of the Northern Virginia Tea Party and Arlington County Tea Party, among others, agree with Petersen.

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