President’s Message – February 2014

As you have read elsewhere in this newsletter, the Permanent Membership Initiative is officially a success.  Seventy-seven (77) households of our current HOA membership have signed the Declaration, thereby agreeing to the establishment of the new Amended and Restated Bylaws which provide for permanent membership.  This number exceeds the two-thirds requirement in our current bylaws for passing an amendment.  Additionally, the Declaration required that at least sixty (60) households sign up as Recreational Members for permanent membership to pass.  This requirement was also met, with a total of seventy-three (73) homes signing up as Recreational Members.  Two other homeowners, who were not members this past year, have signed the Declaration.  So at this point in time, seventy-nine (79) Chestnut Creek homeowners will become Permanent Members.  This is truly a milestone achievement for our neighborhood.

But the membership drive is nowhere close to being completed.  The ultimate goal is to have membership numbers exceeding those that our neighborhood has experienced over the past several years.  This would require about 40 additional homeowners to sign up for Permanent Membership.  The Board and the PMIC will continue efforts to reach out to all Chestnut Creek homeowners to inform them about the benefits of permanent membership.  We will be sending out letters in the very near future, likely via certified mail, to all homeowners who have not yet signed up.  The intent of this letter is to further inform these homeowners about their options, particularly those that might not have gotten information on Permanent Membership through the information that the HOA has delivered directly to mailboxes.  We will attempt to send these letters to the owners of all rental properties in the neighborhood.

Our outgoing bylaws had two classes of membership available to homeowners, Class A (Civic) and Class C (Recreational).  Class C members have access to the neighborhood pool and tennis amenities, while Class A members do not, but pay a lower dues amount.  Class A membership is limited to those who moved into the neighborhood prior to January 1, 1996.  So this class of membership was only available to a limited (and shrinking) number of homes.  The new bylaws also allow for two classes of membership which are similar to our current bylaws, but without the restriction on when the homeowner moved into the neighborhood.  I have heard from several homeowners who would like to contribute to the maintenance and upkeep of our common areas, but previously didn’t qualify for Class A membership.  With the new bylaws, now is a prime opportunity to sign up as a Civic member and be able to contribute to the upkeep of our common areas.  The new bylaws only allow for homeowners to sign up as Civic members for the first two years after the new bylaws go into effect.

The next step in the process is for the Board to officially approve the recording of the Declaration, send the Declaration and attached signature pages to the attorneys for review, and then have the documents recorded at the Cobb County courthouse.  This process will likely take about three weeks and will begin around the first of March.  Then, the new Bylaws will take effect on April 1, 2014.  Therefore, all of those homeowners who would like to be included in the original Declaration that will be filed at the courthouse need to have their documents signed and notarized by the end of February 2014.

After April 1, 2014, those that haven’t signed the Declaration run the risk of being subject to a $1,000 initiation fee if they wish to join the HOA.  Additionally, future buyers of non-member homes are subject to the initiation fee (if the buyer wishes to join the HOA).  These fees are often negotiated at closing.  Joining now as either a Civic or Recreational member eliminates any concern about initiation fees applying to you.  So now is the time to take action, support the neighborhood, and join seventy-nine of your neighbors in our new membership model.

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