Bent Tree Property Owners’ Association
Board of Directors’ Meeting Minutes
April 21st, 2007
Monument Sanitation District Office, 130 2nd St., Monument
Attendees: Board Members: Duane Fitch, John Heiser, Tom Hilfers, Chris Patterson
Others: Jerry Lopez, John Stahl
Meeting was called to order at 11:10am with Duane Fitch presiding.
1) Meeting was requested by Board Member, Tom Hilfers, to address water usage issues.
a. Neighbors and others had approached Tom with concerns about the water use issues and where the HOA board maybe headed regarding enforcement. These individuals realize the importance of complying with water use limits but are fearful that strict enforcement of the 2000 sq ft “irrigated” area covenant restriction will force them to remove portions of “established” yards.
b. Concerned with “accuracy” of readings as data is only being gathered on the 36 lots required to be metered. Does this accurately reflect Bent Tree usage?
c. What conservation policy/education will be provided? Specifically regarding watering times and types of plants are best for “low water” conditions.
2) Get back in compliance.
a. Duane Fitch stated that the first thing we need to do is ensure we are compliant with the Water Board’s mandated amount. This means making sure that the 36 lots that are currently used as our “standard” each remain below the 124,800 gallons allowed per year.
b. He further stated that a strategic plan and education will be the best ways to accomplish this goal.
3) Jerry Lopez, Water Augmentation Committee Chair: Has started the review of properties and their current water usage. This is his second year conducting the water report and noted that water usage doubled on the 36 metered properties from 2004 to 2005. This was due in large part to new construction and many of the homes built in 2003 began to landscape. With two new homes being constructed in these “metered” lots, it is likely that Bent Tree will be measured as going over its usage limit. Currently, 14 out of the 36 lots are reporting over their annual water usage limit.
4) John Heiser noted: A letter from the HOA should be sent to title companies on any properties that have covenant violations prior to closure. This would ensure the new residents are aware of what violations require attention.
5) Develop a survey: Duane Fitch believes a survey needs to be developed to seek information on which properties have water meters, the amount of water used and what square footage of irrigated area exists on their property. The focus now needs to be on demonstrating to the State Engineer’s Office that Bent Tree is operating within the water usage limits imposed. This can only be done by collecting data. A monthly review of the 36 metered lots will demonstrate to the owners what usage change occurs from the winter to the spring and summer months. This would also help the 17 percent who are over in usage to realize it and get them to move back into compliance.
6) Covenant Compliance: Tom Hilfers then asked what the Board is going to do about covenant compliance? Are we going “black and white” on the 2000 sq ft restriction? Can we develop new rules and regulations that allow larger areas if water usage remains within limits? Can we provide recommendations on the Bent Tree website regarding what are the best landscaping plants to use, etc?
7) Education: Duane Fitch agreed that education is the key to resolving this issue. This should be conducted with face to face meetings with violators in addition to an aggressive conservation program. Right now we need to ensure we stay in compliance…not having property owners tearing out their lawns.
8) Meter readings: Jerry Lopez stated that he had difficulty in obtaining meter readings and that door to door visits worked best. He noted that lot 194 had beautiful landscaping, less that 1000 ft of irrigated area and would be a good “poster” property for others to look at. He was also researching the best place for home owners to obtain water meters and the cost of installation.
9) Meters: John Heiser recommended that for those properties having in excess of the 2000 sq ft limit, two water meters be required: one for inside usage and the other for outside usage. Once Jerry Lopez gets the information on the meters, a letter needs to be sent from the HOA to homeowners. Also, our Rules and Regulations will need to support any plan that the Board comes up with. Those homeowners who are over their water limit should provide an action plan to the Board on how they will get back in compliance.
10) Rules and Regulations Draft: Tom Hilfers was tasked to develop a draft rules and regulation on water usage.
11) What are others doing? Duane stated he would check and see what other HOA’s (e.g., King’s Deer, Higby Estates, Whistler’s Ranch, etc.) are doing about over usage.
Meeting adjourned at 1:15 pm
Minutes prepared by Chris Patterson, BTPOA Board Member, 4/21/07
Minutes approved at BTPOA BOD Meeting 7/09/07