South Riding Board of Directors, 2024

South Riding Proprietary

The South Riding Proprietary is a homeowners’ association (HOA) that acts as a de facto local government for the South Riding community in Loudoun County, Virginia. At the proprietary’s annual meeting on May 21, 2024, two of the seven seats on the Board of Directors are up for election. Members of the board serve three year terms. South Riding property owners may cast their votes by attending the annual meeting in person, submitting a paper ballot by mail, or electronically with a PIN on

The two directors at the end of their terms are Francois Desamours and Kevin Ubelhart. Two candidates appear on the ballot—Ubelhart, who is seeking reelection, and Dheeraj “DJ” Nelli. Property owners may vote for up to two candidates, and may write-in other names if desired.

Under the Proprietary’s bylaws, at least ten percent of South Riding property owners must cast votes to achieve a quorum. If a quorum is not achieved, the Board of Directors cannot seat new members or perform official work, and the meeting will be recessed for up to a month. When the meeting resumes, the quorum requirement drops to only five percent. The meeting may then be repeatedly recessed and resumed until a quorum is achieved.

Compulsory HOAs are established by the developers of a planned communities. Those who wish to buy property in the neighborhood must accept the HOA “disclosure” or “covenant” as a condition of the purchase. The terms include a requirement that the same disclosures must be included if the property is later sold, effectively creating a permanent or semi-permanent de facto government. HOAs typically provide community services and amenities, but also impose significant restrictions on the use and maintenance of residents’ private property.

The right to property is one of the three fundamental human rights. It cannot be signed-away by contract. Additionally, de facto governments are bound by the same constitutional limits on government that “real” governments are. In Virginia, the right to property is explicitly acknowledged as “fundamental.” In Virginia and the rest of the United States, citizens may not be deprived of their property without due process of law (cf. Constitution of Virginia, Article 1, Section 11 and U.S. Constitution, Amendments, Article V).

The South Riding Proprietary’s board must repeal all unconstitutional restrictions on the use of private property in the community. Until it does, I recommend that South Riding property owners abstain from the Board of Directors election and deny the board a quorum.

Scott Bradford is a writer and technologist who has been putting his opinions online since 1995. He believes in three inviolable human rights: life, liberty, and property. He is a Catholic Christian who worships the trinitarian God described in the Nicene Creed. Scott is a husband, nerd, pet lover, and AMC/Jeep enthusiast with a B.S. degree in public administration from George Mason University.