The Problem with Associate Members
By VINCENT NATTRESS
Whidbey Examiner Staff
August 30, 2012 · Updated 2:09 PM
In 2007, only a select few in the cove pushed an agenda to declare this beautiful neighborhood a legally mandated Home Owner's Association. Like most events down on Tract A, little research was done before kicking a potential hornet's nest. No one seemed to care about the legal risk, or the fact that there was little reason to change a darn thing. It was doing okay for about 40 years.
However, problems with our governing documents abounded (they still do, NOTHING has been changed: LOL!), and when the legal facts were researched, the truth was about to surface. However, the law firm hired by the board was quickly fired and the $10,000 spent, was gone in a flash, and hushed up.
In 2009, the hornet's nest got a kick. The board declared a assessment for the repair of Lower Byrd Drive. The vote was rushed, the penalties swift, and the results horribly lacking. Most owners are out of their $83...some succumbed when they were called "irresponsible" for not giving the board money in 30 days, during the worst economic crisis since the 1930s. Its June 27th, 2010...the road repair is incomplete. The board is not communicating anything, and its very clear they don't have a plan to start. Its because they don't care about you, your situation, or respect your money that the fighting persists...perhaps a new club motto is in order?
"If its not concerning Tract A, GO AWAY!"
This board wants the best of both worlds. They want the flexibility of a club, and the guaranteed revenue of a HOA.
Their path forward is for everyone, except a select few, to sit down, shut up, and pay $113 a year. Also, please keep in mind they will demand assessments and will raise your annual dues by 10% yearly.
Then they will violate HOA statute and sell associate memberships until the Coupeville cows come home.
Association Membership: "The membership of an association at all times shall consist exclusively of the owners of all real property over which the association has jurisdiction, both developed and undeveloped."
No, the board does not care about the law when it conflicts with their desired direction. Is it because they KNOW they are not an HOA? Or do they selfishly want the best of both worlds?
Now, lets keep something perfectly clear. I firmly believe the ONLY viable path forward for this club, (i.e. Tract A and C) is to open membership up and sell it to whomever they can.
The board cannot legally be a HOA, and allow associate memberships at the same time:
The only path forward that makes any sense at all, that virtually eliminates all legal challenges, is to become a club, denounce this morbid HOA agenda, and let the Opt-outs go. Here is the action;
Send those whom opted-out a letter, confirming they are no longer members of the Beach Club. Acknowledge a valid contract exists, and agree to move forward as a voluntary Beach Club....ending this mess for good.
Its just that simple.....