Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Ray Donahue wants a better view - 2nd try

Revised 9.10.09

On August 20, 2009 we received a certified letter from the WNT Arcitechtural Control Committee directing us to "remove and/or top" all of the mature fir trees on our property. The ACC also asks us to remove trees not on our property, but more on that later.

I was a bit shocked. I had heard rumors that Donahue was going to re-visit his claim that we are responsible to keep our trees out of his view but I had no idea that there had been anything formal in the works. Apparently his letter to the ACC was sent on April 17, 2009, more than four months prior our being notified of the issue.

Donahue had never spoken to us about these trees even though he was given opportunity to do so after the last time the ACC denied his claim over our trees.

The Assocition has a long history of preserving and protecting mature fir trees in our community. This goes back to the time of the original plat. There are quite a number of building plan approvals where the ACC had specifically required that mature fir trees be left on lots as they were developed. There is not a single instance that I can find where the ACC has required the removal of a mature fir tree. Quite a number of owner planted trees have had to be removed over the years, but never a mature fir tree left in place by the lot developer.

The ACC made it's decision on August 11, 2009 after the CC&R Revision became effective. However, Chris Frier - an ACC and Board member, informs me that since the complaint by Donahue was filed in April, 2009 the original CC&Rs apply.

The CC&R revisions with respect to mature trees and views only clarified existing Assocaiton policy and change the basis for ACC consideration very little.

We attempt to prepare a response:

First, we need a bit more info, so here's the text of our letter to the ACC :

Ralph Hjalseth

Chairman, ACC

Wind 'n Tide

P.O. Box 313

Wauna, WA 98395

August 20, 2009

Mr. Hjalseth,

We have today received your letter concerning the ACC's decision regarding trees on our property affecting the view of the Donahues.

We dispute this decision and request the following information in order to prepare our response:

1) The original complaint letter.

2) The dates and locations of ACC meetings regarding this issue.

3) Names of ACC members present at these meetings.

4) Polling of ACC member votes.

5) Copy of ACC's exempted trees listing pursuant to the CCR revision.


Nathan & Cindy Kellogg

We got a phone call from Hjalseth after he got this letter. During that call he tells me that we already have the names of the ACC members, they were provided with the annual meeting packet that was mailed to all members. He also says that he needs to come down to my house to "familiarize myself with the situation". I expressed surpise that he was not already familiar with the situation since the ACC of which he is the Chairman had aready directed me to destroy my trees. The visit idea dies here.

In another letter, we ask for the minutes of the ACC meetings and copies of any correspondence, and add a clarification to the request for info on who attended the ACC metting(s):

Ralph Hjalseth, ACC Chairman
Wind N Tide Homeowner’s Association
PO Box 313
Wauna, WA 98395

August 24, 2009

RE: Document Request

Dear Mr. Hjalseth,

Please provide me with copies of the following documents:

1) Meeting minutes for all meetings of the WNT Architectural Control Committee for the period January 1, 2009 to date. If the names of the attending members are not included in these documents, please provide that information separately.
2) Names of any other persons present at the time and location of the meetings.
3) Copies of all correspondence sent or received by the ACC for the period January 1, 2009 to date.

In the event that you are not able to provide me with copies of these documents please specify a location, date and time, within the next 7 days, when I can inspect and copy the documents myself.


Nathan Kellogg

The response from the ACC:

So we get a copy of the April, 2009 complaint from Donahue, the date of the meeting, and are told that the exempt trees document "has not been voted on or agreed to" ( this will be important later ) , but no info on who was at the ACC meeting and/or how they voted. Hjalseth also incorrectly states that the ACC has 12 months to so designate the exempt trees. I think he missed the fact that the twelve month clock started on July 3, 2008 at the time the revised CC&Rs were recorded. The board and acc know this is overdue now anyway; I had conversations with Donahue, Frier, and Roger Noll about this fact in late spring.

One more try :

( This letter added to blog on 09.10.09 )

Ralph Haljseth, ACC Chairman
Wind N Tide Homeowner’s Association
PO Box 313
Wauna, WA 98395

August 29, 2009

RE: Document Requests

Dear Mr. Haljseth,

We are in receipt of your undated letter in response to our
August 20 correspondence requesting information from the ACC.

I appreciate your providing me with a copy of the Donahue

Your answers regarding the names and votes of the ACC members
present at the meeting when this matter was decided are
unsatisfactory. We are aware of what members serve on the ACC.
We are also aware that not all of those ACC members were
present when the matter was decided.

So, again, we request that you provide us with a list of ACC
members present at the July 8, 2009 ACC meeting at your home.
We further request that you indicate for us how each of the
members present at the meeting voted on this issue. If votes
of ACC members not present at the meeting were considered,
please provide that information also.


Nathan Kellogg

No response from the ACC on this one. Instead, we get a letter from our HOA President, Mr. Donahue:

We had previously asked Pam Cody, HOA Secretary, for any Board minutes for the year to date. This is provided. Still no response to the question of who was at the meeting.

This is really starting to look like Donahue and Haljseth do not want me to know who was at the meeting.

Apparently Donahue is not aware of applicable Washington law regarding HOA records:

RCW 64.38.045(2):  All records of the association, including the names and addresses of owners and other occupants of the lots, shall be  available for examination by all owners, holders of mortgages on the  lots, and their respective authorized agents on reasonable advance  notice during normal working hours at the offices of the association  or its managing agent. The association shall not release the unlisted  telephone number of any owner. The association may impose and collect  a reasonable charge for copies and any reasonable costs incurred by  the association in providing access to records.

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