Ocean Pines Board members on Wednesday night entertained amendment changes related to enforcement of architectural guidelines and a creation of a new capital reserve.
Directors, after some debate, sent the former to an advisory committee for further review, while the latter received a successful first reading.
During the “new business” portion of the meeting, Board members had a lengthy discussion on first readings for revisions of four resolutions: M-01 (compliance procedures), M-10 (policy and compliance procedures for declarations and restrictions and ARC guidelines), C-02 (the Architectural Review Committee) and M-04 (maintenance of lots).
According to Director Frank Daly, addressing the M-01 revisions, “The purpose of this motion is to replace the policy and procedures in Resolution M–01 with a new motion, Resolution M-10, that creates timely and effective policies and procedures to address violations of the Ocean Pines Declarations of Restrictions and Architectural Guidelines.”
Daly recommended revising the resolutions, followed by placing before the Board “a Resolution to authorize counsel to develop the question and instruments required for the Association to recoup the legal fee costs to force compliance to our Declarations of Restrictions.”
Association President Doug Parks suggested Board members seek input from the Bylaws and Resolutions Committee, while Director Larry Perrone added it would helpful if the committee could consolidate the resolutions.
“It’s probably a lot easier to do it that way,” he said.
Board members voted 7-0, separately on each item, to refer the resolutions to the committee for further review.
In a related move, Daly motioned “to authorize [legal] counsel to develop the wording and instruments required for Ocean Pines to obtain legal fees for non-collection matters.”
He said the current Declaration of Restrictions wording does not allow Ocean Pines to recover the cost of a court order to force compliance with architectural guidelines.
Several directors mentioned issues of cost versus a return on the investment to engage the attorney and, potentially, change the Declarations of Restrictions through a referendum or referendums.
“What’s it going to cost us to do this in every section that has to have it done and what’s the reality of us recovering any of those fees anyway?” Perrone asked. “Most of these cases, they’re resolved before we get to that point [of legal action].”
The motion fell 4-3, with Daly, Tom Janasek and Camilla Rogers in favor, and Parks, Perrone, Director Colette Horn and Association Vice President Steve Tuttle against.
New capital reserve
Perrone later introduced a first reading to amend Resolution F-03 (financial reserve accounts), which he said was a revision of a motion about a new capital funding tool presented during a prior Board meeting. He previously withdrew the motion in favor of a review by Bylaws and Resolutions Chairman Jim Trummel.
“Current funding of the new capital requires the Board to budget projects through the operational budget,” Perrone said. “Controlling the increase in the annual assessment has and can continue to cause this and future Boards to attempt to control assessment increases by not making necessary new capital purchases.”
Perrone said a new capital reserve account would “allow for better financial planning and control, without directly impacting the Association’s yearly assessment.”
He added the account would be funded through a “10 percent draw off the replacement reserves” collection, which would only delay the Association’s goal of reaching a 22 percent level of reserves, as compared to the annual budget, by one year.
“In four years, we will be at 22 percent and that percentage [of reserves] will increase as we move forward,” Perrone said.
Parks said he was not in favor of creating a new account “without a plan on what we’re going to do to use it.”
He suggested asking the strategic planning committee for input on the subject, and for them to coordinate with the Budget and Finance Committee and Board. Parks said he hoped a wish list of capital purchases could be created, followed by substantiations through businesses cases and justifications of costs.
“As long as that’s happening, I’ll feel comfortable,” he said.
The Board did not vote on the matter, as it was a first reading.
Also during new business, Board members discussed replacing 13 marquee information signs with two electronic signs, one at the North Gate and one at the South Gate.
Horn said the Communications Advisory Committee recommended replacing the old signs to promote easier maintenance of information. She said four different departments currently share the job of maintaining the signs, and updating them on weekends and holidays, especially in cases of sudden cancellations, can be difficult.
Board members during the discussion raised concerns about cost, light pollution, and potential legal issues with Worcester County. Parks asked that the matter be referred back to Communications Committee in order to answer questions that came up.
One new business item did not come up from consideration. Tuttle would have proposed “To ask for the Worcester County Commissioner’s to delay a vote on Bill 19-3 that relates to short term rentals,” but withdrew the motion because of a meeting held earlier that day with County Commissioners Chip Bertino and Jim Bunting.
“The bill in question is not in final form,” he said. “The language is expected to change before being enacted, and I believe the resulting bill will be more favorably define the issues on occupancy limits and some of the other issues that we’ve been concerned about, so I’d like to withdraw it at this time.”
Parks, during the president’s remarks part of the meeting, said there would be a public hearing on Bill 19-3 on Tuesday, Oct. 15 at 11 a.m., at the County Commissioner’s meeting room in the government center on 1 West Market Street in Snow Hill.
Parks reiterated a meeting with Bertino and Bunting occurred earlier that day, but added the bill still “needs to be fully vetted to the public during that public hearing on the 15th, so I encourage all those who are interested in that topic … if you can make the time to get up there and attend that public hearing, I ask that you do so.”
Also during president’s remarks, Parks said the finance team was busy with the transition to the new Northstar financial systems and that may affect monthly financial reporting, typically required by the 13th business day of each month.
“I just ask for people to give them a little leeway with regard to producing the monthly financial reports,” he said. “They are under a lot of requests for their time that are associated with things that are normally outside of their regular duties, and [those requests] are temporary in nature. Just an FYI to give folks a little bit … [of] leeway … they will definitely get financials out for you, but they might take a little bit longer.”
The Board unanimously approved four advisory committee appointments: Ken Wolfe (chairman, Environment & Natural Assets), Morrell “Moe” Delcher (first term, Strategic Planning), and Bryan Reynolds and George Solyak (first terms, Budget and Finance Committee).
To view a video of the meeting, visit https://youtu.be/_e91rVNzK3k.
Links for specific agenda topics are as follows:
Call to Order – Doug Parks, President
Pledge of Allegiance – All
Approval of Agenda – Board https://youtu.be/_e91rVNzK3k?t=22
Approval of Minutes https://youtu.be/_e91rVNzK3k?t=258
August 14, 2019 – Special Meeting
August 14, 2019 – Organizational Meeting
August 31, 2019 – Regular Meeting
September 10, 2019 – Special Meeting
President’s Remarks – Doug Parks, President https://youtu.be/_e91rVNzK3k?t=337
Announcement of Email Votes/Motions – Colette Horn https://youtu.be/_e91rVNzK3k?t=523
GM Report – John Viola https://youtu.be/_e91rVNzK3k?t=608
Operations Report – Steve Phillips https://youtu.be/_e91rVNzK3k?t=1498
Treasurer’s Report- Larry Perrone https://youtu.be/_e91rVNzK3k?t=1961
Public Comments https://youtu.be/_e91rVNzK3k?t=2387
Capital Purchases Requests- None
CPI Violations https://youtu.be/_e91rVNzK3k?t=3575
34 Bridgewater Rd.
8 Juneway Lane
22 Bird Nest Dr.
42 Bramblewood Dr.
44 Brandywine Dr.
58 Seafarer Lane
Unfinished Business – None
New Business –
MOTION – To Rename the Marlin Room in the Community Center to the Anna Foultz Room – Doug Parks https://youtu.be/_e91rVNzK3k?t=4099
DISCUSSION – Replacement of Marquee Information Signs – Colette Horn https://youtu.be/_e91rVNzK3k?t=4163
MOTION – To Rescind Resolution M-01 – Frank Daly https://youtu.be/_e91rVNzK3k?t=4967
First Reading – To Create Resolution M-10 – Frank Daly
First Reading – Revision of Resolution C-02 – Frank Daly
First Reading – Revision of Resolution M-04- Frank Daly
MOTION – To Authorize Counsel to Develop the Wording and Instruments required for
Ocean Pines to Obtain Legal Fees for Non-Collection Matters – Frank Daly https://youtu.be/_e91rVNzK3k?t=6395
MOTION – First Reading – Revision of Resolution F-03 – Larry Perrone https://youtu.be/_e91rVNzK3k?t=7484
Ken Wolfe – Chair – Environment & Natural Assets
Morrell (Moe) Delcher – lst Term – Strategic Planning
Bryan Reynolds – 1st Term – Budget and Finance Committee
George Solyak – 1st Term – Budget and Finance Committee