MINUTES OF THE MONTHLY BOARD MEETING
SECTOR 2A AT SNOHOMISH CASCADE ASSOCIATION
7:00 PM WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 10, 2004
CALL TO ORDER / APPROVAL OF MINUTES
SECTOR 2A AT SNOHOMISH CASCADE ASSOCIATION
7:00 PM WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 10, 2004
CALL TO ORDER / APPROVAL OF MINUTES
- Tim Rizzo called the meeting to order at 7:04 pm. Present were Tim Rizzo, Jen Stout, Sue Ann Goldman, Steve Yandl, Betty Malowney, Bill Steenis, John Patterson, and Bill Malowney.
- Steve Yandl informed the group that no changes had been made to the minutes as posted on the web site. He indicated that while it was an accurate representation of the conversation, item 8 under “Treasurer’s Reports / Budget Discussion” needed follow-up because Mr. Duncan had indicated to Sue Ann he was not absolutely certain that we didn’t need to deal with the state Business and Occupation Tax. The matter warrants research. Tim Rizzo will be making some inquiries. That comment on the previous minutes being made and recorded here, there were no objections to waiving a formal reading of the minutes. Sue Ann Goldman make a motion to accept the October minutes, Betty Malowney seconded the motion. The motion to accept October minutes was carried 7 – 0.
- John Patterson updated the group on fined homeowners and those who might still receive fines.
- Lot 1-0-086 is being monitored for compliance. According to the schedule presented by the owner when notified of deficiencies, final aspects of corrections would be completed in November.
- Lot 1-0-084 proposed upgrade of gravel driveway to paved to be done in conjunction with a remodel. John has not heard any updates from the owner and sees no progress, thus far. If that does not change, fines would commence on November 15, 2004.
- Lot 3-0-070 has completed roofing on their gazebo as promised.
- Lot 1-0-006 has completed cedar shake roofing on shed.
- Sue Ann Goldman reported to John that a $300.00 payment on fines imposed against Lot 2-1-007 had been received. This was the amount assessed.
- John jumped ahead into Maintenance issues by presenting Bill Malowney with some brochures on rubber mulch. Cibyl Kumagai has made this same suggestion in the past and Bill discovered that while the rubber mulch lasts indefinitely it is considerably more expensive than currently used wood product mulch. Everyone agreed it is something to keep in mind when evaluating landscape improvements.
- Bill Malowney reported that Skinner will begin projects previously discussed next week. This would include moving some evergreen trees from islands where they would ultimately be out of size proportion with other plantings.
- Skinner will also be moving some NGPA signs and reworking wood chips in play areas.
- John Patterson informed Bill that one of the sprinkler heads next to the concrete bunker (Clearview Water Project AVAR valve access) near the intersection of Snohomish Cascade Drive with 154th Street has been taped down so it isn’t functioning. Skinner will need to check this one out and possibly repair or replace.
- Sue Ann Goldman asked Bill if he wanted to give small gratuities to each of Skinner’s regular crew (not to Brian Skinner as he is the owner and receives sufficient benefit from our contract). Bill confirmed that the crew has been stable and performed well so the gratuity was appropriate. In the past this has resulted in extra efforts to do cleanup type chores outside the scope of our agreement with Skinner and ends up being a good investment. The amount will be $50 for leads and $35 each for the remainder of the crew. Steve Yandl made a motion to give the gratuity as described. Tim Rizzo seconded the motion. The motion carried 7 – 0.
- Bill Steenis suggested that rather than limit monthly awards to a single yard of the month, we expand and have multiple yards of merit. The idea would be to shift focus from yards that have deficiencies and owners needing fines as incentives to an attitude of competing for positive recognition. Yards could be noted in the newsletter as well as receiving a sign for the yard to display for a month.
- Steve Yandl wanted to make sure that someone is designated to determine winners and someone is responsible for recovering and moving signs each month.
- Sue Ann Goldman said she would be responsible to pick up all signs and move them each month.
- Bill Steenis suggested that there should be a selection committee so we wouldn’t have to rely on nominations and votes coming in sporadically by email.
- Bill Malowney suggested that we might also consider awards during the holiday season for exceptional lighting and decorative displays.
- Bill Malowney stated that he should be able to get small plastic signs for awards at about $10 or $12 each. The current metal yard of the month sign would probably be about $70 to duplicate.
- Bill Steenis said there should be a checklist on the criteria for being considered for yard of the month.
- Tim Rizzo suggested that he, Bill Steenis, and John Patterson iron out the details of such a new program prior to December 1. An award for holiday decorations will be the “test case” for the new program.
- Sue Ann Goldman presented this months versions of the reports presented last month (somewhat finalized formats). These reports, along with the proposed budget for 2005 should be considered part of these minutes.
- Responding to a question, Sue Ann indicated that the $300 for uncategorized income was receipt of a payment of a fine (see ACC report).
- There was a discussion on how the budget should be presented to be sure it is clear what goes to the fund for long term capital expenses and how that fund is handled.
- Steve Yandl made the suggestion that the budget presentation include a footnote revealing the amount of money in the operational reserve account.
- Sue Ann argued that we should keep a minimal amount in the “Events” category. She shared that her family had committed to the cleanup duties if we could again get someone interested in coordinating the July 4 picnic and other community building events.
- Steve Yandl indicated that the next newsletter would have a budget article letting people know which expense categories were discretional so people could see what amount of control we really have over assessment amounts.
- The board again shared concerns that a failure to find someone to replace John Patterson as chair of the Architectural Control Committee might necessitate hiring a property management company and spending a large amount from the operational reserve in the first year since current dues don’t reflect a budget that includes that significant expense.
- Bill Malowney shared some of a conversation he recently had with Nate Washington of Snohomish County’s Surface Water Management Division. Nate had indicated that we were one of the few homeowner’s associations who’ve established a reserve fund to cover storm water detention pond maintenance and repairs. The county is now finding that they are forced to use liens on homes in associations where money was not available to cover required upkeep on the ponds owned by the association.
- On reviewing the letter Sue Ann plans to send out with the invoices, budgets, and ballots for budget ratification (plus proxy award), Tim Rizzo questioned the need to request phone numbers from owners. Steve Yandl commented that a newsletter article would be done in the December issue to make it clear sharing phone numbers is optional and to summarize the limited reasons where it might be a benefit to the homeowner for the board to have that number.
- Steve Yandl presented Sue Ann with the 247 ballots for budget ratification and award of proxy. Samples had been emailed to the entire board for review prior to the meeting.
- In addition to ballots, invoice, and Sue Ann’s letter, the mailing will contain a return envelope addressed to the registered office of the association and a copy of the new “Rules and Procedures of the Architectural Control Committee”.
- Steve Yandl made the motion to accept the budget modified as requested by Tim Rizzo such that the “Long Term Capital Improvement” fund be shown as a distinct item outside of our operational budget. Sue Ann Goldman seconded the motion. Motion was carried 7 – 0.
- Tim Rizzo shared his concern that despite recent newsletter articles, illegal parking continues near corners and puts children and other pedestrians at risk.
- The idea of placing paint stripes to define where parking isn’t allowed was discussed. Comments were made that the stripes would not be very effective and procedurally we need the cooperation of Public Works which probably won’t happen.
- What can be done are calls to the sheriff, whether they respond or not. At least if there ever is an incident, we can know that we did what was in our power to prevent the problem.
- Steve Yandl indicated he will begin a series of articles in December selling people on the idea of taking positions on the Architectural Control Committee.
- If articles are not effective, we may need to consider a property management company in the Spring when John Patterson steps down from the position.
- There was a question on the existence of an Architectural Control Committee approval awarded by Leavitt for a home business operation on 67th Drive (lot 1-0-034). John Patterson retrieved a copy of his files. The approval was granted in 1998 with the understanding that the operation would not impact traffic in the area, specifically it stated that the expectation would be two Costco deliveries per month. It was pointed out that a Coke truck made deliveries at least weekly and there are other regular deliveries. The business is well beyond the parameters cited by the ACC when approval was granted.
- The board needs to discuss and determine what a reasonable threshold is for inconveniences introduced specifically because a home business exists in a given home. The CC&Rs allow a home business to exist only if written approval has been granted in advance. What isn’t defined is the degree to which the parameters defined in that approval can be exceeded before the ACC or the board takes action to either correct the issue or recall the approval.
- The only other written approval on file is Kathi Donald’s preschool. John Patterson will go through the ACC files to make sure there are no others.
- Several other businesses were identified. At least one of them has generated complaints with regard to increased traffic.
- John Patterson said he would send letters to homeowners where we were aware of a home business and encourage them to detail what they were doing and go through the proper procedure to get written approval from the ACC, as they should have done prior to starting the business at home. The concern, expressed by Tim Rizzo and shared by others is that we haven’t defined what sorts of business is even being considered (for example, Tim has customers to his home to work on tax issues, others are outside sales people doing phone business from home). In a number of cases we’ve run newsletter ads for businesses who don’t have approval but not had an issue because non of the business activities could be considered a violation of any neighbor’s rights. In other words, if traffic, parking availability or some other neighborhood feature isn’t impacted, the board questions how much should be done.
- The ACC is now aware of a number of home businesses probably not all that are operating in the neighborhood. The policy needs to be defined and a strategy studied that will allow control of such activities without creating alarm or otherwise upsetting those who have not done anything to the detriment of the neighborhood. This topic remains an unfinished business item.