Kings Park West Community Association
May 28, 2014
President Joe Meyer called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m.
A quorum of the membership was present, with 14 members in attendance, including the Board, and 86 represented by proxy for a total of 100. Fifty-eight are required for a quorum.
Joe Meyer introduced the Board, Larry Velte, at-large; Linda Fournier, Vice-President; Mark Heppner, Vice-Treasurer; Linda Bufano, at-large; Maureen Pettis, Treasurer; Virginia Scattergood, Secretary and himself as President.
Treasurer’s Report: Maureen reviewed the proposed budget that was included in the mailing announcing the annual meeting. Maureen noted that a few things had changed this year- not only a new management company, but the operating accounts are now with the Community Association Bank (CAB) run by Mutual of Omaha. With the new system everything can be seen electronically and this has made processing dues and bills easier. Maureen can now review and approve all invoices for bills to be paid. As of April 30, the grand total between the operating account, checking, savings and reserve CD accounts came to $39,986.16.
Joe mentioned that annual dues checks go right to the CAB now, making the book keeping easier.
The Board decided to keep the annual assessment at $40.00 based on last year’s budget and 2015 projections. Tree maintenance in the common areas remains the largest expense for the Board. The final budget will be voted on by the Board at the next meeting, June 11.
Linda Bufano noted that we are required to keep a reserve account; Larry added that this account is required by the state so HOA’s set aside money for replacement and repair of infrastructure. The KPWCA has minor items to keep up like stairs, path ways, etc.
Legal expenses remain a budget line item, since at times the Board needs to ask for a legal opinion on an issue. The attorneys are paid on a per-question basis, not a monthly retainer.
Joe introduced Crystal Terrant, from Burke Community Management Group, who joined the meeting.
State of the Association:
One of the reasons the Association had to reorganize was the discovery that the Association and its members own and are responsible for 47 acres of common land. The Encroachment issue comes up each year as people have, over the years, extended their lawns into the common land. Some people have put sheds, landscaping, trampolines and swing sets on common land, which then become a KPWCA liability. Every spring the Board does a tree survey both to identify if trees need to be taken down and to check for any encroachments,. Two trampolines were noted this year; one was left over from last year and there are a few new swing sets. The board’s policy is if you have extended onto common ground with a fence, or by mowing the lawn, we let you know that we are aware of the encroachment; we don’t do anything about it until the house is being sold or transferred and then the property line must be restored. However, given the liability with trampolines and swing sets, we ask that they be moved back to the homeowners’ property. This policy is a result of the Association being dormant for a long period of time.
During a tree survey several years ago, a homemade footbridge across a creek was discovered.. The Board had asked the insurance company what would happen if someone fell through and they responded that they would pay the claim but not renew our insurance; same answer on trampolines and swing sets. For a few years, the board had appealed to whoever built the bridge to remove it, but finally paid to have it cut up and removed.
One home had trashed dumped onto common property which was finally removed.
The Board found a group of trees (4) that to be taken down and another issue has popped up with two more trees off of Catterick court; they aren’t dead but are leaning heavily towards someone’s house.
Budget for trees is always unpredictable because you never know how weather such as snow, or hurricanes, will impact trees on common land.
Joe received a call about the Holly bushes at the entrances to KPW at Sideburn Road and Guinea Road to see if they could be trimmed back. The President of the Civic Association is looking at paying for the trimming. There’s a written agreement between the Civic Association and HOA dating back to 2004 that the Civic Association will take care of the maintenance of the front entrances and of grounds keeping and lawn mowing, even though we own the property, keeping it up benefits the entire KPW community.
Liens: The year before last we had a very active treasurer who visited one on one with homeowners and got them to pay their bills so there were no liens. With his retirement from the board, last year we had 8 liens; one settled in order to refinance his house. The lien on a $40 annual assessment costs an additional $55 in legal fees to get it paid. Typically it’s the same people each year who do not pay. The Board sends out a final notice warning about the lien per the by-laws. Right now there are19 homeowners past due which includes the 7 repeat offenders from last year plus another 12 new non-payers from this year.
The Board paid to repair a member's fence because a tree on our property became so large that it pushed their fence down; the homeowner and the Board agreed that it was a one-time deal for the KPWCA to fix.
New Management Company: This year the board decided that we had enough of the previous management company- many items were falling through the cracks, and each issue required multiple reminders. The Board and Burke Community Management Group are still getting adjusted but things are going well.
The Board received a request to restore a bridge and path between Tapestry and Heversham area last spring. The original plat looks like they had proposed bridges there. We don’t know if they were ever built because they’ve been gone a long time. It is now a resource protection area so to rebuild would require engineering studies, involvement of the county, following rules for the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, and the actual cost of building it. Board voted against pursuing it and let the homeowner know if she wanted to pursue it would probably cost in excess of $100,000 and would require a special assessment to members.
Prohibition against running businesses in your home: under new state licensing provisions day care centers had to apply for renewal through the county. A neighbor noticed the hearing notice posted in the lawn. Board sent a letter to the homeowner reminding them the covenants do not allow in-home business for all but a few specified businesses, not realizing the childcare center had been running for over 12 years. We notified the county of our objection and our covenants.The homeowner got approval from the county and since it was in existence long before the reinvigoration of the Association it was grandfathered, and the board option's were limited. The approval doesn’t transfer to a new owner.
Joe completed delivery of the President’s annual report.
Questions from the audience:
A homeowner only recently realized the differences between the Civic association and Community association- could there be an article run in the Herald explaining the differences. Joe said that the Board has done that in the Herald through our regular column. In addition we’ve mentioned the need for approval of fences, and our general business. Larry said it might be a good idea in the fall to remind folks about the basics as the assessments were coming out.
Another homeowner asked about selling the land. Joe said that has been explored but the KPWCA can’t. The land can be transferred to the county or state but the county doesn’t want it. It can be transferred to a non-profit organization but not a homeowner. The Association would have to dispose of all of it not just some of it because the liability remains. Linda F. added that we tried recently when the Tapestry pool issue arose to give our adjacent land to the county and they weren’t interested.
Election of board members:
A third of the Board is elected every year; this year there are two open spots (three year terms), and two nominations. Larry Velte leads the nominating committee. The bylaws require nominating committee to produce a slate but that doesn’t preclude floor nominations. Larry presented Suzanne Cerney and Jillian Mueller as the slate of candidates. No other nominations from the floor were received. Larry moved to elect by acclamation; seconded. Approved unanimously.
Joe thanked Virginia and Linda for their service and contributions.
Board members will elect Association officers at the next meeting.
The meeting adjourned at 8:10 p.m.