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Sneak Peek

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​CAI's award-winning Common GroundTM magazine aims to provide volunteer community association board members, professional community managers, and homeowners with the information they need to improve their associations, leading to happier, safer, and more prosperous communities.

Common Ground's feature articles take a deep dive into a particular subject, such as short-term rentals, community engagement, collecting assessments, disaster recovery, and developing rules. Our feature articles also profile specific communities, chronicling the challenges they've overcome and the successes they've achieved.

Meanwhile, the magazine's Homefront section helps readers stay up to date on the latest news, trends, and ideas in common-interest communities. We scour newspaper, TV, and blog reports for the most interesting, thought-provoking, and pressing issues in the community associations world and tailor articles based on those reports for our audience.

While Common Ground is a benefit of CAI membership, we occasionally make select feature articles available to the public. In addition, Homefront is always available through samples of our digital edition. Read and enjoy th​e feature articles and Homefront sections below.

Like what you see? Share it with others! Send colleagues, residents, and clients a link to keep them informed of the latest happenings in community associations. Or join now to gain complete access to Common Ground.   

Members only: Access the complete digital edition (must be logged in to view).


September/October 2020

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​THE SHOW MUST GO ONLINE

Community associations are conducting necessary business through online meetings and voting during the COVID-19 pandemic. Could the shift become a permanent fixture?


(Available as online article​)




SIGNS OF THE TIMES​

Community associations are facing a perfect storm for free-speech battles as the presidential election nears. Ensure your sign restrictions are reasonable and uniformly enforced​. ​​​

​(Available as online article​)​​




BACKGROUND​

Sandra K. Denton, CMCA, LSM, PCAM, general manager of Sienna Associations in Missouri City, Texas, has spent three decades contributing to CAI in numerous capacities.​​​ She is the recipient of CAI's 2019 Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes her long-standing contributions to community associations and to CAI.​

​(Available as online article​)​​



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​July/August 2020

Stand Up and Be CountedBALANCING ACT

Community associations are ​bracing for a wave of delinquencies. Boards ​may need to walk the tightrope between compassion and collections to help contain the coming crisis.​​


(Available as online article​)​​





Stand Up and Be CountedA GOOD CAUSE

Community associations are ​engaging and supporting residents​​​even after closing amenities and canceling events​ during the COVID-19 pandemic.​​


(Available as online article​)​​



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May/June 2020

Stand Up and Be CountedWELCOME HOME

There’s a lot to learn about community association living. Cut through the clutter, simplify new residents’ lives, and make your job easier with a few welcoming additions.​​


(Available as online article​)​​


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Stand Up and Be CountedSYSTEM FAILURE

Regular reserve studies and funding aren't enough to cover the increasingly common threat of infrastructure failure. How do we fix the system before more tragedies strike?


(Available as online article​)​​


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March/April 2020

Stand Up and Be CountedLEADING ROLES

Volunteers do exceptional work to improve their community​​ associations every day. Meet a few who have a willingness to serve, ​​a desire to learn, and a track record of success.​​


(Available as online article​)​​


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Stand Up and Be CountedSTAND UP AND BE COUNTED​​

Data gathered in the 2020 census will drive decision-making, political representation, and economic development across the U.S. It'll shape your community's future too.​​​


(Available as online article​)​​


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January/February 2020

True Colors opener - CG Sept Oct 2019.jpgCERTIFIED ​SUCCESS

With vision and determination, the CMCA celebrates 25 years as an internationally recognized professional standard for community association managers​.


(Available as online article​)​​





True Colors opener - CG Sept Oct 2019.jpgTIMES ARE CHANGING

New technology, demographics, design trends, and more are forcing community associations to adapt—or adopt—rules. What needs to be on your radar now?​​


(Available as online article​)​​



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​November/December 2019

True Colors opener - CG Sept Oct 2019.jpgACHIEVING THE DREAM​​

Legislators believe accessory dwelling units, among other initiatives, could put housing within reach for many Americans. What does that mean for community associatio​ns?  ​

(Available as online article​)​​​





ADDING IT UP​

Take charge of ​​your community's budget planning process in 10 easy steps.​​  ​

(Available as online article​)​​​




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September/October 2019

True Colors opener - CG Sept Oct 2019.jpg TRUE COLORS

Racially restrictive covenants left an unfortunate legacy of housing segregation in communities across the U.S. Legislation at the state level is helping associations strip away the discriminatory language to right past wrongs. ​

(Available as online article​)​​




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July/August 2019 

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THRIVING IN PLACE​

Retirement means everything but slowing down at the Jefferson in Arlington, Va., a vibrant senior community where residents are thrilled to age in place.​​

(Available as online article​)



UPS AND DOWNS

Getting out from under a bad elevator contract is not easy. Carefully review and analyze your contract before you sign on the dotted line.​​

(Available as online article​)





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May/June 2019

Armed and Dangerous p 24.jpgbreaking news​

Negative headlines impact current and potential residents, management, business partners, and staff. Ward off public relations problems before it's too ​late. 

(Available as online article)






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March/April 2019

CGMA19Cov208x274.jpgOPENING DOORS

CAI’s women leaders inspire a new mission to ​identify, recruit, and mentor the next wave of women and men to become managers, homeowner leaders, and business partners.

(Available as online article​)






ProjectGreen - CGMA19.jpg​PROJECT GREEN

Community associations are proving they are up to the task of going green—with projects small and large.​

(Available as online article)





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January/February 2019

civilaction.jpg A CIVIL ACTION

Worried about rudeness, disruption, and even physical attacks, community associations are establishing codes that demand courteousness and respect.

(Available as online article )





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November/December 2018

cgcoverstorynov (1).PNG FREE AND CLEAR

Secondhand smoke concerns have ignited efforts to completely ban smoking in condominiums. In large part, the attempts are succeeding—even when doing so requires amending the documents.

(Available as online article)






SHORT ORDERS CAI_CG_170x190.jpg

The short-term rental business is booming. Can an influx of transient weekend tenants be good for communities? How can associations protect their own well-being?


(Available as online article


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September/October 2018

CGSO18SneakCover.jpgHOMEFRONT

Read about wildfire encounters in community associations; why one Illinois condominium swapped land with a city; an on-then-off-again smoking ban in a Minnesota condominium; a pool ID incident in North Carolina; the surging popularity of dockless scooters and their impact on communities; and more. 

(Available as digital edition)


 




July/August 2018

CGJA18SneakCover.jpg HOMEFRONT

Read about the Hawaiian community devastated by the Kilauea volcano; how one Florida family is fighting to keep their Little Free Library open; what a recent Washington, D.C., case means for condominiums dealing with owners'  delinquent fees; the impact legalizing marijuana has had on condominiums in the greater Boston area; California's move to make all new homes have solar power; and more. 

(Available as digital edition)

 




May/June 2018

SEA, SAND, SUSTAINABILITY

A maritime forest, marshes, and miles of beach make Seabrook Island, S.C., a wildlife haven. The community’s residents have acted to preserve the area’s delicate habitat and promote sustainability.

(Available as PDF download)







HOMEFRONT

Read about the $20 million jury verdict a Las Vegas community was hit with in February for failing to maintain its playground; how a Denver condominium fought Verizon's plan to install a 30-foot pole directly outside its en trance; the impact an Arizona Court of Appeals decision is having on associations' ability to levy fines; Hurricane Irma aftermath in Florida; and more.

(Available as digital edition)
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March/April 2018

RiseAndFire_CGMA18 opener.jpg RISE AND FIRE

Installing sprinkler systems in older high-rise buildings may sound like a no-brainer—particularly given recent high-rise fires in West London and Honolulu—but winning support from owners can be tricky.

​(Available as PDF download)


 



HOMEFRONT

Read about the top-selling, master-planned communities in the U.S.; a cat mistaken for a bobcat in a Florida condominium; the continuing troubles for Millennium Tower in San Francisco; a construction defects lawsuit win for associations in Massachusetts; the first Crystal Lagoon opening in the U.S.; and more. 

(Available as digital edition)



 


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January/February 2018

A SHORE THING

Slowly but surely, rising sea levels will force coastal communities to act. If your association isn’t monitoring its shoreline now, it’s time to start

(Available as PDF download)



 

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HEAD STRONG

A collaborative effort between the Town of Hilton Head Island and its many community associations—put to the test during Hurricane Matthew in 2016—should serve as a master class in disaster preparedness everywhere.

(Available as PDF download)


 


 

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January/February 2018 Sneak Peek Cover

HOMEFRONT

Read about a massive condominium redevelopment in Virginia; a fight over beach dunes in New Jersey; the circumstances that may have led to the attack on Sen. Rand Paul; a drinking water system grant in Hawaii; the costs of banning children from playing outside in a California community; and more. 


 




 


November/December 2017

CGND17HarveyIrmaPhotoEssay.jpgDOUBLE TROUBLE

Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Texas coast on Aug. 25. Hurricane Irma ripped through Florida starting on Sept. 10. These photos and anecdotes only begin to tell the story of the damage and the early recovery efforts.

(Available as PDF download)


 


 


 

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HOMEFRONT

Read about trash and recycling woes in Los Angeles; open elections in New Jersey; a condemned condominium in Maryland; building community in Colorado; an annexation appeal in North Carolina; and more.

(Available as digital edition)


September/October 2017

House of Pain - CG Sept Oct 2017 - published.jpgHouse of Pain

Community associations could be in a unique position to do something about the opioid crisis. As the epidemic surges, can you offer a prescription? 

By Steve Bates

(Available as PDF download)



 

 


CGSO17SneakCover.jpgHomefront

Read about the Florida high-rise sprinkler system mandate; priority liens at the U.S. Supreme Court; a deadly condominium fire in Honolulu; an environmental preservation grant awarded to a community in Florida; freedom of speech in California; andmore.

(Available as digital edition)


July/August 2017 

HomeIsWhereTheAmenitiesAre - CG July Aug 2017.jpgHOME IS WHERE THE AMENITIES ARE

A new wave of master-planned developments is redefining large-scale communities with innovative plans and extraordinary features. They’re adding another word to the “location, location, location” real estate mantra: amenities.

By Joe Cantlupe

(Available as PDF download)


 

 

 

 

Read about Colorado construction defects reform; a filing to the U.S. Supreme Court regarding priority liens; a Tennessee community's struggle to make up lost revenue after wildfires in the Smoky Mountains; a fatal gas line explosion in a Colorado community; how a few Florida communities used a parking app to discover unauthorized renters; and more.

(Available as digital edition)



 May/June 2017

Every Dog Has Its HOA - CG May June 2017.jpgEVERY DOG HAS ITS* HOA

*and cat, fish, bird, rabbit, hamster, snake, etc.

Dog parks, pooch pool parties, and other pet perks may have seemed a little off the chain for community associations 20 years ago. Today, they are fairly typical examples of how communities are fostering increasingly pet-friendly environments.

By Mike Ramsey

(Available as PDF download)


 


 

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HOMEFRONT

Read about a grand jury report that says the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation doesn’t work to protect the tens of thousands of residents who live in condominiums; a Pokémon Go tragedy in Virginia; a New Jersey community's crowdfunding campaign to save its lake; a Florida condominium's plea to state prosecutors to bring criminal charges against the association’s former board members; a plane crashing into a Massachusetts condominium; and more.

(Available as digital edition)


 

 

March/April 2017

CGMA17Willowsford.jpg

BET THE FARM

Willowsford, still under development in Northern Virginia, is wooing residents with a working farm and thousands of acres of open space. The “agrihood” may become the new blueprint for large-scale communities.

By Joe Cantlupe

(Available as PDF download)


 




CGMA17SneakCov.jpg HOMEFRONT

Read about how real estate investors are forcing out condominium owners across the country; a Massachusetts community that was developed on a former landfill; a delinquent assessments collections clash in Florida; a potential change in how New Jersey communities are governed; and more.

(Available as digital edition)


 


 


 


 January/February 2017

GoodAsGoldCGJF17.jpg

GOOD AS GOLD

Columbia, Md., was developed 50 years ago to be a new town that would represent the best of America. That ideal still holds true for one of the country's first master-planned communities—even as it continues to grow.​

By Steve Bates

(Available as PDF download)


 

 

CG Jan Feb Sneak Peek.jpg

HOMEFRONT

Read about FHA's proposed new rules; a power shutdown at a Prince George's County, Md., condominium; a drought-busting association in California; how the Trump administration may impact associations; and more. 

(Available as digital edition)



 

 

 


 

 November/December 2016

CGND16TheTowersCondominium.pdf

TOWERING TRANSFORMATION

The Towers Condominiums was in such disrepair 10 years ago, the City of Fort Myers, Fla., was about to condemn the community. It’s made quite the comeback.

By Jennifer Miller

(Available as PDF download)


 


 


CG Nov Dec 2016 sneak peek.jpg

HOMEFRONT

Read about an embezzlement investigation in North Carolina; rebuilding dams in South Carolina; a sinking San Francisco high rise; a short-term rental solution; and more.

(Available as digital edition)


 

 

 

 

 


September/October 2016

HOMEFRONT

Read about condo voting abuses in Florida; housing protection for individuals with criminal records; a plant giveaway in Arizona; a priority liens decision in Nevada; and more.


 
(Available as digital edition)

 

 

 



 July/August 2016

HOMEFRONT

Read about condo voting abuses in Florida; housing protection for individuals with criminal records; a plant giveaway in Arizona; a priority liens decision in Nevada; and more.


 
(Available as digital edition)

 

 

 



May/June 2016

HOMEFRONT

Read about two Texas communities dealing with sinkholes; a legislative effort in Illinois that would've made it easier for owners to sue associations; recycled water runaround in California; a fight over a trail in Missouri; a Texas associations purchasing a golf course; and more.

(Available as digital edition)


 


 


March/April 2016

HOMEFRONT

Read about a massive gas leak's impact on a California community; the failures of a robotic parking garage; whether a Colorado community went too far accommodating a Fair Housing request; a flooding problem in North Carolina; and more.


 
(Available as digital edition)

 

 

 

 

 

January/February 2016

HOMEFRONT

Read about construction defect reform in Colorado; solar panels in California; Superstorm Sandy aftereffects; a safety issue in Illinois; a successful volunteer project; and more.


 
(Available as digital edition)


 

 

 

 


FREE ARTICLE ARCHIVES

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ACTS OF FAITH

November/December 2015

When religion is involved, debates over seemingly clear-cut issues can turn into enormous controversies for associations. Board members and managers need tact and sensitivity to handle faith-based matters. 

By Mike Ramsey

(Available as PDF download)


 

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PLAYING IT SAFE

July/August 2011

Plagrounds inspire smiles, laughter and learning, but they require planning, inspection and thoughtful policies too.

By Michele Molnar

(Available as PDF download)  


 
 

HOMEFRONT ARCHIVES