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The meeting was called to order via telephone by President Kaney at 2:00 P.M.
Directors in attendance: McKnight, Freeman, Johnson, and McCaghren. Present via telephone: Faliero, Beneke, and Pieper. Absent: Potts.
Staff in attendance: Brown, Gwozdo, and Wyatt.
Audience Attendees: Jim Landry and Rich Ashley
The Board considered the draft 2015 Declaration of Protective Covenants, Restrictions, and Reservations. The draft is the culmination of work by many persons starting with the Covenant Revision Committee chaired by Warren Johnson with members from the community. This committee recommended that the general format of the 2002 Amendments be followed with changes as necessary. The document evolved over the period of preparation, however, follows the 2002 format whenever possible.
Input was received from the WL POA, and various North Carolina attorneys who are very familiar with community associations, Wolf Laurel, its history and development, and who have represented the Association on numerous matters over the years.
In January 2015, the full WL RMS Board reviewed multiple drafts and made various changes and selections of alternative language. Thereafter, the Board solicited the community to review the draft and provide suggestions. Responses were received. Some of the suggestions were duplications of matters previously discussed by the Board. Some of the suggestions raised matters that the Board had not considered and were circulated to the Board members for further thought.
Special thanks for their assistance in completing various aspects of this task go to W. Johnson and the members of the Covenant Revision Committee (S. Berglund, C. Krueger, D. Schmidt, and F. Tygart), N. Pieper, B. McCaghren, and all the Board members, and others in the community who contributed suggestions and constructive criticism.
It was moved and passed that the draft 2015 Declaration of Protective Covenants, Restrictions, and Reservations be approved and adopted by the Board of Directors and be recorded in the Registry of Deeds in Madison and Yancey Counties. The vote was unanimous.
Upon motion made by McCaghren and seconded by Freeman, the amended and corrected minutes of January 2015 were approved.
Board received March 31, 2015 financial report from L. Wyatt.
Wyatt reported that property owners have responded swiftly in paying their 2015 RMS assessments.
Legal: N. Pieper
- Assessment collection efforts are ongoing with success.
- Voluntary mediation of the Association’s controversy with the Ridges owners over road assessments is scheduled on July 1 and 2 in Asheville.
- The Ridges POA has provided a check in the amount of $10,188 covering a portion of the amount owed for 2014 and 2015 security assessments for the homeowners in the Ridges.
Public Relations: W. Johnson
The approved and adopted Covenants will be posted to the website. The policy regarding combination of lots will also be posted to the website.
Ad Hoc Road Study: R. McKnight
The committee was asked to obtain clarification of the status of nine roads that had been classified at one time or another as “private” rather than “common” roads. Outside legal counsel determined that only one of the roads in question was actually a private easement and not a common road. A letter to each owner on each of roads in question was mailed in March, and the responses received have been very positive. Negotiations are still under way with the Schlitt property owners. All other committee work is on schedule.
Roads: J. Brown
- The sealing of Wolf Laurel Road has been hampered by weather but should be completed in the next few weeks at a cost of $3,000.00. Striping will be done immediately after the sealing is completed at a cost of $2,500.00.
- Culverts have been replaced on Spring Valley Dr., Chestnut Lane, and Glenaire Dr. at a cost of $10,000.00.
- Repair of the pavement will start with El Miner Dr. shortly and will probably take the entire paving budget.
- The deep freezing and thawing turned many of our gravel roads to mud this year. In one month ½ our gravel budget ($25,802) was used to repair the damage. The remaining funds will be used for the gravel-matching program.
- In the aftermath of the fires in Black Mountain, the U.S. Forest Service and Ebbs Chapel Fire Department have contacted us regarding a meeting with our property owners and associations in Wolf Laurel. The meeting would address fire safety. Carolina Water Services has notified ECFD that the two fire hydrants in Wolf Laurel have been turned off.
The Board readily agreed that a meeting should be scheduled over the summer when more residents are present. It was also noted that the change in the ARB portion of the Covenants allows for a clearing of trees and brush 30 feet from the footprint of a home without the required tree cutting approval under most circumstances. This change falls into the U.S. Forest Service guidelines.
Notification of residents of an approaching fire and evacuation is currently under investigation as is the replacement of wooden road signs with metal signs and posts.
Beneke was asked to contact Carolina Water Service about the fire hydrants.
At 3:00 p.m. President Kaney had to leave the meeting, and he asked that McKnight conduct the rest of the meeting.
Security: S. Gwozdo:
- The four trespassers arrested last month pled guilty in court and received community service as well as payment of court costs and a fine. Hopefully this will serve as a deterrent to others, especially among the hiking blogs, that Wolf Laurel will not tolerate trespassing.
- Gwozdo stated that the bird-banding program held on Big Bald is becoming an issue and in bringing to the Board’s attention asked for any suggestions. The program, operated for decades under the authorization of a property owner and the U.S. Forest Service, has grown from a few people working two weeks in the spring and again in the autumn to a seven-month program. This expansion impacts security and our residents over the summer months due to bird banding websites that invite all interested parties to visit the bird banding station. Last summer security turned away all but those specifically authorized by a resident or the head of the program. We have had numerous complaints from residents about speeding vehicles on Big Bald Rd., which were found to be driven by the regular volunteers.Following discussion, it was decided that Security would continue to follow procedure regarding authorization and keep the Board apprised.
- A property owner contacted Security seeking permission for an estate sale.The Board denied the request suggesting the resident contact an auction house or advertise on Craig’s List, either one would allow the property owner to inform gate of the names of the visitors.
- Gwozdo suggested that an email detailing outdoor burning procedure be sent to property owners. She would forward message to Board for approval.
ARB: C. Freeman
Since the last RMS meeting the ARB has processed or has in process 7 tree permits and 2 driveway rehab requests with road deposit. We have met with M. Howard as he has begun construction on lot 17 Mountainside. We have received a renovation plan with a 1700 sq. ft. addition. Two road deposit requests have been addressed as well as 22 requests for information and clarification from designers and property owners. Looking into the spring, over the next 2 months an estimated 10-12 tree permits are expected. An estimated 3-4 renovations and/or new homes are planned to be presented; 2 are well underway and nearing submission.
McKnight asked about the status of the action directed by the Board to the Chairman of the ARB at our January meeting regarding notification to a property owner about his electric fence. Freeman acknowledged that he had not notified the owner, but that the ARB will be sending letters to this owner and several others that he has since found also have electric fencing.
- The Board received the inquiry of Cline Coates asking whether the Association was interested in purchasing his Lot 165, Springbrook Drive, for green space. After discussion, the Board decided to follow its standard policy of not seeking ownership of additional lots in Wolf Laurel.
- The Board received communications from the Southeastern Trust for Parks and Land advising that it has authorized the company, No Taste Like Home, to bring small groups to visit and explore the property of the Southeastern Trust and requesting the cooperation of the Association and its security system to facilitate entry. The Board discussed the request and will indeed cooperate, but suggests that access be through the Scrounce Creek Gate and with prior notification to Wolf Laurel Security. Security Director Gwozdo will contact Alan Muskat of No Taste Like Home to work out the arrangements and understanding. It is anticipated that this will be a mutually beneficial relationship.
- Beneke moved that the regular WL RMS Board meetings be held at 10:00 A.M. on the third Friday of each month and that an agenda be published one week in advance with e-mail notification to property owners and posting on the website. McCaghren seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.
- Pieper moved to approve use of WL RMS Service Mark by the WL POA by written agreement. Freeman seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.The text of the Agreement is:SERVICE MARK AGREEMENT
WLRM&SHOA2, LLC, a North Carolina limited liability company (hereinafter referred to as “Service Mark Owner”, owns all right, title and interest in and to Service Mark Wolf Laurel, U.S. Service Mark Registration No. MRK72250228187-20141104084214408316 and all of the goodwill associated therewith (hereinafter referred to as the “Service Mark Property.” This Service Mark generally consists of a silhouette of a sitting wolf howling at a partial moon.
The Wolf Laurel Property Owners Association (hereinafter referred to as the “Licensee”) seeks to use the Service Mark to be imprinted on various small items that it intends to sell in the Wolf Laurel Community.
In consideration of $1.00 and other good and valuable consideration, Service Mark Owner grants to the Wolf Laurel Property Owners Association a non-exclusive, non-transferable, non-assignable license to use the Service Mark as aforesaid.
Licensee agrees to notify Service Mark Owner of any unauthorized use of the Service Mark by others promptly as it comes to the attention of the Licensee.
Either party, Service Mark Owner or Licensee, shall have the absolute right to terminate this agreement upon thirty (30) days written notice to the other.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, a duly authorized officer of Service Mark Owner has hereunto set his hand and seal on this __________ day of ______________, 2015.
Wolf Laurel Road Maintenance & Security Homeowner’s Association, Inc.
T. Michael Kaney
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, a duly authorized officer of Licensee has hereunto set his hand and seal on this __________ day of ______________, 2015.
Wolf Laurel Property Owners Association
The Board authorized President Kaney to sign the Service Mark Agreement on behalf of the Association.
In connection with the discussion of the service mark, Johnson asked about the use of the name “Wolf Laurel” by businesses. Pieper said he would look into what had been determined regarding this issue.
Jim Landry asked that the ARB respond to a request for tree work to be done in the area where the fire department sets off the fireworks on the 4th of July. Freeman responded that he would look into the request.
Landry also questioned what has been and is being done on the road to Big Bald. Discussion was held on the history of the work done and what else is to be done. Landry reported that he had heard that WL RMS had spent $80,000 to do the work. Brown reported that at this point in the process $5,525 had been spent. Brown will meet with the Forest Service and the representative from the Appalachian Trail next week to discuss the next phase of the work. He will report at the next Board meeting what is recommended to be done and the cost.
Next meeting scheduled for May 15, 2015, at 10:00 A.M.