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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Sonterra Capital Partners Ltd.; SV II Limited Partners Ltd.; and Toscana at Sonterra, LP (the owners) own apartment complexes in a subdivision of Stone Oak known as Sonterra. They filed this declaratory judgment action against Sonterra Property Owners Association (the association) to establish they are not required to pay assessments pursuant to the Sonterra Property Owners Association Declaration of Covenants (the declaration). The association filed an answer alleging the owners are subject to the declaration and a counterclaim for the past-due assessments, attorneys fees and costs. Shortly thereafter, the association moved for summary judgment on the ground that all properties located within Sonterra, including the owners’ properties, are subject to the assessments. The trial court granted this motion and later granted the association’s second motion for summary judgment on its counterclaim. The owners appealed. The owners argued the trial court erred in granting the association’s first motion for summary judgment because the association failed to establish that the owners’ apartment complexes are commercial buildings for purposes of allocating assessments. HOLDING:Affirmed. The trial court that an apartment complex is a commercial building and therefore required to pay the assessments allocated to it as a commercial building. The court first held that the owners are required to pay assessments under the declaration. “It is thus clear that assessments were intended to be the obligation of every Sonterra property owner. Given this purpose to allocate the burden of maintaining Sonterra as a whole for the benefit of all property owners within its boundaries the Owners’ construction of the Declaration is patently unreasonable. It would permit the Owners and their tenants to enjoy the benefits of the assessments without contributing to them and, as a result, force other Sonterra property owners to make up the difference. We therefore hold the Owners’ properties are subject to the assessments. The only question is thus the membership class to which the Owners’ properties belong.” The court then held that an apartment complex is a commercial building and therefore required to pay the assessments allocated to it as a commercial building under the declaration. OPINION:Duncan, J.; Duncan, Speedlin and Simmons, J.J.

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