6 Md. J. Contemp. Legal Issues 283 (1995)
Taking Communities Seriously: Should Community Associations Have Standing in Maryland

handle is hein.journals/mjcolei6 and id is 287 raw text is: Taking                                      Should
Communities                                       Community
Seriously:                                Associations
Have Standing in
Michael Sarbanes*
Kathleen Skullney**
Community associations are a familiar feature of the civic landscape. Most people
belong to one or live somewhere where one exists. 1 In Maryland alone, there are at
least two thousand of them. While many of these associations have existed for
decades, there has been a marked growth in their number and activity over the last
thirty years.2 The need for strong and healthy communities has been common
political rhetoric for leaders at all levels of government.
Communities are widely recognized as basic units of our body politic. Maryland's
neighborhoods are the building blocks of our State; the health of our cities, towns
and counties is totally dependent on the vitality of our individual neighborhoods.3
In coundess hours of mostly volunteer time, community associations bring neigh-
bors together to meet, plan, organize, communicate with government, and social-
ize. They are a primary mechanism by which citizens organize their actions and
opinions to safeguard and improve their quality of life.
* Michael Sarbanes is an attorney in Baltimore City, formerly with the Community Law Center in Baltimore
City, who works with community associations. He is an active member of the Irvington Community
** Kathleen Skullney is an attorney for the firmofSkullncy, Gray& Demoga, and has been active in community
issues in Baltimore County for 10 years. She is an active member of the Greater Patapsco Community
I RoBERTJ. Dr. NuFCimoRHOOD PogrnL 105-06, 108 (1992).
2 George W. Liebmann, Devolution ofPowerto Commwnity andBio&Assciations, 25 URB. Law. 335, 338-
41 (1993).
3 MAitnD COmMISSiON oN NIaGHBORHOOS, INmuM RPOrT m nE GOVBNoR, Dec. 14, 1994.

Maryland Journal of Contemporary Legal Issues


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