You have all received a mailing from Winton law firm which contains several documents. Two of the documents are Proxy Ballots on which you may vote for the two proposals. The other document is the Amended Declaration and our first set of Bylaws which the Board is recommending the Association adopt.
This vote is very important to the well being of the Neighborhood. The first informational meeting will be held on September 6th at 6:30PM at WestField Elementary School. Matthew Winton, the Association's attorney will be present to take your questions. A second meeting will take place on October 4th, where you can vote in person. If you want to go ahead and vote but do not want to attend the meetings, then you may take your ballot to a notary and sign with your preference. Please note that all owners listed on the Title of the property must sign the ballot. If all owners do not sign, the ballot will not count.
First, we need to discuss the Conversion of the Roads within the Villas. The board has held several meetings with the owners of the Villas. As most of you are aware, the Villas are the small gated portion within the neighborhood. Since the road is gated in the road is private and the costs to maintain that road are the responsibiltiy of those homeowners. The current declaration requires that the owners within the Villas must pay an additional monthly fee for that maintenance. Since this is a heavy burden and since we have received requests from a large majority of the home owners in the Villas, we decided to move forward with their request to make the road public.
To accomplish this, we must make application to Oklahoma City to do what is called a "partial plot vacation". This can only happen if we receive a majority vote from all homeowners in the neighborhood. In effect, the owners in the Villas are at your mercy.
Second is the Declaration amendment. This is the most important action this community can take. With out this amendment, we are concerned that we (as a community) will not have the tools necessary to keep our neighborhood clean and orderly. We will not have the ability to easily make changes and improvements to our grounds and as a result, our home values may be affected.
The declaration we currently have is poorly written. There are multiple contradictions contained within and the rules that were established lack a viable mechanism by which we can enforce them. Essentially, all we can do is send letters to homeowners who do not abide by the Declaration. We could do much more, however, but to do so would cost each one of you significantly in terms of higher annual assessments to cover the legals fees expended to enforce the rules. Therefore, the board has determined that we need to implement a fee (fine) schedule as a mechanism by which we can take action against homeowners that violate the rules so that we can protect your investment.
The next big addition to this Declaration amendment is the proposal to adopt Bylaws. We realized that many people may not understand the difference between the Declaration and the Bylaws, so we will explain.
Think of the Declaration as an agreement between the homeowners (members) and the Association about how homes will be built and then maintained. Essentially, it is the rules you agreed to when you purchased your home.
Bylaws on the other hand, are rules that the Association must follow when conducting its business. It sets standards and rules that the Association (through the action of the Board of Directors) must follow. This is beneficial to you as a homeowner so that you can have a full understanding of what the Association must do and when those actions must be done. As it stands, the Association and therefore the Board, has no official set of rules other than those set forth in Oklahoma law that tells us what to do. We think it is very important to have a guide for this board and future boards. Keep in mind that while this board has a very good understanding of how to do our respective jobs, the next board may not. Without the guidance that the bylaws provide, the actions of future board members cannot be assured.