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Lake Wilderness Residents Confront HOA

by | Dec 11, 2014 | Business

Page one of the three page Lake Wilderness Community Center Schematic Design by architect Sarah R. Hanson, November 2014.

A group of Lake Wilderness residents is concerned the Homeowner Association (HOA) board is planning to spend millions on a new clubhouse without community input.

“This has the potential to significantly drive-up HOA dues,” said property owner Todd Schlund. “There’s a movement among property owners to find out what’s going on here.”

Residents believe the board has held secret meetings to plan demolition of the existing clubhouse and snack bar and investment of millions in new facilities. Those who attended a December 8 meeting told members of the ad-hoc building committee new facilities are not necessary, and said they wanted more information and input.

“What I’m hearing from the website and emails is this decision has been made and we have no voice in it,” a resident said.

“No decision has been made,” Board President Mike Whalen responded. “Nothing will be done until you people say, “Yes, we want this to happen.”

Whalen said the clubhouse needs to be upgraded, and that the committee is considering three options:
1 – Maintain.
2 – Modify.
3 – Raze and rebuild.

“Every homeowner will have a say,” he said.

“For some reason you think that we’ve gone ahead, made some plans and this, that and the other. We have not,” said Jessica Smith, an outgoing board member, who participated with the committee Monday night. “We don’t have one single blueprint or anything.”

“Well I saw a building plan, what is that for,” a resident countered.

“You saw a diagram that we had the lady draw up of what it could look like from our imagination of people on the board. No blue print has been generated. Not one single thing,” Smith said.

“[The] committee is going to have the engineers come out now [December 11] to start to do a fact finding mission. When we have the evidence, we’ll let you know. We can’t give you a price right now, a ceiling or anything like that,” Smith continued.

“We’ve only used money that was allocated to us from the board — $5,000 — for a fact finding mission,” she said. “We have to pay someone to answer the questions. You are not being blind-sided. We are not trying to pull the wool over your eyes. Trust me. Many questions that have gone around need to be answered; should be answered; will be answered.”

Whalen corrected Smith about the amount of the allocation. “How much is it?” the residents asked.

“I don’t know, but I know it’s not $5,000,” the secretary said.

“Is it less or more?” the residents asked.

“It has to be more,” he said. He did not give an amount.

The committee said it will notify homeowners of its recommendations in the first quarter of 2015, and provide the legally required two-week notice for a community input meeting.

“Some people think the committee’s comments tonight were a lot of smoke and mirrors,” said homeowner Catherine Sutter. “They’ve made their decision, and they’re going forward.” She is compiling an email list of property owners in order to share information, garner input and notify of future meeting dates. Anyone interested in being on that list should email her at [email protected]

The HOA Board of Directors is the governing body of Lake Wilderness. The board is comprised of nine elected volunteer members serving one, two or three year terms.

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