Garden Oaks Maintenance Organization (GOMO) is a Texas non-profit corporation based in Houston.
The purpose of GOMO is to further the common interests of owners of sections 1, 2, 3, & 5. These include but are not limited to the enforcement of deed restrictions, collection of assessments and promotion of health, safety, and welfare of residents and the land.
(Adapted from Articles of Incorporation 9/27/2002)
GOMO Meeting Information
Announcements & Updates
GOMO Sets Special Meeting Feb. 6, 7:30 at 4001 N. Shepherd suite 216
GOMO will confer with its attorney in an Executive Session regarding the recent denial of the Request for Rehearing in the Section 3 Garage Case.
Litigation Update Section 1 Subdivision of a Lot
523 W 30th, Houston, Tx, 77018
The case involves a duplex (allowed in section 1) that was subdivided into two unique properties in 2007. GOMO’s lawsuit against this action was successful in the trial court but was overturned on appeal. The case was remanded to the lower court for resolution, which was issued on April 19, 2017.
THE ISSUE: By subdividing 523 W. 30th into two unique lots, (now 523 W. 30th and 525 W. 30th), two lots of 37’6” frontages were created, violating the minimum 75’ frontage as required in Section 1 deed restrictions, (paragraph a- Architectural restrictions.)
- CASE BACKGROUND
- 1979 the duplex was built.
- Early 2007 the owner of the lot subdivided it into east and west halves and transferred ownership of the east to Moses Ramos and the west to Paul Perez.
- February 2007 GOMO sued Ramos and Perez (i.e., the owners of both the east and west lots that formerly made up Lot 15) to bring those subdivided lots into compliance with the deed restrictions. The two cases were combined.
- October 2009 the combined case was resolved when Ramos represented that he had recombined the two lots. At that point, GOMO thought that this issue had been fully and finally resolved. However, the east and west units of the duplex had evidently been financed separately by different lenders. When the borrowers defaulted, both loans were foreclosed, and the east and west units were sold separately at the resulting foreclosure sales. The foreclosure sales effectively subdivided Lot 15 once again, splitting the property into east and west halves, with each unit of the duplex residing on a separate subdivided lot.
- 2011 GOMO initiated suits against both lenders who sold their interests resulting in different owners for the East and West halves of the original lot.
- Late 2011 GOMO sues the owner of each half of the subdivided property in two separate proceedings, claiming violation of the 75’ minimum lot frontage deed restrictions. In the case against the owner of the west half of the lot, the trial court found in GOMO’s favor, issuing a permanent injunction in May 2014 that required the owner to use all reasonable efforts to rejoin the west and east halves of the property.
- 2014 Owner of the western half appeals verdict.
- 2015 GOMO filed an injunction against the eastern half of the duplex lot to have the owner use reasonable efforts to rejoin the lot.
- June 2016 The appellate court reverses the trial court’s judgment finding that the owner of the western half of the lot did not violate the deed restrictions because he had not “erected” anything. (see Architectural restrictions, section 1, paragraph a.)
- April 2017 Agreed Judgement Order Signed- Both Elbar and SWE suits are ended
Current spending on all the related suits from 2006 to 2017 inclusive of appeals is a little over $30K with approximately a third of this coming at the appeals stage.
GOMO will enforce the prohibition to erect on any lot having less than the required frontage.
Litigation Update Section 3
At the announced Special Business Meeting held on February 6, 2018, and after many weeks of discussions, the Garden Oaks Maintenance Organization board decided the following:
- GOMO will not pursue an appeal to the Texas Supreme Court – This decision effectively ends all litigation being pursued by the organization in connection with the Section Three Litigation. In making this decision, the Board weighed the likelihood that the Texas Supreme Court would not accept the appeal, the financial cost of continuing the litigation, and the potential positive and negative impacts either choice would have on the neighborhood as a whole. With a very small acceptance rate, especially for issues that are not likely to impact the state as a whole, the Board determined that the costs of an appeal far outweighed the chance for a positive outcome.
- GOMO will cease cashing transfer fee checks for the immediate future – The decision not to seek an appeal to the Texas Supreme Court will result in the Court of Appeals decision in the Section Three Litigation becoming final that GOMO was improperly formed as to the particular homeowners in the lawsuit. It is important to note that our deed restrictions remain in place and are enforceable and that the Appeals Court did find that GOMO, as a registered Texas non-profit corporation has a right to exist, to act in accordance with its bylaws, and to enforce these deed restrictions. The only activity of the organization that remains unclear is the collection of fees. The organization will continue “business as usual” until a decision about its future is made, but all transfer fee assessment checks will be held out of an abundance of caution.
These decisions were not made lightly and were made only after a lengthy consultation with the Garden Oaks attorney. After weeks and months of discussions, these were seen as the best course of action for both the neighborhood and the organization. The Board will continue to work with counsel to fully understand the legal and procedural requirements for the potential dissolution of GOMO and to contemplate, with neighborhood input and support, the available options for a successor deed restriction enforcement entity.
The Board of Directors for GOMO is composed of three elected directors for each section. The directors meet twice monthly to review building plans and enforcement actions.
Unless otherwise noted: Plan Review/Special Meetings(if needed) 1st Tuesday - Garden Oaks Montessori Elementary 6:30 PM
Plan Review/Business Meetings 3rd Wednesday - G.O. Professional Bldg. 4001 N. Shepherd Dr. ste. 216 7:00 PM
Owners are welcome at these meetings and are encouraged to bring their questions about building projects early in their planning.
If you are interested in being a director for your section, contact any of the directors listed above or email GOMO for detailed qualifications and procedures. Directors serve three year terms with one up for election or re-election each year at the Annual Meeting of Members. You can download a copy of the Nomination Form if you are interested in running for GOMO and wish to see what the requirements are. You may use this GOMO General proxy to gather votes.