Posted on June 1, 2021 7:03 AM by Stuart Dopp
Perhaps you have dragged out the big notebook (or e-document) to study the original Master Declaration governing New Town. Kudos for due diligence! Now, it is time to tackle the swampy morass of the Supplemental Declarations. These are the documents that dictate services, easements, and some aspects of assessment protocols for the individual neighborhoods that constitute New Town. You will find a mess of contradictions and omissions in these Supplementals.
Each Supplemental identifies common areas within the neighborhood. Rightly, we should share in the cost for the upkeep of these spaces, as common areas and their beauty are shared by all residents.
Basic services for New Town lots are enumerated in Article IV, Section I of each Supplemental, including grass maintenance, trimming of trees and shrubs, sidewalk and streetlight repairs. Individual neighborhoods’ property assessments are supposed to stem from the services provided to the residences in that neighborhood. Let’s take Charlotte Park as an example of the swampy suction. Sixty-eight lots (covered by four Supplementals) do not have any services enumerated; twenty have basic services listed but have added responsibility for the maintenance of non-VDOT streets. Roper Park homes have a mishmash of basic services but varying requirements for maintaining easements, wetlands buffers, and non-VDOT streets. Village Walk adds a different dimension, as their assessments include exterior maintenance of housing.
Equally confusing are easements for Neighborhoods. Easement policies for utilities, NTRA-owned pedestrian ways, and drainage are found in Section VIII of the Master, but there is no consistency in what is covered by Neighborhood Supplementals. Abbey Commons and Chelsea Green, for instance, have no mention of utility and pedestrian easements —- only drainage. Some neighborhoods have roadways that are maintained by the Association rather than VDOT, and thus should require easements.
These discrepancies need to be addressed, of course. You recently received an e-blast letter from the NTRA Board concerning the need for revisions to all our governing documents, so you know that they are working diligently, with legal guidance, to rectify the issues. There is a process to make this work transparent; you will receive updates and opportunities to comment. What is most important is this fact: you must be part of the vote to adopt the finished product (probably late in 2021). Two-thirds of owners must approve. Lacking that, we will be drowning in a quicksand of illogical policies written almost twenty years ago under a different set of circumstances. That could also place us in murky legal waters. Stay tuned…….
Posted on June 1, 2021 4:20 PM
Many thanks for the update & numerous hours identifying the many document inconsistencies & discrepancies the developer "transferred" to the NTRA to fix... potentially costing the NTRA thousands of dollars. Why were these issues not caught/identified by the NTRA Management Company and Attorney as part of the "transfer" process. Why are we still using these same companies to correct/fix this MESS??
REPLY: Neither the management company nor the Association’s attorney drafted NTRA’s governing documents, which were adopted over the past 15 years. The Board of Directors is focused on the future and coming together as a community to build better documents. Our Attorney is providing valuable expertise to help us achieve this objective in the most efficient way.
Last Edited: 06/03/2021 at 05:36 PM