Coastland Mails Open Letter; Governance Committee Responds

On October 21, Coastland mailed an “open letter,” to all Ocean Sands owners. We have since heard from many owners that they did not receive that letter. So, we have provided a link to that letter at the end of this post…

 

–but first–

 

On November 3, the Governance Committee sent the following email response to Coastland’s letter: 

During the week of 10/24 many owners in Ocean Sands received  a double-spaced, four-page letter from Coastland Corp.  It demonstrates yet again Coastland’s lack of understanding of how POAs should work, and disregard for the whole truth. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Coastland, here is a short recap:

  • Coastland is the Developer of Ocean Sands, starting 40 years ago;
  • All Coastland employees work in the Virginia Beach office;
  • Coastland is owned and controlled by James Johnson;
  • Homeowners have been told many times that Mr. Johnson knows what is best for them;
  • Coastland’s financial interests are not the same as the homeowners;
  • Coastland has a long history of lawsuits against the County;

Coastland said they want to maintain an active role in Ocean Sands management because they have “significant property interests”. Other than undeveloped Section G, Coastland owns less than 2% of the platted lots in Ocean Sands.  Why is there no talk of homeowner benefits? What are Coastland’s plans for roads and entry ways? What is their vision for a better community? And, most importantly, how and when will they address owner requests regarding employing best management practices, full financial disclosures, accurate GAAP accounting, and prompt, professional, courteous responses to owner requests?

Crown Point Removing Coastland

Crown Point used the Planned Community Act to amend their Declarations of Restrictive Covenants to remove Coastland’s control.  Coastland did not voluntarily decide to give Crown Point the option to end Coastland management.   At best, Coastland can say they chose not to fight it.  Ocean Sands can use this same legal process!

Pending Lawsuit against Currituck County   

The key point here is that the “Water” suit is based on a 25+-year-old issue Coastland continues to resurrect.  Coastland has often used POA funds to cover its legal expenses. (Look at historical legal costs in  OSPOA Financial Statements!)

All four owner reps from Ocean Sands and Crown Point voted “no” to the POA’s hiring a lawyer in this matter.  The Governance Committee was fully aligned on this issue.

Coastland then said it was going to continue to contest, at its “own expense,” OSWSD’s inclusion as a “necessary party” to the suit.  But, at the next court date, Coastland immediately conceded the legal issue it had wanted your POA funds to contest.

With regard to the legal issue — of course OSWSD was a “necessary party” — that’s the entity that owns the assets that are the subject of the lawsuit.  

Regarding the Bike Path/Greenway

The real safety issue would be having children, families and elderly cross Rte. 12 at any time or place. 

No one involved —  neither the County, NC DOT, nor homeowners wanted the path on the west side… but Coastland thought it knew better.  We wonder whether Mr. Johnson’s past feuds with the County and Currituck Club had some bearing on his view?

Coastland claims there was no evaluation from a safety standpoint. The Connecting Corolla Plan was adopted in October 2013 after several years of planning and public meetings.  This included input from bike/pedestrian path planning professionals and N.C. Department of Transportation engineers concluding that crossing NC Highway 12 to get to a west-side pathway was simply too dangerous given the low visibility, multiple curves, and heavy traffic.  From a safety standpoint, putting it on the east side was a “no-brainer”.

Regarding Coastland’s Comments about the Stormwater District

Coastland believes we have a “drainage issue”.   Owners recognize it is a flooding problem…suggesting that Coastland is out of touch, or just plain negligent. 

Coastland had 40-plus years to address the ever increasing flood problem within the two communities of Ocean Sands and Crown Point.  They never made a serious effort at preventive or remedial actions, steadfastly ignoring multiple owner requests for help! 

Regarding a public vs. a private stormwater system, no one in the business would expect a private bank loan to be cheaper than tax-exempt municipal funding.  More importantly, however, borrowing by the POA from private banks would have meant large sums of money in Coastland’s coffers without any checks or balances. 

Private funding would have resulted in sizable special assessments on the homeowners alone, as the bylaws say that Coastland does not have to pay special assessments.  Public funding via a service district taxes Coastland equally!  Homeowners can deduct taxes, but not special assessments.

Stating the facts objectively would have reflected that the Whalehead District system cost $8.25 million NOT $12 million as Coastland indicated!  Coastland’s number was off by 45%!  Read the full post at http://oshoa.org/2016/11/03/coastland-issues-complaint-and-mandate-to-county-on-future-efforts-to-lower-flood-waters/

Coastland’s Relationship with the County

Coastland admits to a poor relationship with the County – we call it toxic!

By contrast, the homeowners on the POA Board and the members of the Stormwater Advisory Board have an excellent working relationship with the County.   We may not agree on every issue but we are able to have civil discourse to keep the lines of communication open to get things done.

With the recent storms, the positive working relationship that the “dissident homeowners” have with the County resulted in the best emergency pumping response of any of the Corolla developments.  If Coastland was in control of this, our streets would probably still be flooded. Did you see anyone from Coastland doing anything? Did you even hear from them?  Instead, Coastland complained about the County’s Stormwater Service District abusing the roads & Coastland-owned property. 

Communications

It is interesting that Coastland chose to tell us they will provide future newsletters.  For forty years, communication has been limited to little more than a dues invoice and notice of the annual meeting.  The Governance and Stormwater committees sent over two dozen emails in a two year period!  Please realize that Coastland chooses to communicate in a very expensive way and we owners bear the costs of postage and printing. 

We fully welcome Coastland calling us Dissident Homeowners. The title is honorable and correct. We disagree with how Coastland deals with the owners, the county, and the property they are supposed to manage for our mutual benefit.  Once Coastland rejected our reasonable ByLaw changes, our objective switched to the removal of Coastland’s control of our community. In its place, we want transparent self-governance utilizing best practices and responsiveness to owner needs.

We so enjoyed their attempt to brand us Dissident Homeowners that we are having T-Shirts made, as pictured below, and offering them for sale now in two colors, adult unisex sizes. The production cost is $7.00. We are selling them for $12. Contributions above that amount are more than welcome!  We can either get them to you when you are in Ocean Sands or send them Priority Mail for an additional $7. The proceeds will go into the Legal Fund.  This is the kind of financial transparency you can expect once Coastland is gone.  We will send out an additional e-mail with more information on this T-shirt offer.  We would love to have everyone wear them to the next Annual Meeting!

As always, we actually welcome your questions and do our best to respond to every one in quick fashion!

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Click below to read Coastland’s Open Letter:

Open Letter from Coastland Corporation

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