I would like to respond to the non-member of the HOA who wrote a letter discouraging homebuyers from purchasing one of approximately 25 homes currently for sale in the HOA and undermined any future home sales.
Why would The Mirror print such a letter and why would they highlight that letter on the front page using such a negative, inflammatory title?
I just do not understand the motivation here. But as the current president of Twin Lakes HOA, I am both outraged and very sympathetic to those who presently have their houses on the market for sale. I believe a grave injustice has occurred.
The Twin Lakes HOA, with nearly 1,400 homes, is a wonderful and beautiful place to live. Twin Lakes HOA has three lakes, three wonderful parks, private security and offers everything from lakefront living to golf course homes with views of Puget Sound to homes situated in its many cul-de-sacs.
There are a variety of social events throughout the year including the Annual Pancake Breakfast, End of School Snow Cone for the Kids, Fourth of July Parade, Annual Garage Sale Event, Annual BBQ at the Park, Fun Walk/Run, Pay it Forward Cookie Exchange, Christmas Light Decorating contest and more.
The neighborhood is well maintained and the great majority of homeowners appreciate that fact. It is true that many people want to live in an HOA so unkempt homes will not lower their value. Additionally, the HOA is a part of the Safe City Program (an interactive website in which we partnership with the Federal Way Police Department to reduce crime). Ours was the first HOA to become a part of that great program.
Now to the points made in the subject letter. The board does "not" control anything like M. Bart attempted to describe in the letter, but rather enforces the CC&Rs (conditions, covenants and restrictions) that were established some 45 years ago.
When a homeowner purchases a home in Twin Lakes, he or she agrees to comply with those CC&Rs upon purchase and signs an acknowledgement of that in their closing documents.
In other words, they made an agreement with other homeowners to comply. This is no different than any other homeowners association that has CC&Rs. Countless homeowners tell me that they can tell when they enter or leave Twin Lakes by the beautiful neighborhood appearance, which is the main reason they bought in Twin Lakes HOA.
Of course there are dues. Again, our CC&Rs provide that the board can raise dues to meet expenses within certain limits (the figure is tied to the annual CPI) and is spelled out in our CC&Rs. This too is common for most HOAs. There has not been a dues increase in the last couple of years. So I am not sure what point M. Bart was attempting to make.
When would a dues increase be warranted? A good example is street lights. Our HOA pays over $40,000 a year for electricity for all the street lights in Twin Lakes. When Puget Sound Energy raises its rates, the HOA may need to raise dues to cover costs, and so goes the list. I don't think this should be shocking to anyone.
M. Bart goes on to suggest that the HOA tried to force homeowners to pay $25 a month to support the golf and country club. Not true! Yes, there was a proposal from the club to the HOA for a required social type of membership because of its financial situation at the time. That proposal was taken to the membership (as it should be) and needed a super-majority to pass — the vote was 59 percent in favor but did not reach the mark for a super-majority (66.6 percent) requirement. I think that's called democracy. It is interesting to note that this whole proposal occurred several years ago, so I do not understand why anyone would mention it years later.
Again, I do not understand the motivation of a non-member attempting to lower property values and hinder sales in Twin Lakes HOA by writing such a letter, and I am very disappointed in The Mirror for publishing it.
Twin Lakes is a great place to live. We have a new brochure with great pictures, showing all the benefits of living in Twin Lakes. Please call our office at (253) 838-0464 and we would be most happy to give you a copy. You can also check out our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TwinLakeshoa to see some of our wonderful events we offer. Thank you.
Bob Hill, president, Twin Lakes HOA