Virginia City Highlands Property Owners’ Association

Minutes - Monthly Meeting – Tuesday October 14, 2008

Virginia City Highlands Fire Station Training Room

Present:  Biederman, Morrow, Robbins, Tallent-Stewart, Lumos

Absent: None

I.       Call To Order, Declaration of a Quorum and Approval of Meeting Agenda

President Biederman called the meeting to order at 7:10 pm and declared a quorum present.

II.     Approve Minutes of the September 9, 2008 Meeting

A motion by Morrow, seconded by Tallent-Stewart, to approve the minutes of the Sept. 9, 2008 meeting as submitted was approved unanimously.

III.    Financial Statements  

A.     Review Financial Statements

Treasurer Tallent-Stewart reviewed the financial statements.  The balance on hand as of September 30 was $60,058 in the operating accounts and $67,077 in the reserve account.  Accounts receivable were $8,140.   Anticipated expenses for October were $8.670. 

Bank balances as of the meeting date are $7.842 in checking, $46,115 in the operating savings account, and $67,077 in the reserve account.

A motion by Robbins, seconded by Morrow, to accept the financial statements as submitted was approved unanimously.

IV.   Comments by Association Members (NRS 116.3108(3))

Cecelia Lak commented that motorcycle riders were riding on Cartwright and Sazarac, both private roads, at all hours of the day and night during the Street Vibrations/Thunder on the Comstock weekend.  She suggested that in the future the annual road closure might be done during that weekend.  This will be considered before next year’s event.  One concern would be the availability of police support at that time since all available personnel would already be deployed.

A couple who own vacant property in the Highlands stated that they had received a notice from the board’s attorney that they are delinquent in their dues and special assessments.  They claim that they had never received any dues notices.  The board is in possession of the certified mail to their correct address which was returned unclaimed by the post office.  It indicated that three delivery attempts had been unclaimed.  Since there was no response from the owner and the account was several months overdue it was sent for collection. 

Patrick Flanagan insisted that the board’s procedures are not correct or there would not be a problem.  Biederman stated that two complaints out of over 1100 lots is not a large percentage.  The procedure is lengthy and involves three dues notices by regular mail and a certified letter to the address of record.  In this case, when the first certified letter came back a check of the Assessor’s Records showed a new address.  A certified letter was then sent to the new address and was returned unclaimed.

It was explained that we cannot forgive the attorney’s fees for one owner unless they are forgiven for all who went to collection.  The fees would then have to be paid by the association which would be an unfair levy for all those who pay their accounts on time.  It was again reiterated that this problem only exists for two of 1160+ lots.  There is ample evidence that the proper procedure was followed by the board.  Once the accounts are turned over for collection the board must let the attorney handle all transactions and communication.

It was noted that prior to instituting the current collection process the association had over $40,000 in uncollected dues on its books.


V.      Committee Reports

A.     Architectural Committee  

Rita Lumos reported on the Architectural Committee meeting.  Only one application, for a detached garage, was submitted and approved.

B.     Road Report  

There will be a road committee meeting Thursday, Oct. 16, at 7:00 pm at the fire station.

Bob Moore reported on the placement of the speed limit signs.  Maintenance on equipment was performed as well as ditch work on all gravel roads. 

Ray McPartlin asked if the cost for the placement of the Mag. Chloride is known.  It is just under $5000 per mile.  Steve Morrow explained that if the application is for road compaction it needs to be done approximately 3 times per year.  If the application is for dust control it must be done more often.

1.     Request for Another Magnesium Chloride Application  

The board received a request from an owner on Empire Road for another application of the Mag. Chloride to the roads.  This person suffers from emphysema and stated that the application during the summer greatly helped the condition.  Andy stated that he would like to defer action on this item until after the road committee meets later in the week and discusses alternatives.  No consideration of another application is pending at this time.

VI.   Unfinished Business

A.     Reserve Study – Choose Consultant  

The board considered two proposals from reserve study specialists registered by the State of Nevada.  One from Resoursce1 Building Consultants was for $2,995.  The other, from Complex Solutions, Ltd., offered three alternatives depending on the turnaround time ranging in price from $1,350 to $2,275.   

A motion by Robbins, seconded by Tallent-Stewart, to hire Complex Solutions, Ltd. at the lowest cost was approved unanimously.

VII. New Business

A.     Manufactured Home Application

Olivia Fiamengo stated that she has been researching manufactured housing.  She believes that the quality of manufactured homes has improved considerably over the past few years.  She stated that her understanding of Nevada law is that manufactured homes cannot be discriminated against unless the governing documents for an association specifically prohibit them.  The VCHPOA Architectural Guidelines specifically require that residences be constructed on site.  The Declaration is not specific on this issue.

Jed Margolin pointed out that there are various qualities of homes in both ‘stick built’ and manufactured homes.  He believes that the style is the most important issue.

Ms. Fiamengo stated that the home can be manufactured to meet the roof pitch requirements of the building code.

President Biederman asked if there is any reason anyone in the audience or board has to  disapprove the application other than the restrictions of the Architectural Guidelines.  Keith suggested that the Architectural Committee should consider revisions to the Guidelines to address this issue.  It should state that the home must be placed on a solid foundation and could not be moved.  Another owner stated that the rules should require that the home be classified as real property, and not personal property, as a mobile home would be classified.

Ms. Fiamengo said that the garage would be built on site.  A separate contractor would build that and do the foundation. 

Leslie Biederman stated that some manufactured homes are very nice and some are very cheap.  As an owner of several homes in the area she is afraid to set a precedent allowing manufactured homes in the subdivision.

There is concern that property values would be lessened in the area   Andy stated that he would like more research done on this subject before action is taken.  Ms. Fiamengo stated that she has time to let that process be completed.  She has a lot of research on various manufacturers.  She has not looked into financing to determine whether it would qualify for a conventional loan.

Action was deferred until the next meeting.

B.     Automobile Insurance Renewal  

There are three proposals from various insurers.  A renewal of the current policy through the Lucini Parrish agency would cost $8,060.   Proposals for the same coverage had been received from Allstate at a cost of $6,822 and from Farmers Insurance at a cost of $4,339.

A motion by Morrow, seconded by Tallent-Stewart, to contract with the Tim Ghan Agency and Farmers Insurance was approved unanimously.

C.    Report on Ombudsman’s Seminar (Robbins)

Ray Robbins reported on a seminar he attended given by Sara Berry, who has been involved in this business for many years and regularly provides seminars for board members and property managers.

The seminar lasted about 1 ½ hours and features some interesting examples of issues that boards of common interest communities encounter.  Many handouts were supplied to those attending.

Ray commented that he was the only one there whose association does not have a professional manager.  Associations are dealing with more foreclosures than ever before.  Some of the issues discussed were the tone of courtesy letters to property owners, hearings for violations of the governing documents, a possible welcoming group for new owners, regular review of insurance policies, the need to carry workers’ compensation insurance for employees and verify that contractors are fully covered, and to have a regular risk and reserve audit.  He said that it was stressed that the boards’ actions affect all owners’ property values and that care should be taken to not use negative language.  It is important to either enforce the governing documents or to change them to take out any language that should not be enforced.  Associations should not let their articles of incorporation lapse and they should choose an attorney experienced in property owners’ associations. 

Ray was pleased to find that our association procedures comply with the measures discussed.  He recommends that other board members attend these seminars when offered.  There was no cost for the one he attended.

VIII.          Any Other Matters which the Board Members Wish to Discuss

No board member had any further business.

IX.   Executive Session to discuss possible violations of CC&R’s  

The general meeting was closed and the board went into executive session.

It was noted that two separate owners who had previously had complaints filed against them had not complied with the remediation agreed to by the owners and the board.  The president will send them another notification by certified mail that the matters must be addressed.

X.     Adjourn

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:00 pm.

Respectfully Submitted,

Rita Lumos, Secretary