Bent Tree Property Owners Association (BTPOA)
Special Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
The Special BTPOA Meeting was called to order at 6:40 pm. John Heiser, President of the BTPOA Board of Directors, presided.
1. Introductions, Protocol, Determination of Quorum: John welcomed the group and all the property owners in attendance introduced themselves. The BTPOA Bylaws require a 15% quorum (minimum of 39 lots; one vote per lot) be represented (in person) at the meeting. To vote on matters that come before the meeting, the property owner(s) must be current on payment of the annual assessment. After validating the registration rosters, it was established that a quorum (48 property owners; 47 current on assessment) was present; the meeting could proceed. Each property owner received a handout, containing meeting agenda, reports and letters to be addressed at this meeting. Bruce Bates moved and Dan Bossie seconded the motion for approval of the agenda as presented. The agenda was approved by unanimous consent.
2. Minutes of 2005 Budget Meeting: The minutes of the February 12, 2005 budget meeting, included in the (aforementioned) handout, were reviewed. Jean Freitas and Gail Bates noted that the intent, of paragraph 7 (of the minutes), was for an independent investigator, rather than the Board of Directors (BOD), to conduct the mandated investigation. After brief discussion, Gary Wright moved and Jean Freitas seconded the motion for amending the minutes to reflect same. The amendment was approved (many vs. 1). Caroline Murphy moved and Gail Wittman seconded the motion to approve the budget meeting minutes, as amended. The minutes were approved.
3. Reports Regarding Lot 5: John Heiser opened by saying that all of the ensuing reports are contained in the handout package, pages 18-31.
a) ACC – Joyce Blutt: Joyce overviewed her report and opened to questions/discussion. Don Fichtel questioned the report’s minimal reference to “size” of the proposed garage. Jean Freitas asked if the ACC had sent the garage plans to the neighbors adjacent to Lot 5? Joyce acknowledged that the ACC had not but that she would personally do so in the future. Tim McLaughlin queried whether anyone considered the height of the garage and Gail Bates asked if there was any other structure(s) in Bent Tree of this size, scale and function? Joyce said that, at the time of submission, the ACC decided that the structure was not out of proportion. Chet Sulewski suggested two corrections to Joyce’s letter: 1) this garage is NOT the typical (normal size) for a RV garage – 10’ vs. 12’ doors and motor homes 35’ in length, and 2) the “enormity” of the structure is NOT like Bent Tree as described in the report’s second to last paragraph. Discussion that followed indicated RV’s can exceed 35’ in length and mobile homes can be up to 48’ in length. Joyce said that her (report) statements would stand. Jean Freitas asked if the ACC ever considered consulting an architect; the ACC has not.
b) Regional Building – Gail Bates: Gail summarized her report by reviewing the plat drawings, renderings and elevations presented in the handout, pages 20-23.
c) Site Visit – Jerry Wagner: Report of his site visit, with the Uhdes, subsequent to the February 12th meeting, appears on pages 24-25, with pictures on pages 26-27. It was noted that the report had been inadvertently truncated (page 25), “…an “industrial sheet metal shop”; without…” Jerry provided remaining paragraph, from the original report: “…without some major modifications. Equipment for Mr. Uhde’s metal working hobby includes: a small sheet metal press (not industrial sized), a welder and a spot welder, a small cutter, a couple soldering irons heated in a 8-10” cubed (approximate size) “soldering pot” (gas ‘stubbed’) (Photo 8) and other small tools, parts, and materials (Photo 9 & 11); nothing, in my opinion, indicative of an “industrial sheet metal shop”. Sally Lopez asked Jerry if he had ever been in a sheet metal shop; he acknowledged that he had not been – no further discussion.
d) Ordinances, Covenants, and Rules on Commercial Use – John Heiser: Pages 28-29 of the handout addresses the rural-residential use of properties and structures thereon. This ordinance states that only one principal use may be conducted on a lot or parcel of land. Any ‘use of this building’ would have to meet “zoning” restrictions; the Bent Tree subdivision was developed as ‘pure’ residential. Any commercial/industrial use of the building would be in violation of County residential regulations, in addition to Bent Tree covenants, and would not be tolerated. John cited the BTPOA Rules & Regulations (page 30, of the handout) highlighting “Building Type and Use: …provided that such are not used for any commercial purpose…” Further, the nuisance issue is addressed in the Protective Covenants, in that, “No noxious, noise polluting or otherwise offensive activities or commercial businesses or trades shall be carried on upon any tract.” The Covenants clearly rule out any property use that does not have the look and feel of a single-family residential dwelling. There are business operations that are permitted; some that are prohibited – addressed in the Covenants and the Rules & Regulations.
e) Fire Inspection – Chief Denboske: In the Chief’s absence, his letter with reference to 17760 Merryhill Court (Lot #5) was presented on page 30, of the handout.
a) Dave Scarboro (Lot 4) – Dave states that he is looking at an “industrial building”. This structure has clearly “devalued” his property and he suggested that it has “devalued” the properties of all of Bent Tree. This building “looks like nothing in the area” – a “snow plow” shed. What are we going to do to correct now? What are we going to do to correct in the future?
b) Bill Uhde (Lot 5) – Bill assures the assemblage that he is NOT going into business. From the beginning, he intended only a garage/hobby shop; he had an architect draw up his plans, he submitted his request (with plans) to the ACC for approval, he secured the required permits – he followed all the rules. Questioned about entry/exit, he stated he would have no drive-out on the back side. Helen Fichtel asked what he (Bill Uhde) was doing to soften the ‘appearance’. Bill offered that, when the weather permitted, plans were to landscape three sides (not in back) with ‘mature’ trees, mounds and driveways in the front.
5. Motions and Discussion: John Heiser reiterated his statement of the February 12th meeting regarding the ‘broad powers’ and ‘autonomy’ of the ACC, per the BTPOA’s “Protective Covenants” and changes have been suggested by residents regarding ACC procedures. Since the inception of Bent Tree (as a development), the Bylaws and Protective Covenants have established the ACC and the Association as separate entities; not accountable to each other. To change our Covenants would require a review, proposal and a vote, by the Association, and that is not an easy task. The Bylaws and Rules & Regulations would be easier to change. John continued; saying the process in which the garage received approval was legal, binding and appropriate. Bruce Bates expressed concern that the approval process did not consider “aesthetics”. Jean Freitas suggested that, in this approval process, ‘laymen’ were making ‘expert’ decisions. Tim Rector questioned if the ACC did any notification of neighbors in the approval process. Joyce Blutt moved that the ACC should send notification to adjoining/adjacent (encircled) neighbors of pending applications for construction and/or change events; Helen Fichtel seconded the motion. Discussion followed, with Claude Todaro stating that Bob Moore (BT developer) routinely gave notification, of pending construction or changes, to neighbors requesting. Jerry Lopez questioned if cost of these notifications were budgeted for; Kathy Decker stated ‘Reserve’ funds are available. No further discussion on the motion, the motion was unanimously approved. Jean Freitas moved that the ACC seek professional advice before approving future construction plans; Gail Bates seconded the motion. Dan Bossie, an ACC member, objected because of the time-constraint demand placed on ‘volunteers’. Ken Blutt also objected; pointing out that the architects, submitting the plans for approval, have drawn the plans up in accordance with existing Regional Building codes, other governmental regulations, etc. and the ACC views as to accord with the Covenants. Duane Fitch, John Decker, Joyce Blutt and Steve Prileszky also spoke in opposition to the motion. Gail Bates stated that the structure was not harmonious within the community and looks like an “auto body shop”; favors the motion. Because of the ‘proportions’ of the building, Benny Robertson also favors the motion. John McCullough moved to amend the motion to allow the ACC discretion, and funding, to seek an architect’s advice and if an adjacent neighbor requests a professional opinion, the ACC must seek; Caroline Murphy seconded the motion. Duane Fitch favored the amendment; Tim Rector suggested clarifying the ACC’s authority through the CC&Rs. Gail Bates asked Chet Sulewski, “could a trained architect tell us?” Chet’s response was that he “would not have approved” (this structure); but he is in favor of the amendment, however, opposes the motion. Joyce Blutt and Sally Lopez also expressed favor with the amendment. The amendment to the motion was approved. (Many to 1) The amended motion was subsequently approved. (Many to 5) Steve Fuhrmann moved that the BTPOA expend the funds to purchase the materials necessary to bring the “garage” on Lot 5 to satisfactory acceptability (in trim and appearance); John Decker seconded the motion. Jean Frietas, Caroline Murphy, Sally Lopez and Steve Prileszki expressed opposition to the motion; the motion was disapproved (5 to many). Bruce Bates moved that future plans for construction of additions/out-buildings be accompanied by ‘elevation’ drawings; Jayne Wroblewski seconded. The motion was unanimously approved.
6. Any Other Business: Joyce Blutt made a plea for help! – on the ACC, at least one position is up for election this fall; there may be two positions on the ballot, as Brian Roos has resigned, Phil Perry was appointed to fill the vacant position.
7. Adjourn: Due to the late hour and dwindling attendance, Ron Britt moved to adjourn; Gail Wittman seconded the motion and approval was unanimous. Meeting adjourned at 9:20 P.M.
Minutes prepared by Jerry Wagner, Secretary, BTPOA, March 26, 2005.