September 30, 2022
We are sharing that the board voted to end the recent effort to approve an amendment to our neighborhood restrictive covenants, which is the document that outlines the rights and restrictions of owners and properties in our neighborhood and the rights and obligations of the HOA. As we shared when the vote began on August 5, there are three versions of this document for the three phases of the neighborhood and they have not been updated since first created in 1996-2000 (depending on the phase).
Our bylaws and current covenants required us to obtain 75% approval from each of the three phases of the neighborhood. As of Sept. 21, with 50% of homeowners voting, the vote was 32% in favor of the amendment and 18% not in favor. The breakdown per section are as follows:
14 yes (29%)
15 no (31%)
20 did not vote
18 yes (29%)
7 no (11%)
38 did not vote
18 yes (39%)
7 no (15%)
21 did not vote
The board voted on Sept. 20 to end the vote for several reasons:
- We had only 50% of homeowners vote after 6 weeks, despite multiple email reminders and mailings to those for whom we do not have emails. We were not optimistic that we would reach the 75% approval threshold without additional cost of a wider mailing or significant effort (e.g. board members going door-to-door).
- The number of “no” votes in Section 1 prevent the covenants from passing in that section. That opened the possibility that the new covenants would pass in the other sections and force the HOA to continue to deal with separate documents, negating one of the reasons for this amended document in the first place.
- We recognize there was confusion over some sections that were updated and some that were not. We attempted to summarize all changes by sharing an FAQ document and we answered any questions sent to us. But, we understand there are other questions and concerns that were not communicated with the board.
LLHOA Town Hall
We do hope to eventually modernize and combine the covenants but want to create an amendment that all neighbors want to support. To help us fully understand your concerns and answer questions, we scheduled a LLHOA Town Hall for Thursday, Oct. 20, 7:00-8:00pm. Click here to register. If possible, please submit questions beforehand to email@example.com just in case we have to check with the attorney to get an answer on whether a proposed change is legally allowable. Our hope is to again update the document and, in the coming months, vote again on its approval.
Annual Assessment Increase
Another issue that we will discuss during the Oct. 20 Town Hall is an annual assessment increase. The dues have not changed since 2012 despite steady increases in costs, which have only escalated in the past two years.
The amended covenants would have allowed the board to vote to approve limited increases. Since the vote has now ended, we will soon have to ask the community to vote on an increase in dues for 2023. Our current covenants allow us to increase by no more than 10% from the previous year, so we will ask that dues increase to $275 for 2023. During the Oct. 20 meeting, we will lay out the budget projections to show why this is necessary.
As many of you know who have served on this board in the past, those of us on the board are volunteers and are motivated by a desire to keep our neighborhood beautiful. We hope to gain a better understanding of your concerns and answer questions so we can move forward together as a community.
Please send any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Liberty Lakes Board of Trustees