Home Owners of Ocean Sands Facebook Group Breaks 500

 

OCEAN SANDS FACEBOOK GROUP
TWO YEARS OLD AND MORE THAN 500 STRONG!

In April of 2015, the Governance Committee was formed by unanimous floor vote at the Annual Owners Meeting. Due to Coastland’s failure to disseminate pertinent information about our community, we went to work to find a way to better connect neighbors with neighbors. We set out to build a database of owners’ contact information, and in 2016 we launched our first email to the Home Owners of Ocean Sands. Our mailing list has since grown to more than 1,300 subscribers.

Later that same year, we began work on an owner website, designed to host information about Ocean Sands, including FAQs, legal documents, emails and posts. We announced oshoa.org in the winter of 2016.

In August of 2017, the Governance Committee created the Home Owners of Ocean Sands Facebook Group, and invited homeowners to join. It started small, but there are now 517 verified owner members. On this Facebook page, owners share important information about our homes, our community and events, vendor services, beach and dune crossover status, hurricanes and tropical storms. Whenever Ocean Sands suffers the brunt of a storm, for example, neighbors reach out to neighbors, sending photos and checking homes for those who are unable to get here to see for themselves.

Since this is a closed group, only members who own property in Ocean Sands North may be admitted. This is meant to provide a safe place for discussion among owners. Members are held to the basic FB standards of respectful and courteous discourse.

If you are a member of our Facebook Group, thanks for joining! If not, please send a request to join by clicking here: Home Owners Of Ocean Sands. Spread the word to other Ocean Sands neighbors!

Finally, we continue into 2019 to get the job done. So if you, or someone you know, haven’t signed the Written Consent Form to amend the Declaration, please do it this week! More than 80% of Facebook members have sent in their signed Written Consent Form. Doing so will amend the Declaration and place control of our community into the rightful hands of ALL owners, not the Developer. We’re getting very close to reaching that goal. Question about the form or process? Send us an email: admin@oshoa.org.

Here’s a link to the email that will explain why, and take you to the form that you need to sign: http://oshoa.org/2017/08/10/written-consent-to-amend-the-declaration/

Do it this week.

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

 

 

Notarizing is EASY

So many owners have told us that the only thing stopping them from sending in their Written Consent form is the need for a notary. The notary requirement is one we would have gladly skipped, but our attorney warned that not having a notary certification on each form would create a potential claim of fraud.

All forms need to be notarized. Normally, we only see notaries when buying or selling a home or signing a will. For most people these are not frequent activities. We are hoping a quick set of reminders will help get many owners over the hump.

WHERE:
Notaries are available many places. Wherever you find a notary, the seal will be honored in North Carolina. Follow this list in order of ease:

  • Your bank – almost always has a notary in the branch. Often notarization is free if you have an account.
  • Public Library, commonly free
  • UPS or FedEx stores are very convenient, not free
  • Real Estate firms, usually
  • Your employer may have a notary in the Legal or HR department
  • Law Offices, always

HOW:

  • Print out the form and complete it, but do not sign it yet
  • Go to the notary you found above
  • Sign the form in front of them
  • Provide your driver’s license or passport as identification
  • The notary will examine the driver’s license to identify you
  • Often, they will record your information in their logbook and you may be asked to sign. This is in case the notarization is ever challenged.
  • The notary will fill in the Certification section, sign, date, and stamp the form. The form will be returned to you.

POINTS TO REMEMBER:

  • All owners need to sign for Joint or Partnership, but they can sign different copies of the form. The attorney will match them up.
  • For Trust ownership, use the Trust form. All Trustees must sign, but they can sign different copies of the form. Fill in the exact name of the Trust (we can find it for you). When you sign your name, write “Trustee” after your signature.
  • For LLC ownership, use the Corporation form. Fill in the name of the LLC. When you sign your name, put your corporate title after your signature. It might be Manager, CEO, President, Owner, etc. It is never Registered Agent.
  • Mail the form directly to the attorney. The address is at the top of page one.


Getting the Written Consent form notarized is not be a burden. Total time at the notary should be well under 15 minutes if you are prepared. The forms notarized at the Annual Meeting by our mobile notary usually took less than 10 minutes, unless the owners wanted to chat. If not free from your bank, notary fees run between $2 and $15 depending on state laws. The need for a notary should not be an obstacle to submitting your form. Over 560 forms have been submitted already.

If you have any questions, or need a blank form please reply to this email.

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

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!
Copyright © 2019
Home Owners Of Ocean Sands Governance Committee
All rights reserved

Visit our website: http://www.oshoa.org
Send us an email: admin@oshoa.org

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Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box 56, Corolla, NC 27927Want to change how you receive these emails?

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COUNT UPDATE TO ALL OWNERS WHO HAVE NOT SIGNED email to owners 7.26.18

MOVING FORWARD – SIGNATURES COUNT

We have not sent an email since May because we have been exploring new ways to reach the remaining owners who have not yet signed.  Many of you have wondered about the progress towards securing owner’s control of Ocean Sands. The table below lays out the entire situation and what we must accomplish, together.

TOTAL PROPERTIES IN OCEAN SANDS:  1,001

TOTAL NUMBER OF OWNERS:             924

LEGALLY REQUIRED SIGNATURES:   2/3 of  properties

SIGNED FORMS RECEIVED:                    73% properties required

SIGNED FORMS RECEIVED                     53% of ALL owners
|
ADDITIONAL FORMS REQUIRED          181 Written  Consents

More than half your Ocean Sands neighbors believe in the necessity of self-governance and have already signed the document. Our goal is to have all the required signatures by December 31, 2018, which can be done with your help now.
Everyone reading the OS Annual Budget knows that Coastland is taking a fee for operating OSPOA, when Signature Touch has been hired specifically for that purpose!
Everyone who paid their dues knows they went up again, for the third year running.
Everyone who has read our emails knows that Crown Point has not had to raise dues once they removed Coastland’s control of their community.
But not Everyone has done the one thing that will give the owners control of Ocean Sands. Sign and notarize the Written Consent to Amend form. Support your neighbors.
This email came to you because we have not received your Written Consent yet. If you have questions or need the form, please contact us by replying to this email. If you have been meaning to complete the form, please do it NOW !
The Governance Committee
Al, Rick, Jeanne, Greg, Robert, Chris, Jim, and Dennis
Copyright © 2018
Home Owners Of Ocean Sands Governance Committee
All rights reserved

Visit our website: http://www.oshoa.org
Send us an email: admin@oshoa.org

Join us on Facebook: Home Owners Of Ocean Sands
Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box 56, Corolla, NC 27927

COASTLAND CONTINUES TO BLOCK STORMWATER SOLUTIONS email to owners 8.6.18

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

IF YOU HAVE SENT IN YOUR WRITTEN CONSENT FORM TO AMEND THE DECLARATION – THANK YOU! IF NOT, PLEASE DO SO NOW. CLICK IN THE YELLOW FIELD BELOW FOR THE REQUIRED FORM AND BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

WRITTEN CONSENT TO AMEND THE DECLARATION

AND CHECK WITH YOUR NEIGHBORS TO BE SURE THEY HAVE  SENT IN THEIR FORM

Copyright © 2018
Home Owners Of Ocean Sands Governance Committee
All rights reserved

Visit our website: http://www.oshoa.org
Send us an email: admin@oshoa.org

Join us on Facebook: Home Owners Of Ocean Sands
Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box 56, Corolla, NC 27927

MEET THE GOVERNANCE COMMITTEE TO LEARN WHY THINGS MUST CHANGE email to owners 11.20.2018

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
All rights reserved

Visit our website: http://www.oshoa.org
Send us an email: admin@oshoa.org

Join us on Facebook: Home Owners Of Ocean Sands

Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box 56, Corolla, NC 27927

SHORT HISTORY OF FLOODWATER MANAGEMENT IN OCEAN SANDS & CROWN POINT

This is for those of you who may be new to the community, or want a refresher on stormwater and flood mitigation in Ocean Sands and Crown Point.  You can find tons of historical background information on the initiative to solve the flooding problem in the “FILES” on our closed Facebook page “Corolla Stormwater” 

If you don’t do Facebook, can find the info at:  http://oshoa.org/category/flooding/

We have a Service District (an official unit of County government) that manages all matters related to flooding and flood mitigation.  The geographical boundaries of the service district include Ocean Sands North, Crown Point and certain areas adjacent to Crown Point and on the west side of Route 12 across from sewer plant.  As such, the Ocean Sands and Crown Point POA’s are not involved in flood mitigation except to the extent they may encourage practices that help the flooding situation, such as rain gardens, swales, and permeable surfaces.

1973 – 2013.   For the first 40 years that Coastland was in control of Ocean Sands, nothing was done (or required) about the flooding problem.    As more properties were developed, Rt. 12 was paved, the Harris Teeter went in, etc., the problem became progressively worse because we sit in a “bowl” between the dunes and Rt. 12..  For a summary of problem, see:  http://oshoa.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/FINAL-Stormwater-Presentation-4.6.16.pdf

2014 – Community Demands that Flooding be Addressed. The community resolved to form a “stormwater committee” at the 2014 Annual Meeting.  Starting in May 2014 a committee of 14 homeowners in Ocean Sands and Crown Point, several Coastland participants and Eric Weatherly, the County Engineer, met monthly to develop a plan to solve the community’s flooding problem.  The mission & key objectives of the Stormwater Committee were as follows:

  • First, to determine the reasons why our two 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.
  • Fourth, provide property owners with a full understanding of all aspects of this very complex yet recurring multi-community problem.

The engineering firm of Moffatt & Nichols was hired to do a feasibility study, which was presented at the 2015 Annual Meeting, outlining options for flood mitigation systems and potential costs.  This study was paid for using your homeowner dues; Coastland bore none of the costs.  Link to M&N study:  https://www.dropbox.com/s/jj7hit87knz84o6/20150615%20OCEAN%20SANDS%20FINAL%20REPORT.pdf?dl=0

As the ensuing months went by, it became clear to the homeowner committee members that Coastland was unwilling to move forward to solve the problem as it continued to stall on all issues and wouldn’t even commit to granting access to open space for system construction.  The homeowner members continued to send out numerous educational e-mails and determined that the only way to solve the problem was to work around Coastland and develop a plan to obtain owner buy-in to support the creation of a governmental service district.  The committee even did a YouTube video to “sell” the service district approach. https://vimeo.com/161797335?utm_source=email&utm_medium=vimeo-cliptranscode-201504&utm_campaign=29220

2016 – Formation of “Stormwater” Service District.  A “tax service district” is a subdivision of County government 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.  Another way to think of it is as a vehicle to raise funds to pay for the studies, design, construction, and ongoing operation and maintenance of the flood mitigation system.  The taxes are added to your property tax bill.  County professionals manage the long-term operation and maintenance of the system once it is constructed.  This is what the Whalehead community has done to mitigate their flooding.

Barbara Marzetti took the lead in orchestrating a survey via SurveyMonkey to measure community support for the service district (thanks to the Governance Committee for use of its email list) and in presenting the case to the Commissioners at the Public Hearing.  Other key presenters at the hearing were Ed Pence, Linda Garczynski and Gerri Adams.  Braxton Hill represented Coastland in opposition to formation of the district.  Following the testimony, the Commissioners voted unanimously to form the district, with one of the Commissioners commenting to Braxton Hill: “Coastland has had 40 years to do something about the problem and has done absolutely nothing.”

The Ocean Sands North and Crown Point Service District for Watershed Improvement was thus established by Currituck County in May 2016, effective July 1, 2016.  A citizen Advisory Board was appointed by the County Commissioners.  The current members are Ed Pence, Barbara Marzetti, Gerri Adams, Linda Garczynski, Al Marzetti, and Bryan Daggett (short bios can be found on the oshoa.org site).  Braxton Hill, representing Coastland, was originally on the Advisory Board but resigned.

In July 2016, the Advisory Board sent out a Request for Qualifications to over 30 Engineering firms.  After a rigorous vetting process, 3 firms were chosen to interview with the Advisory Board on September 9, 2016 and Albemarle & Associates, Ltd. of Kitty Hawk, NC was selected to do the “Phase 1” work, which included completion of the necessary hydrology testing, assistance in the development of an Emergency Pumping Plan, development of a Report providing recommendations for stormwater management (i.e., Conceptual System Design) and recommendations for potential “quick hit” actions that could be taken to help alleviate the problem while the overall system was being constructed.

2017 – Hydrology Testing, Coastland Lawsuit and Development of Emergency Pumping Plan.  The Advisory Board put in countless hours of work on the Emergency Pumping Plan, which was completed in September 2017 and submitted to the NC Department of Environmental Quality for approval.  While formal approval is still pending, the State indicated that the Plan could be used while approval was pending.  As such, it was used for these current storms and greatly accelerated the time needed to obtain a permit to pump floodwater to the ocean.  Note that Emergency Pumping is designed to pump out streets and not water under every home.  It is not a substitute for a comprehensive flood mitigation system and, it is extremely expensive Hydrology testing began in late 2016 and extended into 2017 due to the need to obtain groundwater data over a 12 – 18 month period.  This could be accomplished only because of the cooperation of numerous homeowners who allowed piezometers and test wells to be placed in their yards, as Coastland refused to grant access to open space for this purpose.  Luckily, Crown Point had already broken free of Coastland control, as use of Crown Point open space was crucial to this process.

Shortly after formation of the Service District, Coastland filed a lawsuit against the County claiming that the formation of the service district was invalid, demanding that its undeveloped properties be excluded from the service district and demanding damages for being included (i.e., reimbursement of the very nominal taxes that Coastland must pay).  A Court has already ruled that formation of the service district was valid, but the other claims still remain outstanding.

2018 – Albemarle & Associates Report & Recommendations.  The Report & Recommendations for Stormwater Management has been completed in draft and Albemarle & Associates is currently addressing comments from the Advisory Board and the County Engineer.  It is expected that the Report will be finalized in August of this year.  In very general terms, the Report recommends pump stations be strategically located throughout the community (based on the results of the hydrology testing) with variable speed pumps that can be fine-tuned to maintain groundwater at optimum levels.  Each of the pump stations would be fed by 5 to 7 shallow wells connected to the pump and interconnected to an underground conveyance system.  In advance of a major storm, the pumps could be “cranked up” to further lower groundwater so as to allow for greater soil absorption capability.  Ultimately, the water stormwater/groundwater would be discharged into Currituck Sound in a permitted fashion.  Once the report is finalized, we will have a better idea of potential system costs and tax rate impacts.

Following finalization of the Report & Recommendations, normally we would immediately proceed to the Detailed Engineering Design phase.  However, at this time, no further progress can be made as Coastland’s lawsuit is still pending and Coastland hasn’t granted access to its open space and undeveloped properties for system construction.  We believe that a solid case has been presented to Coastland as to why it makes economic sense for Coastland to cooperate in the development of a global solution.  We are hopeful that Coastland sees the merits and advantages of this global system (e.g., development of Section G cannot happen without flood mitigation and a stand-alone system for Section G is not viable) and will be able to sort out its issues with the County in the near future.  This can be a win-win for everybody.  We are optimistic that Coastland will get on board but, until they do, we are stymied from making any future progress.

Once again, more details can be found on the ‘Corolla Stormwater’ Facebook Page and at http://oshoa.org/category/flooding/

If you have further questions please direct them to the Advisory Board at: OceanSandsStormwater@gmail.com

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 admin@oshoa.org

WRITTEN CONSENT TO AMEND DECLARATION

AFTER 40 YEARS, IT IS TIME FOR OWNERS TO
TAKE CONTROL OF OUR OWN COMMUNITY!

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

JOIN US TODAY ON FACEBOOKHome Owners of Ocean Sands

Update from the Ocean Sands and Crown Point Stormwater Committee

Ocean Sands & Crown Point Stormwater Committee

Dear Friends & Neighbors,It’s been awhile since we wrote to you and we were hoping to have better news.  But, we must once again report another instance of Coastland’s intransigence and ill will towards the community.  As described below, we will likely need assistance from various homeowners to allow temporary test wells to be drilled on their properties in order to move forward in developing a solution to the recurring flooding problems.  We need to start now to capture winter water table levels.

Status of Albemarle Engineering Services Contract.   We finalized the contract with Albemarle & Associates in early November.  Albemarle worked with us in a very constructive manner to develop an agreement that came within the budgetary constraints stemming from the cost of Hurricane Matthew ocean pumping.   As you may recall, the District spent $81,000 on ocean pumping; this was not a contingency that was taken into account in developing the 2016-17 budget & tax rate.  We were, however, able to structure the agreement for the first phase of work to stay within our available funding without comprising the initial work (i.e., hydrology and testing) that needed to be done upfront.
In October, the Advisory Board requested that Braxton Hill obtain approval from James Johnson to drill test wells and install piezometers on the open space and undeveloped areas, subject to a “hold harmless” agreement to protect Coastland.

Coastland’s Refusal to Co-operate…Again.   We believed that we had a good plan for moving forward with the initial testing … but, then, in its usual fashion, Coastland threw a monkey wrench into it.  At the end of last year, Coastland sent a letter to the County at 5:30 p.m. on the Friday before New Years’ Eve (included below) that essentially said that Coastland wasn’t going to cooperate with any aspect of stormwater planning unless the County could answer why inclusion of the Coastland/Johnson undeveloped properties in the Service District made economic sense for Coastland/Johnson.   If one reads the letter closer, it appears essentially to be a petulant demand that the County remove these sections (e.g., Section G) from the Service District because the District was formed without Coastland’s approval.

Eric Weatherly, the County Engineer, promptly responded with a short e-mail briefly outlining the benefits to Coastland/Johnson.  In reply to Eric, Coastland sent an e-mail on January 6 simply reiterating most of the points in their December 30 letter.  Al Marzetti then replied (included below) to Coastland’s January 6th e-mail trying to explain how and why it was a “no-brainer” for Coastland to cooperate as Coastland/Johnson are currently paying only ~$10,000 a year in tax and will get a stormwater mitigation solution for its undeveloped properties at a bargain price.  If, for example, Section G was excluded from the District, stand-alone stormwater mitigation which would be required at the time that property is developed, would be far more expensive.  (Also, it’s important to note that, if Section G were removed, we wouldn’t have a service district, because the law requires all property in the district to be contiguous.)

The Advisory Board next met on January 20, 2017 and it was once again explained to Braxton Hill that it was important that testing begin immediately due to the need to capture water table levels during the winter.  We assured Braxton that (1) a suitable “hold harmless” agreement would be provided to Coastland, (2) the test wells are very small, and (3) we would provide pictures of test wells, piezometers and the equipment needed to place them so that Mr. Johnson could see what would activity would take place on his undeveloped parcels and open space – which, by the way, Coastland tells us is dedicated to the exclusive use of OSPOA.

Mr. Hill committed to get back to the Advisory Board with an answer by the following Tuesday.  It is now almost 2 weeks beyond the date.  Despite repeated requests and follow-up, we continue to get no response.

You may recall that, for over two years, the question of access to open space has been posed to Coastland and they steadfastly refuse to provide an answer.   The current request doesn’t even relate to actual construction … it’s just some little test wells and monitoring equipment to be placed on a temporary basis.  After testing is completed, Mr. Johnson’s undeveloped parcels and the open space will be returned to its original condition.

It is imperative to get this work done now or we will lose another year before we can start to deal with the flooding problem.  Apparently, Mr. Johnson fails to appreciate the people who invested in his developments in Ocean Sands and Crown Point and is unconcerned with the potential for them to suffer additional loss in the future.

Our “Plan B” – Bypass Coastland. The Advisory Board anticipated that there was a high probability that Coastland would once again filibuster… because that is what they always do.  So, at the January 20 meeting, we developed a back-up plan to place test wells in the right-of-way and in owners’ yards.   It is likely that we will have to move forward with this plan and we will be asking some owners for permission to drill a temporary test well on their property.   Attached is a map showing where Albemarle’s proposed testing locations.  If your property is adjacent to one of these locations, we will follow up with you to get your approval, and if you are willing to help, it would be fantastic!!”.  A “hold harmless” agreement from the County will be provided.

While this “Plan B” is not perfect from an engineering standpoint — as we will not be able to get key data from Section G and other undeveloped areas – it may be serviceable.  The alternative is losing another year and, if past history is any guide, Coastland still won’t be amenable to helping the community out next year either.

We strongly encourage you to write to Coastland at info@Coastlandcorp.com and let them know that they need to cooperate with this project for the good of the community … and for their own good!


December 30, 2016

Eric Weatherly, County Engineer
County of Currituck
153 Courthouse Road, Suite 302
Currituck, NC 27929
Re: Stormwater District

Eric:

James Johnson is still out of the office recovering from his surgery; however, Coastland has expressed these concerns about the stormwater district.

The County has included Sections G, R, X, Y and U in the stormwater district. All of these are undeveloped properties with the limited exception of Section R which has a single structure.

What useful purpose to James Johnson and Coastland will this serve by having these properties in the district at this time? Please explain this fully.

What benefit will these properties derive from paying the additional taxes and being in the district at this time as opposed to later when they are developed? Please explain this fully.
Does the County intend to use these properties or any property owned by James Johnson or Coastland for the benefit of the County or other properties and if so, how so?

Are any improvements contemplated now on these sections that will benefit these sections when they are developed? Why could not these improvements be deferred and additional taxes be deferred until the properties are developed? How does it benefit James Johnson and Coastland to pay additional taxes now?
If the County plans on using any of James Johnson’s or Coastland’s property, a permit or easement will have to be granted by James Johnson and/or Coastland before the County gets on the property. To the extent Coastland provides open space for stormwater facility use in the developed sections and/or as – yet undesignated space in the undeveloped sections, if such use subsequently interferes with Coastland’s future intended use of such space, in Coastland’s sole and exclusive opinion, the District shall remove, at its expense, and relocate, at its expense, such facilities.

The new Commissioners should be aware that the County has previously used James Johnson’s and/or Coastland’s property without permission or permit. We will not tolerate this to continue.

Any investigation needed to make sure that James Johnson and/or Coastland is fully protected should not be a James Johnson and/or Coastland expense.
It appears that you want my land, my tax money but get nothing out of this.

Please reply to these concerns at your earlies convenience.

Thank you.

Coastland Corporation

cc: Dan Scanlon, County Manager
Currituck County Board of Commissioners
Ocean Sands North and Crown Point Stormwater Advisory Board


January 9, 2017
Dear Coastland, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Hill,

I am responding to email dated January 6, 2017 from info@Coastlandcorp.com.  I am writing in my capacity as a member of the Ocean Sands POA Board, and not on behalf of the County.  First of all, I am once again dismayed by the spitefulness of your communications.

In any event, this is to answer your question.  It is pretty elementary and does not require a separate study, as it is a matter of common sense.

The amount of annual tax paid to the Stormwater District by Coastland is just over $10,000 (see attached Excel schedule).  In the grand scheme of things, this is a small amount and provides huge value to Coastland.  The value of G, R & U will be greatly enhanced with a functioning stormwater mitigation system, as a sizable cost will be avoided when those properties are developed.  G & R (and, probably, U) will not be able to be developed without the construction of a stormwater mitigation system – and a couple of retention ponds is not going to do the trick.  Economies of scale dictate that it would be far cheaper to accomplish that as part of a global system incorporating all of Ocean Sands North and Crown Point than to do it later on a piecemeal, stand-alone basis – particularly when the homeowners are paying a disproportionate share of the costs.

Most likely, a stormwater mitigation system will also enhance the value of X & Y.  But even if it doesn’t, the inclusion of X & Y is critical to increasing the value of G, R & U because, for a system to be effective, access to the Sound is critical.  As you are aware, Ocean Sands North & Crown Point are in a bowl and it is necessary to get the water out of that bowl to the Sound.  This has been the objective of every stormwater mitigation system constructed in Corolla (e.g., Whalehead, Corolla Light) and the Ocean Sands Feasibility Study by Moffat & Nichol.

I weary of the typical Coastland response of always having to get a separate, independent study … which is a great delaying tactic and always seems to get charged to the POA.  What would such a study even tell you?  Coastland has Braxton Hill as its representative on the Advisory Board and the Advisory Board selected the engineering firm that Braxton was in favor of for this project.  This is another reason why Coastland does not need an independent study to protect its interest.   I should note that charging the cost any such study to the Ocean Sands POA will likely result in a lawsuit for breach of fiduciary duty.  And I also don’t think it’s appropriate or useful for the District to bear such a cost.

I also find it disconcerting that Coastland continues to threaten trespass particularly when the OSPOA is the beneficial owner of the open space.  I think there’s a fair chance that a court would find that Coastland’s bare legal title to the open space is not meaningful from the standpoint of property rights.  In any event, putting test wells in place on a temporary basis would clearly not be an unreasonable and unnecessary taking of property.  It is both reasonable and necessary to drill test wells to determine the most efficient system that will benefit both Coastland’s and the homeowners’ properties.  How can there be a taking of property when there is no diminution in the value of the property?  Also, the open space is maintained by the POA (which also pays the taxes) and is dedicated for the enjoyment of the homeowners.  Makes no legal sense at all.

With respect to Section G, what economic harm could possibly accrue to Coastland from the drilling of test wells, particularly if there are assurances that the property will be restored to its original state once the test wells are no longer needed?  These assurances could easily be memorialized in an easement.  As noted above, it is in Coastland’s interest to have a stormwater mitigation system put in place for Section G — and, at ~$10,000 a year, that is a phenomenal bargain to Coastland!  Additionally, it would help insulate Coastland from damage claims from owners on the north side of F with respect to drainage from Section G onto their properties.

Coastland has taken so much out of the community and the POA over the years, it is only right that it puts something back into it.  Let’s work together to solve this problem before more property losses are incurred by the people who have supported your business.

Yours truly,
Al Marzetti


Update on Stormwater Plan

POSTED ON COROLLA STORMWATER FACEBOOK 1/2/17

The engineers we’ve hired to work on our stormwater plan have come up with locations for the test wells and other data gathering instruments that they need to proceed. The County sent a letter to Coastland & the advisory board on December 13, 2016 asking for approval of the plan and locations & permission to proceed since some of the test areas were on common area controlled by Coastland or on Coastland/Johnson-owned property.

The first reply was from their attorney/VP on December 21st informing us that Mr. Johnson had had surgery & was medicated so was unable to reply. After a second email from the county on December 21st, this was the reply:

Coastland Corporation
P.O. Box 1717
Virginia Beach, VA 23451
Telephone 757-422-9111
info@coastlandcorp.com

December 30, 2016

Eric Weatherly, County Engineer
County of Currituck
153 Courthouse Road, Suite 302
Currituck, NC 27929

Re: Stormwater District

Eric:
James Johnson is still out of the office recovering from his surgery; however, Coastland has expressed these concerns about the stormwater district.

The County has included Sections G, R, X, Y and U in the stormwater district. All of these are undeveloped properties with the limited exception of Section R which has a single structure.

What useful purpose to James Johnson and Coastland will this serve by having these properties in the district at this time? Please explain this fully.

What benefit will these properties derive from paying the additional taxes and being in the district at this time as opposed to later when they are developed? Please explain this fully.

Does the County intend to use these properties or any property owned by James Johnson or Coastland for the benefit of the County or other properties and if so, how so?

Are any improvements contemplated now on these sections that will benefit these sections when they are developed? Why could not these improvements be deferred and additional taxes be deferred until the properties are developed? How does it benefit James Johnson and Coastland to pay additional taxes now?

If the County plans on using any of James Johnson’s or Coastland’s property, a permit or easement will have to be granted by James Johnson and/or Coastland before the County gets on the property.

To the extent Coastland provides open space for stormwater facility use in the developed sections and/or as – yet undesignated space in the undeveloped sections, if such use subsequently interferes with Coastland’s future intended use of such space, in Coastland’s sole and exclusive opinion, the District shall remove, at its expense, and relocate, at its expense, such facilities.

The new Commissioners should be aware that the County has previously used James Johnson’s and/or Coastland’s property without permission or permit. We will not tolerate this to continue.

Any investigation needed to make sure that James Johnson and/or Coastland is fully protected should not be a James Johnson and/or Coastland expense.

It appears that you want my land, my tax money but get nothing out of this. Please reply to these concerns at your earlies convenience.
Thank you.

Coastland Corporation

cc: Dan Scanlon, County Manager
Currituck County Board of Commissioners
Ocean Sands North and Crown Point Stormwater Advisory Board

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 admin@oshoa.org. 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 admin@oshoa.org,
please encourage them to do so. It is critical that we have 100% engagement !
And, as always stay updated on our website, http://www.oshoa.org!

CROWN POINT DID IT. OCEAN SANDS IS NEXT!

An Urgent Message from the Stormwater Committee

An Urgent Message from the Stormwater Committee

Since April of 2014, the Stormwater Committee has been sharing facts about the damage caused by stormwater flooding within our community.  It is critical that all homeowners understand the urgency of the situation now!

    • Ocean Sands & Crown Point soils, topography, the water table, and the “bowl” that exists between the dunes and the highway make this an issue which cannot be ignored and must be addressed with a comprehensive solution.
    • Flooding is pervasive and continuous throughout the community and everyone is potentially affected. If your home doesn’t flood, other homes around you do.
    • Streets fill with standing water, posing threat of bacteria-related and insect-borne illness. Access to many homes is limited, or impossible.
    • Owners suffer repeated expenses to repair and refurbish after each event. The community gets a reputation for flooding. Renters and potential buyers look elsewhere. Home values and rental rates suffer.

The technical engineering solution has not been determined yet. However, we do have the answer as to how to pay for and achieve that best technical answer. This is accomplished by the creation and implementation of a Stormwater Service District. Other neighboring communities have successfully utilized service districts to remediate their flooding issues. Here is how it works:

      • A Service District is administered by the county and funded by  a tax on each property’s assessed value, just like the Ocean Sands Water & Sewer District.
      • The tax paid by each owner is deductible on their individual 1040 return.
      • The Service District will operate and maintain the flood control system going forward.
      • The District has governmental immunity removing potential liability from individual owners.
      • All property owners within the boundaries of the district, without exception, will pay tax.
        (as an example: $0.05 per $100 of property value, or $224.50 per year, based on an assessed value of $449,000. This is only an estimate.)

Most importantly, the creation of a Stormwater Service District ensures that Coastland Corp. would not collect and manage our money, benefitting them financially, OR make technical decisions that don’t represent the best global solution for all!

Please watch for a detailed presentation coming in early April!

Web-YouTube-Metro-icon

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, www.oshoa.org.

Update on Coastland Litigation

Update – Coastland Corp. vs. Currituck County

This is to update you on the latest development in this case. As you may recall from the recent letter from Coastland, Coastland said that, “at its own expense”, it was going to object to inclusion of the water & sewer district (OSWSD) in the lawsuit Coastland filed against the county.

The hearing on this matter was set for January 25, 2016. Your homeowner representatives opposed Coastland’s proposal to hire an attorney to represent the POAs because (1) the POAs had no legal standing to participate in this matter and (2) it did not appear that there was any possible legal conclusion other than that the OSWSD was a “necessary party” to this action.

After the calendar call on January 25, but before the issue came before Judge Tillet, Coastland’s attorneys agreed to the joinder of OSWSD as a necessary party to the suit. The parties also agreed to a slight modification to the process proposed by the county for selecting arbitrators. An Order to effectuate this agreement has been submitted to Judge Tillet for entry into the case file. The irony has not escaped us that Coastland wanted the POAs to pay legal fees to protect us….from Coastland.

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.

Coastland Hires Property Manager – you had questions…

Fellow Owners,

We received a number of similar questions and comments after our recent communication regarding Seaside Management being hired by Coastland Corporation (“Coastland”). We thought it would be helpful to answer these questions for everyone.

  1. Is Seaside Management the same as Seaside Vacations?

No, Seaside Vacations is a vacation rental and property management company that bought Kitty Dunes a few years ago. Seaside Management is a professional manager of HOAs including Pine Island POA and Duck Landing POA.

  1. Did the Board of Directors of OSPOA hire Seaside Management?

No. Seaside was hired directly by Coastland, and no Board action was involved.

  1. How was Seaside Management selected? Was there an RFP, competitive bidding, or due diligence?

We do not know. No information was provided to the owner representatives on the Board. The owner representatives have requested a copy of the contract, but have not received it to date.

4. Who is paying for Seaside Management’s services?

Coastland has advised the owner representatives on the POA Board that OSPOA is expected to pay. The owner representatives have communicated to Coastland that they do not agree with this position. This was not a budgeted item, nor approved by the Board.

5. How much is Seaside Management going to cost?

The fee amount we are aware of is $2,833.33 a month, subject to change. That is $34,000 a year, or an additional two thirds of the $48,000 that OSPOA already pays Coastland, acting in its role as property manager. Coastland is not reducing its fee for property management services, so total property management costs will rise by 70%.

  1. Will my POA dues be increased?

Probably. This hire represents an additional cost of $34,000, or around $38 per household. Coastland stated that there would be a dues increase at a Board meeting in August, but did not indicate the amount of the increase. Your representatives strongly objected, stating that it was outside of the approved budget and no analysis was presented by Coastland that supported an increase. Shortly after the Board meeting, Coastland sent an e-mail notification of the Seaside Management hiring.

  1. Are there any limits on the Board of Directors for spending outside the budget approved at the latest Annual Meeting in 2015?

At that meeting, the owners passed a resolution limiting annual spending outside the budget to $5,000 without approval of the membership.

  1. Do the Bylaws for OSPOA specify who can hire a management company?

Yes, Article VIII of the Bylaws reads that the Board of Directors may hire a management company. This did not happen as there has been no Board action on this matter.

To sum up, we are dismayed that Coastland fails to respect the separate existence of the Ocean Sands Property Owners Association. We would like to think that the POA is more to Coastland than a bank account to collect dues & assessments, which Coastland then spends however it decides, in its sole discretion.  Seaside Management may well improve management of the physical plant – time will tell.  But we are disappointed in the process.  Ocean Sands property owners deserve better.

Sincerely,

Rick Kinner, Al Marzetti and the Governance Committee

Coastland Unilaterally Hires New Property Management. Read on…

Fellow Ocean Sands Owners,

Coastland Corporation informed the Owner representatives of the Ocean Sands and Crown Point POAs of some decisions they had made via email. Coastland has decided to bring in additional resources to help manage the POAs. Both sets of Owner representatives had many questions and concerns, as they were excluded from the decision-making process. Below, in Coastland’s exact words, are the three email statements announcing and explaining their decision. We would note that Coastland avoided answering questions from both sets of Owner Representatives regarding Coastland’s decision to take this action unilaterally.

On 9/2/15 Coastland sent the following:

In order to address certain governance concerns expressed at this year’s Property Owners meeting regarding the POA, Coastland is planning to retain a management company in the Outer Banks to consult with Coastland on POA issues and to become involved in certain property management and maintenance duties. Seaside Management will be our new partner in the administration of the POA.

Our hope is that Seaside will work hand in hand with Coastland and the POA to keep the property running smoothly as it continues to grow and more issues are raised, which has escalated recently. We plan to utilize Seaside’s experience and knowledge of Association Management in the Outer Banks to assist in community related issues.

Coastland will remain the Management Company of record and will continue to oversee the financial administration of the POA. Bob DeFazio will remain the President of the POA and the on-site Property Manager.

Coastland Corporation

1062 Laskin Road #12A

Virginia Beach, VA 23451

757-422-9111 Telephone

757-422-9113 Fax

On 9/23/15 Coastland sent the following:

Dear Rick and Al,

We hope you will welcome Seaside Management to Ocean Sands as an additional partner to provide services that will benefit our community. Seaside will have various duties which will be evolving as this partnership goes forward. These duties will complement Bob DeFazio’s and Coastland Corporation’s existing duties and will be determined based on the needs of the POA and the management company.

There are numerous community issues that require the time and attention of Coastland as the management company. In addition to the standard daily maintenance and management of the property, there are ongoing projects that need to be addressed regularly.

Coastland is also addressing, in advance, the long-term succession of management for Ocean Sands since this was brought up several times by homeowners and board members. Coastland has no plans to turn over any management functions at this time.

Seaside’s fee will be a separate budget item in the amount of $2,383.33 per month. Under the Seaside management agreement there is a 30 day cancellation notice and each quarter the contract will be revisited to determine the needs of the POA and the duties of Seaside.

Coastland Corporation

1062 Laskin Road #12A

Virginia Beach, VA 23451

On 10/9/15 Coastland sent the following:

Seaside Management has been hired to assist the POA’s, Bob and Coastland in the numerous duties and responsibilities that arise on a regular basis in the course of managing associations the size of Ocean Sands and Crown Point. With the increasing activities of the county concerning the wastewater renovation, the storm water plan, the additionally required water resources and treatment, and the greenway project, Coastland has found itself to be understaffed and Bob is a single person who is on-site and sometimes works around the clock to ensure that the communities run smoothly.

The hiring of Seaside is akin to adding staff to the offices of Coastland and Bob DeFazio. It was more efficient to go to a well-known Association Management company in order to procure appropriate assistance in the management of these communities.

The concern has been presented by homeowners that there was no back-up management plan should Coastland ever discontinue the management of Ocean Sands and Crown Point for any number of reasons. Seaside is now on board to become involved in the properties and their issues so that in the event Coastland ceases to manage the property a qualified company is in place to act on behalf of the POA’s.

Seaside is being paid directly by the POA’s just like all other vendors who are hired to do work for the Associations. Coastland does not pay any vendors of the POA’s directly. The Management fee for Coastland is a separate fee just like any other vendor.

Any further comments should be addressed directly to Bob DeFazio or Jeff Shields at Seaside.

From the Governance Committee:

The Governance Committee is pleased that Coastland is listening and reacting to the comments of owners. Naturally, we also welcome any additional resources that can be focused on our community.

We do have some questions regarding the process used to select Seaside and who pays for their services. Coastland picked Seaside, hiring them to assist Coastland. Because this action was taken without involvement of the POA Boards, we believe the the cost should come out of Coastland’s existing management fee, and not passed to the POAs, i.e. the owners. Overall this is a positive step for our community from an operational standpoint, although the bypassing of the POA Boards raises concerns from a governance standpoint.

Sincerely,

Al Marzetti & Rick Kinner