Chelsea Cove Homeowner's Association Rules
by alaissen on June 8, 2014 - 11:28am
5909 Chelsea Cove N
Hopewell Junction, NY 12533
June 1, 2014
Lisa Kunst, CMCA, AMS, PCAM
JHK Management Company
PO Box 484
Hopewell Junction, NY 12533
Chelsea Cove Northside is an excellent family community. I enjoy living here with my active family and enjoy the amenities that are offered. Most afternoons, my four boys will be found at one of the playgrounds with the many other neighborhood children or exploring the wooded pond and lake areas. Chelsea Cove Northside has established itself as a family friendly community, and many people move here for its cleanliness and tranquility, yet closeness to major highways for commuting.
Recently, there have been several emails sent to homeowners and tenants about children's bicycles and toys being stored in front of homes. I understand the Homeowner's Association has rules and regulations in regards to the outside appearance of homes; however, it seems storing bicycles inside the homes or in the back of homes on the elevated decks presents a hardship for most families.
Each townhome is allotted two parking spaces in front of the home, as you know, and each townhome has a small front step area that leads to the front door. In my case, and in many other families' situations, we allow our children to park the bicycles neatly to the side of our front steps. At no time do my children's bicycles impede on other's property rights. However, per the Homeowner's Association Rules, this is not permitted, as the rules do not allow for toys, strollers and bicycles to be stored in the front of homes.
The Problem with Storing Bicycles, Etc. as suggested
The Homeowner's Association has stated "Children’s toys, bikes, scooters, strollers, etc. should be stored inside your home or arranged neatly on your back deck or patio." (NSHOA Rules and Regulations 16) I understand no one wants toys strewn about the property as it contributes to the appearance of clutter, and my family has a large bin in which outdoor toys (balls, buckets, etc) are stored, and that IS neatly on our back deck, per the suggestion. However, the larger items (bicycles, scooters, strollers) would not be stored conveniently inside, and I do not want my children pushing muddy bicycle tires across my carpeted living room to access the back deck. Many other families share these same concerns. The prevailing idea is that this is a family community, and as such, common sense should be applied.
Currently, neighbors to my left and right are facing fines for failure to correct this rule violation. I find that appalling and know that my time to be served with a fine is coming. In order to maintain a sense of decorum, I offer a solution that allows a compromise for both sides of this issue.
A Successful Solution to the Bicycle Storage Problem
At many of the common areas on the property (playgrounds, tennis courts, etc), the Homeowner's Association has placed simple bicycle racks. These racks are utilized when the community children are playing, etc and allows the bikes to be neatly stored until the children are ready to ride again. It seems that the Homeowner's Association could purchase additional racks to be placed at each block's mailboxes and dumpster enclosure area. There are 300 homes in the community, and 8 common areas (NSHOA Rules & Regulations 20)(dumpster, mailboxes) that serve approximately 38 homes each. I would welcome and encourage my children to secure their bicycles, scooters, etc at these racks and know many of my neighbors would as well. It would be understood that the Homeowner's Association has no liability for any of the items stored at the racks, just as when items are stored at the other racks in the community. I would gladly sign a waiver attesting to such.
A quick Google search identified other HOA communities who, in fact, do exactly as I suggest.
· From the Casa Del Mar HOA Rules and Regulations: "Bicycles must be kept either inside your unit or locked securely onto the bicycle racks provided on the ground level. Bicycles secured to the racks must be maintained in working condition or they will be removed." (1)
The Cost of Implementing the Solution
Each 38 home block would require parking for at least 1 bike per home (38 +). Two bike racks with capability of storing 18 bikes each can be purchased for each common area (16 racks total needed). Each 18-bike capacity rack costs $424.34 (rackattack.com) for a total cost of $6771.84 The community already contracts with a maintenance provider who could easily install the racks by pouring concrete and securing them with anchors. All together, this project could probably be completed for approximately $10,000. To fund this endeavor, each homeowner could pay a one-time assessment of $335. Also, it's completely possibly that government grants could be secured and community fundraising efforts could also offset this cost.
The Plan for Bike Rack Installation
To begin, the HOA must call for a meeting and vote on this issue. This issue is one of the most-complained about rules of the HOA, so it can expected most homeowners and resident tenants will attend the meeting and be in agreement with whatever solutions are suggested. Perhaps prior to the meeting, a more complete quote from the maintenance company can be obtained in terms to actual costs of installation. The meeting should also discuss fundraising ideas (community tag sale, etc), and the idea of governmental grants should also be explored and presented. Also, I would recommend a committee separate from the Board of Directors be elected whose only project is the bike racks.
Clearly, the issue of bicycle storage is a hot topic and will continue to be so. The rules of the Homeowner's Association are limiting and do not employ common sense. On the other hand, it is understood that without rules, the overall appearance of the community will be affected. I am confident that the community can find a successful solution to this problem, and in the end, everyone will be happy. Chelsea Cove will remain a peaceful place to live and a welcoming home for families.
I can be reached anytime at 845-200-5790 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss my concerns. I welcome your questions about the solution I have outlined and look forward to mutually solving this problem.
"Casa Del Mar Homeowners Association Rules and Regulations." casadelmartx.com . Web. 8 June 2014
"Northside Homeowners Association Rules and Regulations." chelseacovenorthside.com . Web. 8 June 2014
"park a bike 18 bike." Rackattack.com Web. 8 June 2014