WILLOW CREEK ESTATES
PO Box 77
Canby, OR 97013
State of the Association Report, December 31, 2013
Annual Association Meeting -
Saturday, January 25th, 9 AM, Canby Adult Center
This report outlines the progress made by our Homeowners Association (HOA) in the year 2013, reviews the opportunities and obstacles we face, and outlines the planned steps going forward.
One of the requirements of the law and our governing documents* is for HOA Boards to analyze the long-term financial needs of the HOA to maintain the common assets. The brick wall, tennis court, landscaping, mailbox monuments, even the wetland borders and several other lesser value features, all add to the appearance and quality of life here and add value to each and every home in Willow Creek. The standards of care and maintenance of our homes ask of us in the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CCRs) also enhance the livability and value of our neighborhood.
Recognizing this, our CCRs are consistent with the laws governing planned communities like ours, setting out rules to insure plans and reserves are in place to preserve the common property assets. What would happen if one of these was damaged or destroyed? According to the CCRs we would repair or rebuild unless 90% of the members voted to eliminate the common asset. For example, if the brick wall falls down, we will be required to rebuild it unless 78 owners vote to eliminate it.
Projecting the current and long-term costs for upkeep of all the common assets is required by the law. The method of projecting costs is by completing a “Reserve Study”. We hired a company, The Management Trust, to complete our reserve study. The recommendation in the reserve study is for the annual assessment to be increased to an amount to cover all anticipated long-term repair and replacement costs.
As you know, in 2013 we raised the amount of the annual assessment from $180 to $240 and noted that an additional increase would be likely.
Example: When we were studying the problem of the deteriorating sections of the brick wall we obtained bids ranging from over $80,000 to over $120,000. These estimates tended to validate the findings of the Reserve Study. If the damaged section of the brickwall collapsed today, without sufficient money set aside in the long-term reserve account, we would be faced with an assessment of approximately $1,000 per member to rebuild the wall. This is exactly the situation the law (and our CCRs) is designed to avoid.
* Governing documents are made up of our Bylaws, Conditions, Covenants and Restrictions (CCRs), and other documents generated in compliance with these.
The following is an update of what has been accomplished in the past year and a summary of immediate and long-term expenses we anticipate:
Progress Made In the Past Year
While our budget has not allowed for major repairs or renovations, we have completed a number of projects for the benefit of our homeowner members:
- Approved and Recorded updated Bylaws and CCRs
- Improved the financial standing of the HOA and doubled the amount of Long-term Reserve Account
- Re-landscaping of “Elbow” area
- Barkdust project- Member volunteers spread 20 yards of barkdust purchased by the HOA
- Pressure washed brick wall along Territorial Road
- Evaluated the trees along Territorial Road and decided to leave them in place
- Determined that the straight portion of the brick wall appears to be sound but the curved portion is deteriorating and becoming unstable
- Analyzed and received bids to repair trip-hazard sections of the sidewalk along Territorial Road
Matters of near-term concern:
- Safety fence and backfill along Willow Creek “Elbow” area (possible community work project)
- Repair of Territorial Road sidewalk
- Repair of Wetlands rail fence (possible community work project)
- Repair of walkways in wetland area (possible community work project
Current and Long-term Large Projects:
The Brick Wall Along Territorial Road
Eventually, we will have to make extensive repairs or replace the curved section of the brick wall. Although the damage is significant in some places, we have decided to monitor the most seriously damaged areas. Two reasons: 1) we don’t have sufficient funds in reserves to do much with the wall now; 2) matching brick is not available at this time.
The Maple Trees Along Territorial Road
We have considered several theories as to why the damage to the wall and sidewalk is happening.
- The Maple tree roots are causing the damage
- Backfill and plantings on the owners’ side of the wall is causing the damage
- The curved section of the wall was built with insufficient footings
While the huge old Maple on the east end of the wall is clearly causing damage, the other Maples are not causing damage to the straight portions of the wall. We took estimated measurements of the backfill against the owner side of the wall. The backfill averaged a little over one foot, some places a little more and some places even lower than the outside of the wall. We found no correlation between the backfill and the deterioration of the wall. In summary, the straight sections of the wall had no apparent damage from the Maple trees or backfill.
Because the curved sections of the wall were very comparable in terms of Maple trees and backfill, yet had areas of tilt, cracking, and shifting, we concluded that the major problem is with the foundation or footings in those sections.
For these reasons and also the fact that removing the Maple trees would have a very detrimental effect on the visual attractiveness of Willow Creek estates and serious impact on adjacent homeowners, and considering a cost of upwards of $20,000 to take out the existing trees and replace with others, we decided to leave the trees alone. We will monitor for damage and will likely have to do some pruning of these trees over time.
The Mailbox Pedestals
Willow Creek Estates has 13 of these. Over the years, three have been replaced and updated with more functional metal inserts. Although none of the remaining units appear to be in immediate need of repair or replacement, some have quite a lot of rust and corrosion and over time will have to be rebuilt with new metal inserts.
The Tennis Court
The tennis court is in pretty good shape now but does require cleaning and resurfacing every few years. In addition, the retaining wall next to the wetlands is tilting and will need to be replaced at some point.
About 30 lineal feet of sidewalk have trip hazards and need to be repaired or replaced. These hazards are caused by the lifting and settling of the sections nearest the big old Maple tree. We have contracted to make necessary repairs of the sidewalk when weather permits and will be paying for those repairs out of long-term reserves.
Maintenance of the Walking Path and Bridge in the Wetlands Area
We will have to take a close look at these this Spring. We are hopeful the City will take the responsibility for some of these but that is not certain. In addition, the rail fence is in need of repair.
As you can see, there is a lot to consider as we work to maintain the quality of our Willow Creek Estates community. Over the years a number of volunteers have, on their own time and often at their own expense, assisted in this effort. Their efforts are appreciated.
In order to meet the long-term obligations to maintain the common assets of our Willow Creek community we have to again raise the annual assessment to an annual total of $300. We realize that some of our homeowners may still be facing financially difficult times. Therefore, while we know the annual assessment must be raised, we are providing a payment option of $77.50 per quarter for those who feel a $300 single payment is not in their budget.
Thank you for your cooperation in keeping our community a pleasant place to live. If you have questions or concerns, please contact one of the members of your Board of Directors or by emailing us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteers are needed to serve on the Board of Directors and the Architectural Review Committee. These are interesting positions providing a great service in maintaining the quality of living here in Willow Creek.
You are also encouraged to attend our Annual Meeting, Saturday, January 25th, 9:00 AM, at the Canby Adult Center.
Dave Koch, President
Ken Simmons, Vice President
Viki Carlin, Secretary
Lori Andersen, Treasurer
Carol Caudle, Member-at- Large
WILLOW CREEK ESTATES
ANNUAL HOMEOWNERS MEETING
Saturday, January 25, 2014
9:00 - 11:00 AM
Canby Adult Center
1250 S. Ivy St., Canby, OR 97013
We are hopeful that many WCE residents can attend.
RESIDENTS NEEDED TO SERVE ON THE
HOA BOARD AND ARCHITECTURAL COMMITTEE
HOA Board Members Needed!! There will be two vacant seats needing to be filled on the HOA Board for the 2014-2015 two-year term. If you are concerned about issues in our neighborhood, here’s your chance to make a difference. This is a great opportunity for homeowners to play a role in preserving Willow Creek Estates’ home values and ensure that our neighborhood continues to be the high quality residential community it is known for.
Architectural Committee members are also needed. This position requires little of your time. A.C. members must familiarize themselves with and have a clear understanding of the WC Architectural Standards and Guidelines.
PLEASE EMAIL THE BOARD IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN SERVING OR YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT WHAT BEING AN HOA BOARD OR A.C. MEMBER ENTAILS.
Your HOA Board is always available to address questions or concerns at email@example.com.