Park River Oak Estates Homeowner's Association

Meeting Minutes

Park River Oak Estates Board of Directors Meeting -- 10 February 2020

Present: Marguerite Elia (President), Jack Schroeder (Secretary) , Ron Colton (Vice president), Brent Cho (Treasurer), Reggie Schubert (Adams Stirling attorney)

Q & A with Reggie Schubert from Adam Stirling LLC

Solar Panels:

Q: May homeowners put solar panels on their roofs?

A: The BoD must adopt a policy on solar panels.  The HOA cannot prohibit installation of solar panels as of 2020, but must require that a licensed contractor perform all roof work related to solar panels (including every repair) and multiple other professional conditions must also be met.  There must be enough space for all units in a block to have panels.  Currently, it does not appear that there is enough space on our narrow roofs for the required quantity and size of solar panels, without impeding on neighbors.  The full burden of installation, maintenance and all related and even secondary repairs (present and future) to themselves and to their neighbors are the burden of the private homeowner, not the HOA.  A legally binding and signed contract will be signed by the homeowner.

Q: How can the HOA protect itself against costs of solar panels?

A: A contract should be recorded on title requiring homeowners with solar panels to pay for the panels and requiring the homeowner and all subsequent homeowners to fully and regularly maintain panels and make all repairs to their roofs and to their neighbors (where impacted), according to HOA high commercial standards.  This must be signed as a legally binding contract. 

Q: How can the HOA protect itself when a homeowner’s solar panel causes damage to a neighbor’s home? 

A: Specific additional private homeowner’s insurance would be required of any homeowner who installs solar panels.  A policy could require owners of solar panels to fully reimburse the HOA for solar panel maintenance if the homeowners fail to maintain them adequately, and pay for all damages or leaks and repairs caused to their neighbors.   We have 64 homes with serious roof construction defects, the HOA would no longer have any obligation to repair those roof leaks once solar panels replaced a bulk of the roof space.  Once the solar panels are on, the homeowner must pay for all aspects of the consequences of solar panels, including general roof repairs.   There are many areas where huge state-protected trees block the rays of the sun for most of the day and it would be ill-advised to proceed with solar panels because they would fail to work. 

Decision: A solar panel policy will be created.

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Decision: A policy requiring a licensed contractor to install and maintain garage charging stations will be written.   Fire codes must be met.  Required periodic inspections of charging stations inside the private residences must be met and provided to the HOA, in writing.   There will be no outdoor public vehicle charging stations.

Anti-harassment policy

Under federal and state law, if HOA becomes aware of neighbor harassment of federally-protected groups there must be a process in place to resolve the dispute.  Reference to a mediator could be included in a policy.   The HOA does not have to pay for that mediation. 

Decision: An anti-harassment policy will be drafted.

Communication Policy

A designated process should exist to send communications to the Board of Directors.  It will require that all requests, concerns, and complaints be presented to the Board in writing by mailed letter, and then responded to in writing.   There are limits to the demands of homeowners to ensure reasonableness, and to ensure the absence of harassment of management.  Not all demands are legal, or appropriate to this type of community.  Some issues will be handled by our attorneys.  These procedures will be published on our website and must be followed.

Decision: A communication policy will be drafted.

Accessory Dwelling Units

ADUs cannot be prohibited by the HOA, but they must comply with zoning laws, comply with ALL construction codes and inspections, and have proper permits.  ADUs must have separate doors and separate kitchens as defined by the state codes, not by their personal opinions.

Decision: An ADU policy will be drafted.  HOA will make the most restrictive rules possible under the law.

Disability Request Policy

Technically the HOA does not have to be ADA compliant because it is private property.  HOA must reasonably accommodate somebody with a service animal.  But the service animal’s documentation must be provided to the HOA, in writing from the medical or professional agencies to be held in our files, first before receiving accommodations.  

Decision: A disability request policy will be drafted.

New Election Rules

This extends the election process to about 105 days.  There is a pre-nomination notice requirement. A notice of the ballot mailing is added, and finally a later actual ballot mailing.  Voting rights can no longer be suspended due to lack of payment of fees.   Inspectors of the Election must be independent.  Inspectors must mail the ballots and must be covered under the Directors and Officers insurance that protects them from being sued.   It can be one or three individuals.  They cannot be paid except for actual expenses, such as stamps.  Ballots must still be saved for one year.

Decision: Election rules will be amended to conform to new law.

Bylaws

Decision: HOA will wait to formally amend the bylaws until the new laws become more permanent.

Conclusion

Adams Stirling law firm will create or revise policies on solar panels, electric vehicle charging stations, anti-harassment policy, communication policy, accessory dwelling units policy, disability request policy, and election rules in 2020.

Respectfully submitted by Jack Schroeder, Secretary