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The meeting was called to order by President Kaney at 10:00 A.M.
Directors in attendance: Colvett, Johnson, McKnight, Pieper, and Potts. This is the annual meeting of the Association’s Board. Pursuant to Rule 3.10 of the By-laws each director has waived the 30-day notice of this meeting.
Staff in attendance: Brown, Gwozdo, and Wyatt.
Minutes: Upon motion made by Johnson and seconded by Pieper the minutes of September 2014 were approved as submitted.
Our assessment payment collection continues over and beyond the amount collected this time last year. Expenditures continue at same pace but warns that winter is coming and weather could make a large difference in expenditures due to snow events.
Copies of the proposed 2015 budget have been distributed to all Board Members for review and comment. Wyatt offered assistance with any questions regarding the proposed budget. Kaney asked the Board to study the proposed budget and the comparison of the 2014 budget provided in preparation for a vote at the November meeting.
Kaney reminded the Members that the proposed 2015 budget is based on a 5% increase in the amount of assessment fees and called for a motion to approve the increase. A motion to approve a 5% increase was made by Colvett and seconded by Johnson. Motion was approved unanimously.
Long Range Planning
Each Board Member has received a copy of the updated revision of the Road Study Report. Discussion will take place at the November meeting in order to give everyone the opportunity to study the document.
Kaney appointed an ad hoc committee of McKnight, Freeman, Johnson, and Potts to determine the feasibility, funding, and the implementation of the project.
- Yancey County has continued its tax foreclosure efforts against at least 7 properties in Wolf Laurel. Most are lots pre-2002 covenant amendment deeds; however, once foreclosed, the lots will become subject to the 2002 covenants. Some have been bought by new owners who are now currently paying assessments. Yancey County owns at least one lot and is paying assessments itself on that lot.
- The Association’s collection case against Gutknecht settled at mediation consistent with our goal of achieving eventual equality of assessment payments.
- The Association has referred one $40 deed and 15 pro rata share assessment collection cases to counsel to be handled under the new procedures.
- Our trademark counsel is reviewing status of all our marks.On that subject, the WLPOA in its latest minutes indicates a plan to perhaps develop and sell various items of merchandise carrying the Wolf Laurel logo if there is sufficient interest.Pieper recommended that this Association should endorse the WLPOA effort; however, RMS does hold the trademark and needs generally to take appropriate steps not to lessen our rights and arguments in the event unknown others such as realtors, B-n-B’s, home service companies, and other businesses seek in the future to use the Wolf Laurel mark. It was suggested that if the WLPOA decides it is a worthwhile project, if requested, WLRMS should give such permission; however, will need a written agreement with the WLPOA authorizing their use of the mark so as not to prejudice any future ability to prohibit use of the mark by others. This permission would likely be similar to whatever agreement BMDC made with WLCC. The only cost to the WLPOA would likely be the cost of preparation of the short agreement by our patent attorney.
- Our counsel Etheridge has been in contact with Staunton Norris and the problem with regard to the Jahna property deed will be remedied.
Kaney asked Johnson to resume his position as head of public relations as Freeman has taken on other duties. Johnson agreed.
As Eller is no longer on the Board, Kaney asked that L. Wyatt continue her duties in regard to insurance and keep the Board abreast of changes as required. The Board will then make the decisions.
J. Brown reported:
- All equipment has been serviced and ready for winter.
- We lost our contract with Morton Salt who will only be supplying governmental agencies. After much research and numerous phone calls, a supplier has been found and 50 tons of salt will be delivered tomorrow. An order for 125 tons has been placed and should last the winter. Cost of salt has increased $30.00 a ton over last year. One truck is being outfitted to spray brine, a salt and water mixture that can be used at 17 degrees and above. Salt is only good at a temperature higher than 23 degrees. Outfitting the truck cost $2,500.00.
- A new snowplow has been ordered ($6,000.00) after cannibalizing for parts all the old snow plows at the maintenance yard.
- Road crew will continue to clear culverts and leaves from ditches until the snow falls.
- A new heater was installed at the gate house at a cost of $850.00.
- The Preserve gate arm was replaced again last week at the expense of the Preserve HOA. Someone drove through it in the morning, and we were notified in the afternoon.
- Our “unscheduled patrol” appears to be working well. No one but Security knows when he will be working. Property owners are happy and surprised to see him during the week. Hunters and ginseng gatherers seem to be less in numbers this year as word gets out that the security patrol may be working. We are slowly increasing the number of hours each week and the proposed budget is geared for a 40 hour a week patrol.
- The Gate turned away several perspective buyers of the motel property because they had no name or contact number of a realtor who could authorize entrance into Wolf Laurel. The motel is being advertised on line as a commercial property and on another site as a 3-4 unit family residence. Attempts to reach the realtors have failed.
F. Colvett reported:
- It has been a very busy month for the ARB Committee. We have approved several tree cutting permits and returned numerous incomplete applications. Several construction applications, all for driveways, are being reviewed.
- Philip Banks is the ARB Administrator. He handles all paper work and field work gathering the information for approval by the Committee. He does not have the authority to approve an application.
- The Committee is revising the ARB Guidelines to reaffirm the right of property owners to do tree work within a 20’ perimeter of their home; however, all tree cutting will now require an application for approval.
- The ARB found a property owner in violation when he placed a propane tank in the road right of way. The property owner must have the tank relocated.
- The Jahna home construction on Hawberry lane was originally being built in Blue Mountain (Overlook Dr.) However, due to the location of the house site and several variances required, Mr. Jahna has agreed that his home will be in the jurisdiction of Wolf Laurel Resort and the Wolf Laurel RMS HOA.
- Colvett asked the Board to review the ARB‘s approval of revised plan submitted by Mike Howard for the Mountainside Town Home development. Howard has received conditional approval by Madison County to revise the original development plans filed by Henry Hancock ten years ago. The ARB has approved 17 single family homes rather than the original 21 units. The homes will be a minimum of 16’ apart with a zero setback off Wolf Laurel Rd and Hanging Rock Rd. Additionally the ARB would require the normal rate of ($2,500.00 – $3,000.00) impact fee for each home and would waive the ($3,000.00) road deposit fee.
The Board agreed with the ARB on all revisions except the waiving of the road deposit fee. Much concern was voiced regarding the wear and tear of pavement on Wolf Laurel Road at the entrance to Mountainside. The Board recommended a continually maintained road deposit fee of $3,000.00 for duration of the project. Howard agreed and changes will be made on the final ARB application.
- ARB will proceed to provide facts to support a legal action against a property owner for cutting trees on an upland neighboring lot without approval of lot owner or ARB.
Enlargement of Board of Directors: Pieper moved, seconded by Colvett, that the Board by the affirmative vote of 2/3 of the directors increase the number of directors to nine in order to make three equal numbered classes. The additional director positions will be filled once the majority of the 7 directors concur on the appointments to complete the terms. After discussion, the motion passed by a 6-1 vote.
Election of Officers:
In a unanimous decision the following were elected:
- Mike Kaney, President
- Nat Pieper, Vice President
- Rebecca McKnight, Secretary/Treasurer
Request to combine lots by Mike Howard, representing Cocoa Brownstone Enterprises, LLC. –
After Howard’s presentation, Colvett made a motion to approve the request to combine lots ES 734 and 735 on Oakridge Lane due to special circumstances. Motion seconded by Johnson. Motion was unanimously approved.
Board Election –
Pieper moved that the RMS Board election be moved to July with nomination committee to meet in April. Motion approved unanimously.
Resignation from the Board-
Regretfully Sonny Colvett announced his resignation, due to personal reasons, from the Board and his position as Chairman of the ARB.
Comments from attending Property Owners
D. Wallace on El Miner Ct. asked why her road is no longer being maintained. Homeowners have always individually paid for gravel on El Miner Ct. but the snow was plowed as needed and some work was performed by RMS. The road is said to have deep ditches and ruts and vehicles cannot pass.
Kaney responded that El Miner Ct. is not a dedicated road but rather is a private right a way or driveway. Because of this, we are not insured for work on this road. This is a situation inherited from the developers. El Miner Ct. as well as numerous other roads are non-dedicated roads and are included in the present 2014 Roadway Evaluation.
Potts added that there is always a solution and asked that the Board be given a chance to review the revision of the road study and address this community problem.
Kaney asked Brown to look at the road especially the section from El Miner Dr. past the water tower to the golf course. The ad hoc committee will look for a short-term solution.
L. Rutherford of McKinney Gap Dr. voiced great displeasure in the cutting back of the bushes along the road right of way. The Rutherfords explained that they had worked with the previous road director to plant bushes in order to curtail erosion on the bank between the road and their home which protected both the home and the road.
Brown explained that under the Covenants, RMS had the authority to cut back any vegetation encroaching onto the roadway. This is only done when vehicle safety becomes an issue.
The topping of hemlocks in the area was done by the French Broad Electrical Cooperative.
The Board suggested that staff notify area property owners prior to the road crew cutting back vegetation, giving property owners an opportunity to prune their bushes along the road.
B. Fisher on Doubleback Dr. asked what services he receives from RMS.
He was advised that his property is part of the Schlitt family development, and RMS maintains the road to the edge of Wolf Laurel Resort property. The road beyond the property line is the responsibility of the Schlitt development and its owners.
Property owners of Doubleback receive the same security benefits as Wolf Laurel property owners and use of Wolf Laurel Resort roads to access the Schlitt development.
Johnson said that this issue is among the numerous situations inherited from the developer that the Board has discovered. The goal is to address the inequities and the Board will work to find a more satisfactory solution.