Board Begins Enforcement Actions
Signs in yards, failure to mow grass, unauthorized paint colors, fences beyond house fronts, potholes, roofing materials, commercial vehicles on lawns, unauthorized live tree removals, big sheds and bad mailboxes. These are just some of the complaints your Mill Creek HOA is currently addressing. Most of them relate directly to the bylaws and covenants which provide for governance in our neighborhood.
There is only one take home point to this article: it is NOT better to beg forgiveness than ask permission when it comes to projects on any property, lot or common area of Mill Creek. Communication with your HOA is easy, so it is better not to guess about whether your plans require approval. Simply contact an Architectural Committee member, or anyone on the Board via email or regular mail. Boards have answered many email questions in hours or even minutes in some cases. But if your plan requires formal approval, you will be asked to complete the request form, submit it and await approval or disapproval.
The Board must act on formal requests within thirty days, as described in the covenants. In Planned Urban Developments like Mill Creek, HOAs have full legal authority to enforce the covenants and address violations. In the case of unapproved additions or alterations, such as fences, sheds, paint colors, etc., failure to get HOA approval could be very expensive and stressful, but can easily be avoided.
Recently, the Mill Creek HOA directed its legal firm to enforce specific provisions within the association's bylaws. This was not done hastily, imprudently, or without adequate warning, but it did cause additional financial burden and discontent for the homeowners involved. These are our neighbors and this was unpleasant, so why would the Board do this? The answer is simple. Allowing a small number of our neighbors to disregard our few agreed upon rules is unfair to the great majority of homeowners who abide by them willingly.
Historically, the HOA approves most requests. But to our detriment, a small number of homeowners, anticipating disapproval, simply go ahead with their projects and are rewarded with silence or conciliation. Although each case is individual, when unapproved projects diminish our shared quality of life or reduce property values, we all feel the effects.
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