Why is the board proposing a change in the number of votes needed to approve changes to our current documents and rules?
The short answer is to remove as many barriers as possible, from updating our 15 year old docs.
The longer answer requires understanding the main driver for this change request, is our association lawyer has advised us that our documents,(1) written in 2004, are so poorly written, and contain errors and conflicting statement, that we (every homeowner) are at risk of being sued. As many of you know, a current homeowner started proceedings to bring suit against the association, claiming that some rules were not being enforced.
There are other rules in the documents, that are unclear, and taken literally, could cause every homeowner who owns a car, to be in constant violation. The wording of some rules, as written, do not reflect the current culture and lifestyle that we all want to enjoy.
The rules haven't changed in 15 years. It currently takes 2/3 of all lot owners to pass a rule change. It's very difficult to get people to volunteer, come to meetings, get involved in taking action and staying engaged. The board is seeking to make these rules changes, with less barriers to change.
The board doesn't take rules changes lightly. They commissioned a 6 member resident-volunteer committee to work on reviewing the rules and make recommended wording changes. They provided a place on our website where you could ask questions and get a personal response. They discussed the current changes over the last 6 months at board meetings and entertained member comments about them at the end of the meeting. Volunteers went door to door, to educate and allow for discussion with the home owners, about the importance of changing the rules regarding parking trucks in driveways; a "pizza party" get together was held in the large park in November that announced board members would be on hand to answer questions about the proposed rules.
They went put all these measures in place, because they wanted everyone to have a chance to hear about the current risks, necessary changes and have opportunities to ask questions.
Even if you don't agree with changing the % of resident votes needed, down from 2/3 to 51%, we ask for your commitment to voting on future changes to our documents, so our documents are up to date, and so the documents don't pose a legal risk, and they more accurately reflect our culture and neighborhood living preferences. Please volunteer for the rules change committee and provide feedback. Attend board meetings, or ask a neighbor to attend and fill you in. Read past board meeting minutes. Use the community website to ask questions or make suggestions. When it's time to vote on document changes, please make sure you return your vote via proxy form, or attend the meeting and vote via ballot.