Fall is approaching! Leaf pick up questions? Here is a link to the counties leaf pick up website.
Do you have any new neighbors? If so, please have them register at www.knollwoodhoa.com so they can receive news and updates.
23 attendees + board
Called to order at 7:01 p.m.
- Finance – We have money. Money market has been opened to 1.8% money market savings. Had excess cash from the last few years; certificate of deposit opened on 12/7, 2.45%. Our dues are covering us; we’re in good shape.
- A little high on printing costs and postage this year. Normally we don’t have two meetings a year. Had some entrance lighting repairs, put back into 2019 budget.
- We still have $4500 of delinquent dues. Jones Obenchain sent out 7 demand letters last year. Two paid and five will have liens put on them.
- What are bank fees for? Paypal (takes $3.20 off of $100)
- 347 invoices, but a couple of houses have more than one lot. Receivables at $8,775. Only 64 people have not paid. We have the attorney starting liens for $2625. Have one house under foreclosure. Kids already called and said he’s not paying it. Can’t put lien on foreclosure. Two at five years and one at six years delinquent. Can check tax records to see where owners are living. People don’t contact her to say they’re moving on.
- Aviva motioned to accept budget, not sure who seconded (John?).
Covenants, Restrictions, and Architecture Report
- Four shed approvals and one large landscaping project. Smaller issues resolved with a couple of phone calls. Hampton & Ridgemoor, wrecked car parked on street in cul de sac. Tim says we might have some leverage. Sherriff can check numbers plate. Sometime just a letter will suffice.
- Two cars have been parked on grass for a long time. Can we do anything about that? Starting to look like a junkyard. We need people to levy fines, etc. Could become a full-time job. Asking for compliance, in most cases, has been pretty good. Parking on grass is not something we’d normally ask for. John would prefer it not be put on website. Just contact us.
- We have the option of sending an official letter from an attorney. By covenants they are obligated to pay legal fees. At what point do you put legal fees on, etc. Public shaming? J
- Mark – Nothing in covenants that generally speaking, prevents someone from parking on their own grass. You can’t put a fence in your yard without approval but you can park your car on grass. Closest thing you have is a nuisance. A barking dog could be a nuisance. What about a diesel engine running for 45 minutes at 3:00 am?
- Do we go to neighbors when approving an architectural project? Usually ask if they’ve talked to their neighbors.
- Any consideration to person on Lincroft who’s had shingles on roof for years? Probably a nuisance. Also just raked their leaves into the street! We have no jurisdiction there.
- Some neighborhoods have covenants where if you don’t mow your lawn, they’ll mow it for you. And charge you. House on corner of Baywood & Gumwood (back door falling off). They’ve completely redone it … fixed siding, windows, etc.
- When is the burn amnesty? This weekend. Xmas ornaments … can we do better next time? They did better this year! Ended up buying ornaments without Mark’s permission.
- Called county – Receptive to fixing potholes. Except for Hampton, the road doesn’t even exist anymore. We’re at the bottom of the list. County owns it, we can’t fix it ourselves. Can we do a petition? Road is crumbling. Andy Kostielney said they only do two miles of roads every year?
- Fogeley landscape – They have trucks and leaf grinders to pick up leaves. Maybe county arrangement for leaf pickup can be contracted out someplace else? Best we could have gotten would have doubled or tripled our dues just for leaf pickup. Not every landscape company will pick up leaves. Those that do the bulk leaf pickup when county took up contract, pretty much everyone sold their equipment to Greenworld and got out of business. Juno doesn’t do it, Michiana Recycling will accept bagged leaves for free, only two, I think.
- Anything we have to use as leverage to get leaves off of street? I think we as a community should look at alternatives, options. Talk to other neighborhoods and see what they do. We can’t rely on government much more. Important that we start petitioning the county and state … road is down to base and you’re not repairing it??? Needs to be reiterated that nowhere in covenant does it say we will pick up leaves. How can we help ourselves?
- Think the fee was $100 to get leaves removed 30 years ago. Think it’s still $100. This is just a moot point. Does it require a certain percentage of homeowners to approve increase in dues to cover leaf pickup? No one’s going to approve that. 10% don’t pay right now. We don’t know until we try. 2/3 of all lots only to change covenants and restrictions. Different percentage to raise dues. When new board is elected, get some firm decisions.
- Get together with neighbors and get group rate. Think Abraham has been out this week picking up leaves?
- Harold – AEP never tells Harold when they replace a light; he has to go over and look personally.
- Clay Township would like to engage more with homeowners associations for things like safety, smoke detectors, etc. Engagement between fire departments and communities prompted this.
Garage Sale Update
June 21-22. Posted on website. Will do some advertising on internet, SB Tribune, put ad in new Granger Living magazine.
Nominations and Election of New Board Members
- Motion to open floor for nominations for two open board positions: Just board positions. Tim nominates his friend Ali (sitting next to him). Any further nominations? Evie Nickison. Harold nominates Evie. John seconds. Motion to close nominations? We got three! Tim Woods, Evie Nickison, Ali Wojarda. Harold motions to vote all three in! All in favor!
- Retiring Spot
- Talboom has 3-year contract. Not sure where they are in their contract. Main entrance maintained by country club. At least it doesn’t have a fence.
- Michelle would love to see all the stone walls at entrances cleaned up and power washed. Might have to be someone who has their own water source.
Meeting adjourned at 7:58 p.m.
Leaf burning amnesty dates: April 12 through 14 and April 26 through 29.
I emailed Noel Snyder of the St Joseph Highway Department a map of the Knollwood neighborhood asking that their crews fill the pot holes in our neighborhood. Noel said he would put us on the list. I will keep you updated.
We have arranged for a special Homeowners Association Meeting for a Q&A session with St. Joseph County Commissioner Andy Kostielney. Andy is the president of the Commissioners and also represents our area of the county.
This meeting will also be a joint session with our neighbors in Knollwood West.
The session will be held on Wednesday, June 27 at 7 PM. We will meet at the Clay Church Firehouse Campus, 17616 Cleveland Road. Please note the meeting place as it is not at our usual place.
It would be helpful if you could provide some questions in advance. I’ll compile them and send them to Andy on the Sunday prior to the meeting. This will give him an opportunity to do any necessary research as well as to get a feel for what he should be prepared to discuss.
You may submit your questions via this “survey” link: https://nd.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_d9XOygds31by6Xj
Below are the minutes to the annual Knollwood HOA meeting. Special thanks to Aviva Wulfsohn for taking superb notes!
KHA Annual Meeting – May 23, 2018
Introductions: About 25 attendees plus seven board members: Augie, Harold, Mark, Debbie, John, Aviva, ?
- Have we considered looking into a CD? Rates at KEY Bank have gone up to 2.5%. We can look into a website called depositaccounts.com.
- $4500 outstanding from past receivables.
- Why are we paying bank fees? Mostly PayPal. $3.80 each time someone uses PayPal. Pretty much par for the course with online banking.
- How much would people be likely to use PayPal versus not paying at all? Some people don’t even use or have checking accounts.
- Had to get a business license, which says yes, we are still Knollwood Homeowners Association.
- What do we own that we have to file taxes on? Every year we file, never any money due.
- Property taxes = common lots: entrances owned by association, field off of Pine Ridge is our property, lot with retention pond.
Architecture & Covenants:
- Only had a couple of calls here (John not here, new guy). Month and a half ago someone wanted to know how long they could park their RV in front of their yard (typically 2-3 days). Otherwise, nothing major, a couple of nuisance complaints – dogs barking, property that could use some upkeep that we are addressing.
- Is there a limit on cars in driveways? Don’t think there is, as long as they’re licensed and not abandoned.
- Having a vehicle in your driveway is not the same as a nuisance in their driveway.
- Vandalism on Barryknoll and Gumwood, lights broken for the second time. If something happens, give me a call (Mark). Maybe think about getting a security camera at entrances?
- Road repair – Running into potholes on Barryknoll, in front of Augie’s house. Called the county. I was really nice, she was really nice. All been patched. If you see an issue, just call the county. No insurance on those. Only twice in 3-4 years have there been vandalism issues.
- Who do you call at county regarding road repairs? St. Joe County Road Repairs. Will post number on KHA website.
- Leaves – Whole issue is trying to understand that website! We are a high-volume area, so we should be taken care of automatically. Have to register or sign in (for last pickup). Something in the paper today about leaf pickup: will renew contract and reduce number of pickups.
- First pickup comes through before leaves have fallen. Fall off as soon as second pass is gone!
- Greenworld, company contracted to do pickups, is less than reputable. Say that from personal experience. Everything you think you have to do from that website has nothing to do with the company. That is Greenworld doing what Greenworld wants to do. County has said these are high leaf volume areas. Part of challenge is that county signed a bad deal. A deal in which they exercised very little oversight. Greenworld says you have to register; county isn’t really overseeing that.
- Sent out a survey, but was Greenworld sending out survey to look better in front of county. Greenworld reached out to both us and Knollwood West. We are offering to a certain number of neighborhoods to contract with you in case the county doesn’t renew. Greenworld led everyone to believe they had discontinued program when the county hadn’t decided yet.
- If you can commit by 12/31, we’ll give you a 50% fee reduction. Presented us with a package that was $340,000, ten times what we paid before. But wait there’s more, but it’s really $170,000. Guy from Greenworld asked what we think is reasonable. Maybe twice what we paid 3-4 years ago. They had no intention with signing any agreement. Junoll doesn’t do it anymore, Greenworld bought all equipment.
- A few years ago we had county commissioner come in. They were the ones who signed contract, they will be re-elected this fall. Need to come in and have a conversation with us. County used to pick up leaves. It’s something we expect from them.
- Michiana Recycling will pick up bags, up to five at a time (brown bags).
- Commissioners sign contracts, council makes laws. Can press our commissioner, Andy Kostielney.
- Maybe other homeowners association as a group might be able to address county commissioners.
- Could our association send a letter to Greenworld requesting there not be a pickup until there’s something to pick up? Fraudulent operation. Won’t do any good because contract is with county, not with us. Augie won’t waste his time on this.
- What if we had some kind of petition form on website?
- Board suggests that we contact county representatives, invite them to come speak, and extend invitation to other neighborhood boards.
- What if we have candidates come in before November elections? Get them in front of us and invite other homeowners associations. In meantime we have less service coming up this year and people just have to be ready.
- Burning wouldn’t be bad if you had a community burner! Take all our leaves over to Andy’s house and burn them.
- Question on yard lamps. Is there a setback requirement. Just have to have one. Can add a second one if you want. Are these streetlights LED? Don’t know. Will find out.
- What would it cost to install LED? How many lights? 60-70.
- Annual garage sale will be June 8-9. Is posted on website. Michelle will place signs at entrances.
- Be safe – Team up with a neighbor. Keep house locked. Tips will be added to website. Cars have sold at garage sales. Get started early.
- This is our neighborhood. There are a lot of great ideas. YOU oughtta do this, YOU oughtta do that! We need you to participate in this process. If you really feel like that’s a great idea, we would love to have you do that. This is the only way to do this. Went for a year without a president. No one who had been on the board for a while wanted to do it; no one new wanted to step into it cold. No one else raising hand and wanted to do it.
- Augie will serve until next year’s annual meeting. Someone needs to step up and fill positions. Through this year, his focus will be on getting people to participate. Alternatives: dissolve HOA, outsource to administrative firm, join forces with Knollwood West. If we dissolve HOA, it means no more covenants, would challenge you to hire admin firm and keep dues at $100. Merging with Knollwood West just delays the inevitable. Supposed to have nine on board. Don’t meet requirements.
- Mike Stay said he volunteered to be on board but no one called him.
- Put this “speech” on website.
- What would happen if dissolved? No one would collect dues. If you don’t dissolve it, at what point does it cease to exist? Nobody would pay bill for streetlights. State of Indiana no longer sees us as an entity. What would county say about taxes not paid on four pieces of property we own?
- Roseann asked why no notification given about this meeting? Did people receive invite via email? Someone had to go to website to see there was a meeting tonight. We will leave a sheet to collect emails.
- Whatever happened to printed Knollwood mailings? Use to look forward to that. Not a big deal. Agreed to send paper copies to people who did not want to receive emails.
- A lot of people aren’t getting notified of this meeting. Suggest sending out mailer that is clear as a bell, that we need participation or else.
- Notification should go out with dues bill.
- Spent two years as a board trying to do that but was impossible because of how it was written, and lawyers were involved. We knocked on doors, etc. Couldn’t get anyone to respond.
- One last item – Number of past dues. How do we get compliance? Couple of years spent trying to implement fines, etc. A lot of candidly personal attacks about the fines as a way for board to get rich. Our only option at the time was to have Covenants & Restrictions people call everyone. For dues, only option we considered was putting lien on their mortgage. At some point in future when they sell house, we get money.
- Here’s what’s going to happen: Spoke with attorney. For uncollected dues, attorney will pursue collection on our behalf, in return for a portion of what we collect. $50 for notification letter. Their success in collecting dues is how they get paid.
- If you are outstanding, you are responsible for all associated legal fees. If you are in violation of covenants, we’ll give you a couple of warnings, then you will get letter from attorney. Fee will be put on dues for next year. That solves the problem of us having to set fines, collect fines, etc.
- How many people don’t pay their dues? About 20 people who are about more than a year. About 5% we still need to collect for this year. Need to send a second notice in June, stating there is $25 late fee.
- Repeat offenders haven’t for years. How many people/homes? About 20. If it’s one it’s too many. Basically we’re selling our debt to an attorney. Not sure how they pursue covenants.
- Dues were $100 in 1986 and they’re still $100.
- Ones most likely to violate covenants are the ones not paying their dues. Is this being reported as a bad debt?
- We are just going to execute what we’re allowed to execute.
- Live on the 16th tee, but we don’t golf. All those pines died and when they made sidewalk they tore out everything else. Would like some wild grass planted, or some kind of noise barrier from traffic on Gumwood. Yippy dog sees people walking and yips some more! Thought Knollwood would get some money to replant. Talk to Matt (GM). Noise abatement would probably be county.
- Club is responsible for this entrance. Never looks as nice as others. Could HOA take care of it and charge back to club? No.
- Trying for three years to get block wall that says Knollwood power-washed. Have not been successful in 3.5 years. 40+ years of grime on those walls.
- Propose resolution of thanks for good members of current board!
- Need speed sign on Hampton and Ridgemoor replaced. Also entrance from Reserve.
- How is it that there’s only a one-way gate?
- Roofing shingles on top of roof for years? House on Lincroft.
- How do you follow through on people who don’t keep up with maintenance? Nothing in our C&R that allows us to do anything about these people. There’s a nuisance clause, but it’s very vague. Look into county ordinances; they have the power.
- We don’t have any ordinances about people renting their homes out here, do we? No.
- Not HOA’s responsibility to pick up leaves. Commissioners should come in and explain; contract needs to be signed soon. Mark says if he gets a lot of angry emails about leaves not being picked up, he’ll keep saying “call the county.”
- Augie will invite Andy and common council member who represents our area. Don’t want to make this a political forum for campaign. He should speak to his actions.
- Motion to adjourn at 8:49.
We’ve had reports of some vandalism on Barryknoll. The entrance lights were snapped off, a mailbox was run down by a car, political signs have been stolen or vandalized and a flyer with racial hate speech was left in a mailbox.
These have been reported to the SJC Police. Please be vigilant and aware. If you see something unusual or your instincts tell you something’s not right about what you see or hear, please call the County Police immediately. The police and your neighbors would rather you report it and have it be nothing than to not report it and find out it was a real threat.
According to the Saint Joseph County Leaf Pickup map located on their website Knollwood has been serviced. A spring burn amnesty will begin on April 29th and run through May 6th. For more details visit http://www.sjclp.com.
Potholes on Barryknoll Way have been reported to the Saint Joseph County Highway Department. Feel free to contact 574-235-7800 to report potholes you notice.
Obviously quite a few of you know about NEXTDOOR. It’s a website that touts the following,
“Nextdoor is the best way to stay in the know about what’s going on in your neighborhood—whether it’s finding a last-minute babysitter, learning about an upcoming block party, or hearing about a rash of car break-ins. There are so many ways our neighbors can help us. We just need an easier way to connect with them.”
Currently the Knollwood Forrest Hills Neighborhood has 408 members and 309 households or 39% of 799 households.
To sign up click here. Of course there is an app for your favorite cell phone as well.
Here are some of the catagories.