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Portland Condo Owners Toss Out Homeowners Association Board That Imposed High Fees

Westlake Village condo owners feared a $6.4 million new construction project would force them out of their homes.

Condo owners in the Cedar Mill neighborhood have won a reprieve from the new fees that many feared would drive them from their homes.

On Sept. 21, at the annual meeting of the Westlake Village Condominium Homeowners Association, the group calling itself Save Westlake Village took over all five positions on the HOA board.

They intend to rescind the fees the previous board imposed to pay for a $6.4 million renovation project for the 200-unit complex.

The burden of those fees feel unequally on the poorest condo owners, some of whom spent their life savings on units and feared the new costs would amount to an economic eviction.

Related: Condo residents discover that home ownership is no guarantee against displacement in Portland's housing market.

"We unseated the former board completely," says Erin Ralstin, the new board president. "I think there's a big sigh of relief around here in the complex. We've all been stressed out for months. Our work is only just beginning."

Members of the condo association's board are elected at annual meetings for terms of two years. It has the authority to make decisions about repairs without the support of a majority of homeowners.

The new board will meet next week for the first time.