Good Evening All –
This is a longer post and I apologize for that. I’ll have a summary of next steps at the bottom. Before diving in here I just want to make a note that no one should be made uncomfortable by their neighbors. Posts that make attacks or build conflict are an issue and we are better than that. If you’re going to have a conversation, make it constructive and positive. We’re all in this deal together and we’re going to remain in it together for the foreseeable future. Please refrain from guesswork and fearmongering.
Tonight a small group of us met up for a quick chat to bring together the efforts we’ve all been making and get on the same page. This was very informal and was outside in what turned in to snow at the end. We didn’t try to pull everyone in as this was simply a quick combining of resources to lay the groundwork for more transparency for the entire community effort going forward. It was myself, David Porter, Rochelle Jones, Fouzy Karrat and Steven Brown.
We confirmed a few things together.
First, yes there are items that the developer and sponsor has not completed as promised.
Second, we need to form a board / appoint officers that can act on the group’s behalf to get everything under control.
Third, we will work with the sponsor to bring them to the table to facilitate an initial meeting as should have happened in 2015.
Finally, we discussed the concept of dissolution of the HOA with the long and expensive path to do that – it is not something that is even worth discussion at the moment as it will take the backing of the Town Board and a laundry list of items that need to be solved over many years. It would almost certainly cost us all, in the form of special assessments, many thousands of dollars in the process. Something like this isn’t off the table, but it is a topic to be voted on at a future annual meeting of the HOA – not something that we can just make happen today. Many of us have been exploring this option for years.
Taking control of the HOA Board does not change our group obligations. We are not admitting any sort of defeat or issuing any sort of acceptance by electing a board. What we will be doing is appointing people who are empowered to ensure our collective interests are protected, who will work so that none of us end up with liens on our property for unpaid items, and who are able to work towards resolution of all outstanding items with the developer/town.
At least for the 5 of us that met tonight, none of us are interested in seeing any changes to the daily lives of the residents in the community. None of us want any neighbor to suffer. Yes, there are bylaws/rules/covenants in the document and they have been there (and in force) since the first homes closed about 8 years ago now. My impression is that none of us (neither the 5 who met, nor the greater body of neighbors) are interested in any undue influence on our lives/property and I hope that we’d all work to keep the status quo. I also believe we are all cost-conscious here and want to ensure we pay as little as possible while meeting these obligations.
So this is where we are now:
-The sponsor (who has been in charge of the HOA) is moving on and will no longer be paying our bills out of their pocket. There are some pending bills for 2022 that we are legally liable for (with some caveats that we hope the board will investigate and pursue remedy).
-The town already cleared the developer as having completed their list and returned their escrow money, putting the ball in our court since they released them of their obligations (see pg3: https://townofclay.org/…/imported…/TBmin9-19-2022.pdf)
And this is our plan, currently:
-Build out resources for residents to have as much information as possible.
-Ensure we have a list of viable candidates for the board/officers. This is a commitment and comes with duties for those who participate. Currently the parties that have volunteered include myself, Rochelle Jones, and David Porter. Steve Brown is a maybe. We have not yet heard from others but please do reach out if you would like your name on this list. We will need at least 5 total on the board.
-Work with the sponsor to have them properly make interim director appointments and hold a first meeting.
-Work to get a board appointed and ensure that board has all the tools they need to work on our behalf.
The current list ends there as once the board is in place they are then in the driver’s seat on what happens next and what avenues we pursue regarding unpaid items, items we believe the developer should pay for (and has likely committed to in writing), unfinished punch list items the developer did not complete, etc.
Please feel free to email me regarding any of the above, especially if you are interested in volunteering in any area of this or want to be on the ballot for the board. As mentioned prior I plan to make sure those who are interested have the opportunity to list any relevant “candidate details” on the orangecommons.com website. email@example.com
I’m sure there are items I missed above. We’ll have some living documentation in the near future and make sure everyone here has access to it. Thanks for taking the time to read and please remember to keep things positive and constructive.
Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. This is not legal advice. This is not financial advice. I am a fellow homeowner working with the group to try and help our community. I offer no personal liability for any statements made here, nor will any liability be offered in any post that follows from any author on this page. We are simply neighbors trying to help one another.