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Our self-managed 1960s apartment block of 2-3 levels has 23 units, of which 12 are owner-occupied. All units overlook a U-shaped cul-de-sac courtyard – a pleasant grassed area, bordered by low shrubs, with perhaps half a dozen larger shrubs – Camellia, Bottlebrush and the like, fairly typical of that era. My unit is at the “dead end” of the courtyard.
A new owner-occupier arrived in 2018 and asked permission to “work a small section of the garden for herbs and vegetables for the community to enjoy”. Sounded innocent enough. No objection there.
Over the following two years that “small section “ has been considerably extended, complete with large compost bins, pavers, rock border, birdbath, and assortment of other pots and gardening paraphernalia, now looking like a suburban backyard, ruining the outlook from my unit. My complaints to the committee (which includes said gardener) have been assertively rebuffed. I knew it wasn’t allowed to take over garden area for personal use, but this case was using the pretext of “community use”. Some residents do use the bins, and herbs.
Eventually, very frustrated, I phoned DFT. Great response/ reaction:
“ It’s not about your view, it’s a breach of Section 108 of the Strata Schemes Management Act:
any change or alteration to any part of the common property requires a special resolution agreed to by not less than 75% of the owners.
You should apply for Mediation:” ….. which I have done –scheduled for next week, by phone.
Now we are about to have a Zoom EGM, for the Owners Corp decision on what to take to the Mediation session. Not surprisingly, the committee is going for retrospective approval, so there are two motions, one to keep the extended garden, and the other to remove it. The motions have been split into sub-parts, adding confusion for voters.
The committee’s “background” notes for email voting contain mis-information. Of course, there may be a sympathy vote for the the Owner-occupier-committee-Member Gardener (OMG). (We do have a monthly paid gardener, whose work is strictly controlled by OMG), e.g. the garden bed near my entrance was left abandoned for months (by order of OMG), until I sent a request to the committee.
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