Town Crier Articles

Summary of NTRA Special Meeting on Village Walk Required Exterior Maintenance
Posted on May 1, 2024 6:57 AM by Angela Lesnett
Categories: NTRA Business
 
On April 19th, the NTRA Board of Directors held a meeting to update Association Members on exterior maintenance issues in the Village Walk neighborhood. (For detailed information owners may view the Fortress Building report and the Board’s presentation on the NTRA website.)
 
Takeaways from the Briefing
The Board signaled a shift from an information-gathering stage (documenting design and construction defects present in many units in the Village Walk neighborhood of New Town), to the more difficult challenge of deciding:
  • when and how repairs will be made and, importantly,
  • how funding for those repairs will be apportioned among owners of Village Walk units.
The Board emphasized that no decisions have been made yet, and requested feedback from owners.
 
Estimated costs to carry out the repairs are:
  • Near-term building repairs - $900,000 to $1,000,000 (siding, painting, and Fortress report identified repairs),
  • Rebuilding of all 43 rooftop decks to prevent leaking - $2,150,000, and
  • Other future repairs identified by the NTRA Board - $500,000 to $1,000,000,
The Board stated that a near-term funding requirement of $1,400,000 could be met with a special assessment of $14,000 per owner of a Village Walk unit, spread over one to two years. The Board has not made this decision yet, and is considering options. 
 
Approximately 40 individuals attended the meeting. Jeff Martin of Fortress Building Envelope Consulting, Inc., presented their findings and recommendations, and answered questions.  Jack Espinal, NTRA Board President, then briefed attendees on the status of various Village Walk exterior maintenance issues including siding repair and replacement, leaking in 8 of the 43 rooftop decks, and questions related to the next steps to be taken.
 
Background
There are 21 buildings in Village Walk, comprising 99 townhouses of which 43 units are four-story townhomes that have a rooftop deck, which was offered as an option by Eagle Homes, the builder. Eight (8) of the townhouses with rooftop decks have known leaks, and the Board anticipates leaking among the other rooftop deck units in the future.
 
Village Walk townhomes were purchased subject to an Exterior Maintenance agreement requiring the Association to maintain the exteriors of each unit (in short, the roof and exterior building surfaces, with some exceptions).  Village Walk owners pay an amount over and above their NTRA HOA general assessment to fund these maintenance requirements.
 
Fortress Building Report
The Board hired Fortress Building to perform an inspection and condition assessment of exterior walls and certain roof sections (not including most shingle areas).
 
The big-ticket items for repair are the so-called low-slope roofing issues (leaks from the rooftop terraces). There are 8 units with this feature that are known to be leaking. For the leaking rooftop decks Fortress recommends, in general, first removing the existing decking materials, some siding, and the existing door, and then rebuilding the deck and scuppers and replacing the door, incorporating flashing and caulking, in a manner to prevent all future leaks. Fortress did not provide an estimate for this work, but the Board has estimated this at $45,000 to $50,000 per unit. Fortress also suggested that, in the short-term, a gutter could be installed above the sliding door to the terrace to minimize the amount of water falling directly on the terrace floor.
 
Fortress also provided a listing of current issues and recommendations for repairs. The defects identified included cracks and buckling in some siding, numerous defects in flashing installation and sealing/caulking, and installation issues for some metal panel roofs. These defects often resulted (or likely will result) in water intrusion. Various repairs were identified and recommended; no cost estimate was provided, but some are lower cost repairs.
 
Board of Directors’ Briefing
Jack Espinal reiterated that the Village Walk reserve accounts have been underfunded for some time, despite significant recent increases in Village Walk fees. Jack explained Eagle’s contribution to shingle roof repairs and that negotiations with Eagle over the rooftop deck repairs are on-going. Siding repairs on one building have been completed and no construction defects were identified. The Allura siding that was installed on most buildings has been identified as defective, but the class-action suit on this matter is closed, so there is little chance of any recovery from the manufacturer. Siding repair and painting is expected to cost approximately $100,000 per building or $20,000 per townhome; some of this work can be deferred.
 
The Board estimates near term building repairs (siding, painting, other Fortress Report repairs) at approximately $900,000 to $1,000,000, excluding rooftop deck repairs.
 
The Board has considered several options for funding repair of the rooftop terraces: spread the cost over all 99 homes in Village Walk (including homes without a rooftop deck), spread the costs over the types of homes receiving the repair services, or charge each homeowner when the service is provided. The Board recognized the relative unfairness of these approaches and solicited ideas for additional workable alternatives.
 
Q&A
Jack responded to a number of questions posed by owners including queries about establishing accountability for the current situation. The Allura siding question appears to be settled: since the class action was available only for owners (NTRA did not have standing to be part of the class action) and the time for entering the class has passed (NTRA earlier provided VW owners
information about this potential remedy). Negotiations with Eagle about the rooftop decks are ongoing.
 
The meeting ended with an acknowledgement that there are no easy answers, but the Board wants to develop workable and fair solutions.
 
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