ARTEMIS EXPLORATION COMPANY, A NEVADA CORPORATION; HAROLD WYATT; AND MARY WYATT, Appellants,
RUBY LAKE ESTATES HOMEOWNER'S ASSOCIATION, Respondent.
from a final judgment in a real property action. Fourth
Judicial District Court, Elko County; Alvin R. Kacin, Judge.
Law Offices, LLP, and Travis W. Gerber and Zachary A. Gerber,
Elko, for Appellants.
Kern Gruchow Anderson Song and Karen M. Ayarbe, Reno, for
PICKERING, PARRAGUIRRE and CADISH, JJ.
1991, the Nevada Legislature adopted the Uniform
Common-Interest Ownership Act, as codified in NRS Chapter
116. See 1991 Nev. Stat., ch. 245, §§ 1-128, at
535-79; NRS 116.001. NRS Chapter 116 defines what constitutes
a "common-interest community," see NRS
116.021, and also authorizes the creation of a
"unit-owners' association" to govern the
common-interest community, see NRS 116.011; NRS
116.3101. As relevant to this appeal, a unit-owners'
association is authorized to impose assessments on unit
owners for the unit owners' association to maintain
"common elements," which, generally speaking,
comprise real estate within the common-interest community
that is owned by the unit-owners' association but that
benefits all unit owners. See NRS 116.017.
own property in Ruby Lake Estates (RLE), a neighborhood which
was created in 1989. In the underlying declaratory relief
action, they challenged respondent Ruby Lake Estates
Homeowner's Association's (RLEHOA) authority to
impose assessments on them. In particular, appellants argued
that RLE was not a validly created "common-interest
community* because the recorded Declaration that created RLE
did not expressly state that RLE's residents would be
responsible for paying assessments for the maintenance of
common elements or other real estate aside from their
individual units, which appellants contend is required under
NRS 116.021. Alternatively, appellants contended that RLEHOA
was not a validly created "unit-owners'
association" because it was not organized until 2006,
while NRS 116.3101 requires a unit-owners' association to
be created before the first lot in the common-interest
community is conveyed. The district court granted summary
judgment for RLEHOA, thereby affirming RLEHOA's authority
to impose assessments on appellants.
agree with the district court's determination that RLEHOA
is authorized to impose assessments. First, we conclude that
RLE is a common-interest community within the meaning of NRS
116.021 because RLE's Declaration contained an implied
payment obligation for the common elements and other real
estate that appellants had notice of by virtue of the
Declaration when they purchased their lots. Second, we
conclude that NRS 116.3101(1) does not apply to
common-interest communities formed before 1992 and that,
consequently, RLEHOA did not need to be organized before the
first lot in RLE was conveyed.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
a rural subdivision in Elko County, Nevada. Developers
Stephen and Mavis Wright (the Wrights) filed an official Plat
Map for the community on September 15, 1989. The first sheet
of the Plat Map reads in relevant part:
At a regularly held meeting at the Board of Commissioners of
Elko County, State of Nevada, held on the 5th day of July
1989, this Plat was approved as a Final Plat pursuant to NRS
278.380. The Board does hereby reject on behalf of the
public all streets or roadways for maintenance purposes and
does hereby accept all streets and easements therein offered
for utility, drainage, and access purposes only as dedicated
for public use.
the Wrights recorded the Declaration for the community on
October 25, 1989. As relevant here, the Declaration provided
The real property affected hereby is subjected to the
imposition of the covenants, conditions, restrictions and
reservations specified herein to provide for the
development and maintenance of an aesthetically pleasing and
harmonious community of residential dwellings for the
purpose of preserving a high quality of use and appearance
and maintaining the value of each and every lot and parcel of
(Emphasis added.) The Declaration further provided for the
creation of an Architectural ...