Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, and Happy Kwanzaa to everyone. This is a time to reflect on our past year and look to the future. Our future in Sun City Shadow Hills includes a large project in front of us in 2017: the review, update, and approval of our revised governing documents.
When developers begin a project such as Sun City Shadow Hills, they must create governing documents like Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, CC&Rs, Architectural Rules and Regulations, and general Rules and Regulations, just to name a few. Until the developer finishes building and leaves the community, the major documents (Bylaws and CC&Rs) must remain unchanged. Pulte (our developer) has now left, so we can now update these documents. Below is a general explanation of what needs to occur. The Board will be consulting with our Association attorney as we go through the process to make sure we are following all the regulations.
This process is important because we need to remove all references to the developer (identified in our documents as the declarant) and update the regulations to conform to the laws that have passed since 2004, when the developer implemented the initial documents for our community. The Board of Directors established an Ad Hoc Governing Documents Committee made up of residents who are retired attorneys in many fields of law to review the documents and prepare a first draft to update them. The next step, underway now, is to have the Association’s law firm of Epsten, Grinnell, and Howell review the proposed changes to make sure they follow the current laws and make sure we have included all applicable laws.
The next steps are where the Board of Directors needs everyone’s participation:
- A red-lined draft (one per household) will be available to each member for review and comment through our website and an email blast. If you want a hard copy, you can request one from the HOA office.
- A meeting will be held so that residents can share their comments on the proposed changes and whether anything else needs to be updated. If anyone is not comfortable speaking in public, we will have an email address set up especially for these comments that will be monitored daily and shared with the Board.
- After a period of time (yet to be determined), when the Board feels everyone has had time to review and comment, the Board will make final changes to the documents; have one further legal review; and then prepare the final version for a vote.
- For most provisions, the Bylaws and CC&Rs require that 51 percent of all households must vote YES to accept a change. That means that we will need 1,725 yes votes in order for changes to take effect.
- If the Association does not meet this 1,725 threshold, the current documents will remain in effect.
If homeowners do not approve the changes, the Board will work with legal counsel on next steps and decide how additional votes will be taken. In some HOAs, especially of our size, we understand it has taken over three years, and sometimes several votes, to get the necessary 51% yes votes.
How can you help?
- Attend the meetings that the Board holds to explain the proposed changes.
- Review the entire document and send your constructive feedback to the Board about where you have concerns and which areas you believe are good.
- Vote – when the time comes.
More information will be coming forward after the first of the year. In the meantime, let’s enjoy this season of joy and well-being and have fun with our friends, neighbors, and family.