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Subject: HOA Board or ARC duties
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Author Messages
JimH29
(Florida)

Posts:23


12/22/2017 10:59 AM  
Our HOA at its last meeting was informed of a roaming cat issue. Th board referred this issue to the architectural Committee for Action.

The ARC sent a letter to the resident that owns the cats. The body of the letter simply stated the Article of our governing documents "no animal, livestock, or poultry of any kind shall be raised, bred, or kept on any lot or on the Common Areas. However, dogs, cats and other indoor household pets may be kept on the lots subject to such rules and regulations as may be adopted by the Association, so long as they are not kept, bred, or maintained for commercial purposes or housed outdoors".

The letter ended with the following statement: "The neighborhood appreciates your compliance with regard to your cats".

The closing of the letter was simply "Thank you, the Architectural Committee".

In another action item of the Architectural Board the same evening, the board chairman was noted as saying in regards to an unsightly mold/mildew home that "I will personally contact the homeowner to discuss this issue".

My questions are as follow:

1) What board should have dealt with this issue?

2) Why wasn't the owner spoken to directly first, as others with issues within the community were given that opportunity?

It should be noted that we are in Florida. There is a HOA board of 5 elected members. Three of these elected members also sit on the Architectural Committee.

Are there any legal issues with this set up.?

There is so much more..Elections are coming up and a few of us are hoping we can right this ship.

Comments are greatly appreciated!

JimH29
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5388


12/22/2017 11:39 AM  
Welcome to the Forum, Jim. Are you on the Board? what size is you HOA? Detached homes, or?

There have been many posts here about ARCs. But I never have seen one where it's the ARC that would deal with cats that aren't kept inside. What does the ARC's charter say about its duties? That usually would fall to the Board. Or, in FL, there might be a different committee that deals with non-ARC violations.

I have never heard of an "Architectural Board" either. There is only one board. Committees report to the Board and are supervised by it. Is the ARC comprised only of the three directors? Do your governing documents require an ARC? (Our CC&Rs do)

Re: the mold/mildew issue. Is it correct to say that you think the president meeting in person with the owner is unfair given the cat owner got a letter? Or I guess you're saying the ARC should deal with the mold/mildew violation? Is mold/mildew a violation in your documents? Or Would it fall under some other category?

Anyway, it doesn't seem like an ARC issue to me, but others may have a different view.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7477


12/22/2017 1:35 PM  
Roaming cats are an Animal Control issue not HOA or ARC. Have no idea why the ARC would be involved unless there is cat cage type issues. Example: We have a city that cats are not allowed outside unless leashed or caged. Those cages may cause a type of "eye sore" issue the ARC may need to address. Like you don't want a huge "Chicken wire" mess of a cage prominent outside. It may need to be something a bit more appropriate.

Otherwise, it's all animal control as far as I can see.

Former HOA President
JimH29
(Florida)

Posts:23


12/22/2017 1:40 PM  
Sorry, there is a HOA board and an architectural review committee appointed
by the HOA board....who appointed three
members of the HOA board to the ARC committee.
JimH29
(Florida)

Posts:23


12/22/2017 1:57 PM  
ARC guidelines strictly detail any changes to the outside of homes. One board member believes that because of the wording
"have the right and power to promulgate, publish and enforce rules and regulations and guidelines...". The board member has conveniently excluded what follows in this sentence: "(including with respect to landscape materials, construction standards and colors and materials)."


















KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5388


12/22/2017 2:16 PM  
The Board member is wrong in his interpretation and the rest of the Board should vote on clarifying it. No single director or officer can make that definitional decision.

Meantime, and again, Jim: Are you on the Board? Are the 3 directors the only members of the ARC? Is your HOA detached homes? Is it a violation of your governing docs to have mold/mildew on the homes or condos?

Melissa, in HOAs like mine and perhaps like Jim's since their are rules against pets that aren't controlled by the Owners, it certainly is a matter for the HOA. We may fine Owners for violation of that rule. Calling animal control would be good too, but fines probably are more effective.

Jim's docs seem to say they permit only inside pets,s o I don't see how animal control could be involved???
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7594


12/22/2017 2:41 PM  
An ARC is not responsible for issues outside Architectural Control Issues. They are not responsible for parking, pets, late dues, etc. etc.

Sounds like some BOD's have to grow a "set" versus pass things off.

TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:15823


12/22/2017 2:52 PM  
It is going to depend on the wording of your governing documents regarding the ARC and your Associations enforcement policy.
ArtL1
(Florida)

Posts:94


12/22/2017 4:06 PM  
Posted By JimH29 on 12/22/2017 10:59 AM

It should be noted that we are in Florida. There is a HOA board of 5 elected members. Three of these elected members also sit on the Architectural Committee.

Are there any legal issues with this set up.?





Quite possibly. With a 5 member board, assuming 3 is quorum, is your board aware that 3 of the members of the board meeting to conduct HOA business turns every such meeting into an HOA board meeting? i.e. are the ACB meetings properly noticed (as is required for board meetings), open to the members, with minutes kept?

See FS 720.303(2)(a)
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5388


12/22/2017 4:35 PM  
Good point, Art. The law is the same in CA.

Maybe this cite from the OP clarifies things: "In another action item of the Architectural Board the same evening, the board chairman was noted as saying in regards to an unsightly mold/mildew home that 'I will personally contact the homeowner to discuss this issue.'"

This makes it sound like the ARC & the Board meet simultaneously or maybe back to back? Is that correct JimH? If so, and IF the meeting adheres to any other FL statutes re: possible notice requirements, etc., perhaps it's OK.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5388


12/22/2017 4:36 PM  
Good point, Art. The law is the same in CA.

Maybe this cite from the OP clarifies things: "In another action item of the Architectural Board the same evening, the board chairman was noted as saying in regards to an unsightly mold/mildew home that 'I will personally contact the homeowner to discuss this issue.'"

This makes it sound like the ARC & the Board meet simultaneously or maybe back to back? Is that correct JimH? If so, and IF the meeting adheres to any other FL statutes re: possible notice requirements, etc., perhaps it's OK.
JimH29
(Florida)

Posts:23


12/22/2017 5:18 PM  
There was a HOA Board meeting where the issue of the cats were brought up. It was decided to have the Architectural Review Committee address it at their meeting.

The Architectural review meeting was held a few days later. This meeting was never posted as to date and time.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5388


12/22/2017 5:25 PM  
Then it sounds like, JimH, that the ARC, which comprises a quorum of the Board, is not proceeding legally. Art cited 720 and I know there's also a 718 in FL, but since you won't say if you're a condo HOA or a detached home one, He can't know if 720 applies to your HOA.

Is there a reason you're not replying to my questions, JimH?
JimH29
(Florida)

Posts:23


12/22/2017 5:30 PM  
My apologies...this is a 56 single family development.
JimH29
(Florida)

Posts:23


12/22/2017 5:42 PM  
At present I am only the lawn committee. I was an HOA president in another 50 single family development and an active participant in a 566 single family development run by an management company.

I plan on running for the board in January and have been asking a lot of questions.

The covenants state that the owner is responsible for maintaining their homes in good condition. Ironically there are other homes that need some love and attention and they are overlooked by the current board.

BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:521


12/22/2017 9:50 PM  
The duties of the ARC depends on your governing documents. While HOA boards generally have similar responsibilities, your governing documents may also give them duties that are unique to your HOA. Someone commented that ARCs are only responsible architectural issues, which may be true for some HOAs, but our ARC is responsible for approving building plans and the enforcement of all deed restrictions, including such things as barking dogs. Unfortunately, many people assume all HOAs have the same rules.

Whatever your governing documents say, there should be a written policy of how violations are handled. Sending a violation letter for one incident and the president calling informally on another hints of being arbitrary. That being said, I don't think it is unusual for HOAs to handle things informally, especially HOAs that are not very restrictive and there are not a lot of violations.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2228


12/24/2017 2:06 PM  
My HOA's Declaration (CC&Rs) speaks of an "Architectural Control Board" and puts it at the top of everything having to do with architecture and landscaping. We have a lot of common property. What's more, our Articles of Incorporation contain the HOA's indemnification clause which indemnifies directors, officers, employees, agents and "members of the Architectural Control Board". Rather than fix that language - most HOAs indemnify committee members generically - we have structured most of our committees so that they are all, technically, under the ACB. It gets to be very clumsy.

What usually happens when there's a controversy is that the board, as a whole, doesn't want to make a tough decision so they will kick it down to the committees. Then the architecture committee proper will pass the buck to the landscape committee which contends it's not a landscape issue and try to pass it back to architecture. It's a perfect recipe for inaction.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5388


12/24/2017 3:38 PM  
I agree an ARC's duties might be specified in the governing docs; ours are. But they are liberated on in the ARC's charter.

Do any of your HOA's committees, Jim, have charters? IMO, they're really helpful in defining the duties of the committees to keep them from either overstepping, or sidestepping. Our Building Committee, for instance, in our high rise condo HAOA, makes recs to the Board about our common areas, except for landscaping. This is specified in the BC charter. (Our LC is very turf phobic)

Something like charters might help in your HOA, Geno. In addition, don't FL corporations codes put all committees under the authority of the board of directors (like CA)??
JimH29
(Florida)

Posts:23


12/26/2017 10:50 AM  
Committees do not have an 'official' charter but rather a list of responsibilities and duties.

The purpose pf recently appointing two new BOD's to the AR committee was due to the fact no minutes were being kept and decisions were being made by the committee that the board disagreed with. By the way there are at least two other members of the community that had volunteered to join the AR committee prior to the HOA board appointing two members of its own board to membership along with the President of the HOA board who was already a member of the ARC.

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