In this first of a few posts, I hope to illustrate some of the language updates and cuts we have made to the ‘final’ version of the governing documents. One of the biggest points of contention was about how one group of articles gave the association rights to enter lots to perform maintenance or other tasks for the ‘good of the neighborhood’. In this section regarding easements (Article III), most of this language has been removed. Most of the concern in leaving these clauses in came from residents who felt this was a way that a board of trustees might overstep their bounds. Many homeowners expressed concern that there was no good reason for the board or any responsible party to enter their property.
After a great deal of discussion as to ‘under what circumstances’ might we need this, it was thought best that in most cases this is not necessary. The majority of references to ‘right to enter’ have been removed. That being said, the only remaining clause that gives permission in any sense, refers only to “lots adjacent to property for which the board is responsible”.
In this case, the only properties applicable would be those adjacent to the park and pool. All other properties would not have this same easement.
We felt it necessary to leave this change to ensure that, in the future, should the need arise to modify the park property in some way, the board would still have access to do that work unencumbered. Still, even in that case, our discussions led us to projects like drainage, sidewalks, fencing, landscaping or tree removal, etc. All of these things would be for the benefit and safety of all. Even still, in each of these scenarios, the Association would be responsible for repair and replacement of disrupted or affected property.
Other changes of note in this category include:
- the shortening of the article (III.1) that provides all owners access to the common elements, and those residents who are occupants (tenants) on an owner’s property.
- removal of the article (III.3) which talked about utility easements. Utility companies have their own rules about access to property, and we cannot control that – even if we wanted to. This is unnecessary, and was removed.
As you will continue to see in future posts, the majority of the wording that provided some kind of ‘policing’ by the board has been removed. This group of board members, and its predecessors have been pretty clear that Bretton Ridge is not that kind of development. No one wants to be that heavy handed.
I hope you will be able to see from this and future updates that the board wishes to focus efforts on dues and membership, maintenance of the pool, and upkeep of the park and facilities. Having a stable budget, and predictable income will let us do just that for the foreseeable future.
More to come…