Letter from the HOA President
Arbor Mill at Mill Creek
July 31, 2019
Well, it’s finally happened. Control of the Arbor Mill at Mill Creek Homeowners Association has been handed over to us, the owner members.
The path that’s brought us here hasn’t always been smooth. But we are now free to decide—collectively and lawfully—on the rules and guidelines that govern our community and how we enforce them. It’s a huge step, but also a very positive one.
I’m truly honored (if not a little daunted) to be appointed the first president of the owner-controlled HOA. But I’m supported by a great team of officers and committee chairs. We also have Associa, a reputable community association management company, holding our hands throughout this transition period and beyond.
While in office, the Board will do its very best to make decisions that benefit the collective interests of all residents. No doubt we’ll have our challenges along the way. We have a long list of outstanding developer issues to resolve, for starters. Then we have the audit report to review before we can finalize any financial settlement between the developer and the association.
We also need to decide how to take the association forward. I’ve identified three main areas that I’d like the Board to focus on during my term in office:
- The smooth and successful transition to homeowner-controlled ownership
- Improved communications to all residents (owners and tenants)
- Regular violation inspections and timely notifications
As a fellow homeowner, I’ve shared your frustration at the lack of information coming from the HOA and the slow-moving response to persistent violations of our covenants. I understand that’s not an uncommon situation in developer-controlled associations. After all, they have many interests to serve and often have to juggle their activities with other duties.
Now that we’re in charge of our own destiny, we can begin to tackle these frustrations immediately. In the next few days, you’ll be receiving a welcome letter from Associa. In addition to providing contact details, it introduces TownSq, an online portal that lets you manage your account, make architectural approval requests, download governing documents, stay up to date on community happenings, and make your voice heard.
We’ll also be launching a community newsletter. The first one will be published in early September, and a second one is planned for early November, in the run up to the Annual General Meeting (this is when you can elect your next Board). The newsletter and TownSq should help improve HOA communication immensely, but I’m sure they’ll be other information initiatives in the future.
When it comes to the rules and regulations that govern our community, I feel we need to straighten our backs a little, so to speak. I’m not talking about a harsh, uncompromising approach that results in a fine as soon as a blade of grass is out of place. I reckon that, if someone breaks a community rule, it’s usually because they don’t know the rule exists and, more often than not, a neighborly chat resolves the issue.
However, continuous violations should be dealt with appropriately and in a timely manner. Going forward, HOA violation inspections will be carried out every two weeks by Associa. This is something new for the community, but it is a normal and necessary part of a management company’s services. Remember, the goal of HOA violations inspections is not to be hurtful or authoritative but to help protect the community’s property values for all of its owner members. That is why we have all chosen to live in a planned development.
You’ll get more details about this and other actions in the next few weeks and months, via the website and TownSq.
But I’d like to wrap up this letter by thanking publicly Justine Larson, Penny Rosenow and Dawn Storey for accepting the positions of Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary respectively. Their willingness to pledge time and energy to serving their community, even though they have families, jobs and other commitments, is much appreciated. If you see them around, please offer them your support and a few kind words of encouragement.
PS: We’ll be holding a Meet & Greet in the next two or three weeks at the Amenity Center. This is an opportunity to meet the new board members and officers as well as representatives from Associa and to ask questions about the turnover process. I hope to see you there!