Annual meeting of September 1, 2012
The Chesapeake Shores Homeowners Association had its annual meeting on September 1, 2012, at 10:30 at the Beulah Methodist Church. All board members were present, as was a quorum of the homeowners and association members. 24 people signed the sign-up sheet. The following information was discussed.
There have been no recent problems reported with the website. The secretary is preparing a history of the HOA with specific focus on the breakwaters and common properties issues, to include relevant documents and communications received by the board, and expects to have this report up on the website by the end of September.
Receipts have been higher than expected because more homeowners became dues-paying members than expected. However, legal expenses relating to the common properties issues have also been higher than expected, leading to a shortfall in our cash on hand. The budget report is at http://chesapeakeshoreshoa.com/images/3/3c/Financials_20120901.pdf. The membership unanimously voted to accept the treasurer's report.
Board of Director's Report
The HOA now owns the common properties. The transfer of these assets to the HOA does not change the access rights of any property owner. Those rights cannot legally be modified without the approval of all owners. That includes the access paths to the beach.
The lawsuit, by making the HOA the owner of the common properties, allows the HOA to enforce no-trespassing rules on the beach. Any property owner can call the county sheriff to remove trespassers - this has been confirmed with the sheriff's department by Sonny Fauver. A property owner can also approach any strangers and ask about their presence on the beach and, if they are not property owners or their guests, can explain to them that this is private property and ask them to leave.
Sonny Fauver has heard that someone gave permission for hunters to release dogs on their property. Sonny asked that, before giving such permission, owners consider their neighbors.
For details on the rules regarding hunters, their dogs, and access to our properties, please see the minutes of last year's annual meeting.
One member asked if there is a leash law or requirement to clean up after dogs on the beach. The board is not aware of a leash law in Mathews. It would, however probably be unenforceable as our community is entirely private. The association asks that persons walking dogs on the beach be equipped to retrieve any droppings and that they be considerate of others on the beach.
Peyton Carr discussed the breakwater permit application. The board approved Peyton signing for the HOA to become a co-applicant for the breakwater project, and he has done so. This does not commit the board, the HOA, or the owners to contribute to the project. The HOA will not be signing with any contractor building the breakwaters, but instead are doing what we can to facilitate the efforts of the +4 homeowners to facilitate the efforts of the +4 homeowners to join the Bavon Beach Community in the building project. Peyton expressed the view that the board would be likely to support other homeowners faced with similar problems.
The permit application will be heard on Wednesday, September 5, at 7:00 PM, at the Historic Courthouse in Mathews.
Bill Powell spoke from the floor and stated that Fish and Wildlife would not make any restrictions on our use of the beach. They would prefer that no one drive motor vehicles on the beach, but they will not enforce this request. He also mentioned that all money used to build the breakwaters will be gotten through voluntary donations, both for their construction and repair. If they are constructed, they will be on state property.
It was noted that, while it would be possible to establish a tax district to levy taxes to construct the breakwaters, there are no plans to do this. Further, this would require a majority vote of the homeowners and a vote of the Mathews Board of Supervisors.
Drew Mulhare spoke from the floor and noted that getting the permits is just the beginning of the process of building the breakwaters. Once the permits are in hand, it will be necessary to speak to Luck Stone and other potential donors about getting funding for the project. (Luck Stone was discussing the possibility of donating stone early in the process, but after they received threats related to the project, and said that they would revisit the issue once the permits were in hand.) Because of the need for this, getting the permit is only the first step and does not mean that construction will start immediately.
In response to a question, Bill Powell stated that the Army Corps of Engineering is in a similar situation in that they have expressed some support for the project but need to be approached once the permits are available. It seems that some fill sand is available. Bill also noted that agencies at the county, state, and federal level are all in favor of this project.
Further, the breakwater project is not just to the benefit of the homeowners with property adjacent to the breakwaters. Anyone who walks along that stretch of beach will benefit from preserving the beach, and other stretches of our beach will similarly benefit. VHB, the engineering firm that is designing the breakwaters and the experts in this field, have considered the impact on the houses to the north of the planned breakwaters and have designed the breakwaters to avoid any damage to the beach near those houses.
Election Committee Report
There were no nominations for the board other than the board's nomination of Jack Caldwell. The membership voted unanimously to elect Jack to a new three-year term.
Next year, Sonny Fauver and Joe Dzikiewicz are up for election.
Other new business
Metrocast is burying cables for new connections to our beach. This will allow them to provide better services, to include cable TV, telephone, and internet. Services are due to be up and running by the end of the year. Drew Mulhare reported that we should see offers from Metrocast by the end of the month.
Dave Norris and Sonny Fauver presented a history of the board's relations with Joe Sties regarding the breakwaters and the legal issues around the common properties lawsuits. They gave copies of much of the correspondence between the board, our attorney, and Joe Sties. All of this information will be made part of the HOA history to be published by the end of September.
Dave Norris proposed that we assess $125 per HOA member to cover attorney fees. This was unanimously approved by the present membership.
Joe Dzikiewicz offered to post anything related to beach business on the website on behalf of any paid HOA member, even if that should disagree with the position of the board.
The board requests that any member having a question or concern, about anything relating to the community to please contact a board member for the information.
Peyton Carr gavelled the meeting to a close.