The transitional board meeting will take place on Monday, October 22 at 7 pm at the Steinhagen’s home, 304 Pheasant Hill in the upstairs assembly room. This is when the new board officially transitions into their role and where outgoing members pass the proverbial batton. Many thanks to outgoing board members Casey Burley, David Fuller, & Michelle Steinhagen for their time and attention volunteering to make QCHOA the best it can be!
A Recount of Votes Policy was adopted during Tuesday’s regular Board meeting to help ensure that the Association will not be responsible for the costs associated with such a request. The policy mirrors Texas Property Code Section 209.0057(b), which requires any party making the request to pay all costs associated with a recount unless the recount changes the results of a vote, wherein the Association would then be responsible to reimburse the requesting party/parties.
This comes on the heels of a frivolous open-records request by a homeowner who was demanding that the Association (fellow homeowners) foot the bill for the time and materials invested for “all” records in the Association’s possession. However, just days before the request the Board adopted the Records Reproduction & Copying Policy in accordance with Texas Property Code requirements, which would have cost homeowners several hundreds of dollars, had the policy not been in place. After standing it’s ground to require payment from the homeowner in accordance with the policy and after a final threat of legal action by the homeowner against the Association, the Board closed the matter when the homeowner in question failed to respond within 30 days to a certified letter demanding prepayment.
The vote tally will occur during an open meeting of the Board where homeowners may come and observe. The process to tally the ballots was reviewed during Tuesday’s Board meeting to help ensure that the process will be open and transparent to help alleviate the need for any homeowner to question the results.
By unanimous consent of the Board, a ten percent (10%) increase in the Annual Assessment was approved during December 2, 2014, Regular Meeting of the Board. This is an increase of $29 bringing next years annual dues up from $290 to $319. While the Association runs on a fiscal calendar from October through September and while homeowners are billed for the Annual Assessment in June, the Assessment actually begins on January 1, which is the Board is required to vote in December.
Article 4.3(b) grants the Board the sole and exclusive authority to increase the annual assessment each year by as much as 10% over the preceding year’s annual assessment. Any increase over and above that increase must be by expressed approval by the Members in writing.
By unanimous consent, the Board adopted the first Fine and Enforcement Policy. This policy establishes the guidelines for the Board when enforcing the CC&Rs against homeowners who are out of compliance as well as the rights granted to homeowners under the law.
Article 7.15(a) of the CC&Rs establishes that fines assessed may not exceed the then in effect annual assessment, per violation. For homeowners, this means that beginning January 1, 2015, the maximum that any homeowner may be fined is $319 per violation, which is equal to the 2015 annual assessment. This does little to motive those who wish to disregard the restrictions and pay the penalty instead. This is why, the policy establishes that once the violator has reached the maximum allowable fine amount based on the set timetable, the immediate next step is for the Board to seek injunctive relief.
If successful, the non-compliant homeowner shall be accountable to the court from that point forward, for as long as they own the property. Therefore, the decision for the Board to file with the court now becomes the non-compliant homeowner’s to bear. Pursuant to the law, the homeowner will also be required to pay all legal costs associated with the case.
NOTE: Beginning January 1, 2012, the Texas Legislature enacted new laws governing HOAs in the Texas property Code, which requires all HOAs to adopt a Fine & Enforcement policy, among others. The Bylaws, under article 3.04, grant the Board the authority to adopt, publish and enforce rules and regulations (policies). The law firm of Horton & Archibald provided the Board with a set of draft-ready policies for the Board to adopt, which is the template that was used for this policy.
The 2011 Texas Legislature enacted major changes to the Texas Property Code, especially as it relates to HOA’s. These changes, most of which went into effect on January 1, 2012, have had a dramatic impact on Quail Creek and the manner in which we are governed. These changes have been highlighted in the attached document.