Arbitrator upholds Board’s position on Main Gate Project

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This may be the last Christmas season the Main Gate entrance to the community looks the way it does with its festively decorated fountain, median flowers and guard shack. It’s likely that the CLPOA Board of Directors will announce a decision at next Tuesday’s Board meeting to move forward on plans for reconstruction of the Main Gate.

That’s because the Association received the Arbitrator’s opinion last week that the project in its entirety is a reserve project, not a capital improvement project. The Arbitrator further stated “In approving this project, the Board has acted well within its authority pursuant to California law and the Association Bylaws.”

Earlier this year, the Board approved the Main Gate Project; however, a group of homeowners objected to the project without a vote of the homeowners. The Board maintained that a vote of the homeowners was not required, but made a decision to go through the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process.

In the evidentiary hearing held on November 10, the Board, represented by Corporate Counsel Scott Levine, and a committee of homeowners, represented by Lawrence Neigel offered documentary evidence for their positions.

The following witnesses testified: Dave Eilers (POA Treasurer), Robert Nordlund (Reserve Specialist), Christopher Mitchell (POA General Manager), Bruce Yarbrough (POA President), John Zaitz (homeowner/former POA Director) and Eric Spitzer (POA Director). At the conclusion of the testimony, the matter was argued and submitted for a decision.

The parties agreed that the Arbitrator would issue a written decision that would be binding on the Board of Directors. It would not be binding on the opposition group, but would satisfy the pre-litigation ADR requirement set forth in Civil Code 5930.

The Arbitrator, Hon. J. Richard Haden (Ret.) provided a written decision that can be read in its entirety at www.canyonlakepoa.com.

The Board has discussed various proposals to modernize or modify the Main Gate for 19 years. Over the past three years, it has been a regular topic at Board meetings. It also was the topic of community project workshops on September 24, 2013; December 3, 2013; January 15, 2014; March 18, 2014; and September 17, 2014.

On August 4, 2015, the Board approved the Main Gate Project, announcing the following costs: Construction: $555,420.04; Access Control: $109,200.09; Cameras: $31,900; for a total cost of $696,520.13. Additional costs for related road construction are $181,966.34.

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Sharon Rice