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Subject: Should an HOA Invest in an Engineer for Dedication?
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Author Messages
DanM14
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:5


07/27/2020 1:54 PM  
Hi -

We live in what will be a 145 single family unit development (every unit has their own lot). The common elements include detention basins (including stormwater management facilities), rain gardens, some common sidewalks, a multi-use walking/bike trail, a future playground/play lot, some open space for active and passive recreation, and wetlands.

According to our governing documents, the streets and sewers will be dedicated to the Township and public sewer authority, respectively. In August, I will be meeting with the Township Manager, the Developer, the Township's Engineer, and a few others to conduct a walk-through of the first two phases to be dedicated to the Township. Concurrently, the common elements mentioned would be dedicated to the HOA. According to my discussions with the Township Manager, they (the Township) will develop a punch-list of items to be completed based on the site Plan on file in the Township. The Township Engineer will be responsible for ensuring all items on the punch-list are completed satisfactorily before recommending the dedication to proceed.

The HOA has a keen interest in making sure everything is cared for. When dedication has been completed, the HOA then assumes control and maintenance of all common elements. While I am confident the Township will do a good job, I have been approached by a homeowner asking if we (the HOA) are going to hire their own Engineer to ensure our interests are protected. I am looking for guidance. Is hiring a private Engineer (using HOA money to compensate him/her for this service) something that is absolutely necessary inasmuch I envision a lot of duplicate services between the Township Engineer and the private Engineer?

I don't want to appear to be cheap but at the same time, I don't want to unnecessarily waste HOA funds for duplicated services. Thanks in advance for your input.
AugustinD


Posts:3683


07/27/2020 1:59 PM  
Are you the developer/declarant?
DanM14
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:5


07/27/2020 2:06 PM  
No, I am the current HOA President and homeowner.
AugustinD


Posts:3683


07/27/2020 2:35 PM  
Does the developer/declarant have significant legal control of HOA decisions being made? E.g. does the Developer/Declarant have any say about the direction things take at this time?

This is not a topic I have seen come up here before.

I would observe that, customarily, what the City Engineer is signing off on is that the developer/declarant has complied with all municipal codes (which often invoke state and other codes). Later, if a design is determined not to have been consistent with code, then I believe the HOA corporation can still pursue correction by the developer.

Off the top of my head, I suggest the HOA consult a land use engineer (meaning civil engineer with P/E specialized in land use), and see if she/he thinks a more thorough review is needed.
DanM14
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:5


07/27/2020 2:42 PM  
Thanks for your reply.

Currently, this is a 3-member Board. I'm the only homeowner representative because the community is not at 75% occupancy yet. We're getting close. I anticipate 75% occupancy by the September/October timeframe.

The other two Board positions are held by the Developer, which gets to answering your authority question.

The problem is this phase of dedication may happen before we have an all-homeowner Board. So between now and early September, I have to make a decision regarding spending HOA money to even consult with a land use engineer as you have suggested. Lots to think about. But thank you again for your input.

Waiting on any others that may have been in this same situation. I will check back frequently for future posts.

AugustinD


Posts:3683


07/27/2020 2:51 PM  
Posted By DanM14 on 07/27/2020 2:42 PM
So between now and early September, I have to make a decision regarding spending HOA money to even consult with a land use engineer as you have suggested.
A board majority makes the decision. When a board president makes such a decision all by him- or herself, he or she is acting unlawfully.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16850


07/27/2020 3:12 PM  
I would wait until you get the report from the city.
If any of it looks unreasonable, hire someone for a second opinion and options.
DanM14
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:5


07/27/2020 6:13 PM  
Sorry, I should have been more clear. You are correct. The decision I was referring to was making up my mind. If I thought it would be beneficial, I would present to the two other Board members and hopefully get at least one to agree.
DanM14
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:5


07/27/2020 6:14 PM  
Good suggestion. Thank you.
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Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > Should an HOA Invest in an Engineer for Dedication?



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