Bygone Bylaws: the Basics
Posted on July 1, 2021 7:03 AM by Stuart Dopp
Now that we have all, I’m sure, studied the primary Declaration for New Town and the Supplementals, we can peruse the Bylaws in our big fat notebooks or e-document.
Our Bylaws delineate the roles, powers, and duties of the Board and establish the guidelines for conducting business. They also cover varied obligations such as insurance, address the role of the managing agent, and mandate some committees (e.g., Architectural Review) while allowing for others (e.g., Neighborhood Advisory Committees which was used for the original authorization for the Residential Advisory Board).
The caveat, of course, is that these existing Bylaws were written by or for the Developers, New Town Associates, LLC. Although the original Bylaws made some provisions for the day when New Town would be turned over to the homeowners, they are clearly no longer pertinent to our position as an independent Homeowners Association.
Many parts are just simply irrelevant now. Some examples: A great deal is said about Mortgagees since the lenders were of primary importance to the Developers in the early days of New Town’s development. Section 4.2 allows the (Developers) Board “from time to time elect to have the Association treated as a ‘homeowners association’” to satisfy IRS regulations. The list goes on…
Other parts of the Bylaws are in conflict with best practices: Section 4.3, for instance, says that “The Developer or an affiliate of the Developer may be employed as Managing Agent.” It thus allowed the Developer to hire Town Management even though there was a family relationship between the President and one of the Developers. Importantly, real practices are sometimes different than what is stated in our current Bylaws. They call for the Annual Assessments of our individual properties to be established in accordance with “the Declaration and these Bylaws,” yet they are currently not calculated in the manner prescribed.
Clearly, all of our governing documents, including the Bylaws, must be redone to reflect our new self-governance. The NTRA Board is working (with an attorney) on the re-write, so stay updated. You will need to vote when this work is complete!
Posted on July 2, 2021 7:30 AM
Thanks Stuart for your article that points out some of the important broad issues of revising the Declaration so that they reflect the goals and desires of the community. I hope that the community will have the opportunity to make suggestions for revisions before there is a draft nearing completion.
REPLY: Draft documents will be available for community review in September. A Town Hall discussion is also planned to collect feedback. There will be time to consider all input.
Last Edited: 07/03/2021 at 10:26 AM
Posted on July 6, 2021 10:36 AM
Stuart, as usual this was short, sweet, and to the point. This article helped clarify things for me