Tuesday, February 11, 2014

StoneBay Ramblers Association Board Proposed Declaration Amendments

I had just a few questions regarding the proposed Declarations Amendments, which Rose Anna kindly responded to. Please weigh in here so that we can, as the owners, develop somewhat of a consensus and vote up or down based on as much information as possible.

After review of the packet I received from the StoneBay Ramblers Board, I do feel that: 

  1. The contractor must shoulder 100% of the cost of any new driveways, street repairs, and common area construction related repairs; clean and sweep the streets at the end of each day, etc.
  2. Careful thought should be given to the many other construction related considerations such as acceptable days and hours of work, trash, equipment overnight storage, workman parking, location of biffs, dust mitigation, etc. (I believe erosion mitigation is covered in the Orono building permit process).
  3. There must be a strict limit on the time during which the $50/mo., and $100/mo. reduced association dues contributions are to be provided. I would suggest this:
    1. Vacant lots pay $50/mo. until: any ground is broken for construction or January 1, 2015; whichever comes first; at which time vacant lots pay $100/mo..
    2. Lots with broken ground for construction, or on or after January 1, 2015 pay $100/mo. until occupancy permit is issued, or June 1, 2015; whichever comes first; at which time vacant lots pay the then current regular monthly association dues amount.
  4. The Board needs to provide the estimated annual $10,440 annual budget cost on a per unit association dues impact of 49 vs. 51 units contributing to the association budget. I assume it is approximately 2 x $435 x 12 / 49  = $213 per unit per year forever. It doesn’t sound like much, but over a ten year period, it is actually $104,400 overall, or $2,130 per homeowner; so something to consider.
  5. There should be confirmation of a written agreement with BD&F bank regarding payment to the association of the past dues in the amount of $37,500, and explanation of the permissible uses of that amount. Can it be used to reduce current dues? Are there postponed applications of those funds that will now be accomplished with it?   -Peter Schoon


On 2/10/2014 I emailed the following questions: 

Hello Rose Anna,

I just received the Rambler Declarations Amendment request, and do have

three questions:

1. Under sec. 12.00 why did we apparently give up capture of any previous

dues liability on the un-built lots? Or, is the bank still on the hook for

that? And if we are releasing that liability, and only assessing $50/month

until construction begins on each unit, shouldn't we receive a commitment /

guarantee as to the length of time that each unit remains vacant...or a

maximum # of days for the reduced $50/month and also for the middle

$100/month assessments. Otherwise, lots could remain vacant for months or

years, and/or no occupancy permit applied for or issued for months or years.


2. Section 27.11 is unclear to me. In your cover letter you state, "Thus the

expense of replacing the driveways will be allocated among benefited owners

of those parcels according to the cost of total square feet of replaced

driveway." I think that the developer should have to pay 100% for any new

driveways as well as any other private or Common Area mitigations required

due to his construction operations. So, is the Rambler Association or any

Rambler owner out any $$ due to the construction?


3. Section 27.12 is also unclear to me. Can you email me a map showing

what's being combined, and then also tell me the ramifications and



And on 2/10/2014 received the following reply from Rose Anna:


1. The Association has a lien on the vacant lots for unpaid HOA fees. The
bank is unable to close with either builder without payment of the HOA fees.
The Amendment to the Rambler Declaration being voted on is related to the
buyers of the vacant lots as the letter states.  BD&F (the bank) has agreed
to pay $37,500.00 at the first closing, satisfying its HOA dues requirement.
This has been a very long protracted negotiation.   We have been told
repeatedly that this is the final offer from the buyers, and they will walk
if this deal is not accepted. We have challenged this, and they come back
with this answer. We have had many rounds of negotiations, and we are
satisfied that this is the best deal we can get.  This deal will add
additional funds for the expenses the Association incurs and best of all we
will have reputable builders building units!   Both builder's business plans
and goal are to be built out in 2-4 years. 
They have made it clear to us that if these amendments are not passed the
builders walk away from StoneBay, both of them.  
That result will cause the association to continue to operate with less than
50% paying for what 100% homeowners should be funding and the bank will
probably sell individual lots to buyers and we may revert back to where we
were before the foreclosure.
It is very important to have reputable builders in the Community and
builders that purchase all the vacant lots available with a Community plan.
2. The buyers are purchasing only vacant lots, not common area.  The
replacement of an adjoining or shared driveway is not a requirement of
building nor the builder but something the Board feels is important for the
appearance of the Community and important to improve the value of the
existing units or at least on par with the new units.  Yes, the owners of
the units whose driveways are being replaced will be assessed as a limited
common element assessment for the cost of the driveway replacement.  The
Master Association is providing a financial contribution toward the
assessment of the driveway for this one time occurrence in an effort to
encourage this Amendment to pass and have StoneBay completed. 
3.  I do not have a map however if you picked up a directory at the annual
meeting you will find a simple map at the end of the booklet.  The West side
of Bridgewater drive shows two structures with three ramblers each.  You can
faintly see a line is drawn behind and within the unit's lots.  The line
indicates wetland.  The buyer is asking to change that configuration from 6
rambler units to 5 within the non-wetland area.  The other replatting
request is at the end of Boulder Drive.  You will see from the drawing that
one unit is touching the existing unit.  This situation was caused by one of
the previous units driveways being built (by the first Developer) within the
wetland.  The MCWD required that the driveway be removed.  It was rebuilt
and the area restored to wetland.  One of two existing vacant lots is now
very close to an existing rambler unit.  The buyer is asking to replat that
to one unit. 
The impact to the Rambler association is that it will have 49 units rather
than 51.  49 homeowners will share the rambler portion of the Master
Association funding rather than 51.  It does also means that the buyer will
build 49 more equal and saleable units rather than having a few units that
are less desirable and also an existing homeowner will have a little green
space between their unit and the new unit when built next to their unit.
I hope you agree with the importance of moving forward, having The StoneBay
Community completed by a reputable builder with a Community plan.  The goal
is to have many more than 44 homeowners funding the expenses of our
Community.  Hearing your optimism about the real estate market is very
encouraging for our Community goals.
Thank you for your interest in our Community.
Rose Anna Bradford
612 201 3591