Three Canyons Ranch Master Homeowners' Association
P. O. Box 970
Hereford, AZ 85615
Board Meeting Minutes
April 9, 2003
Members Signed In:
Tommy Stoner, Nancy Howard, J.C. Russell, Joy O'Clock, Sue and Bob Schneider, Ron Slyter, P.J. and Jim Picard, Liz Woods, David and Dottie Brown, Dave and Pat Angell, Beverly Pickering, Grant MacLean, Jim Muldowney, Dick Pomroy
Board Members Present:
Tom Pickering, Evans Guidroz, Jim Arndt, Rita Doyle, Gene Mundt, Darryl Crowley, David Paris, Gerald Chouinard, Gary Brock
Board Members Absent:
Jim Dobis, Jack Dempsey
Call to Order
Acceptance of March 12, 2003 Minutes
The minutes were unanimously accepted.
Acceptance of Agenda
The agenda was accepted.
Call to Membership
T. Pickering asked the Board members to introduce themselves and in turn, asked that the members present do the same.
R. Slyter gave kudos to J. Arndt for organizing the start of the west gate operation. He said it had gone better than he ever anticipated. He also suggested that the gate closure time be reduced because some vehicles had been observed waiting in the loop area and then driving through the gate after it had been opened remotely by a member. D. Brown agreed that the time should be lessened.
J. Arndt explained that the lapsed time for the gate closure had been extended to allow a person to scroll the key pad and have enough time to drive through the gate. He said perhaps now that people were more familiar with the scrolling process, the time could be reduced.
R. Slyter said in the case of a tractor trailer going through, the gate would remain open because the sensor would prevent it from closing.
T. Pickering thanked the gate committee and those individuals who volunteered their time during the initial operation of the gate. He said they did a great job. He also thanked the members who participated in and made a success of the first 3 Canyons clean-up effort on March 22.
G. Mundt reported the following account information, and said he had written checks in the last 9 days totaling $9,000.00. He cautioned the Board to be careful about approving further expeditures until the June assessments are collected.
Regular Fund $22,861.67
Capital Fund $55,725.88
Principal owed $282,500.01
Administrative -- Not available.
Counsel addressed the membership that there was the potential for future litigation with Wildhorse regarding their desire to be out of the 3 Canyons HOA. He mentioned the Board was informed of this at an executive session held on April 2. He will keep the Board apprised as the potential becomes more realistic. He also asked that members not ask him about any pending litigation because he would be unable to give them any information as it would violate attorney/client privilege.
A draft letter to members whose parcels fall below the minimum requirements for a residence was passed out to the Board for review.
SSVEC sent a letter to Counsel regarding the North/South lines within the 3 Canyons Road area. Counsel will provide an update by next month's meeting.
P. Angell who is a Compass Point resident asked about his lot being less than 8 acres.
R. Stachel said often in these developments within 3 Canyons the common area makes up for the less than 8 acre difference.
T. Pickering said this minimum acreage letter was to address situations where people had 40 acres to begin with, split it 5 times, resulting in some splits being less then 8 acres.
R. Pomroy said there were some parcels that were actually less than 40 before they were split.
R. Slyter said the acreage would also affect the voting privilege.
D. Crowley said that these individuals want to pay for 7 acres (as it is the policy to round down), but want to be able to build as if it were 8 acres.
R. Stachel gave as examples Deer Ridge Estates, Vista del Oro and Wildhorse as developments that included common areas when figuring density/acreage.
G. MacLean asked about the SSVEC utility issue and thought the Master Design Committee had made a recommendation to the Board that all future overhead powerlines be stopped.
R. Stachel said SSVEC does not recognize the MDC and says they can't make rulings about utility line placement.
D. Crowley said he spoke with the SSVEC Sierra Vista Engineering Deparment and the letter sent to Counsel had been drafted by the Willcox office.
R. Stachel said SSVEC is trying to put poles and cross poles along 3 Canyons. Update to follow.
G. Chouinard asked counsel if the Quit Claim deeds were taking proper course?
R. Stachel said he thought so, but didn't know how many were back.
Counsel addressed a new gate issue. The Association has been threatened with litigation regarding the gate. A group outside of 3 Canyons had an attorney send a letter to Castle & Cooke demanding the gate be removed for the following reasons:
1) No documented easement rights
2) Prescriptive easement rights
3) The 3 Canyons HOA had inappropriately spend money on a gate that they did not own.
R. Stachel said the letter had no merit for many reasons, among them that the complainant was not a member of 3 Canyons. He said it's a third party asking Castle & Cooke to breach an agreement with the 3 Canyons HOA. He said the complainants were violating the Associations right to deal with Castle & Cooke.
R. Stachel gave an example about a former resident insisting she had a right to use 3 Canyons Road to the West. Nothing on record supported her claim. The recorded plat clearly shows this area as having access to the East only.
R. Stachel also explained that prescriptive rights concern the use of a property or thruway for 10 years. The developments to the east making claim to 3 Canyons Road were built on or about 1997.
A response is not planned since the letter was not addressed to 3 Canyons. Castle & Cooke was only concerned with Item No.3 and will deal directly with the Association regarding this matter.
T. Pickering asked if C&C intended to take any action with the gate.
R. Stachel said C&C has no intention of opening or removing the gate.
T. Pickering stated the Association's budget took a hit every time we had to fight this sort of thing.
R. Stachel said administrative costs were spread over 12 months. Counsel's time to respond to threats of litigation were only the costs associated with the executive session.
T. Pickering explained that Counsel was asked to attend this meeting because of the letter received by C&C about the gate.
P.J. Picard asked about the monthly administrative fee. The contract amount spread over 12 months is $775/month.
J. Arndt asked if there was any additional charge for the mailing of assessments?
R. Stachel said no. Assessments were included in the monthly fee. He said the "perk" of the contract amount is that everything administrative falls within this cost. He explained that every effort is made to collect assessments so that litigation is not required.
The subject of the governing documents being made available by Counsel was discussed. T. Pickering suggested 10 copies of all governing documents be made up in advance so they could be available for pick-up when a member requested them. Counsel retains a retyped "working" copy of the CC&R's, but members who request copies are given the recorded version, as the other cannot be used.
J. Picard mentioned he had mailed the first of two letters to members concerning the changing of the wording in Master Declaration 20.1. He said he had a 8% return of those mailed for both bad addresses and forwarding time had expired.
J. Arndt said the 8% figure must be higher because he heard from several members who had not received the letter at all.
D. Crowley said he received tax notices on land he no longer owned and suggested the county records were loused up.
R. Stachel said over 90% of the transfers they receive are from Pioneer Title Company. Fidelity Title Company is not giving them the information. He thinks it's because they don't want to pay the $75 transfer fee.
P. J. Picard will forward a list of the bad addresses to Counsel by email; a copy will be sent to T. Pickering.
G. Mundt asked if a letter could be sent to Fidelity from the Association.
R. Stachel said a letter from his firm was sent to Fidelity but he does not know if there has been any improvement since then.
D. Crowley said the Master Design Committee is aware of assessments being received by people who no longer own the land.
R. Stachel said the title companies are supposed to include copies of the governing documents at closing, but rarely do.
T. Pickering asked if next month's administrative report could show a breakdown of how M. DoPardre spends her time on Association work.
R. Stachel that could be done. He also asked that when the annual ballots are mailed, a request is made that proxies be received 10 days before the meeting date. He thought this would help with the bottle-neck that existed at last year's meeting.
J. O'clock asked about a letter she received in the mail concerning voting.
J. Picard explained that was the letter explaining the attempt to change the working in Master Declaration 20.1.
Master Design Committee -- D. Crowley reported the MDC had met on Monday and approved one new house and 4 misc. requests. One builder was going to receive a stop work letter as the builder was not compliant.
D. Crowley said the committee had a substantial amount of files and asked if they could be stored at the La Purisma Center and could the MDC hold their monthly meeting there.
G. Chouinard said he would check with the owners and that there would probably be an additional $40/month charge.
R. Doyle asked Darryl if there was any recourse when people build structures that were not on the original plan submission. This matter is being addressed by the MDC.
D. Angell asked when the MDC met.
D. Crowley said the MDC usually meets the Monday before the monthly Association meetings. If approval is requested before that one month time, a fee of $500 is charged to the requestor.
Gate Committee -- J. Arndt gave a special thank you to those who assisted with the initial gate operation,
Nancy Howard, Dale & Sue O'Neil, Jim Picard, John Sauter, Ron Slyter, Donna Willard, Stacy Perez, Tom Pickering, J.C. Russell. He also thanked Liz Woods whose idea it was to organize the community clean-up.
J. Arndt asked that members notify the committee if there is any change in status that would affect their gate information, (i.e. different vehicle or land owner changing to homeowner).
J. Arndt made a motion that the American flag be flown on the street light by the entry gate. R Doyle seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
Governing Documents Committee -- J. Picard reported that the first mailing explaining the attempt to change the wording in Master Declaration 20.1 had gone out. The second letter which includes the ballot for voting on the wording change is scheduled to be mailed by the end of next week. It will include a self-addressed stamped envelope. He is thinking about asking that the ballot be returned sometime in July.
R. Doyle asked if perhaps that long turn around time might result in people misplacing the ballot.
J. Arndt asked if a date to return could be used, but not adhered to.
T. Pickering said if a date to return by is used, it must be complied with.
J. Russell asked that the flag be lowered to half mast when appropriate.
Fence Committee -- E. Guidroz reported work on the Bloomfield gate is to begin soon, the contractor had trouble getting the posts. Expect completion by month's end.
J. Picard said he has the chain and four locks from the previous gate and will give it to the Fence Committee for inclusion in the new gate. The locks belong to the Bloomfield residents, Fire Department, SSVEC and Border Patrol.
J. Mundt asked for clarification on gate amount. It will be under $2,000.00.
E. Guidroz said he was out to look at Section 20E with a property owner to examine how to contain traffic that is coming through to 3 Canyons Road from Coyote Song. There is a conservation easement in the area that is owned by the Association. A survey will need to be completed before any fencing can be done.
J. Arndt said the conservation easement is not owned by anyone. The easement is a restriction on the use of property owned by individual property owners. T. Pickering said the Association has the right to protect its boundaries. It was suggested that those property owners along the easement be notified before the fencing is done.
Review of administrative duties -- J. Arndt reported that at the September 18, 2002 monthly meeting, the Board approved the contract amount of $775/month for administrative services furnished by Cardinal & Stachel, with a 30 day cancellation clause in order to look into other alternatives. A visit was made to Lewis Management Resources, Inc. last month by J. Arndt, R. Doyle and N. Howard. LMR is a Association Management company located in Sierra Vista AZ. They provide service to 85 homeowners' associations in the state of Arizona. They do everything from architectural review to accounting and are capable of taking as much or as little as the Association wishes. They have software capable of handling Association specific duties, such as reconciling the annual voting ballots. Association management is all that they do.
G. Mundt suggested a requirements list be submitted to see about price.
G. Brock suggested references be obtained from other HOAs.
G. Chouinard said the requirements list should keep to the basics.
J. Arndt said he was thinking of a job description defining specific requirements.
T. Pickering suggested a basic comparison between Cardinal & Stachel and LMR.
J. Russell asked if he was a member of the 3 Canyons HOA as well as a member of the Vista del Oro HOA.
T. Pickering said yes, and that the smaller subdivisions within 3 Canyons had more stringent CC&Rs. He gave as an example the minimum square footage for a home in 3 Canyons is 1200 sq. ft. The smaller subdivisions can make that minimum larger, but cannot go below what has been setforth by the 3 Canyons HOA.
J. O'Clock asked about the mailing regarding the CC&R changes.
J. Picard explained the purpose of the vote was to change the wording of Master Declaration 20.1.
D. Angell said the county could tell you who owns what land.
D. Pomroy said the county records are correct regarding land ownership, but the addresses they had on file were not always up to date.
D. Angell said if Counsel's office is not checking with the county now for correct information, perhaps the management company would be a good idea.
D. Brown reiterated the need to check references.
J. Arndt will get a request for bid together to present to the Board. If anyone is interested in helping with this effort, please contact Jim.
Adoption of Election committee recommendations -- E. Guidroz made a motion that the following recommendations be adopted as Assocation By Laws: G. Brock seconded.
1) Voting right suspension -- In accordance with Master Declaration Section 3.1.3. the Master Association hereby suspends the voting right of an Owner during any time in which any assessment respecting such Owner or such Owner's lot or parcel remains unpaid and delinquent. As per ARS 33-1803, a payment by a member is deemed late if it is unpaid fifteen or more days after its due date, unless the community documents provide for a longer period. Other supporting authority: ARS 10-3721, Master Association By Laws Section 2.11.
2) The official ballot and return envelope that has been used in other past meetings be referred to as the official ballot for the 3 Canyons Ranch Master Homeowners' Association's annual meeting scheduled for July 26, 2003.
3) That use of a designee or "Proxy" must be notarized giving voting authority to said designee as part of the official ballot, and be returned 10 days prior to the date of the annual meeting.
4) That 100 feet from the place of the annual meeting be established as an area where campaigning for said office cannot be conducted; to include handouts, badges, banners, or other items for the purpose of seeking election to the Board.
J. Arndt said that requiring that proxies be notarized might result in a bad voting turn-out.
R. Doyle asked if the proxies being returned 10 days in advance of the meeting might make the need for notarizing mute.
R. Slyter replied that the notarizing was requested to ensure the legitimacy of signatures.
D. Paris agreed with the possibility that requiring notarizing may result in ballots not being returned.
G. Mundt asked who would be questioning the proxies, would it be the Election Committee?
G. Chouinard said it would be a can of worms to have the Election Committee questioning proxies and said notarized proxies would get the Election Committee off the hook.
R. Slyter agreed the notarizing of the proxies would remove that responsibility from the Election Committee.
B. Schneider who pointed out he was a long distance member until they moved last Fall, said that there had to be some way to verify signatures like is done with County voting. The notarizing would authenticate the signature.
T. Stoner said requiring the proxies be notarized goes against state law.
G. Chouinard asked if the state law said that votes could not be notarized?
D. Brown asked if there had been questionable voting in the past.
J. Picard asked if illegal activity had taken place.
R. Pomroy asked if T. Stoner would reference the applicable Arizona Revised Statute. T. Stoner could not recall the ARS that applied.
D. Paris said couldn't we just add to what may be a minimum requirement by the state.
T. Stoner said the state only requires certain actions and that the Board would have to accept this.
T. Pickering thanked the committee for doing a good job.
J. Picard asked if the committee had checked the CC&Rs to ensure the additional requirement of notarizing did not require a vote of the membership.
The vote passed with J. Arndt and R. Doyle abstaining.
Quote of Stern Internet Service -- tabled.
Call To Membership
D. Paris read the following sentence from a letter apparently generated by people outside the Association who want the west gate removed:
"The HOA has a reputation of questionable legal actions and generally goes forward with their own self-interest."�
D. Paris said he was highly offended by the above and reminded those present that nothing is carried out without a vote of the Board.
The minutes are no longer distributed through US mail. They will be posted on the website at az3canyons.com. To receive via email, contact J. Arndt at Arndt8620@aol.com. To receive a mailed copy, send $15 to the Association to cover the cost of the mailing for one year.
The meeting adjourned at 7:35p
The next Board meeting will be held on May 14, 2003 at the La Purisma Retreat Center. Take Hwy 92 S to Stoneridge Road (approximately 2 miles south of the 3 Canyons entrance) on the right. It's the first building on the left and has a blue roof.
Rita C. Doyle
Last updated: 14 April 2003 by REW.