Greens of Crofton residents campaign for civic group to keep up common area Switch would mean dissolving local homeowners association


Crofton resident Donna Ceroy, doesn't mind paying a special tax for police protection and landscaping, but she could do without the additional $125 homeowners' association fee.

Ms. Ceroy and her neighbor, Lori Price, 33, want to dissolve the Greens of Crofton Homeowners Association and save the neighborhood's 80 homeowners $10,000 a year. They want to give the responsibility of maintaining common areas to the Crofton Civic Association, which manages the special tax district and collects about $21,000 in taxes from the Greens of Crofton.

The two are organizing a meeting between homeowners and the civic association to see if other neighbors also are tired of paying for services they could be getting with their tax money.

"I'm sure the Crofton Civic Association loves us. They get our tax money, but they don't have to do anything," said Ms. Ceroy, 38, who lives on the 1700 block of Candleberry Court. The Greens of Crofton is one of the district's most expensive neighborhoods. Houses there average $300,000.

"If the Crofton Civic Association snuck in overnight, no one would notice, except at the end of the year when you have an extra $125 for Christmas presents," she said.

The homeowners fee keeps covenants enforced, grass trimmed and flowers planted at the community's front entrance. It also pays for a wooden fence, and management of a storm drainage area and three private roads.

Town Manager Barbara K. Swann said the special taxes would pay for nearly all the responsibilities the homeowners association currently provides. But first the homeowners need to deed the common areas to the Crofton Civic Association and let the association enforce covenants.

If the civic association did the maintenance work without a deed, it would be trespassing, said Edwin Dosek, civic association president.

Ms. Swann said she asked homeowners two years ago if they wanted the civic association to take care of their neighborhood. The homeowners only took advantage of the police protection and recreational activities offered by the civic association.

"I don't know why they don't do it," Ms. Swann said of giving all responsibilities to the civic association. "I guess some don't think we will give them the service they want."

John Morone, president of the Greens of Crofton Homeowners Association, said everyone who moved into the neighborhood knew about the homeowners fee.

"For me, $125 is a tiny price to pay to have a little control over my own environment. Right now we've had no problems," said Mr. Morone, 44, who has lived in Crofton since 1979. "I like having the special tax district. If it was up to me, we would run our community and leave the county out."

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