Bent Tree Property Owners’ Association
Property Owners Annual Meeting Minutes
Thursday, September 13th, 2007
Board Members: Duane Fitch, John Heiser, Tom Hilfers, Debbi Maser, Chris Patterson. Duane Fitch presided.
Property Owners: Listed in Appendix A
Duane Fitch, President BTPOA, Called the Meeting to Order at 6:45pm
Jim Maser volunteered to perform as teller.
Determination of quorum: Upon review of the sign-in rosters, quorum was established with 40 lots represented (needed 39 for quorum).
Review and Approval of Proposed Agenda
Motion was made and seconded, and all votes were in favor to accept the proposed agenda.
John Heiser, Vice President, was introduced.
Debbi Maser, Secretary & Treasurer, was introduced.
The three-year term for Duane Fitch ended at this meeting, and was open for re-election. Motion was made and seconded, and all votes were in favor to confirm Duane Fitch for a BOD position.
Motion was made and seconded, and all votes were in favor of acclamation for Chris Patterson (who was appointed by the BOD 12 Mar 2007). Since the three-year term for this position ended at this meeting, motion was made and seconded, and all votes were in favor to confirm Chris Patterson for the follow-on three-year term ending at the 2010 Annual Meeting.
Motion was made and seconded, and all votes were in favor of acclamation for Tom Hilfers for the three-year term at the 2009 Annual Meeting.
Introduction, Election and Confirmation of ACC Members
Tom Hilfers, ACC Chairman, was introduced.
Motion was made and seconded, and all votes were in favor of acclamation for Dr. Dave Hatfield to fill the vacancy on the ACC left by Bruce Bates. The term for this ACC position will end at the 2009 Annual Meeting.
Patrice Stevens volunteered to be on the ACC. Motion was made and seconded, and all votes were in favor to elect Patrice for the ACC position. The term for this ACC position will end at the 2010 Annual Meeting.
Approval of Minutes
Motion was made and seconded to approve the 2006 Annual Meeting minutes, and all votes were in favor.
Motion was made and seconded to approve the 2007 Budget Meeting Notes.
Copies of the 2007 Balance Sheet and Budget were available at the meeting. As of this meeting, there was $8,056 in the working account, and $79,830 in CDs for a total of $87,887.
A summary of income and expenses for the year by category was presented.
i. Major income sources were Annual Dues (including late charges) of $18,533, HOA statements ($757), Plan Reviews ($100), Interest ($4652) and Fines ($812) for a total of $24,854.
ii. Expenses include Beautification and Trails ($2951), Covenant Compliance ($4280), Meetings ($595), Insurance ($1009), Legal ($971), Printing/Mailing ($2812), Taxes ($252), Water Augmentation ($9158).
There were no questions on the Treasurer’s Report. Motion was made and seconded to approve the 2007 Treasurer’s Report, and all votes were in favor.
Tom provided a summary of various building activities in the community, noting that Bent Tree is almost completely built out. Various issues have been addressed and resolved or are being worked by the ACC. He shared that the ACC is now holding regularly scheduled meetings, and minutes of these meetings will be posted. Additionally, R&Rs specific to the ACC are being drafted.
Introduction of Committee Chairpersons and Volunteers, and Reports from Each Committee
Beautification and Trails: TOM HILFERS, John Stahl.
i. Tom Hilfers stated that the BOD had contracted with Sullivan Landscaping to do trail improvements. Progress on this has been slow and the committee will continue to work with Sullivan for satisfactory completion of the project.
ii. There has been discussion based on residents’ request to do enhancements to the entrances to Bent Tree, however, the budget has not been designated for this yet.
Covenant Compliance: DUANE FITCH, Jim Maser.
i. Jim Maser provided a summary of the various covenant violations that had been cited for the year, stating that the primary violations continue to be with outside parking of vehicles. He noted that Bent Tree outsourced its covenant compliance enforcements to Red Oaks Associates, LLC, specifically to ensure consistency in addressing covenant compliance, but to have an independent third party to remove any potential neighbor against neighbor conflicts.
ii. Red Oaks’ process is that a violation must be noted twice before a letter is sent to the owner asking the owners to correct the issue, and has sent out 80 letters for covenant violations since January 2007. 57 of the violations cited were cured / resolved. There were 18 second notices sent to residents, and the BOD has held five hearings for covenant violations that had not been corrected, or required immediate attention (bon fires), and that in some cases, fines had been levied against the owner.
iii. 73% of the noted violations were regarding outside parking of vehicles. The other violations included nuisance noise from neighbors, barking dogs, trash left outside and some of the issues were turned over to the ACC.
iv. In reviewing previous annual meeting minutes, parking has been and continues to be the most common covenant violation. Since the R&R’s’s do allow for outside parking for day visitors, Jim suggested that owners provide information to the CCC regarding car make and model for repeat day visitors, such as housekeepers or child care, so that Red Oaks can note this and not send parking violation letters to these owners. Basically, the covenant restrictions apply to vehicles that belong to residents, as these are to be garaged or screened from view of neighbors or streets.
v. Various owners complained that if tours take place during the day or especially on weekends, owners should not be cited for a violation as they’re probably outside working. Jim explained that is why Red Oaks must make note of a violation twice before a letter is sent, unless it is requires immediate resolution such as bon fires and nuisance noise.
vi. Many residents expressed their concerns that the covenants weren’t reasonable for visitors like college students home for the summer. Duane Fitch stated that if enough owners wanted changes made, the BOD would consider it. There was discussion regarding how the covenants could be changed (requires affirmative vote by two-thirds of all owners in Bent Tree), and that the Rules & Regulations have been created to provide clarification of some of the covenants.
vii. After discussion about the parking, a motion was made and seconded and all votes were in favor that the BOD change the Rules & Regulations to allow outdoor parking of vehicles for college students home for the summer, as long as the owners provide the CCC / Red Oaks the start and end date and type of vehicle. This will be addressed at future BOD meetings in accordance with procedures in place.
viii. There was additional discussion regarding the covenant requirement to not have more than 2000sf of irrigated space what was covered in more detail with Jerry’s Water report.
Directory and Webmaster: DEBBI MASER, Steve Fuhrmann
i. Debbi provided a summary of the various correspondence that had been sent to Bent Tree residents in the past year. In addition to the 2007 directory and the Log, multiple letters had been sent out for owner education on various activities and priorities of Bent Tree, and the requirements associated with water reporting.
ii. Several owners expressed their desire to receive communications from the BOD electronically vs. in paper. Duane reiterated that there are some items that are required to be sent out in hard copy, but if owners sign up to be on the Bent Tree mailing list, they will receive updated information electronically via email. There are some logistics that would have to be worked out to determine what information is required to be provided in hard copy, vs. that which can be provided electronically, and if the information can be sent out via emails, to ensure that email addresses are current and that paper copies would not be sent to these owners. It was recommended that new owners be provided the information asking them to sign up for electronic communications, and this is something that the Welcoming Committee will address.
Engineering: JOHN HEISER, Jerry Lopez
Forest Management: TOM HILFERS, John Anderson.
i. Tom Hilfers provided a summary of activities that had begun for maintenance of the trails, and that progress has been slower than anticipated, but that he would continue to manage this.
ii. John Anderson presented a very thorough overview of the mountain pine beetle, noxious weeds, and fire mitigation. He provided specific instructions on what he recommends for removal of beetle-infested trees, and what the potential timeframe and damage is from mistletoe. He also had handouts available for residents to take home for reference. He also expressed his concerns that lack of maintenance of the properties in Bent Tree was having a negative impact on property values.
Neighborhood Watch: CHRIS PATTERSON
i. Chris shared various activities that had taken place in the community. There seems to be an increased awareness of suspicious activities within the neighborhood, and information has been shared via postings on the Bent Tree website and emails to those residents who have provided their email address to the committee to be notified. Various activities addressed since Chris has been involved include neighbors notifying the BOD of a Peeping Tom, vehicles being broken into, bear sightings, surveillance in neighboring communities, and a registered sex offender in Bent Tree. Chris thanked everyone for bringing their issues and concerns to his attention.
Communications: DEBBI MASER, Steve Fuhrmann
i. Special thanks was given to Steve Fuhrmann for his relentless efforts to not only post information on the website that is current and relevant and informative, but to also get postings done quickly when needed, e.g., lost animals, neighborhood watch events, etc.
ii. Communications to the community this past year have included not only the web postings of meeting notices and agendas and minutes, but there have also been several mailings to share information with owners. There is a cost with mailing hard copies to owners, so we’d really like people to sign up for email notifications. There are items that are required to be sent in hard copy (like annual meeting notices), and we will continue to publish the Bent Tree Log and directory, but costs could be reduced for other items if more people signed up for email distribution.
Water Augmentation: JOHN HEISER, Jerry Lopez
i. Jerry provided an extensive overview of the various factors associated with water management and requirements of owners in Bent Tree. Bent Tree pays over $9000 a year for our water usage and it is imperative that we manage in accordance with our court decree, otherwise substantial penalties could be inflicted on us and the result of those penalties probably would mean additional costs for water.
ii. Jerry reiterated that each lot is authorized no more than 2000sf of irrigated space, and that we have been asking owners since the beginning of the year to provide information on this. Based on information received, many lots exceed the 2000sf limit, and therefore, the BOD will require two meters to be installed on these lots, so that internal and external usage can be measured to ensure that overall usage does not exceed that which is authorized per lot.
iii. Additionally, there are 36 specific lots that are required by the Colorado Water Court decree and the Bent Tree covenants to have externally readable water meters, and that the meter readings of these lots are used as the basis for calculating the estimate for overall usage in Bent Tree in our required annual report. If these lots exceed their water usage allocation, then all of Bent Tree will be under scrutiny.
iv. Since the trend of the water usage on these measured lots continues to increase, it is imperative that we manage this so we do not exceed the authorized usage. Metered lots that exceed their allocated usage will be required to establish a corrective action plan to ensure they do not continue to exceed this as we must manage our overall usage.
v. The Bent Tree covenants also state that lots shall have no more than 2000sf of irrigated space. If lots have more than 2000sf of irrigated space, this would show non-compliance with the water decree and all owners in Bent Tree will be affected. So starting early in the year, residents have been asked multiple times to provide their measurements to the water committee. Most owners were compliant with this request and sent their information to the water committee.
vi. Owners who have more than 2000sf of irrigated space will be given the opportunity to implement a corrective action plan, which could either be to reduce their irrigated space, or to install two water meters on their property – one for external usage and one for total usage.
vii. If owners have not provided the required information of their irrigated space, they would receive a hearing notice for the next BOD meeting, and could also face a financial penalty.
viii. Many residents asked questions regarding water issues and shared specifics related to their situation and what steps they’ve taken to manage and/or reduce their water usage. One question was if you disconnect your sprinkler, is your irrigated space them calculated as zero? The answer is yes. Another question was how are drip systems calculated for the irrigated space? The answer is that one drip line is the equivalent of one square foot of irrigated space. One neighbor sated that they found out their water softener used a lot of water. Another neighbor shared you can have problems if you have sand in your well. Another neighbor shared how much water was consumed by a small leak.
ix. The importance of Bent Tree managing our water consumption was reiterated many times, and there will be future actions by the BOD to ensure we are as proactive as possible and that we have factual data for our State reports.
Welcoming: JOHN HEISER, Wayne Claybaugh
i. We’ve had several new owners this past year, and welcome packages have been sent to them. If you notice new neighbors, please contact a member of the Welcoming Committee so that they can make sure they get their welcome package!
Major Issues / Initiatives
Water Augmentation: As summarized above, Jerry Lopez presented status of water usage in Bent Tree and an overview of what is required per our Court Decree. He summarized that in accordance with our covenants, each lot in Bent Tree is not allowed to exceed 2000 square feet of irrigated space, and that 36 lots are required to have externally readable meters. Neither of these requirements has been monitored previously, and that is why owners have been asked to provide that information. The BOD has determined that if owners do not provide the required information, they will be cited in violation of the covenants and will be called to a hearing, and that significant fines may be imposed. Multiple letters have gone out to owners requiring this information, and yet we still do not have 100% responses. Time is of the essence as the Bent Tree report to the State is due in November, so action needs to be taken quickly. This is a very, very serious situation that if not addressed, could result in penalties to all owners in Bent Tree.
Changes to the BTPOA Rules and Regulations: The Board has published V3 of the BTPOA Rules and Regulations to incorporate and provide clarification on various topics. A summary of the changes and a copy of the revised Rules and Regulations have been posted on the website and were made available at the meeting. John Heiser presented the Revised BTPOA R&Rs, which include clarification regarding dead and diseased trees, and potential fines for various covenant violations, including severe fines for over-usage of water.
Proposed increase to the Bent Tree Annual Property Owners’ dues. As was discussed at the Budget Meeting in February, the BOD has recommended an increase in the annual dues to $120 per year, effective 2008. There has not been an increase in the annual dues, even though expenses have significantly increased. Our primary expense is our water bill, which is now over $9,000 a year. In addition to the substantial increase in cost of our water over the last several years, if we have issues with owners exceeding their annual water usage allocation, we are at risk of sanctions and fines from the State of Colorado. Additionally, we are now paying for an external resource, Red Oaks, LLC, for covenant compliance enforcement. Another initiative that many residents have expressed a desire for is to improve the appearances of the Bent Tree entrances and we have contracted to have that started. All of these additional expenses warrant an increase in the annual dues. After discussion and questions from owners present, motion was made and seconded, and all votes were in favor, to increase the annual dues to $120 effective January 2008.
Trash Disposal Initiative
Duane Fitch summarized his desire to contract with one vendor for trash pickup within Bent Tree. He has received a quote for this service; however it requires additional owners to commit to this vendor. Several owners expressed their desire to have only one trash pick-up day, however several owners also expressed their concern that it should be up to the individual owners to select what vendor they wanted to use. It was suggested that perhaps Duane could discuss with the vendor to offer a discount to each owner depending on how many owners used their service, and that the more owners who used it, the greater the discount. It was also recommended that this recommendation be included in the welcoming packages for new owners.
House Plans Available for Pickup: The ACC still has many sets of house plans available for owners to pick up.
Committee Volunteers: Sign-up sheets were provided for owners interested in participating in various committees.
Directory Updates: Sign-up sheets were provided for owners to provide updated information for the directory.
Adjourn Meeting: Duane thanked all the residents who attended as well as all of the hard work done by the various committee members. A motion was made and seconded to adjourn the property owners’ meeting at 9:30pm. All votes were in favor. The annual meeting was adjourned and the BOD members then met and voted to continue the BOD Meeting on 10/08/07.
Minutes prepared by Debbi Maser, BTPOA Secretary, 10/22/07
Approved by the Board of Directors 11/12/07 for ratification by BTPOA members