Featured artwork by Lucy Menza, age 9
It’s hard to believe July is over! In a few weeks, school will be back in session and the mornings and afternoons will see an increase in children coming and going to school. August is also the month of our annual HOA meeting (8/27). The HOA has been extremely busy improving and modernizing various aspects of our HOA business. I’ll highlight some of those activities below.
The HOA’s immediate priority is getting the consolidated covenants approved. As many of you know, when this development was built, it was built in sections with separate covenant filings. Finally, after years of wanting one filing for all 157 homes in Creekside, we have a working final draft posted on the website. This was a culmination of years of work (delayed in 2020 due to COVID) to include a HOA community Town Hall in June where we received homeowners’ input and made final changes as a result. The draft that is posted on the website is the final document that the HOA membership will vote to approve. Our new covenants:
- Add language to address required new HOA laws;
- Improve ambiguous sections;
- Remove language that is outdated and no longer applicable.
Sometime in late summer to early fall, you will all receive your ballots in the mail to fill out. The sooner we pass the covenants, the sooner the legal fees for the covenants will end. This has been a significant expense in both 2021 and 2022 and we need to work efficiently to manage this cost. We need you to return your ballots so that we can complete the process on the first try.
The consolidated covenants will then permit revision of the design guidelines. The last step in the major overhaul of our governing documents, the updated design guidelines will reflect state laws implemented since the guidelines were originally drafted more than 20 years ago. This includes non-turf lawns (xeriscaping).
Related to design guidelines, after many years of service, Jackie Wahl has retired from the architectural design committee (ADC). We want to thank Jackie for her years of service to the HOA and her tireless dedication to helping so many Creekside HOA homeowners.
Robert Krull, our HOA VP, is now the chairman of the DRC committee and he is accompanied by DRC members Dave Bartel, Sandeep Bhushan, Kevin O’Brien. Robert is perfect for this job due to his previous professional career in project management and construction management.
Jackie’s retirement brings several changes. The Design Review Committee (DRC), which replaces what was the architectural design committee, is different in both name and process. Due to the frequency and complexity of requests, it was necessary to develop a process with several levels of analysis to ensure compliance with both HOA rules and city ordinances.
- All approved DRC requests will have a description of the project and any applicable documentation sent to the DRC committee for approval;
- An approval will include any limitations or expirations on approvals and a signature from an approving authority;
- Approvals and documentation will be archived in a new cloud service, so the scanned digital copies are easily accessible well into the future.
This new process will protect the homeowners and HOA from potential costly mistakes or legal issues that could occur if an approval was not done correctly. In anticipation of new guidelines after the approval of the covenants, we are working to formalize the process. The DRC request form is posted on the website (here) and must be completed by homeowners seeking approval for exterior changes. Thank you to everyone on the DRC team and to our former ADC team!
Summer meeting: The summer meeting is less than a month away. It will be held 8/27/22 at 530pm. Details here. This meeting is needed to vote for officers and directors, and approve next year’s budget. That said, the meeting is a great opportunity to get to know your neighbors! If you are not in town on the 27th, a directed proxy will be included in the materials sent out prior to the meeting. Returning that proxy ballot enables you to participate in the decision making of the HOA even if you are unable to attend the meeting.
Enforcement of HOA rules and regulations; aka the Violations and Warnings: Secretary Renee posted some great info on enforcement last month (can be found here). The bottom line is that the HOA has been too relaxed over the years with respect to HOA rules and it is resulting in two issues (1) an aesthetically less appealing neighborhood which hurts property value and (2) many complaints that need to be addressed, like trailers, bad lawns, old cars in driveways, etc. If we work together with the idea that we want to continue to live in a nice, well-maintained HOA, then that common goal should make it easy for everyone to understand the purpose of enforcement push.
Trees, vegetation, lawns, cars, trucks, and trailers: I will post a follow-on blog news release on the topic of trees and vegetation, but for now I wanted to address some immediate concern due to complaints from homeowners: simply, our HOA’s original growth trees and other vegetation needs attention. If you can’t walk down the sidewalk without hitting overgrown vegetation, then it’s the homeowner’s responsibility (per HOA covenants and city ordinance) to trim back the vegetation. Also, old cars that do not operate cannot be parked in driveways or on the streets, they need to be stored appropriately. Trailers are also not permitted to be parked on the street or driveways (a day or two does not get attention, but weeks and months will).
Lastly, if anyone interested in volunteering to help with HOA activities, please reach out to us. If you have any HOA related artwork you would like to share, send them my way and we will post to the website.
I want to thank you for your support! Please email us with questions or comments and see you at the summer meeting on the 27th.