More Progress Toward Self Governance – Update on Consent Forms

More Progress Towards Self Governance
Now that the annual meeting has passed, we thought you would want to know the status of our community’s effort to achieve self-governance.  We have been making steady progress! Thank you.

By the end of the Annual Meeting, a total of 552 properties have approved the change by completing their Written Consent Form. This represents 80.4% of the legally required signatures to remove Coastland’s control of the Ocean Sands POA Board. Technically, this is done by cancelling the special Developer Class of voters in the Declaration of Restrictive Covenants. Coastland will have just one vote for each of the eight (8) lots they still own. 

We, us, all the owners, within Ocean Sands North are so close.  Finally, this feels like it is a very achievable effort and it is.  At this point we request (read – need!) every owner who has signed to check with your immediate Ocean Sands neighbors, the house to the left, the right, and behind you.  Convey to them the urgency and necessity of removing the tyrant crippling our chances to improve the quality and value of our community!

If you haven’t signed please re-read all the variouscommunications concerning Coastland’s poor treatment of our community and the Ocean Sands POA Board. The change to all-owner control will only benefit you and all your fellow owners! Reply to this email with any questions or concerns.

Governance Committee

Al, Rick, Jeanne, Greg, Chris, Jim, Robert and Dennis

Watch for the Annual Meeting Overview email  –  coming soon!
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By now you are aware of the unusual weather event we have confronted here in Corolla. We experienced significant flooding throughout the Ocean Sands community.  It was caused by 14 inches of rain from late Saturday, July 21 to Wednesday, August 1. Yes, 11 days of rain, which inundated the community, saturated the sand, overflowed the lake, and overwhelmed the Waste Treatment Plant. 

We can’t and won’t blame Coastland Corporation for the rain. However, Coastland is directly responsible for continuing to block progress on a permanent flood mitigation system for the whole community after ignoring this serious issue for 40 years. Here are some examples of Coastland’s failures contributing to our on-going flooding problems:

FAILED TO MAINTAIN DITCHES, SWALES AND CULVERTS:  It is Coastland’s responsibility, being in control of the Ocean Sands Property Owners Association (OSPOA), to determine what maintenance work is to be done and when. Coastland chose not to maintain the drainage ditches, swales, and culverts in Ocean Sands.

  • Coastland appears not to have complied with the requirements of the state-issued stormwater permit for Section O, Ocean Lakes.  This may have contributed to the inundation of the sewer plant with floodwater that resulted in raw sewage backing up into several homes in Sections K & P, as well as sewage coming out of the manhole covers in multiple areas.  
  • It took county contractors two hours to clear the culvert under Ocean Lake Trail (near Pampas Court) in order to run hoses to the ocean. That effort delayed pumping from the HIJO Lake by several hours.
  • Coastland did not maintain the culverts under Driftwood, Mariner and Sea Mist in the northern section of Ocean Sands. This contributes to the standing water still on the streets and the swales not flowing. 
  • Coastland nixed a plan developed by Coastal Engineering a number of years ago to relieve flooding on Sea Oats Court and under the multifamily units in Section F because it did not want to allow discharge in the open space.
  • The lack of maintenance of the swales, ditches and culverts have resulted in damage to our roads. Stormwater sitting on the roads has caused an increase in potholes and sinkholes.  Many road intersections are crumbling due to flood waters eroding the sand and gravel supporting them. Stormwater also seeps into the many cracks in the roads.
  • The major flooding events over the last several years have advanced the “day of reckoning” for road replacement. The OSPOA currently has minimal dollars in the Capital Replacement Fund to pay for this project.

FAULTY COMMUNICATIONS: Coastland had Signature Touch send several update emails that made it appear Coastland saved the day by pumping.  In fact, neither Coastland nor Signature Touch had anything to do with it.  Emergency Pumping to the ocean is solely the responsibility of the “Stormwater” Service District Advisory Board working with Currituck County.  The only thing Coastland did was sign an agreement allowing access for emergency pumping across the open space this one timeCoastland rejected the “hold harmless agreement” presented by the County (drafted by a leading local business law firm), and instead, sent back an agreement it signed, in which it inserted onerous additional requirements. We are at a loss to know how there could be a material loss to Coastland from running hose down streets and over open space. 

FAILED TO TRANSFER OPEN SPACES TO OSPOA: Coastland deeded the open space in Crown Point to the Crown Point POA years ago. This has not been done for Ocean Sands! It is unheard of anywhere in the country for a HOA or POA to not have control over its own open space and private roads.  There is no valid benefit to Coastland other than being able to exert leverage on other community or county initiatives.  OSPOA, with your dues money, pays for the maintenance of open space and roads even though Coastland continues to own them.  
FAILURE TO ADVANCE A PERMANENT SOLUTION FOR FLOODING PROBLEMS: You may recall how, last year, Coastland refused to allow access to open space to place test wells and piezometers on the open space and undeveloped areas that were needed to get the hydrology data crucial to the design of a system.  The Advisory Board worked around this by finding owner volunteers who allowed placement in their yards.  Coastland has sued the County over formation of the Stormwater Service District and has kept the suit pending even though a court has already ruled against Coastland on the key issue – finding that formation of the service district was valid. Conceptual design of a permanent solution, involving wells, pump stations and piping throughout the community with an outlet to the Sound, has been completed.  Further progress is blocked until Coastland drops its specious lawsuit and allows access to open space, rights-of-way and under roads. This solution is beneficial to Coastland’s undeveloped properties, so it is hoped that they will get on board soon. Emergency Pumping is not the long term solution for these intense rain events.

Not only is there the property damage to homes, and the economic losses associated with refunded and cancelled vacation renters, but standing water is full of nasty bacteria and causes the mosquito population to soar.  It breaks our hearts to watch people march their young kids through a foot of polluted water on their way to the beach.

You may research and learn all the details of flooding in the Short History of Stormwater email recently sent out by the Stormwater Advisory Board. It also is posted on our owner website here: A Short History of Flooding In Ocean Sands and Crown Point

It’s high time that Coastland’s control of OSPOA ends.  Continued Coastland control will only bring more negative consequences to owners, as it has for the last 40+ years.

The Governance Committee

Rick, Al, Dennis, Jeanne, Greg, Chris, Jim, Robert




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This email is to all Ocean Sands North owners who have not yet signed the Written Consent to Amend the Declarations. The Meet and Greet weekends have been so successful that we want to offer one last opportunity this year for owners to ask questions of the Governance Committee in person.

This written consent is a legal method under the NC Planned Community Act of 1999 to wrest control of any POA from the Developer. In our case, this process will remove Coastland’s authority to appoint three of the five OSPOA board seats. All Board members will be owner elected. As it stands, because of the Declaration, the developer, Coastland Corporation, has complete decision making over every aspect of our Ocean Sands community.

For the last three years, we have sent numerous emails and letters explaining why the owners should be in control of their own community. Control means having your vote count when deciding significant issues in Ocean Sands. Control means having a say in how your dues money is spent. Control means deciding the priority of the many necessary tasks that could and should improve Ocean Sands.

If you would like to chat one on one with a member of the Governance Committee, we will be available on Saturday, November 24 at the COROLLA PUBLIC LIBRARY from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. The Library is the white building on the right on Rt. 12 just north of the lighthouse, 1123 Ocean Trail.  We are providing a free notary. There will be light snacks and refreshments.

Please reply to this email if you can drop by. No formal presentation, just owners talking to owners. If your schedule suddenly changes, come on by anyway. If you would like to speak to a Governance Committee member separately, please reply to this email.

The Governance Committee
Al, Rick, Jeanne, Greg, Robert, Chris, Jim, and Dennis

Copyright © 2018
Home Owners Of Ocean Sands Governance Committee
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All property owners understand the value of “curb appeal”.  For a long period of time that feature has been lacking in Ocean Sands North.  Coastland Corp. has relied on the beautiful weather and fabulous ocean as the attraction because it was cost and effort free.
Well no more! Now with cooperation between Signature Touch and your owner representatives on the board, we are making substantial strides with improving our ocean community’s appearance. The photos above are just two examples. 
It is good to hear Marty and Kathy Regan of Signature Touch speak about their concern over the appearance and condition of the community.  With six other rental communities under their management they know how important that first look is for guests.  We have jointly agreed upon a plan: what needs to be done, in what order, over what time period, and the difference between on-going maintenance and landscaping improvement.
MNA Services is a local (owners live in Ocean Sands) landscaping service that has performed limited trimming and mowing under the direction of Bob DeFazio.  They have expanded their staff and enthusiastically embraced the plan to improve the appearance of Ocean Sands North.  Your owner representatives worked closely with Signature Touch to develop a new contract with MNA Services that finally provides the expectations, specifications and direction that was needed to provide MNA with the necessary guidance to improve community landscaping.

To date the following has already been accomplished:

  1. The 3 feet on either side of the five entryway roads has been mowed and trimmed from Route 12 down to the first intersection.  Various owners readily gave their permission. This will be maintained biweekly.
  2. Along the entryway roads heavy vegetation; trees and bushes that have grown up impeding both driver visibility and walkers have been removed by MNA. Volunteers from Master Gardeners, including some who are from Ocean Sands, worked with Rick Kinner to design landscaping for all five entry ways into Ocean Sands.  This included plants selection and placement as well as improving visibility. Both Sandfiddler Trail and Driftwood Way (Sections F and KLMNPQ) entryways had hills reduced and removed for improved visibility.
  3. We purchased only plants that are indigenous to the Atlantic seaboard, are drought tolerant and perennial.  MNA Services was able to get all the work done and plants in the ground prior to the annual meeting.  
Hope everyone is having a wonderful and safe summer.
The Governance Committee
Al, Rick, Jeanne, Greg, Chris, Jim, Robert and Dennis


A Response to Coastland’s Letter to Owners …from an owner

Many of you received a letter from Coastland Corp dated November 22, and full of misinformation and inaccuracies. One owner, shared his response to Coastland on our Home Owners of Ocean Sands Facebook Group. With his permission, we share it with you here.
Thanks to Andy and to all of you who have shown your support and sent in your written consent forms to amend the declaration,
The Home Owners of Ocean Sands Governance Committee

“To Jeanne Marcinko and the Coastland Corporation – (and Home Owners of Ocean Sands)

Your recent communications to the Homeowners of Ocean Sands are deceptive and far off the mark. I am not sure if you are just naive, doing the bidding of your owners, or too recent an employee to know. I would have though 10 years would have educated you.

My wife and I have been “non-resident” owners for over 25 years and fully endorse the efforts of the Governance Committee. There are more non-resident “Dissident Owners” than residents. Up until about 10 years ago we rented during the summer rental season, but then stopped when the headaches became too great. We now get to our house as frequently as we can and will spend more time there after retirement.

Over those 25 years we have never seen evidence that Coastland had any serious interest in the owners, it has always been about what’s best for Coastland. This goes back to the original association by-laws which give Coastland the majority of the Board members until EVERY lot is sold. This is the most restrictive and controlling provision I have ever encountered (and I have served on two other home owner’s boards). The 3 controlling Coastland Board members have continually denied the 2 home owner Board members access to financial information, to the extent the current home owner members have had to go to Court to try to obtain the information necessary to perform their fiduciary responsibilities to the home owners. Contracts are signed with outside management companies, security firms, and others without home owner input. It not clear there is any open solicitation of bids for work to be done or evaluation of proposed contracts as Coastland does not share that information with owners.

As an example, the current Coastland Vice President and local representative’s son holds both the contract for security services ($61,550) as well as the contract for Trash Can Roll back ($24,840). Is this a bit of nepotism or were these contracts put out for bid and fairly competed? We don’t know because Coastland has not shared the information with our Board representatives. I could go on with other examples from over the years. Rick and Al our Board members and the Governance Committee have shared many other examples and reasons why Coastland has clearly demonstrated a disdain for the home owners and treated us as indentured servants.

Coastland tries to make an argument that they have saved us money and it will cost more going forward without them in control. First, I am not convinced that’s true as they have not been open with their books, secondly I am tired of being treated as a child where Coastland knows better, and finally, even if there is some added expense WE the OWNERS will be in control of our Community!

I encourage all owners to return their signed and notarized ballots to enable we the owners to take control of our association and end the patronization of Coastland.

Andy Bates
Connie Rubler
Columbia, MD”

If you are a homeowner in Ocean Sands North and have not joined our closed, owner-only Facebook Group, search for "Home Owners of Ocean Sands" on Facebook, and ask to join. If we have your contact information, we will approve you as a member of the group. If we do NOT have your contact information, please send it to us at



The time has finally come. Attached is the Written Consent Amendment necessary to change the Declarations of Restrictive Covenants to eliminate Coastland’s control of Ocean Sands Property Owners Association (OSPOA).  

For the last two years we have been sending emails to as many owners as possible explaining why the owners should control OSPOA, not Coastland Corp.  In short, the reasons are Coastland has an inherent conflict of interest being both the Developer and running OSPOA, and Coastland is not very good at running OSPOA.

We apologize for the delay in getting this to you, but Coastland filed new Declarations for each Section instead of modifying the existing Declaration. It took an inordinate amount of time and special effort to determine the correct way to write this Amendment.

To successfully wrest control from Coastland, we need two-thirds (2/3rds) of the homeowners to sign and notarize the Written Consent, and return it to the law firm representing us.

There are three forms attached, the only difference being in the Notarial Seal area. These forms are safely hosted on a private server and are no larger than 167 kb in size.

You only need to complete one form, but it must to be the right one based on how title to your Ocean Sands property is held. In short, signatures should follow the deed to the property. To make it easier, see below:

If husband and wife own the lot and are on the deed, both need to sign and date in the presence of a notary.  If multiple individuals own the lot and are on the deed, all need to sign, including any partnership. If it is a hardship for all individuals to be present, individual signed, dated and notarized pages are permitted. Click the link below to retrieve the form for Individuals:
2019 Written Consent Form.Individual

If the property is held by a Corporation (either an LLC or an Inc.), use the form for Corporations and have it signed by the Managing Member or President of the company. Click the link below to retrieve the form for Corporation or LLC
2019 Written Consent Form.Corporate.LLC

If the property is held in a Trust, use the form for Trusts and have it signed by all Trustees. Click the link below to retrieve the form for a Trust:
2019 Written Consent Form.Trust

Again, if it is inconvenient for all owners to sign one piece of paper (perhaps due to distance between owners), you may submit multiple copies as long as, in total, all required signatures are present. Please indicate that there will be multiple forms submitted to the law firm, so the firm does not contact you for missing signatures. If, in the case of multiple owners, all signatures do not fit on one form, you also may use an additional signature page.

Notaries may be found at your bank, most libraries, legal or realty offices, and most UPS Stores (fee). In order to preserve the “chain of custody” please mail the completed form back to:

James H. Slaughter
Black, Slaughter & Black, P.A.
P.O. Box 41027
Greensboro, NC  27404

-PLEASE DO NOT mail it to the Governance Committee PO Box-

We thank you for your cooperation in completing and returning this form to our attorney.  While Coastland has recently taken a couple of small steps in the right direction, it is too little too late and does not solve the Coastland’s unavoidable conflict of interest between Developer and community interests.  We will not be able to optimize the management and maintenance of our development until we take control of the POA like Crown Point recently did.
Governance Committee,
Rick, Al, Dennis, Jeanne, Robert, Chris, Greg and Jim

PS: If you have any questions, either reply to this email or you may call one of the volunteers on the Governance Committee listed below:

Dennis Heffernan 919 518-7482
Rick Kinner 252-453-6059
Jeanne Fitzpatrick 202-256-2823
Al Marzetti –  919-475-4064

Greg Walkup – 757-465-0386

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The Planned Community Act Explained, Part 2, 12/12/16


The Planned Community Act Explained
Part 2

In this email, we explain how the PCA works and the relief it offers to communities like ours

Executive Summary:

  • Prior to 1999, planned unit developments such as Ocean Sands North were regulated only by the Declaration of Restrictive Covenants and Association Bylaws (the “Governing Documents”) created by the Developer.  Few legal protections for owners existed. Often, the Governing Documents failed to address key issues relevant to the governance of a planned community, thereby creating confusion and uncertainty.  Also, provisions were usually heavily slanted in favor of the Developer.
  • The PCA was enacted in 1999. The purpose is to provide more specific guidelines for governing planned communities, while leveling the playing field between Developer and home owners.
  • For communities already in place, like Ocean Sands, some of the PCA provisions apply; however, these “retroactive” sections don’t provide a fulllegal infrastructure for good governance.  As discussed in an earlier article, these retroactive provisions do furnish the “path to freedom” from Coastland. Crown Point just walked the path to freedom, successfully.
  • The Governing Documents applicable to Ocean Sands Property Owners Association (OSPOA) are worse than most “pre-1999” communities; our lawyer has commented that they are the “most egregiously offensive and poorly drafted” governing documents he has ever seen.   And…even where rules exist, Coastland frequently ignores them.  Adoption of the PCA would give us a new “constitution”, with individual owners in control.  The OSPOA Governing Documents are posted on our website at Ocean Sands Legal Documents.
  • In conjunction with ousting Coastland, Crown Point POA also elected to have the entirety of the PCA apply to themselves.  Adoption of the full PCA makes good sense for Ocean Sands POA too.

Discussion in Detail:

In 1999, the North Carolina General Assembly enacted the North Carolina Planned Community Act.  The PCA was intended to establish certain rights for property owners in “planned communities” and provide clear procedures and guidelines for their governance.  Planned Unit Developments (“PUDs”) such as Ocean Sands North are considered to be “planned communities”.

Prior to the PCA, planned communities were governed solely by the Declaration of Restrictive Covenants, the Articles of Incorporation, and the Bylaws (the “Governing Documents”).  Sometimes (but, not in OSPOA’s case) a set of Rules & Regulations was also created.   

OSPOA’s Governing Documents are poorly drafted, ambiguous and often internally inconsistent. They are written to guarantee continued control by the developer, Coastland Corp. The documents fail to address many key issues critical to modern governance of a planned community.  

The Declarations have been amended so many times that our lawyer is having a hard time determining what currently applies.  The Bylaws are horrendous — drafted in the early 1970’s by a sole practitioner attorney in Manteo less than 5 years out of law school.  You may recall our earlier articles covering the numerous (over 50) problems with the current OSPOA Bylaws.  In sum, the OSPOA Governing Documents don’t provide a solid framework for running a 1,000+ unit owners’ association.

A key purpose of the PCA is to fill the gaps not addressed in Governing Documents and to override unfair provisions.  It provides a full set of rules covering all aspects of operating a property owners’ association such as: Applicable Notice Provisions, Rules for conducting Board Meetings, Voting & Elections, Approval of Annual Budgets, and Penalties for Rules Violations.  The PCA eliminates the guesswork created by inadequate Governing Documents and ensures a level playing field.

The most common problems that arise in “non-PCA” communities relate to the transfer of common elements (think Open Spaces, streets, dune boardwalks), easements over common elements, and the adoption of the annual budget.  Allof these are issues for Ocean Sands North.  

As the legal issues relating to common elements are less fun than watching paint dry, let’s just consider one of these – approval of the annual budget.

The budget is obviously of great interest to owners because it drives the level and types of services required as well as the dues.  Typically, “pre-1999” communities only provide limited owner control over the budget; for example, the right to approve budget increases greater than 5% and/or the ability to vote out a Board that adopted an unpopular budget.   We have neither – basically, we have NO control.  The OSPOA Bylaws contain no provisions relating to the annual budget process. Because Coastland controls a majority on the Board, we don’t even have the ability to “throw the bums out”.  

The PCA requires that, after preparing a budget, the Board must submit it to the owners in advance and ask the membership to ratify it at a membership meeting.  If the Members don’t ratify the budget, then the prior year’s budget stays in effect until a new budget is ratified.  This PCA mechanism thus gives owners some level of control over the budget.

In short, the PCA gives the answers to the key questions that arise in governing a planned community.   We clearly don’t have that now.  Right now, the developer alone makes every decision to act – or not

Just to give you an update, a full eight months later, we still do not have: (1) final annual meeting minutes from 2015 or draft minutes from 2016, (2) a 2016 budget (ratified or otherwise), or (3) approved 2015 financial statements.   Despite a commitment made at the 2016 Annual Meeting (and repeated requests from owner board members), Coastland has refused to call a board meeting to resolve these outstanding issues.  Additionally, Coastland has twice installed a new POA Board Member without a board meeting, just as they did with the hiring of the property management firm (at owners’ expense).  The Architectural Committee continues to be wholly comprised of individuals who are deceased.  

For those interested in greater detail on the law applicable to NC Community Associations, please visit this link to an FAQ on Black, Slaughter, & Black’s website: FAQs-About-NC-HOA-Condo-Associations.  The author, Jim Slaughter, is representing us and also successfully piloted Crown Point to freedom.  Here is a link to the complete PCA statute.

Your Governance Committee,

Al Marzetti, Rick Kinner, Chris Markwith, Dennis Heffernan, Greg Walkup, Jeanne Fitzpatrick, Jim Bonfils, and Robert Minnich

The Future Of Ocean Sands – The Planned Community Act Explained, 10/28/16/16

The PCA Explained

Dear Fellow Owners:

We will be responding to the Coastland “Open Letter” dated October, 21 and sent to all owners, in due course.  The following  message was planned for this week, as it is important that you understand the components of our strategy to achieve self-governance, regardless of the Coastland mailing.

When we speak with our fellow owners, it is very clear that they, too, want to remove Coastland Corp’s absolute control over Ocean Sands Property Owners Association (OSPOA), and allow owners to manage our own community.

Coastland wrote the OSPOA ByLaws more than 40 years ago to give themselves absolute control until every last lot has been sold. This provision cannot be amended by the owners, only by Coastland itself. Our attorney tells us this is the most one-sided set of ByLaws he has ever seen, and they would not be legal if written today.

We have found a way to fix this problem!  We know it works, because Crown Point implemented the strategy in the third quarter of this year.  As shared earlier this week, Crown Point was able to remove Coastland as the management entity on 10/22/16.  Regardless of Coastland’s contention, their removal was against their  will, utilizing available legislation.

The 1999 North Carolina Planned Community Act (PCA) defines how POAs are to be governed. But it doesn’t automatically apply to OSPOA because we were founded in 1974. The PCA does provide a way for us to change the ByLaws that Coastland wrote to maintain their domination. To accomplish this change requires the approval of at least 67% of property owners, either in person at a meeting (unlikely) or by written, notarized, consent.

The Governance Committee will eventually be asking you to approve this change by providing the required signed document. The document will stipulate that this is your wish (vote) and will contain just three provisions:

  1. The OSPOA Board will be owners only.
  2. The new Board will be able to amend any section of the ByLaws.
  3. The Declarations may only be amended after that by a 67% vote (so that Coastland cannot change them back to the old style).

We may also ask that you adopt all provisions of the PCA to apply to OSPOA, but will leave that discussion to a future email.

Crown Point has elected a new board and is currently in the process of early housekeeping matters such as opening a new POA bank account and transitioning service providers. They are excited to be able to run their organization in a manner that will enhance the livability and value of their development.

The Governance Committee is taking steps to increase our communication reach to virtually all Ocean Sands North homeowners (currently, we have e-mail addresses representing approximately 80% of the properties in the POA).  We are hoping that, when the time comes, all owners will become engaged enough to send their  written consent. We are currently several months away from sending out that solicitation.

If you have any questions, please respond to this email, at We will respond to them individually, unless many are the same, in which case we will do a follow up Q & A email to all owners. Further emails will follow as detailed in our email communication dated 10/23, entitled “Crown Point Successful in Deposing Coastland” .

With deep appreciation for your enthusiastic support,
The Governance Committee

Al, Chris, Dennis, Greg, Jeanne, Jim, Rick, and Robert

Crown Point Successfully Deposes Coastland Corp! 10/23/16

Crown Point Successful in Deposing Coastland Corp!

On Saturday, October 22nd, 2016, Crown Point owners voted unanimously to remove Coastland control of their POA board and make critical changes in their By-Laws!  Crown Point homeowners have now taken full control of the POA Board and are in the process of transitioning to self-governance.

Crown Point owners successfully executed the strategy developed by the Governance Committee to use provisions in the North Carolina Planned Community Act of 1999 (PCA) to wrest control of the POA from Coastland Corp and vest it exclusively in the homeowners!

As we are all painfully aware, Coastland had maintained control using By-Laws they drafted over 40 years ago.  Those By-Laws granted Coastland control of Crown Point until Coastland has sold every lot within the POA.  Further, the By-Laws provide that this “control” provision, as well as control of the finances could only be amended by the Developer – i.e., Coastland.

This year, Governance discovered the way out and developed a strategy to implement it.  The PCA provides rules governing planned communities.  However, the PCA generally applies to planned communities formed after 1998, and OSPOA and Crown Point dated to the early 1970’s.  In 2013 the PCA was amended to permit “Pre-1999” POA’s to change their Declaration of Restrictive Covenants (Declarations) by the vote or written consent of 67% of the POA membership.  Because provisions in Declarations take precedence over By-Law provisions this provides a mechanism for homeowners to break the shackles of Developer control and achieve self-governance.

Crown Point secured the favorable written consent of over 90% of their owners in September to amend their Declarations to provide for a Board comprised solely of homeowners.  Coastland refused to file the Declaration Amendment, so our attorney filed it directly with the Register of Deeds.  Coastland dragged their heels in calling the required Special Meeting, but it was finally arranged for October 22 and the rest is now pleasant history.

The owners of Ocean Sands and Crown Point have now defeated Coastland Corp. on three separate issues:

  • Coastland was against building the bike path unless families and children crossed Rte. 12 to get to it.  Common sense prevailed;
  • Coastland opposed the creation of the Storm Water Service district whose purpose is to solve flood problems. The County and OS owners felt differently;
  • Now 27 years of Coastland control of the Crown Point community is at an end!

It is BIG NEWS that Crown Point was successful without having to file a lawsuit!   This shows that this mechanism works. It will work for Ocean Sands North as well!   Your understanding of the issues and process, support during the two upcoming votes and completion of necessary documents in a few months are all that is required! We look forward to continuing our dialog with all owners and controlling our own future.

If you are aware of any fellow owners who have not furnished their email address(es) to the Home Owners of Ocean Sands, at,
please encourage them to do so. It is critical that we have 100% engagement !
And, as always stay updated on our website,!


Coastland Mandates Increase in Annual Dues

Mandated Dues Increase

On February 2, 2016 the Ocean Sands Property Owners Board met. There were four outcomes from the meeting.

Initially there were discussions concerning the 2015 budget shortfall and the proposed 2016 budget. A number of the line items were dissected and challenged by the owner representatives as being inappropriate, not expenses of the POA. Coastland strongly insisted on a substantial dues increase primarily because of cost overruns in 2015. Seaside Management surmises there will not be enough operating funds to cover necessary expenses.

The following 4 part motion was made by Rick Kinner, with the intent that the dues increase be contingent upon the other three components of the motion.

a) Formal Reserve study to be completed by Miller Dodson prior to the Annual Meeting.
b) A $38 dues increase (10% increase) to be made part of the 2016 invoice.
c) The amount of dues increase to be allocated $19 to the Emergency Reserve fund and the other $19 allocated to road capital projects.
d) 2016 budget be amended to remove $82,178 from the soft costs to generate surplus; the other $19 allocated to road capital projects.
     1) Reduce line item for Legal Fees to $3,000 from $14,000
     2) Drop $12,000 for Stormwater analysis, these are costs developed by        Coastland to create and defend the Coastland position.
     3) Remove $25,600 of Seaside management item, addressing Coastland      needs.
     4) Remove $31,178 GAW engineering work, not ready to spend at this          point. 

This motion was voted down 3/2 with Sara Duling, Bob DeFazio and Jeanne Marchinco voting nay and Al Marzetti and Rick Kinner voting yes.

The next motion was made by Sara Duling.

Motion to increase dues by $100, (26.4% increase) allocating the additional funds to $19 for the Road projects, $19 for Emergency Reserve and $62 for the operating accounts.

This motion passed, 3/2 with Coastland employees voting for it and owner reps voting no! There was a total disregard of the objections to the line items described in our motion.

Owner Representatives then made this motion which was amended in discussion as follows:

A formal Reserve Study to be completed by Miller Dodson prior to the annual meeting, costs not to exceed $4,000.

Motion was passed 4/1, with Jeanne Marchinco seeking to review the contract.

The last item decided was the date of the 2016 Annual Meeting. Coastland employees stated that the April date was only a trial for one year and that with only 65 attendees they wanted to go back to May. It turns out that several weeks ago Mr. DeFazio arranged the May 14 date with the Fire Department. The only consolation is that this is not Mother’s Day weekend.

Please mark your calendar and make every effort to attend the 5/14 meeting, we need your input. Meeting starts at 9 AM and lasts about two and half hours. As usual it will be at the Firehouse in Whalehead – 827 Whalehead Drive (at the intersection with Dolphin Street) in Corolla.

For more information about our Ocean Sands community please visit our web site,

Coastland Seeking a Dues Increase!

Coastland Seeking a Dues Increase!

Currently the members of the Ocean Sands Property Owners Association pay $380.00 annually.

This sum is invoiced by Coastland early in the first quarter and due for payment by March 30.  The dues were $350.00 per annum for several years until 2014.   Prior to the 2013 Annual Meeting, the owner members of the POA board agreed to a Coastland proposal for $30 increase, with the express proviso, however, that all additional monies generated by the increase would go directly into the “Reserve Fund for Storm Repairs”.  At the 2013 Annual Meeting, the membership ratified this proposal and the increase assessment commenced in 2014.  This fund is a type of capital maintenance reserve designed to cover significant damage sustained to the infrastructure (roads, walkways, cross overs) from a natural disaster such as hurricane, nor’easter, tornado, flooding etc.

Coastland is currently proposing a $100 increase in annual dues.  This represents a 26.4% increase.

Braxton Hill, VP of Coastland, began suggesting the need for a dues increase as early as August.  Since then Coastland has taken every opportunity when there is a request for service, information or meeting participation to point out the associated costs and the need for more money.  Basically, Coastland explains the need for a dues increase based on the following factors:

  1. Ocean Sands POA has one of the lowest annual dues among homeowner associations on the Outer Banks.
  2. The activities of the Stormwater Committee are putting a strain on the resources (time, staff, legal advice) of Coastland.  They charged the POA in 2015 and claim to need money for 2016 to respond to the actual requests of the Stormwater Committee, including attending monthly meetings.  We would note that a Coastland representative calls in to the meetings and is maybe on the phone for an hour.  Coastland has provided no information in response to numerous requests, so it does not appear they have spent any time collecting information for the Committee.
  3. Coastland has, yet again, sued Currituck County.  This litigation has associated costs and Coastland has postured a need to “protect” Ocean Sands owners from the consequences of its suit against the county by proposing hiring lawyers for the POA.  The POA has neither standing to participate nor exposure to any liability from this suit.
  4. Coastland’s proposed 2016 budget contains a 40% increase in total management expenses due to Coastland hiring Seaside Management (which has never been approved by the POA Board).
  5. Finally, Coastland informed POA Board as of 12/31/15 the Operating Account contains only $1,469.  Coastland feels that a shortage of funds to cover 2015 expenses against the 2015 budget would be resolved by increasing dues for 2016.

The owner representatives to the board, Al Marzetti and Rick Kinner are challenging this dues increase.  We feel the amount is too much and without rationale.  Having the lowest dues on the Outer Banks is not a sound basis for determining a dues increase. We are not categorically against a moderate dues increase for 2016, say $25-$40.  However, additional dues must be specifically allocated to the already established needs that owners have been discussing and requesting for years and not just used to pay more “allocated overhead” expenses of Coastland.

These would be:

  1. There have been continuous requests to have a formal independent reserve study completed, so we have a scientific basis for understanding future capital maintenance needs.         
  2. Adding more dollars to the existing storm repair reserve fund, which is clearly underfunded.
  3. Expenditures that prudently advance the solution for storm water flooding.
  4. Re-establishment of the drainage easements that should have been maintained (might help reduce flooding impact).
  5. Better quality road repair and maintenance.

More about the Ocean Sands and Crown Point Stormwater Committee

About the Stormwater Committee

As noted in our first communication, the Stormwater Committee was formed at the April 2014 annual meeting of the Ocean Sands Property Owners Association.  Subsequently, the Crown Point POA joined the Committee.  Currently there are discussions with several other contiguous communities with varying levels of interest.

The Committee is responding to the outcry from our community for a solution to the repeated flooding of their homes, surrounding areas and local streets over many years.  Beyond the negative effects on rental activities, this standing water poses many health hazards and negatively impacts property values (after all, who wants to pay top dollar in an area that floods?).  Of course, different storms bring different effects on different properties.  Also, there are many diverse players involved with multiple, competing objectives and needs.   Due to the complexities involved, both from an engineering and a “political” standpoint, the Committee concluded that a continuous focused effort was needed to resolve the many issues related to the stormwater problem.


We all know the cause of flooding – rain storms, Nor’easters and hurricanes!  But the conditions that create or allow pervasive flooding are different and varying.  The Committee’s mission and objectives are several:

  • First, to determine the reasons why the Northern Outer Banks communities are experiencing the levels and constancy of floods.
  • Second, to identify any potential solutions that address all aspects – topographic, land use, regulatory, technical, fiscal, as well as political constraints.
  • Third, to determine the optimal resolution which takes into account the cost and financing aspects, the engineering challenges, government regulations and the needs of all constituencies.

The Committee has agreed that a major objective or, more accurately, a key responsibility, is our obligation to provide owners with an understanding of all aspects of this very complex multi-community recurring problem.


There are currently 14 Ocean Sands and Crown Point homeowner members on the Committee, plus Eric Weatherly, the county engineer, and the Coastland participants.  We are overwhelmed by how many people are willing to volunteer significant amounts of their time for such a daunting task, so we would like to introduce the Committee members to you.

Homeowner representatives:

  • Ed PenceCommittee Chair– Structural Engineer, Founding Partner and Principal of engineering firm of Stroud, Pence and Associates, Ltd.; Virginia Beach, VA.
  • Terry Anderson – Land development engineer/land use planner, Board Member Ocean Sands Water & Sewer District.
  • Linda Garczynski – Environmental consultant, retired Director of the USEPA brownfields program.
  • Karl Suter – Geotechnical engineer with 34 years of experience including groundwater, earth dams, structure foundations, and ground improvement as well as construction inspection and testing.
  • Barbara Marzetti – Board Member OS Water & Sewer District, Corolla Civic Association President & founding member, local business owner, former OSPOA Board Member.
  • Barrie McLeod – Board Member Crown Point POA, Retired Nuclear Engineer, Energy Consultant, and Mathematician.
  • Gerri Adams – Board Member Crown Point POA, teacher, jewelry appraiser, and business owner.
  • Rick Kinner – Board Member Ocean Sands POA, retired insurance executive, tax & business consultant.
  • Al Marzetti – Board Member:  Ocean Sands POA, Currituck County Economic Development Advisory Board, Corolla Education Foundation (WEVS), CFR Foundation; Corolla Magistrate, retired tax attorney.
  • Pat Riley – Board Member & Chair, OS Water & Sewer District, former Member OSPOA Board & Currituck County Planning Board.
  • Jeanne Fitzpatrick – Active member of Corolla Fire and Rescue, Friends of the Corolla Library, and the Corolla Civic Association, retired from Fannie Mae.
  • Bill Dondarski – Chemical Engineer, Retired Senior Executive in Chemical Industry.
  • Peggy Cowdrill – Retired Nurse Practitioner.
  • David Cowdrill – Retired Engineer, Ceramic Artist.

Coastland participants:

  • Bob DeFazio – OS Property Manager for Coastland, President of OSPOA
  • Braxton Hill – Attorney for Coastland Corp., Board Member of OS Water & Sewer District
  • Carlos Gomez – Engineer for Coastland
  • Jeanne Marcinko – Coastland employee, OSPOA Treasurer
  • Sara Duling – Coastland employee, OSPOA Secretary

Technical guidance & assistance provided to the Committee by Eric Weatherly, Currituck County Engineer

On-Going Activities

The Committee has been meeting monthly since the beginning of 2015, with a majority of the Committee members at each meeting in the County satellite office or the Corolla Library.  We have formed a number of subcommittees to address different aspects of this highly complex issue.  The subcommittees are having conference calls, conducting research and developing recommendations for their areas. Activities to-date include:

  • Ongoing discussions with Moffatt & Nichol following receipt of their preliminary study.
  • Dialogue started with other POA and HOA organizations to gauge interest in participating in a global solution.
  • Communicating with entities which might take our collected storm water.
  • On-going efforts to engage Coastland Corporation in arriving at a comprehensive solution.

Significant time has also been spent by numerous Committee members to put in place stop-gap measures to mitigate flooding issues caused by the recent storms (and we can’t emphasize enough just how lucky we were that Hurricane Joaquin moved out to sea).

The Stormwater Committee will continue to communicate with all owners and share news and developments about our efforts.  All of the owners and residents within our communities must be made aware of all components of this multifarious problem.  We believe that people must recognize that there are many ways they may be impacted by the pervasive flooding in the northern outer banks – not just whether they have standing water in or under their house.   In addition to damage to homes and personal property, pervasive and continual flooding impacts access to rental property, dents fair rental values and increases insurance rates.  Obviously, potential flooding conditions result in reduced property values for all.  Moreover, there is a clear and lasting impact on the appearance of our communities and the impression people have of Ocean Sands and Crown Point, not to mention the potential adverse health impacts from standing water.

Please pass this information on to your friends and neighbors as we still don’t have a complete email list of all property owners and can’t afford postal mailings.  Tell them to email: so that we can add them to our list for future updates.  Thanks for your help and cooperation & stay tuned!

Ocean Sands Owner Representatives Requests for Minutes – A Timeline

The Ocean Sands Property Owners Association is a North Carolina Non-Profit Corporation that is also a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization.  One of the requirements for Non-Profits is to hold an annual meeting which is announced to all members more than 30 days prior to the meeting.  In 2015, the meeting was held at the Whalehead fire station on April 25 from 9-11:30 AM.  Approximately 165 people were in attendance representing about 100 owners.

The Board of Directors of the Ocean Sands POA is determined by Article III section 5 and Article IV of the By-Laws. The board is comprised of 5 people.  Three of the individuals are employees of Coastland Corp. the developer since 1972.  In their employment roles they report to Braxton Hill, Coastland’s VP and attorney of record.  Owner representatives hold the other two director positions.  They are Al Marzetti resident of Section F and Rick Kinner resident of Section Q.

Two weeks after the annual meeting, on May 10, one of the Owner Representatives, Rick Kinner took the time and effort to recap and document the annual meeting. Owner Representative Summarizes 2015 Annual Meeting of the Ocean Sands Property Owners Association (OSPOA) Meeting

 The recap was distributed to the 230 owner emails that he had collected over three years.  The primary reasons for the recap were a number of key discussions and decisions that occurred at the meeting.  Foremost were the engineering report concerning storm water, the effort to reconstitute the Architectural Committee, the bike path and, most significantly, the establishment of the Governance committee.

The official minutes of each annual meeting are produced by the board secretary, a Coastland employee.   Historically (at least the last 6 years) those minutes were distributed about two weeks prior to the next annual meeting —  in other words, 11 months later.  

Brief timeline

  • This July, the owner representatives began requesting the publishing of the Minutes.
  • Requests were made at least 8 different times with no response from Coastland.
  • In October, we received email from Coastland Corp. stating that first draft of Minutes was complete being reviewed by Mr. James Johnson and Braxton Hill.  Neither individual is a board member!
  • We had a board meeting on 8/19.  No mention of progress or comments on review of Minutes.
  • On 9/2, Coastland informs owner representatives of the additional cost of another management company via email.  Didn’t give us the courtesy of telling us in person, or allowing for a board discussion.
  • Coastland sends an email on 11/24 simply stating “Attached”. Coastland Official Meeting Minutes of 2015 OSPOA Annual Meeting

The Minutes are 8 pages long, read like a snippet from a sound recording.

Names of speakers are incorrect and misspelled            

A seven month’s delay in publishing the Minutes of the annual meeting

Lack of serious content, no cohesion or flow, no identification of topics or results.  

Non-compliant with standard parliamentary procedure

There is a very real question concerning the quality of governance the owners receive from Coastland!   How the Minutes were addressed is just a very recent and clear example of this.  Coastland does not meet standards for business conduct and gives short shrift to maintenance of necessary corporate formalities.  Coastland has little regard for questions, opinions or needs of owners.  There is a real lack of responsiveness. Any actions of consequence are determined solely by James Johnson and Braxton Hill, who do not consult with the owners.  The “Coastland” directors do as their employer instructs, and since they are always in the majority, the Ocean Sands POA is controlled by James Johnson, who is the ultimate arbiter on virtually every POA issue.

Links to both the Owner Recap document of 5/10/15 and the official Minutes of 11/24 are provided in this post for you to make your own determination as to whether you are getting the information you need from Coastland.

News from the Ocean Sands Stormwater Committee!

Ocean Sands & Crown Point Stormwater Committee

visit us on Facebook at Corolla Stormwater


The Storm Water Committee of Ocean Sands and Crown Point is evaluating the best resolution to the flooding situation in our community. There are aspects of the potential technical engineering solutions that need to be further investigated, validated and confirmed.  The Committee is also studying a number of issues in the administrative, legal and financial areas.

Of paramount importance is recognizing and understanding that our two communities have ongoing pervasive flooding problems, to which none of us is totally immune.  Even if your house hasn’t directly experienced flooding, perhaps your yard, your street or your immediate neighborhood has been flooded. This then harms your (or your renters’) ability to access the property.  The impact on property values, rental opportunities, and hassle of repeated cleanup and repairs and potentially your health is significant and costly.  There is also the standing and reputation of the community: when potential renters/visitors (or buyers) hear about ‘flooding in Ocean Sands’, they likely don’t know where it is and won’t bother to investigate further whether a particular property has flooding issues, but will simply look at another community in which to rent or buy.

Creation of a Special Service District
Regardless of the ultimate technical solution, there will be an associated cost for the needed improvements and consequently the need to figure out how to fund it. One way to fund the improvements is to create a Special Service District (more info below*) which gives the community the ability to pay for the studies, design, construction, and ongoing operation and maintenance of the chosen flood control solution.

What is a Special Service District? In brief, a special service tax district is created at the request of affected property owners and administered publicly by the County Commissioners sitting as the Board of the Service District, with guidance and input from an advisory board consisting of property owners. This is the same way the Ocean Sands Water & Sewer District operates.

How a Special Service District is Funded
Service district taxes are set annually at a rate by the service district board (on the recommendation of the advisory board) to fund the activities of the special district.  Rates are typically low in the early years when the engineering work takes place, increase during the construction phases and then decrease markedly when funds are only needed for operation and maintenance of the stormwater system.  The early years are sometimes used to build up capital to better level out rates during the construction period.  Service district taxes are fully tax deductible to the property owners.  This Service District (through County professionals) manages the long term operation and maintenance of the flood control system.  This approach was successfully utilized by our neighbors in Whalehead to fund and implement their stormwater system.  Whalehead’s system performed exceptionally well during the recent flooding events.

Moffatt &Nichol (M&N), the engineering firm that designed Whalehead’s system, did a preliminary feasibility study for Ocean Sands.  M&N also investigated potential funding streams from federal agencies but nearly all of them require costly detailed economic studies and benefit/cost analyses to receive funding.  As the project progresses, the issue of federal subsidies will be revisited.   NC Department of Transportation will also be approached for assistance with flooding problems on NC 12.

Information from the County tax office shows that the tax value of the study area (including Ocean Sands North, Coastland’s undeveloped Sections G & T, and Crown Point) is $499,323,104. Each $0.01 tax per $100 valuation would provide $49,810 per year in revenue.

The next phase of the project which includes data gathering and master plan completion is estimated to cost $220,000.  This work needs to be done before a solid cost projection for constructing a system can be developed.  Additionally, there is a near-term solution which could be put in place and used in an emergency to lower the lake and wastewater treatment system’s moats, at an estimated cost of $50,000.  Using the revenue assumptions above for these two projects would yield a stormwater district tax rate of $0.054/per hundred valuation.  On a property valued at $350,000 this would mean an additional $189 in taxes per year or roughly $0.50/day.

As noted above, rates would increase during the construction phase.  It is likely, however, that the construction of the system can be accomplished in phases, which would allow for system implementation over time. Whalehead subdivision followed this approach and has two loans that will sunset at various times. They began with a $0.02-0.03 assessment many years ago to begin studying the issue and are currently paying an assessment of $0.155 that will drop by $0.047 in 2019 and another $0.08 in 2023.

It should be recognized that there will be a $0.02-0.03 tax needed for operations and maintenance (County staff operation of system, pump replacements, system maintenance, etc.) in perpetuity for the Whalehead system. The same can be said for Ocean Sands if a similar system is chosen.  This is a cost of enhancing and maintaining property values and peace of mind.

Currituck County has experience with special districts such as the Ocean Sands Water and Sewer District (OSWSD) as well as 5 existing stormwater service districts.

The county will create a Stormwater Service District for Ocean Sands and Crown Point when we are able to obtain support for the concept from our property owners.  Our goal is to demonstrate this by May of 2016.  This will allow for the tax component to be issued with the July tax bill; it would be listed as a separate line item like, e.g., OWSWD fees and trash collection fees.  .

All property owners within the boundaries of Ocean Sands North and Crown Point, including Coastland owned lots and undeveloped sections would share in the cost.

Other Options
We have prepared a spreadsheet comparing two different funding mechanisms:  POA special assessment vs. the Service District option.  Coastland is in favor of the private bank loan/POA special assessment funding mechanism, while the Ocean Sands Stormwater Committee and the four owner representatives on the two POA boards feel strongly that the Special District financing method is the option in the best interests of individual property owners.  You can view the spreadsheet here:

In 2008 there were 39,000 Special Purpose Districts in the US.  Currently there are nearly 300 in North Carolina.  So this is not something unique or different.  The reason for them is the reality of inadequate tax bases and competing demands for existing taxes which make it hard for cities and counties to provide all the services their citizens desire or need. When residents or landowners want new services or higher levels of existing services, they form a district to pay for them.

Service districts are allowed and defined under state law.  In North Carolina they are authorized by NCGS Chapter 130A; articles 2 or 12; Chapter 153A; Article 16; and Chapter 162A; articles 4 and 5.  In plain language, a special district is a separate local governmental entity that delivers a specific public service within defined boundaries.  Fire districts, drainage districts, sewage and waste water and pest abatement districts exist today because taxpayers are willing to pay for services they needed.

Special districts enjoy many of the same governing powers as municipalities and counties. They can enter into contracts, employ workers, and acquire real property through purchase or eminent domain.  Special districts have both corporate power and tax power.  The corporate power is the ability to “do things,” like constructing public works projects such as dams and sewers or “ground water leveling systems”.  The tax power is the authority to raise money to pay for these projects and services.  Raising funds is a primary objective of service districts and is accomplished by levying incremental tax or issuing bonds.

The Flooding & Stormwater Feasibility Study by Moffatt and Nichol is available here:


on the “Corolla Stormwater” closed Facebook page which you are invited to join.  The Fb page has other stormwater related information as well as our previous mailings to the community.

Ocean Sands & Crown Point Flooding Pictures are here:


APRIL 2015

OCT. 2015 Nor’easter & Joaquin

Visit our website: Send us an email: Join us on Facebook: Home Owners Of Ocean Sands Our mailing address is: P.O. Box 56, Corolla, NC 27927