Earlier this year, we hired the law firm of Shockey and Associates to represent our subdivision. They are a very experienced firm, and have between 15-20 other HOAs as clients, including Easterly Lakes. Among other things, we asked them to do a thorough review of our restrictions and bylaws. They performed an extremely in-depth analysis for us, something which was long overdue, and let us know exactly what is allowed under the existing documents.
Based on that analysis, and following proper procedure, we wrote two new resolutions, which were themselves then reviewed by the attorneys before final revision, adoption, and being recorded with the Clerk of Court. Click here to see the recorded document.
The first resolution defines our violation enforcement procedures. It was based on a revision of these procedures written by the previous board, but with changes, updates, and clarifications made necessary by the attorney’s review. Violation enforcement has been somewhat on hold, because we did not want to repeat the procedural mistakes made by the former management company. Such mistakes likely would have caused us to lose had we taken further action against a couple of the worst violators. Now however, we have a policy that is firm but fair, whose provisions will be followed closely, and which will withstand any possible challenge.
Resolution 2 has several sections, addressing multiple topics.
The first deals with the hiring of a management company. Our documents did not qualify or limit such an expensive and far-reaching act whatsoever. As Spring Lake and others have seen, a management company can have a catastrophic impact on a subdivision, so surrendering control to them should be done only with the approval of the residents who would be affected. A handful of people on the current or any other HOA board should not have the ability to make that kind of decision without the approval of those they are supposed to represent. Therefore, section 1 of this resolution establishes a rule for such approval. It does not forbid the hiring of a management company, but makes certain that doing so must clearly reflect the will of the residents.
The next section of the resolution clarifies several violations such as parking on the street overnight, parking on the grass, etc. These violations technically have always fallen under the restrictions requiring that property be kept clean and orderly, but having them spelled out clearly leaves no doubt.
The last section deals with the parking of large commercial vehicles. Unfortunately the restrictions have very muddled language on this topic, and if followed strictly as written, would not even allow pickup trucks to be parked anywhere! Some time ago, a previous board wrote a modification regarding commercial vehicles, but the former management company never recorded it. There was also some language within it which would have made enforcement very difficult. So, we took the best of both and streamlined the wording, resulting in a clear interpretation that passes legal muster, as do all of these resolutions.
With these now in effect, we can fully resume enforcement and address violations in a timely, and legally sound, manner.