ANNAPOLIS – Ronald Wohl moved to a North Potomac home governed by a homeowner’s association because there was little else to choose from. Most homes being built today are in association-governed communities, real estate experts say.
In Maryland, such developments are estimated to number more than 100,000 and growing.
Michael Carliner, vice president of the National Association of Homebuilders, says community association living is a nationwide trend.
In 1970, these developments made up only 1 percent of housing in the United States. But their share had jumped to 11 percent by 1990. And some experts predict that by the year 2000, they will be home to 25 percent to 30 percent of Americans.
The movement began in the 1960s with soaring land prices and rampant development, says Vicky Satern of the Center on Homeownership in Association Governed Communities, a homeowners rights group.
Developers built neighborhoods with common areas including swimming pools, playgrounds and parks, and set up associations to oversee them.
Peter Kristian, chief operating officer for the Montgomery Village Foundation, says association-governed communities account for the majority of new development in Montgomery county. His own is the largest, with more than 10,000 units.
One of the best-known planned communities in Maryland is 28- year-old Columbia in Howard County, with more than 29,000 housing units. Barbara Kellner, Columbia’s archives coordinator, says the community is broken down into nine villages and a town center, each with its own governing association. -30-