Happy January, CVOA Neighbors! It's a blustery, snowy day as I sit down to write this and we hope that you are warm and cozy as you read. We had our monthly board meeting this week, our first since the holiday season and we hope this catches you all up. I apologize ahead of time for the length, but we believe that clear, detailed communication is what you deserve, so thank you for reading to the end!
First, to answer your question about snow removal: Our contract with Aloha regarding landscaping does include snow removal, but is dependent upon certain triggers. Aloha only plows areas of sidewalk that border common areas and only when we receive two inches of new snow. This is also a bit of a timing issue because if ACHD plows the roads after Aloha clears our sidewalks, they just end up covering the sidewalks again. So you can see it's a bit of a dance. We're always looking for ways to improve your services, so please message us with any ideas.
Next, one of the things we pride ourselves in is the fact that we have the lowest association fees in the valley, by a lot. We do this by very carefully budgeting every one of your dues dollars. One of our expenses that we are hoping to find solutions to cut down is the cost of paper mailings. For example, we spend $9,000 sending out late payment notifications for quarterly dues. The easiest way to solve this is to have everyone pay on time, of course. However, we are currently looking at ways to change how we do our association dues billing. We'll keep you up to date on discussions regarding this matter. We'll also reach out for homeowner feedback in the next few months.
We are pleased to report that we have 16 applicants for the 3 open positions for the CVOA Board of Directors Election at our annual meeting on March 8th! We're pretty confident that sets some kind of record... Information about the candidates will be sent to your home next month, so keep an eye out for it!
You may have seen on our social media platforms that we've added some nice new furniture to the Pioneer Room for your parties and events! This was purchased before COVID and it has finally been assembled and is ready for your enjoyment! Also, we're adding a little lending library to the Rec. Center and you will be able to find that ready to go next week. Feel free to take from and add to it!
Finally, in an effort to continue and improve transparency with the homeowners of our community, we'd like to share with you the results of the lawsuit that occurred this year regarding a violation of the CC&Rs by a home-based business. We are aware that this has created concern for some homeowners in the area and we hope that this information may help answer questions.
Regarding this specific situation, the homeowner in question operated a business that violated our CC&Rs and negatively impacted their neighbors. In November of 2019, the homeowner attended a board meeting and asked permission of the board to open a preschool in their home. Because the board is obligated to uphold the CC&Rs when they are made aware of a situation, the board denied that request and sent a letter in December 2019. The homeowner opened the preschool despite this, and began to put up advertising signs throughout the neighborhood, which is also prohibited. When the homeowners' neighbors complained about this business, the board had no choice but to address the issue by sending them a cease and desist in October 2020. Attempts to resolve the issue through compromise and dialogue with attorneys for nearly 1.5 years were unsuccessful.
Over the course of this issue, 8 different homeowners, including patrons of the business and the homeowners themselves, came to board meetings to address the board. The board also received responses from 14 individuals regarding this issue, 12 in favor of the business (many from the same people who attended the meeting) and 2 against. Please note that we currently have 1800+ homeowners in Columbia Village. Ultimately, the homeowner chose to relocate rather than abide by the CC&Rs. As such, the lawsuit was closed. Total CVOA legal fees were approximately $3,000.
The CVOA Board of Directors understands the need to provide clarification on the difference between people working from home and a home-based business that violates the CC&Rs. The Board passed a Resolution Regarding Business and Commercial Use (attached here) in February of 2022 to aid and clarify those differences for homeowners. The CC&R has not been changed, but this serves as clarification for our community. Your elected Board of Directors is legally bound to uphold the CC&Rs and our neighbors expect us to do so. Likewise, homeowners are required to sign and adhere to these as a property owner when they purchase their home and in so doing, preserve the quality of the neighborhood and aid in the protection of all our property values. At the end of the day, we all have the same goals and by effectively communicating we can create a stronger and more successful environment.
If you have any further questions regarding this or any matter, please do not hesitate to reach out. You will be answered promptly. We appreciate and are grateful for the kindness and support we hear from our neighbors and hope to continue to serve you well in the coming year.
Your CVOA Board of Directors