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

Letter From an Ocean Sands Owner email to owners 8.16.2018

THE LETTER BELOW IS FROM AN OCEAN SANDS OWNER WHO RECOGNIZES THE BENEFITS TO OCEAN SANDS UNDER OWNER CONTROL

“Dear fellow homeowners of Ocean Sands,

As manager of a local retail business, I have had the opportunity to talk with many Ocean Sands owners and residents over the past several months.  As the conversations often turn to the current state of Ocean Sands, it has been interesting to hear so many diverse comments and opinions.  While most admit that the overall appearance and upkeep of the entrances, common areas and beach accesses have shown neglect in recent years, there remains confusion over why it has happened and who is actually responsible for the general upkeep of Ocean Sands.

Homeowners who are here more frequently, either vacationing or just tending to their home (Investment), have been far more outspoken on the current state of affairs and, for the most part, haven’t hesitated in supporting the move away from Coastland control.  

Those homeowners who have come down for a preseason check seem to have more questions about what is happening and why a change is necessary.  Homes are rented…the neighborhood doesn’t look that bad…this seems to be just a small group of disgruntled locals…just local politics…are the most frequent reasons they give for not wanting to get involved.  

However, when asked about rental weeks now compared to years past; when asked why Ocean Sands flooding may not directly affect their home but what the impact is when their renters can’t get to the home through the flooded streets; when asked why Coastland continues to hinder flood remediation efforts by Currituck County; when asked what financial impact we will face because Coastland has no reserves for emergencies, and so on, you can see the lightbulb go on.  It’s no longer just about ‘me’, the homeowner, but about the community of Ocean Sands and its future. 

We now have the opportunity to return Ocean Sands to a premier oceanfront community. The current property management company, Signature Touch, has been working closely with our 2 resident board members this year with noticeable positive results.  Why Coastland management has not been doing this in years past makes one wonder if their interest is actually preserving and improving our community. 

My wife and I have owned in Ocean Sands since 2001, rented it for many years and have enjoyed living here 6-8 months for the past 6 years.  We didn’t hesitate to support the movement for our fellow homeowners to control the destiny of our neighborhood.  We have watched how our sister neighborhood, Crown Point, has successfully removed itself from Coastland and has prospered under self-governance.  We intend to enjoy many more years in Ocean Sands and want only the best for the community, its homeowners and most importantly, the thousands of visitors who come each year.

I encourage you to seriously consider what is best for Ocean Sands and complete the Written Consent to Amend the Declarations of Ocean Sands.  With 73% of the required number of homeowner consent forms already returned, this gives me optimism, that along with your help, we can have a voice in the future of Ocean Sands and benefit from the outstanding community Ocean Sands once was and can be again.  

Gene Hughes

748 Waters Edge, section M

ghughesva@gmail.com

Please submit your Written Consent to Amend form as soon as possible. If you need a blank form, please click here to download the appropriate form: Written Consent Form

Other Questions? Please reply to this email. 

The Governance Committee

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

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 MORE BEAUTIFUL OCEAN SANDS!

Brighter…
Happier…

 

Landscaping!

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 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

POINT-BY-POINT RESPONSE TO COASTLAND’S LETTER – “THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY”

 

GOVERNANCE COMMITTEE’S POINT-BY-POINT RESPONSE TO COASTLAND LETTER

We apologize for the length of our rebuttal to Coastland’s recent mailing, but there is no other way to demonstrate that what they said is false.  The bullet points from Coastland’s letter are in black italics.  Our responses are in blue

  • Coastland Corporation has developed over 1,000 home lots in Ocean Sands over the last 40 years and still has substantial acres of oceanfront property and other parcels remaining to develop.  We have substantial ongoing commitment to this community.

Coastland owns less than 2% of the platted lots in Ocean Sands proper and the undeveloped Section G.  As we shared previously, Coastland owns just 8.5% of the property value in Ocean Sands.  This does not warrant total, absolute control over every single issue and decision.  Any commitment demonstrated by Coastland has been towards selling lots and controlling Coastland’s expenses.

  • Coastland cares about the long-term conditions and property values in Ocean Sands.  We are proud of what has been created here.

Coastland had a wonderful concept originally – that’s why many of us bought here.  Over the last 20 years Coastland has become consumed with fighting with the county and opposing any community ideas not coming from Coastland (see Bike Path, Stormwater District).  Their focus has been to minimize spending on infrastructure, which has resulted in the community having limited maintenance, a poor, tired appearance, less landscaping and deteriorating roads. We believe that their primary motivation for minimal maintenance and not building a reserve fund is to keep dues low as a selling feature for their remaining lots. This highlights Coastland’s unfixable conflict of interest between caring for existing owners versus making new sales. 

Ocean Sands property values have plummeted in the past few years.  Sales of homes are continuing but at a reduced price.  Honest realtors acknowledge the community’s tired appearance, the lack of amenities and deterioration of the infrastructure (roads, open space, dune crossovers) have made Ocean Sands an undesirable development for investors.

 

  • Coastland has handled the Property Owners Association (POA) for the last forty years, mostly because when we started developing sites there were no good options.  Because of Coastland’s involvement, Ocean Sands has had the lowest relative Owners dues in the entire area for years.  Coastland’s efforts have saved long-term owners a substantial amount of money over the years, at the same time striving to provide the best services possible with the funds that are available.

We acknowledge that 40 years ago POAs were relatively new, there were no community management firms in the Outer Banks, no electronic solutions for “back-office” operations, and not enough homeowners to provide POA management.  However, for the last 20+ years that hasn’t been the case!   Low dues are meaningless if the results are a tired, worn appearance, deteriorating infrastructure and minimal amenities!  

Coastland has left the POA exposed on reserves for long-term capital repairs such as roads.  The only reserve study in 40+ years happened because owner members of the board spent years pushing for it and Seaside Management finally made it happen. Coastland Vice President and lawyer Braxton Hill reportedly said “it was a mistake to let Seaside get a reserve study because now we have to do something about it”.   An owner-member board would ensure more “bang for the buck” and reasonable, efficient spending focused on owner-directed objectives. 

 

  • The size of the Association has slowly outgrown Coastland’s time and resources to keep up with the management efforts and Coastland has lost money for years handling the POA.  Coastland is going to get out of the Association management business and is in the process of researching professional management companies that can transition Coastland out of this responsibility yet continue to provide you and us, as property owners, the best services available at the most reasonable cost.

There is no evidence that Coastland has lost money on the POA.  If that was the case, Coastland had control of the board to increase dues – further proof of their inherent conflict of interest.  Coastland never bothered to join the Community Associations Institute (CAI) or take CAI courses even though former owner board members suggested it 10 years ago!  Ed Gaskins, who Coastland hired as POA Counsel, told Coastland that the complete lack of processes and internal controls was problematic and that the financial information provided to the POA board members was incomplete and unacceptable.  

The services we pay for have been spotty and/or poorly executed.  Surveys we did last year on Trash Rollback and Security Services showed that the overwhelming majority of owners were unhappy with service levels and quality.  Slight recent improvements are due to pressure applied by the Governance Committee.  

  • For years we relied on our onsite manager, Bob, to communicate with the members on an informal basis and this had worked.  Last year, since Bob was sick, we tried to formalize the process with an outside firm and unfortunately this didn’t work as well as we had hoped.  We hope the transition to new management will resolve a lot of these issues.

There has been long-standing frustration and disappointment with the performance of the Site Manager, a Coastland employee.  Bob DeFazio has never proactively sought to communicate. When owners call him they often get confrontation, rather than resolution.  From a best practices standpoint, how can Coastland think that any one individual could adequately communicate with 1,000 owners?  Coastland has never attempted communication via email, used the official POA website, or even developed a newsletter.

Seaside Management is a competent association management firm.  We objected to the POA paying Seaside’s bill because they were hired to act as a public relations firm for Coastland – another instance of Coastland using POA money to fund Coastland expenses.   Seaside Management was unable to communicate with homeowners because Coastland would NOT provide Seaside with a list of owners.  Seaside was handcuffed and set up for failure.  Because of this experience, it is unlikely that any other property management firm can be successful while ultimate control of OSPOA remains with Coastland.

 

  • In contrast to what has been said by others, Coastland does not object to the stormwater district and is agreeable to allowing test wells to be drilled on our property.  The issue could have been resolved months ago had the County provided a satisfactory access agreement instead of a poorly written, backwards hold harmless waiver.  Coastland offered to have an agreement prepared and the County didn’t want to pay the $720.00 legal expense, so it was never completed.  The OSWSD board has since chosen to go through private property owners to accomplish their needs.

Coastland fought the Stormwater Committee every step of the way with its typical approach of delay, obfuscation and refusal to reply to questions. Braxton Hill appeared at the Public Hearing on District formation to oppose its creation and, at a minimum, ask for a delay.  The Commissioners essentially told Mr. Hill:  “Why should we give you a delay? Coastland’s had 40 years to fix the flooding problem and has done nothing.”  Mr. Hill’s testimony at the Public Hearing can be seen by clicking on the following link: Stormwater Public Hearing  and the link is  posted on the Home Owners of Ocean Sands website, www.oshoa.org.  Recently, Coastland filed a lawsuit against the County to have Coastland properties removed from the Stormwater District.  Clear evidence that they don’t support the District.

The issue over access was another “red-herring”– this involved a 1-1/2 inch PVC pipe going down 8 feet! With respect to the $720, a little context is appropriate.  First, the County can’t pay directly because it would be an expense of the Stormwater District.  More importantly, the $720 was to pay Braxton Hill personally for legal work.  Mr. Hill is also on the Stormwater Advisory Board.  The other members of the Advisory Board thought this was a clear conflict of interest.  All of the other advisory board members bring their varied professional expertise at NO CHARGE.  

  • We currently have a group of disgruntled owners that have set up their own “Home Owners” Association and reached out to the rest of the property owners in an effort to remove Coastland, as the developer, from having board control.  This effort has created a lot of confusion and misinformation among property owners and some [sic] those actively involved are on the current board of directors.  This groups [sic] wants to take over and run the POA.  They want to be in charge.

The charter of the Governance Committee, which was formally established at the 2015 Annual Meeting, is to create the best framework for long-term prudent management of Ocean Sands POA.  The owner board members are on the Governance Committee because it was established as an official committee of the POA Board.   In fact, Braxton Hill stated at the 2015 meeting that a group should be formed to plan for a post-Coastland environment as the key Coastland players were getting up in years.  Once Coastland blocked every request to improve OSPOA operations at the 2016 Annual Meeting, the Governance Committee concluded that accelerating the transition of control to all owners was in the best interest of the community. We also decided that the communication void left by Coastland needed to be fixed.  We have spent over 24 months, as volunteers and using no OSPOA money, soliciting e-mail addresses of the vast majority of owners, developing  a website, sharing information via e-mails and the soon to be opened Facebook page. Coastland only recently sent two letters, using far more costly USPS mail.

Coastland tries to paint us as a small, local group of “disgruntled” owners. Over 230 owners have contributed to the legal fund and 321 owners have already executed Written Consent forms to remove Coastland. Those are not small numbers! Since there are only 60 resident owners in Ocean Sands this is clearly not a locals-only movement.  Coastland continues to hope you don’t pay attention or don’t care about your property. 

 

  • Because this rogue group is attempting to interfere with Coastland’s rights and property, Coastland is prepared to make a substantial investment in effort, time and money to protect their property rights.  This could ultimately cost the Association a considerable amount of money in legal fees as well.  We want to make sure all parties fully understand the implications and costs of these efforts, and its potential impact on property values. 

This is a blatant attempt to intimidate.  They are admitting that Coastland is going to spend your POA dues fighting for Coastland interests! During this year’s annual meeting, Ed Gaskins, the lawyer Coastland hired for the POA, was pointedly asked the question as to whether this would be a Coastland expense or a POA expense, and he confirmed that it would be a Coastland expense.  Now they are either trying to scare you or they lied the first time.

 

  • This rogue group’s website and unsolicited contact has created confusion which may have caused a large number of property owners to fail to pay their dues and this impacts the bottom line of the Property Owners Association.  To date the communications from the HOA group have all been one-sided, inaccurate and misleading.

We have provided the facts and the truth.  We have bent over backwards to let people know that the website is not the official OSPOA website.  We all firmly believe that the time for self-rule has come.  The Governance Committee gets nothing from this effort but the opportunity to make the community better for all owners and to protect our property rights and values.  

We only communicate with those who have voluntarily provided their e-mail addresses and asked to receive our communications.  We make it easy for owners who no longer wish to receive these e-mails to unsubscribe.  Our website clearly states that this is not the official OSPOA website.

We have steadfastly advised owners to pay their dues.  One owner sent their OSPOA dues, in error, to our Committee’s P.O. Box. We promptly forwarded that dues payment to Coastland. 

What has impacted the bottom line is Coastland’s total neglect in  pursuing delinquent owners for unpaid dues and failing to assess late charges.  The Site Manager & Developer board members have repeatedly told owner board members that delinquent accounts were tracked and liens placed when appropriate.  We, and Crown Point, have found out that this is untrue.  Coastland has been informed for the past three years by the  CPA who audits the books that it needs to actively pursue delinquent dues, as this is one of the key functions of an association manager.  Despite repeated requests, Coastland also refuses to provide the owner board members with a delinquency report, claiming privacy issues.

 

  • The “governance committee” is an ad hoc group that has never formally been approved by the Ocean Sands Board of Directors and has focused their efforts to try to take over control of the POA.  The committee has never reported to the board, the management company or formally to the Association membership.  They have set up their own website, created confusion in the community and have consistently posted inaccurate and negative comments about Coastland.

NOT TRUE, See the “The Charter of the Governance Committee” response three bullet points above. 

  • Mr. Al Marzetti went so far as to sue the POA to retrieve financial and other information, much of which was already publicly available.  Hiring legal counsel to work through this ongoing suit and subsequent Board issues has cost the Association over $18,000 last year that could have been spent on boardwalk maintenance, landscaping and other improvements for the POA.  The majority of the 2017 budget line item for legal is in response to this suit and other Board issues created by this rogue group.

This lawsuit was a Governance Committee initiative.  We were seeking more information as to whether/how Coastland was misapplying OSPOA funds. However, in order to sue, an individual who was a board member had to be the plaintiff, so Al volunteered.

Originally, a simple letter was sent to Coastland by our attorney requesting this information.  All of the information requested was within what North Carolina law says must be provided to board members.  Most of the information, such as POA contracts and general ledgers, had never been available.  Information that was available, such as prior year financials, was requested because we discovered that Coastland had, on occasion, changed numbers after-the-fact and we wanted them to put a stake in the ground as to which version was correct.  After much delay, Coastland said they would provide the information, but only if Al sent Coastland a check for thousands of dollars.  So, there was no choice but to bring suit. Coastland could have avoided the legal fees by simply providing the information that is clearly mandated under the law when it was requested.  There was NO legal issue here. 

POA Counsel admitted that they spent many hours chasing Coastland because they couldn’t get Coastland employees to respond to them, i.e. Coastland mismanaged litigation costs because the attorney was trying to herd cats.  By contrast, our legal fees in this suit were about $4,000.

  • Misinformation on their website includes stating that Coastland dragged the Water and Sewer District (OSWSD) into a lawsuit between the County and Coastland.  This is inaccurate as the County is the party that motioned the course (sic) to have OSWSD brought into the litigation.  Coastland tried to keep OSWSD out of the case and the property owner members of the Board refused to vote on this issue. Coastland board representatives had abstained from voting to due to potential conflict.  With the OSWSD in the lawsuit the district could end up liable for damages and the property owners ultimately pay the price.

We have answered this multiple times and you can find the true story on our website http://oshoa.org/stormwater-in-ocean-sands-and-crown-point/ . In short, the owner board members believed this to be a futile effort as the legal conclusion was clear and, thus, hiring counsel for the POA would be a waste of OSPOA funds.  Coastland has a long history of spending POA funds on Coastland lawsuits. 

You may recall that Coastland sent you a letter disparaging the owner board members and pledging to oppose the County’s motion “at its own expense.”  However, at the first opportunity in court, Coastland’s attorneys agreed that OSWSD was a “necessary party.”  Coastland thus reneged on its pledge to oppose the motion at its own expense.

 

  • Historically, Coastland provided the due diligence to keep Aqua and Tidewater Utilities from taking over the water and sewer services, respectively and ended up saving the property owners huge headaches and huge increases in their service fees that other groups have been subject to in North Carolina.

It is public knowledge that it was never realistic that Aqua or Tidewater would be given this utility.

 

  • After Hurricane Jacqueline it was Coastland that called State officials and got the state to force the County to provide flood relief pumping after they refused to do so.  The cost was capped at $10,000.  After hurricane Mathew [sic] the County charged $80,000 for flood relief pumping.

Over a week after Hurricane Jacqueline,  Mr. Johnson used some connections to get NC DEQ to allow ocean pumping after the County tried to obtain permission but was unsuccessful.   Most of the stormwater committee members sent Mr. Johnson messages of thanks.    Later, we realized that the reason he likely agreed to do this was that this was Parade of Homes weekend and there were houses in Section O entered in the Parade of Homes, but the Parade signs were almost totally underwater!

You should note that the “Coastland pumping” was just a couple of pumps at the HIJO “lake”. By contrast, the Service District had multiple storms in succession to deal with, responded immediately to get pumps in place, made the right decision to keep pumps in place for a week between storms (even though this incurred additional costs), and pumped out flood water in every section of Ocean Sands and Crown Point.  Ocean Sands was the envy of every other POA in Corolla for the quick and effective response.  Subsequently, about half of the pumping costs were reimbursed by FEMA, so the net cost of pumping out the entire development after two major back-to-back storms was around $40,000 to the Stormwater District.

Finally, nobody heard anything from Coastland after the Fall 2016 storms.  Coastland showed no interest in the well-being of the community.  No emergency board meeting was called to address the aftermath.  Coastland wouldn’t even  mobilize to have the debris picked up.
  • We would encourage any persons interested in working to bring Ocean Sands Property Owners Association back to a civil Association to contact us at Coastland and we will support an effort to elect new members [sic] directors to the board.

We fully support any individual who wants to work for the betterment of the community to run for the board.  The current owner members of the board have repeatedly been unanimously re-elected, to standing ovations, at Annual Meetings.  Coastland’s demand for civility in light of its continued neglect, threats, mismanagement of the community, and its historically shoddy treatment of homeowner board members is remarkable.

 

  • We want to make sure that you as the Property Owners get to hear all side [sic] of all of the issues so you can make intelligence [sic] decisions about your Association and your investment in Ocean Sands.

We’re speechless.  Coastland just sent out what may be the biggest set of lies of the year.  We hope you recognize it for what it is. How do they figure it is “your Association” when Coastland has absolute control?

  • We look forward to continuing our efforts to make Ocean Sands a better community.

What actual improvement, addition or expansion has Coastland performed?  Please note that Coastland has never identified an actual improvement they have provided to the Ocean Sands community?

We would note that EVERY single action mentioned in Jeanne Marcinko’s cover letter was initiated and pushed by either a homeowner board member or by a member of the Governance Committee. Left to their own devices Coastland is clueless as to what should be done next.
~~~
WE LOOK FORWARD TO RESUMING OUR REGULAR, USEFUL COMMUNICATIONS WITH OWNERS. PLEASE STAY TUNED FOR FUTURE EMAILS. AND, AS ALWAYS, VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT www.oshoa.org.

IF YOU HAVE NOT RETURNED YOUR WRITTEN CONSENT TO AMEND THE DECLARATION, PLEASE DO SO. IF YOU NEED THE FORM, PLEASE EMAIL http://www.admin@oshoa.org

JOIN US TODAY ON FACEBOOK: Home Owners of Ocean Sands

~~~

The Governance Committee

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

 

 

THE FUTURE OF OCEAN SANDS – BUDGET UPDATE AND ANNUAL MEETING

2017 Budget Update
and
Annual Meeting Reminder

On Monday, April 10, the OSPOA Board met to decide the budget for (the remainder of) 2017. Owner Board Representatives, Al Marzetti and Rick Kinner, discussed the proposed budget line by line with the Coastland-majority members of the Board and we are very happy to report significant progress.

We finally have an Operating Budget for our community! The Board agreed to remove items that were not direct expenses attributable to the management of Ocean Sands. This resulted in a savings of $72,000. The majority of that savings is being allocated to the Capital Replacement Reserve Fund. They were able to also add monies to the Grounds Maintenance line item to improve appearance and reduce Coastland’s projections of legal fees. These results are all firsts for Ocean Sands.  These were key goals of the budget discussions. The fund addresses the economic life expectancy of capital items in our community, such as roads, walkways, signs, and dune crossings.  They also confirmed an “operating replacement fund” to cover emergency work that might otherwise result in a special assessment. These prudent measures reflect best practices for budgeting for planned communities.
Your owner representatives hoped to avoid an increase in annual dues, but  in the end, reluctantly agreed to a $20 increase, from $480 to $500 per year. This $20 increase will be allocated 100% to further build the capital replacement reserve fund.

 

Annual Meeting Reminder 

We look forward to seeing you all at the Annual Meeting

Date: Saturday, April 29, 2017
Time: 8:30 a.m
Place: Whalehead Fire Station, Whalehead Drive and Dolphin Street

Plan to come and make your voice heard!
Governance Committee
Rick, Al, Dennis, Robert, Jim, Greg, Chris and Jeanne

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!

The Future of Ocean Sands – Why Change is So Necessary! 11/11/16

The Future of Ocean Sands – Why Change Is
So Necessary!

Coastland must be replaced as the management of our Ocean Sands community and have their stranglehold on the POA board ended because of their indifference to the needs and wishes of the Home Owners.

The Governance Committee has been documenting the questionable actions of Coastland Corp relative to the operations of the Ocean Sands Property Owners Association (OSPOA). Here is a short list. At the 2015 Annual Meeting, we distributed a longer list, going back even further (find it here: Questionable Actions). It demonstrates a pattern of disregard for the wishes of the Owners, if not outright disdain. 

At the 2015 Annual Meeting, Coastland-controlled Board members:

  • Presented minutes from the 2014 meeting that were incomprehensible and more closely resembled a fragmented transcript, not minutes.
  • Presented audited financial statements for 2014 that used account labels that were inconsistent with prior year financials and the 2016 Budget.
  • Presented a 2016 budget without providing underlying support and told the audience it was not the owners place to approve the budget.
  • Told the audience that the Open Spaces would always remain in Coastland’s name…yet OSPOA pays for maintenance.
  • Refused to acknowledge the owner votes from the floor to consider discontinuing the Security and/or Trashcan Rollback Services.
  • Promised to have a Board Meeting “soon” to discuss the questions and concerns raised by the owners. Six months later, no Board meeting has been called, despite numerous requests from the Owner Representative Board members.

Prompt pumping of the recent flooding was done by the Stormwater Advisory Board, not through Coastland or OSPOA actions. After the storms, Coastland wrote a letter to the County, demanding  that the roads damaged by pumping be repaired, and that the county ask permission to come into Ocean Sands in the future (find it here: Coastland Complains to County). Any rational person would realize that pumping did not damage the roads. In addition, this email clearly shows that Coastland does not understand that the Stormwater District has governmental authority for access to private roads.

At the 2014 Annual Meeting, the owners passed a resolution to require a 75% Board approval of any expenditure over $5,000 that was not budgeted. The Coastland-controlled Board has consistently ignored this requirement. 

Coastland’s chosen site manager has failed to spend the budgeted money to clear the drainage ditches, which we believe added to the recent flooding.  Coastland continues to drag their heels on this despite repeated requests.

Coastland’s attorneys have tried to “stonewall” the Document Production Suit brought by a Board member to gather OSPOA operating records that are supposed to be available for review by board members as a matter of law. This needlessly wastes OSPOA money to impede owners, when this money should be spent improving the community.  

Coastland spent OSPOA money to fight against the Stormwater District in May 2016. The past several  weeks have demonstrated that Stormwater control has been needed for a long time. Coastland ignored the flooding issue for 40 years.  In addition, Coastland was proposing a flood mitigation system paid for by Special Assessments. Conveniently, all Coastland-held property is exempt from Special Assessments, so we owners would have had to carry the full financial burden.

The dues were raised by Coastland’s controlled Board without providing owners with a financial justification.  When the annual dues invoice was sent, there was no mention or explanation of the 26% increase.  The Owner representatives’ request that the monies generated from the increase be spent on roads and to support the reserve accounts was blatantly ignored.

For years, Coastland refused to approve having a Reserve Study of long term maintenance and replacement costs done. This is one of the fundamental responsibilities of a POA Board.  Was this because it was easier for Coastland to sell lots by promoting lower annual dues? Meanwhile, road maintenance was done as cheaply as possible, and it shows.

Our next email will explain the Planned Community Act more fully as our solution for removing Coastland from our lives.

With great appreciation for your attention to this topic, and your continuing support,

The Governance Committee

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

The Future Of Ocean Sands – Intro to Strategy, 10/10/16

 

 

The recent series of storms, and its ravages upon our community, has served to emphasize the need for a better-managed, better-maintained, better Ocean Sands. We, your Governance Committee, have strived to provide the latest information and updates that affect life and property in Ocean Sands. Many of you have spoken up and contributed to our effort and we thank you!
Over the coming weeks and months, we will be sending out a series of emails that will outline a strategy that will make Ocean Sands a better place.  Please read them and lend your support to our effort! Your participation is vital .

Your Governance Committee has been operating for the past 16 months with the goal of determining how best to manage our community for the benefit of all owners, not the developer, Coastland Corp.


We have a strategy for removing Coastland as the managing entity of our Ocean Sands community.  The plan has come together through research by the Governance Committee, discussion with many owners and advice from our attorneys.  This plan is based on using the North Carolina Planned Community Act (PCA) to amend the Declarations and rewrite the By-Laws.  This strategy will take some time and you, as owners, are key to its success!

It is essential that owners understand both the strategy and specific actions required.  We are going to present the plan in 4 or 5 explanatory emails over the next few months.  The first one is entitled “PCA” and will be sent out to you next week.  It is important that you read, analyze and understand all aspects of our approach.  We need – and welcome – any questions that further explore this plan.  In the end, you will be asked to sign a document, and to have it notarized, to cast your vote.  We will be conducting an online test vote with all owners sometime around the holiday period.

So, please look carefully at all the upcoming emails.  We will continue to provide further documentation of the poor management and lack of fiduciary responsibility on the part of Coastland Corp.  Please share everything with neighbors and feel free to send us any and all questions you have.

Stay tuned for updates on the progress of our efforts by visiting OUR website, http://www.oshoa.org.

Sincerely,

The Governance Committee

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