Office of the Common Interest Community Ombudsman Legislation

Office of the Common Interest Community Ombudsman Legislation

Board Meetings May Be Held Via Fully Electronic Methods

During the 2020 Regular and Special Session of the General Assembly, the legislature approved language amendments proposed by Governor Northam to the budget bills to address difficulties associations are facing when trying to hold board meetings during the current public health emergency.

Under the provisions of the new law, effective April 24, 2020, if the Governor has declared a state of emergency pursuant to Va. Code § 44-146.17, association governing boards may meet electronically without having a member physically present at one location. This is permitted only if the emergency makes it is impracticable or unsafe for the board to assemble in one place; the purpose of the meeting is to discuss or transact business of the association required by statute or necessary to continue operations of the association; and the governing board distributes minutes of the meeting the same way it provided notice of the meeting. These new provisions only apply to board meetings and not member/owner meetings.

In order to convene a meeting under this new law, the governing board must give notice to members using the best method available given the nature of the emergency, and that notice must be given at the same time it is given to the governing board. The governing board must also make arrangements for association members to access the meeting through electronic means, including videoconferencing if practicable. If possible, the members should be provided an opportunity to comment. 

Minutes of any such electronic meeting should include the nature of the emergency, the fact that the meeting was held electronically, and the type of electronic meeting method used.  

Please contact the CIC Ombudsman (email) if you have questions or require additional information.