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Traditions of America at Sewickley Ridge Homeowners Advocacy Website

Traditions of America at Sewickley Ridge Homeowners Advocacy Website

Traditions of America at Sewickley Ridge Homeowners Advocacy Website Traditions of America at Sewickley Ridge Homeowners Advocacy Website Traditions of America at Sewickley Ridge Homeowners Advocacy Website

DISCLAIMER

THIS WEBSITE IS IN NO WAY AFFILIATED WITH TRADITIONS OF AMERICA AT SEWICKLEY RIDGE HOMEOWNER’S ASSOCIATION, TRADITIONS OF AMERICA AT SUMMER SEAT OR TRADITIONS OF AMERICA, L.P. AND/OR ITS AFFILIATE OR SUBSIDIARIES AND IS MERELY INFORMATIVE AND THE OPINIONS OF THE AUTHORS OF THIS WEBSITE.  

(Complete disclaimer is located at the bottom of this page.)

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Just postpone the election.

Why force a HOA Board election during a pandemic?

Tuesday, April 21, 2020  - Meeting canceled.  No info on rescheduling.

The election should be postponed.

Before voting, homeowners should have the opportunity to meet and question candidates.

What about nomination from the floor?  (It was so important and honest last year.) 🙄😏

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Homeowners are obligated to pay for services never performed

We have overpaid $82,718 for snow removal since 2017.

$82,718 for nothing -- no services performed but we still had to pay. 


We overpaid for services that were never performed. 


Nov., Dec. 2019 and Jan., Feb., March 2020:  $97,700 for 30 occurrences; Board claims there were 17 occurrences.


HOA signed a 2-year contract, we'll be overpaying again next winter.

Snow removal company claims 16.9 snow "occurrences"

As of February 14, 2020 snow removal company reports nearly 17 full occurrences of service.

As of February 14, 2020 snow removal company reports nearly 17 full occurrences of service.

As of February 14, 2020 snow removal company reports nearly 17 full occurrences of service.

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We call B.S. on 16.9 occurrences.  We suspect the number is exaggerated to justify the 30 occurrences the contract requires and the $97,700 we are paying for this winter (2019-2020).


Example: January 2020 Snow Stats

As of February 14, 2020 snow removal company reports nearly 17 full occurrences of service.

As of February 14, 2020 snow removal company reports nearly 17 full occurrences of service.

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February and March 2020

As of February 14, 2020 snow removal company reports nearly 17 full occurrences of service.

February and March 2020

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 After February 14, 2020:

February 26, 2020  0.2 inches

February 27, 2020  1.1 inches (no accumulation)

February 2020 HOA payment for snow removal = $19,540


March 2020:

March 14, 2020  0.3 inches of snow

March 15, 2020  0.6 inches snow

March 2020 HOA payment for snow removal=$19,540


 It's your money...you can decide if it is being spent wisely.


*Weather data provided by Accuweather,   https://www.accuweather.com/ 


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Several federal actions addressing COVID-19 are directly affecting community associations. Click on the link below for more information.

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Declaration Article 6.1 (h)(ii), page 10

,,, all such Storm Water Management System shall be kept in good working order and repair at all times.  The Association is perpetually responsible for maintenance of the Storm Water Management System. This obligation shall run with the Property and be binding on the Association."


  Fahringer, McCarty, Grey Inc.

Recommendation Plan, January 2018

"Wet ponds, also called retention basins, are stormwater basins that include a substantial permanent

pool for water quality treatment...Wet ponds must be maintained...any problems must be corrected as

soon as possible."


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"The costs of getting ponds back to working order are usually much greater than staying ahead of any potential problems with regular, preventive maintenance." 

https://www.epa.gov/


"Failure to correct minor problems may lead to larger and more expensive repairs or even to pond failure."

 Source:  Storm Water Technology Fact Sheet Wet Detention Ponds

https://nepis.epa.gov


 "Failure to properly address concerns can result in heavy fines from the local permitted community or the US EPA." 

https://www.clemson.edu/extension/water/stormwater-ponds/resources/final_binder_pond_maintenance.pdf



12 MONTHS --The longer the delay, the more it will cost...

JANUARY - APRIL 2020

JANUARY - APRIL 2020

JANUARY - APRIL 2020

Retention pond still not repaired and not functioning.

DECEMBER 2019

JANUARY - APRIL 2020

JANUARY - APRIL 2020

No action.

Retention pond still not repaired and not functioning.

NOVEMBER 2019

JANUARY - APRIL 2020

SEPTEMBER 2019

No action taken, pond not functioning.  

When asked about the retention pond at the Budget meeting the Board announced it will be waiting to "look at the problem with the new management company."

Source:  November 9, 2019 Budget Meeting

SEPTEMBER 2019

SEPTEMBER 2019

SEPTEMBER 2019

September 13, 2019:  Grounds & Safety Committee meeting minutes--  

"The crack in the small pond ended up being 20 feet long ... it appears that the crack may be extended beyond what was capped, so the pond is still leaking water."

JUNE 2019

SEPTEMBER 2019

APRIL 2019

Vendor contract indicates a "documented  8' X 8' sinkhole."  HOA paid $4,850.  

Source:  Vendor contract, June, 2019:  "Excavation of 8' X 8' documented sinkhole."

APRIL 2019

SEPTEMBER 2019

APRIL 2019

Retention pond stops functioning; we have a large, dry hole at our main entrance.

Why does the Board fear transparency (and accountability)?

Residents request information presented at Board meeting, 2/29/2020.

Residents request information presented at Board meeting, 2/29/2020.

Residents request information presented at Board meeting, 2/29/2020.

Resident Request 1: "I am out of town and was not able to attend the meeting I understand that there was a power point presentation on the asset management efforts Would you kindly send me the slides so I can review the information that I missed." 


Resident Request 2:  "When will the Asset Management PowerPoint presentation that [Board member] delivered at today's Board meeting be available on the HOA website?  Which website heading will it be under?"


Resident Request 3:   "If you're not posting it on the HOA website then can you simply send me a copy of the PowerPoint presentation?  If not, please provide a valid reason.

I'm sure the Board wouldn't have a problem with the presentation being reviewed and scrutinized for accuracy.

Thank you."


Board Response to Resident Requests for Information

Residents request information presented at Board meeting, 2/29/2020.

Residents request information presented at Board meeting, 2/29/2020.

"The PowerPoint Presentation by [Board member] was for discussion purposes only.  We are not required to nor plan on releasing the document."


-then the Board comes up with a second (CYA) response-


"[Board member's] asset management discussion will be summarized in the minutes of the February 29 Executive Board meeting.  After official Board approval of the minutes, they will be posted on the HOA's website for all unit owners to review.  Unit owners are more than welcome to reach out to any member of the Board should they have comments and/or concerns regarding the published minutes."

Advocacy Response to the Board

Residents request information presented at Board meeting, 2/29/2020.

Advocacy Response to the Board

"Please help me understand how the Board procedure you described demonstrates the following: 

1. Accountability  The Asset Management presentation by [Board member] contained numerous errors and misdirection that should be openly addressed with all homeowners, not just those attending the meeting.  

2. Transparency  Concealing the complete contents of the presentation from any resident is inappropriate and unacceptable Board behavior.  The concealment creates suspicion.  Why would the Board wish to prevent residents, who could not attend the meeting, the opportunity to review the information presented?

Concealing information from homeowners is never a good practice.  

A sanitized summary in the meeting minutes, approved only by Board members and unavailable for months, is disingenuous.  The Board should do better."

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March 2020: All Property Reports removed from HOA website

No more property reports = no transparency

Less information for homeowners.  Why?

Homeowner Requests

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Please make preventive maintenance and inspections a priority.

Communities don’t age gracefully without a little help. Letting preventive maintenance slide year after year takes a toll on appearance, the function of common assets, and the overall value for homeowners. In addition, it sets the association up for larger repair bills in the future.


At the very least, we should have a written preventive maintenance plan identifying all common elements; a maintenance schedule for servicing those common elements; and a maintenance budget for those common elements.

We need an accurate and up-to-date reserve study.

The reserve study ensures that the HOA is budgeting enough money for long-term capital improvements, major repairs and costly replacements. This is done by conducting a condition assessment of equipment and components to determine the remaining life expectancy. However, this determination assumes that our association is following the recommended preventive maintenance schedule. If the maintenance schedule is not followed, the reserve study will quickly become a misleading document that results in a special assessment to fund replacements.


Errors and omissions in the current reserve study also lead to an inaccurate replacement reserves fund.


Reference:  Sewickley Ridge Replacement Reserve Report Analysis - Findings and Recommendations July 2019 (available on the Sewickley Ridge HOA website) 

Preventive maintenance is better than reactive maintenance.

Regular maintenance can extend the life of many common assets in our community.  Research shows that preventive maintenance is more cost-effective than replacement and/or repair costs.  Developing a comprehensive preventive maintenance plan can help get the most from our HOA budget.

Reference: https://www.echo-ca.org/article/how-optimize-your-hoas-maintenance-plan-save-money

We still do not have a comprehensive, proactive, preventive maintenance plan for the community.

  We have been asking for the development of a maintenance plan for three (3) years. Not conducting regular inspections of common and limited elements, including roofs and siding, is a violation of the Declaration.* The HOA is responsible for [preventive] maintenance of roofs and siding.**


*Source:  Declaration - Article 3.3 (e),  page 6

**Source:  Declaration - Article 3.3 (c), page 6

**Source:  Declaration - Definitions, page 4


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Inspections & Preventive Maintenance? 3+ Years of Neglect

STRATEGIZE ALL YOU WANT, YOU WILL NEVER SEE ANY RESULTS UNLESS YOU ACTUALLY START DOING THINGS.


(March 2019) Board Response to Residents' Requests for Inspection and Maintenance Records and Reports:

"The Board has appointment (sic) an Asset Management Project Team (AMPT) who currently is working to develop a strategy and process for inspection of the areas of individual units for which the HOA has maintenance responsibilities.  Once this strategy and process is finalized and approved by the Board, an implementation plan which will include the time frame, the companies and/or individuals performing the services and the costs of the inspection services will be shared with all residents." 


"ASSET MANAGEMENT PROJECT TEAM" -- ELEVEN (11)  MONTHS AND STILL STUCK IN "ANALYSIS PARALYSIS."

The "Project Team" was appointed 3/26/2019.  August 20, 2019 and the "Team" posts three new documents on the HOA website. We have lots of documentation and impressive busy work -- but still no actual inspections or preventive maintenance performed. 


Spreadsheets are nice.  How about actually doing something? 


Wouldn't time and effort have been better spent on actual constructive, tangible activities and improvements?  Like maybe, having roofs and siding inspected?  Or start performing proactive, preventive, and restorative maintenance?


The HOA Board can (and should) be held accountable by HOA members for failure to conduct preventive maintenance or repairs.  Planning to act in a reactionary way, instead of a proactive way, is risky and irresponsible


(August 25, 2019)  Here's a suggestion for the "Asset Management Project Team":

  

Establish a Preventive Maintenance Schedule 

Once you’ve determined which items are reserve components, it’s time to establish a preventive maintenance schedule. Associations should always establish a preventive maintenance schedule. 


If associations do not maintain the components on the reserve schedule, they will not attain their full useful life. Consequently, the components will need to be replaced earlier and the replacement cost will need to be collected over a shorter period of time. This could result in possible special assessments.




Learn More:

The Board is unable to provide any reports and documentation on proper inspections and proactive, preventive maintenance of our units' roofs and siding performed in the last three years.  Which leads us to believe such activity was never initiated or completed.


The Board is required by Article 3.3 in the Declaration to conduct timely inspections and preventive maintenance for each unit's roof and siding.  There may be a fiduciary breach of the "duty of care" if there is neglect in the enforcement of governing documents and/or neglecting to maintain the HOA property.


Thousands of dollars have already been spent repairing roofs and siding.  These roofing problems could have been addressed and evaluated as Construction Defect-Related Transition Issues. A professional transition inspection would have assessed whether any construction defects existed through poor workmanship or defective materials. 

  

Based on the above facts there could be a breach of fiduciary duty due to the failure of the association to sue the developer, declarant or general contractor for construction defects where the unit roofs and siding were improperly constructed.

HOA Board - Breach of Fiduciary Duty

Non-Compliance: Boards have a duty to enforce their governing documents. THE BOARD IS IN VIOLATION OF FIVE (5) REQUIREMENTS IN THE DECLARATION. While the Board is busy pursuing minor violations of the Rules & Regulations against homeowners, the Board fails to adhere to the requirements of our most important and binding community document, the Declaration.

Fiduciary Duty to Act

Fiduciary Duty of Care

This requires the Board to perform the duties it is obligated to carry out.

HOA Board members must obey applicable laws and their Governing Documents.

A breach of fiduciary duty involves a willful violation of the duty imposed by law. 


No inspections, no proactive or restorative maintenance performed, no inspection reports, no insurance notices sent to homeowners, and a failure to act to repair a storm water retention pond (that has not functioned for over 10 months).

Why are homeowners fined for not "following the rules?"  While the list of Board violations keeps getting longer...

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**Declaration: ARTICLE 3.3 MAINTENANCE RESPONSIBILITIES

"(a) Except as expressly otherwise provided herein, the Association shall be responsible for Maintenance of the Common Elements and the costs of such Maintenance shall be borne by all Unit Owners.   

(c) The roofs and exterior walls of Homes shall be Maintained by the Association.

(e) the Association shall, through a qualified independent contractor, inspect all Common Elements and Limited Common Elements on a regular basis as reasonably necessary, for the purpose of determining the condition of the Common Elements and Limited Common Elements and need for Maintenance work. 

 Reasonably detailed written reports of such inspections shall be prepared by the independent contractor and submitted to the Association, and copies shall be made available to all Unit Owners." 

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**Declaration: ARTICLE 15 INSURANCE 15.1 General Provisions.

"The Board shall promptly furnish to each Unit Owner written notice of the procurement of, subsequent changes in, or termination of, insurance coverages obtained on behalf of the Association, in compliance with the Act."


Note:  No written notices were sent to homeowners for three years, 2017, 2018, and 2019.

Declaration Article 6.1 (h)(ii)

 "... all such Storm Water Management System shall be kept in good working order and repair at all times.  The Association is perpetually responsible for maintenance of the Storm Water Management System. This obligation shall run with the Property and be binding on the Association."  

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