December 11, 2007

City of Hugo eager to help

A few weeks ago the Board Advisory Group made the recommendation that the Developer - CPDC, The City of Hugo, and (the homeowner-based) Board Advisory Group meet to discuss our master association’s challenges, ways of improving our current situation, and plan for a better future.  Bryan Bear, the City of Hugo’s Development Director has agreed with the suggestion of a early January meeting of CPDC, Mayor Fran Miron, Council Member Becky Petryk, and members of the Board Advisory Group. 

The City of Hugo is has been studying the groundwater, sump pump problems in the neighborhood.  Bryan Bear informs me that the City is ready to schedule a separate meeting for those residents concerned with the issue.  An announcement will be made when the meeting is scheduled.

Victor Gardens East-Update From Homer Tompkins

Today I received another update on the Victor Gardens East lots from CPDC’s President, and Victor Gardens Community Association Director, Homer Tompkins:  It’s excerpted below:

“ Mark, here’s an update for you.  All offers have been received by M & I bank and early indications are that Pete Scherer will be awarded VG East subject to M & I’s home office approval later this week.  Pete has had a long term involvement with Victor Gardens and will be a welcomed owner of the 26 lots in VG.  He is aware of the HOA shortfall issues, lien claims, mortgage debts, accounts payables and cost to complete issues with the City.  He will be meeting with various creditors after his acceptance with the home office but as of this moment we have no official approval from M & I Bank.  I’m meeting with M & I again at 2:00. “

“ As I have said frequently, the new buyer will want to meet with the HOA board to discuss shortfalls and his financial responsibility to the upkeep of his own investment in the community.  If Pete is awarded the project this is good news as he values CPDC’s architectural control and can help stabilize the HOA issues.  He should not pay all the shortfall of the HOA as others have to make contributions as well such as Len Pratt’s neighborhood, but Pete will listen and knows this is important to keep the property up. “


December 9, 2007

Resident Asks Questions about Gables Newsletter

There were a few questions that one resident sent me regarding the recent Gables Association Newsletter.  Those questions and responses might be of interest to other as well.  With the goal of openness, I’ve posted a few responses to some of the questions asked below.  I’ve answered the questions to the best of my knowledge with the information I’ve been provided.  Feel free to add your own comments:

1.  Who is controlling the Master Association Budget?

The Victor Gardens Board of Directors controls the Victor Gardens Community Association (The Master Association) Budget.  The Board is still controlled by the initial Developer, CPDC.

2.  What exactly do they pay for? (I know 25 dollars of my dues goes into the Master fund- where does that go if there are no holiday lights, no pool, etc)

You're welcome to look at the "Financials" page on the website for budgets, but in general, the Victor Gardens Community Association (VGCA) pays for mowing, pool maintenance, irrigation in common areas, utilities, etc... 

3.  Will the pool really not be opening this year?  Who owns it?  

The VGCA owns the pool.  The Board controls the budget.  To my knowledge, the budget has not been formed for the next fiscal year yet, so anything's possible.

4.  Is CPDC bankrupt and if so why do they still control of Victor Gardens? (It seems they do as the advisory committee asked them not to put up the holiday lights to save money)? 

CPDC is not bankrupt, but they have been defaulting on some of their VG loans. (please read some of the history of this in the site) Some of their properties have been "returned" to M&I Bank.  CPDC still has controlling interest in the Board (for the time being).  The neighborhood-based "Board Advisory Group" has made non-binding recommendations to the Board in order to save money for things that are deemed more important - like lawn mowing, utilities, paying off old debts, etc.  The lights are unfortunately a drop in the bucket, but it's a start on the path to more responsible financial management.

5.  If CPDC is bankrupt and was the group spending the money, don't they have a responsibility for that?  Will the debts be wiped out in their bankruptcy, or do we have to pay to bail them out? Or  is this the role of the buyers mentioned?   

Again, CPDC is not bankrupt.  CPDC is working with the bank that now owns their old lots, and is trying to help find a buyer "appropriate" in their minds, for the neighborhood. 

6. What types of assessments and dues increases are we facing?  Will this be done progressively based on square footage of properties? 

VGCA's Board has the power to increase the master association's dues and assessments.  This is merely speculation, but there's already a formula in place, and I would assume that if there was an increase, it would likely be proportional with what we're all paying as individuals now.  

7.  What types of disclosure rules are there for sellers regarding this? Does David Bernard for example have to tell prospective buyers they will be facing assessments and that there will be no pool?

This is a question best answered by your real estate agent and your lawyer.  This website provides general information, and doesn't speculate on matters like this. I have no information on what any builder discloses to its buyers.

8. It would be appreciated by all if you could post a much more in depth explanation on the website of how all this came to be- more so than just saying its just the housing market downturn- and what it means to residents.  

It's impossible to give you all the historical perspective a complicated situation like this requires.  My suggestion is that you read through old posts to learn more background information - then contact Gina Lampe, our Community Manager, or Shelly Tompkins of CPDC for more detailed information.  This website, is updated by me with the best information I have at any given time.  It's designed so that residents can go back and read old posts for more historical perspective.  You can also use the search features to find something more specific.  As I am one of two elected neighborhood Liaisons to the Victor Gardens Community Association's Board of Directors, I sometimes learn information before others in the neighborhood do.  I do my best to share that information as quickly as possible to residents via this website.  As I am only a Liaison, and not a Director, I do not have any official decision-making responsibilities.

Despite our problems, we've had a great spirit of neighbor-based volunteerism in Victor Gardens this past year.  As more residents become involved, more attention is drawn to the issues that we all face together.  I suggest that everyone interested in the future of Victor Gardens attend the Board meetings of the sub and master associations.  The dates are always made public in advance.  Becoming involved is the best path towards making positive changes.

Thanks for your questions,