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Subject: Responsibility of the Retention Ponds
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Author Messages
JimJ7
(Florida)

Posts:9


04/15/2018 9:53 PM  
I know this subject has been covered before and in reading them no one can agree on who has the responsibility to pay for keeping them up to date. Well the same goes in our development. The problem here lies in our county that all of the ponds are actually on the neighboring property owners deeds. The property lineS go all the way across the pond and onto the bank of the other side. Even though it is technically on the owners properties the retention pond were built solely for the good of the neighborhood and not as a view for its home owners. The retention ponds by law are there as a place to handle the run off rain water from the neighboring streets and to prevent flooding somewhere else. So asking the property owners to maintain it by cutting the grass, controlling the water overflow and to pay for any damage by erosion is the same as saying the HOA can build a neighborhood swimming pool on the back of some of the neigherhoods properties owners, not pay them anything for its use of the land and then tell them that they are responsible for the upkeep of the neighborhood swimming pool that benefits everybody. Retention ponds should have never been a part of the neighboring homes plat and should be fully deeded to the HOA just like the parks and playgrounds are in the neighborhood. I think that technically not only should they not be held liable and in fact should receive a pentence for its use each year like maybe no annual neighborhood annual fees each year. Since our in our neighborhood it is not this way and the HOA feels it is property owners responsibility the story will continue next month.
MarkM31
(Washington)

Posts:381


04/16/2018 4:50 AM  
What exactly is your question?
DouglasK1
(Florida)

Posts:1234


04/16/2018 5:53 AM  
In our community the pond is owned by the association. The CCRs do specify that the adjoining owners are responsible for maintenance of landscaping to the waterline so technically they are supposed to mow about 10 feet of property that isn't theirs. In our county, as far as I know, only gated communities are responsible for their ponds, in non-gated communities they are deeded to the county, just like the roads.

It seems unrealistic to me to expect the homeowners to maintain the pond beyond mowing to the waterline. Major pond work can be expensive, our outfall structure got undermined and fell over, it cost $10k to have to have it redone. We also pay around 800/year for spraying and treatment, are you having anything like that done? If the pond ever needed dredging, that could be 10's of thousands of dollars. Do your CCRs have anything further about pond maintenance? Does your association otherwise own the infrastructure (roads, etc.) or does the county?

I think waiving dues for those owners would likely not be possible, the CCRs define how dues are allocated and the board does not have the authority to change this.

Escaped former treasurer and director of a self managed association.
GlenM4
(Tennessee)

Posts:120


04/16/2018 6:07 AM  
Can the HOA not just buy it from the homeowner, maybe for 1 dollar? Then it would be HOA common ground?
MarkM31
(Washington)

Posts:381


04/16/2018 6:15 AM  
Jim, what is your standing in this? A member at large in the HOA, an officer or do you own a portion of a drainage pond?
JimJ7
(Florida)

Posts:9


04/16/2018 7:57 AM  
What I my question? It is not so much a question but is a problem with our HOA. The owner of the management company is the one who makes the final decisions for our board members. At the meeting it is always the owner of the management company is the one who make the rulings and the board members are just her pawns because its apparent they have no formal training and haven't been to a board member training class to know what there responsibilities really are. It is the management company misguiding them for control when in fact it should be the board members decision.

Case in point it is the management company who decided that since the pond was on the property of the owner that they should pay for the entire fix of the retentions pond levee that has now broke for the third time in some places over the last 10 years and offers no assistance except for a threat of fines and to inform you if you sue us you will lose and have to pay for there court costs as well because as she stated we never loses. Even though the covident states that it's the HOAs is responsible. They state that's there is a grey area that can be taken either way. So we have had homeowners payout a much a thirty grand in repairs over the years due to her threats. The river management has sent them letters stating the ponds are out of spec and will keep breaking because of it. They signed a letter of responsibility when excepting the ponds but still refuse to pay for the repairs even though they maintain the ponds on a regular basis. You can't make this stuff up. So we did hire a lawyer and it went to mediation and they refused to sit with us face to face and are pulling stall tactics in hope that the resident will not be able to afford a lawyer anymore and back out. The story continues...
MarkM31
(Washington)

Posts:381


04/16/2018 8:40 AM  
Until your board and HOA decide to do their job, you’ll always have this problem
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7772


04/16/2018 8:47 AM  
While I cannot comment on FL, here in SC retention ponds are deeded to the HOA so we are responsible for it. Our retention pond is undergoing some repairs (leaking riser) as we speak that will cost us some $12.5K to repair. We have some 12 or so homes that backup to the pond but the repair cost will be equally spread among 112 owners.
JimJ7
(Florida)

Posts:9


04/16/2018 9:40 AM  
And that's what we keep trying to convey to the board that it is the responibities of all 300 homes and not one person but they wont back down. The Meditation all though is required step in law out here at least for us was a waist of time and money. Our association keeps their lawyer well funded as they fight every decision through the courts in order to try and get you to back down and see it there way. Apperently up,to now its been working for them. The thing that pisses me off is that our homeowner fees are all paying the lawyer fees and that she acts as if it is her own personal money where dipping in to. The letters that go out for the stupidist infractions each month and the money they collect is unbeivable. It would not surprise me a bit if she was getting some sort of kick back from the laywer. We are not backing down. We want not only the money to fix it, the money we have paid out in lawyer fees but also a letter from the board stating that if this should arise again it is not our problem to deal with.
MarkM31
(Washington)

Posts:381


04/16/2018 9:49 AM  
Change the board and fire the MC
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:15999


04/16/2018 10:44 AM  
This will vary by State and, honestly, by Association within the State.

Check with your Counties version of the EPA to see if the State or owner maintains storm water retention ponds.

If maintained by the owner, check your governing documents and deeds to determine who the owner is and if the maintenance is the responsibility of the owner (which could be those bordering the pond or the Association) or the Association (regardless of who the owner is).
JimJ7
(Florida)

Posts:9


04/16/2018 12:25 PM  
Our lawyers said the same thing to replace the board members by getting half of the homeowners to sign a petition. Get new board members and fire the management company. The only problem we have with this plan is these board members are still our neighbors th33at are volenteering their time to do this job. Its not there fault they were just misguided by the devil. I still have to live along side them. Can we request a meeting with them without the management company being present?

Thanks,

JIM
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2435


04/16/2018 6:04 PM  
What does the plat say? Our subdivision plat says, "Drainage facilities shall be the perpetual maintenance obligation of the XYZ Homeowners Association, Inc." If the ponds are on adjacent properties you should look on their plat(s).

Florida water management districts have a lot of power and control many aspects of stormwater management in Florida. It might be helpful to contact yours and ask about ownership, control and maintenance obligations. You typically cannot change anything on the ground that would change the way the drainage and stormwater managemet system - including ponds - work without prior approval of the water management district. I would definitely contact them and ask questions.
JimJ7
(Florida)

Posts:9


04/16/2018 9:47 PM  
Thanks I did contact St. Johns River Management and by me contacting them they came out and inspected the property around the pond and made a recommendation. With the levees broke the way they are now the water from our pond is draining into the St. Johns River Management Water System. They also commented that the ponds were out of spec and that even if we took the responsibility of repairing the levee ourself the levee would break again only matter of time breakimg around the fix. This is the second time the levee has broken within the last two years. So St Johns issued the HOA a letter telling them to fix the pond within a 30 day period or be fined. At this point the HOA has ignored St. Johns like they have us and its been over 90 days now and St. Johns has not followed thru with there threat. So now to this date we got St.Johns River Management involved, we hired a laywer and took the HOA to Mediation Court at our expense and the HOA is still playing games by running up every bodies lawyers fee, and ignoring us all including St. Johns River Management. It is all a stall tatics hoping we will go away from lack of funds. We are waiting now to near back from our lawyer on what our next step will be. Maybe I should start a go me fund. Thanks for every ones help.
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:4151


04/17/2018 11:18 AM  
It potentially is the HOA responsibility according to this document: http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/publications/files/stormwater_systems.pdf

Pages 7 and 8 starts noting responsibility and reasons for said responsibility. It also notes that the pond permit the developer obtained should also note responsibilities ... so may want to obtain copy of any past permits.

DouglasK1
(Florida)

Posts:1234


04/17/2018 1:23 PM  
SJRWMD permitting records are searchable here:
https://permitting.sjrwmd.com/epermitting/jsp/Search.do?theAction=PermitNumSearch

Among lots of other stuff you can probably find the original Conditions of Approval for your subdivision, which might identify who is responsible for pond maintenance. Note that Project Name is not necessarily the name of your subdivision. For example, our builder used a project name (of a mythical character) as a placeholder until the determined what they were going to call it and that's how it is listed. If you know the name of the original developer (who might not be the home builder), that might help the search.

Escaped former treasurer and director of a self managed association.
DouglasK1
(Florida)

Posts:1234


04/17/2018 1:27 PM  
I'll add that from my experience, it seems unusual for the pond to be part of the platted lots. I've looked at a few around here and they all show the retention and storm water management areas as separate tracts (tract a, tract b, etc.) that are either deeded to the county with the roads and other infrastructure, or owned and maintained by the association.

The affected owners might want to see if they have any claim with their title insurers for not discovering that they owned part of the retention pond and might be on the hook for the maintenance thereof.

Escaped former treasurer and director of a self managed association.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2435


04/17/2018 9:04 PM  
Posted By JimJ7 on 04/16/2018 9:47 PM
So St Johns issued the HOA a letter telling them to fix the pond within a 30 day period or be fined. At this point the HOA has ignored St. Johns like they have us and its been over 90 days now and St. Johns has not followed thru with there threat. So now to this date we got St.Johns River Management involved, we hired a laywer and took the HOA to Mediation Court at our expense and the HOA is still playing games by running up every bodies lawyers fee, and ignoring us all including St. Johns River Management.

SJRWMD won't put up with nonsense forever and they're not going away due to lack of funds. It sounds to me like some serious breaches of fiduciary duty going on there. Mediation is mandatory before you can file a lawsuit, as you've found out, but I think your arrogant directors are in for a nasty surprise. A finding that they willfully ignored SJRWMD all by itself is probably enough to establish that they're not operating in good faith.
JimJ7
(Florida)

Posts:9


04/18/2018 7:41 AM  
We are the owner of the lot of the half that the levee broke on. Since it on our lot they are holding just us resposible for its repairs.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:15999


04/18/2018 8:14 AM  
Posted By JimJ7 on 04/18/2018 7:41 AM
We are the owner of the lot of the half that the levee broke on. Since it on our lot they are holding just us resposible for its repairs.




That's a nice try.
You may need to contact an attorney.
I say this because it appears your Board isn't being rational.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:15999


04/18/2018 8:15 AM  
Once you have absolute proof (documents, etc.) that it's the Associations responsibility, I'd also contact the media.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2435


04/18/2018 2:03 PM  
Posted By TimB4 on 04/18/2018 8:15 AM
Once you have absolute proof (documents, etc.) that it's the Associations responsibility, I'd also contact the media.

It's worth a shot. This is Florida, though hahahaha. The top story on our local newspaper's website today is, "Golf in Florida: A History". The local TV news on Monday spent 10 minutes covering the imminent launch of a rocket from Cape Canaveral. That launch had been scrubbed 2 hours prior to the broadcast. So depending on the media for anything here is hit or miss. Still worth a shot.
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:4151


04/18/2018 10:58 PM  
Posted By DouglasK1 on 04/17/2018 1:23 PM
SJRWMD permitting records are searchable here:
https://permitting.sjrwmd.com/epermitting/jsp/Search.do?theAction=PermitNumSearch

Among lots of other stuff you can probably find the original Conditions of Approval for your subdivision, which might identify who is responsible for pond maintenance. Note that Project Name is not necessarily the name of your subdivision. For example, our builder used a project name (of a mythical character) as a placeholder until the determined what they were going to call it and that's how it is listed. If you know the name of the original developer (who might not be the home builder), that might help the search.


True .. but your Local Government Planning Department will have this information.
JimJ7
(Florida)

Posts:9


04/19/2018 11:22 AM  
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Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > Responsibility of the Retention Ponds



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