The POA Board of Directors approved to proceed with a special election, which will likely be held in late October.
The special election ballot measures will include removing proxy voting (Articles of Incorporation), removing cumulative voting (Bylaws), extending future board of director terms to four years to eliminated the need for director elections every year (Bylaws), modifying five-foot fence height restriction (CC&R) and empowering ACC to select and designate appropriate roofing materials to modify roof material (CC&R).
These measures have been selected to help modernize and enhance the POA’s governing documents by adapting to the needs of the community and industry standards and to better stabilize the governing board.
Only the prime member of record on each lot who is in “good standing” with the POA may vote. Voters may select only the measures they would like to vote on. It is not required for members to vote on every measure.
Voters who do not want to cast a vote on any measure but want to help reach quorum may do so by marking the box that says “for quorum purposes only.” By doing so, the voter is forfeiting the right to vote on any measure but will help reach quorum.
The quorum requirement may change as members come into and out of “good standing” with the POA. All ballot measures will be processed by the POA’s Inspector of Election. If all ballot measures are approved, additional copy, print distribution and administrative costs per page in the election packet may apply. The election averages a total cost of $40,000 per election. Significant election and administrative related costs are expected to be reduced by extending terms and having a bi-yearly election. In addition, significant administrative savings are projected if six-foot fence and modern roof material requests can be approved at the Architectural Control Committee (ACC) or staff level.
This measure seeks to eliminate all language in the Articles of Incorporation that reference the use of proxies to be consistent with the 2016 Bylaw Amendment, eliminating the use and practice of proxies.
Proxies were already removed by vote of the POA members; however, the Articles of Incorporation include conflicting language that presents an inconsistency with the Bylaw Amendment. Therefore, an update to the Articles of Incorporation is needed to provide for clear declaration in all of the POA’s governing documents as to the discontinued use of proxies. The quorum requirement for this item is one-third of the voting power.
The stability of the governing board depends on a balanced representation of the membership within the community. This can be hampered by both the ability for interested groups to collect proxies and encourage cumulative voting to elect a candidate of their choice. This process, when coupled with the two-year terms and annual elections, has led to a new board every year that can radically change the course of the community every year based on the actions of a minority of members.
The process of stabilization has started by eliminating proxy voting a few years ago and with this special election, the POA seeks to extend the terms to four years, eliminate cumulative voting and hold elections every two years.
If approved, this change will not change the number of members who need to vote to make quorum and will encourage members to vote for those they believe will best serve the community.
This measure was on the ballot in 2016 where it failed by approximately 10 votes. It is proposed as a measure on the ballot again based on member feedback and industry standards that recommend the elimination of the outdated practice of cumulative voting. The quorum requirement for this item is one-third of the voting power.
The POA is an intricate, large-scale master association with multi-year, large-scale repair and modernization projects always in process. Efficient operations and implementation of projects are significantly hindered by annual changes in the board. These changes cause the board to act efficiently for about six months out of the year. The other six months are spent in the election cycle and the needed orientation process.
In recent years, measures of term extension have occasionally been placed on the ballot to align with modern HOA/POA governing documents and industry best practices. More recently, some associations have been moving toward staggered four-year term limits for board members. This measure was placed on the ballot to help further align with modern practices, to improve efficiency and governance by avoiding the annual turn-over of the board and to add stability in the POA’s governance. The quorum requirement for this item is one-third of the voting power.
How will the POA transition from the annual election for two-year terms to elections every two years to four terms? The 2020 Annual Election for the Board of Directors will elect two directors for three-year terms 2020-2023. The following year, 2021, three directors will be elected for four-year 2021-2025, with elections thereafter held every other year.
Fence Height Restriction
Over the years, the community has requested six-foot fences to improve privacy. In recent years, boards have agreed with this request and based on an informational poll two years ago, began routinely accepting requests for six-foot fences on a case-by-case basis. After approving dozens of fences without complaint or protest, the board feels the community is in favor of this chance.
By approving this amendment, members would have an express right to fences at this height now and into the future; given it’s approved by the ACC.
The quorum requirement for this item is one-third of the voting power.
The ACC Committee and staff have concerns regarding the committee’s authority to grand ACC approval under certain circumstances and would like to establish a protocol regarding the same, so as to reduce the number of ACC applications that are denied and thereafter presented to the board for approval.
The various CC&Rs for the tracts within Canyon Lake, under Sections 7 and 8 of General Prohibitions and Requirements states as follows:
Every building, dwelling or other improvement having a roof shall use a roof covering material of cedar shakes, wood shingles, clay or cement tile, or built-up roofing and colored rock.
In addition, Rule P.5.3 states that every building, dwelling, or other improvement having a roof shall use a roof covering of tile (clay or cement), cedar shake, wood shingle, or built-up roofing and colored rock. Shake or wood shingle roofs are not recommended. All roofing materials must be approved by the committee and highly-reflective roof colors are discouraged.
The California Director of Forestry and Fire Protection has designated Canyon Lake an area that qualifies as a very high Fire Hazard Severity Zone. In 2014, the California Health and Safety Code /Section 13132.7 went into effect. This section indicates that no common interest development may require an owner to install or repair a roof in manner that is in violation of the Health and Safety Code, and associations within a very high Fire Severity Zone must allow for at least one type of fire retardant roof covering material that meets the requirements of this section.
Due to changes in California Health and Safety Code, which now have placed specific restrictions on the roof material allowed, the POA recommends that the CC&Rs are updated with different roof materials but are fire retardant and in compliance with the California Health and Safety Code as a legal nonconforming use.
By approving this amendment, Canyon Lake will comply with the California Health & Safety Code Section 13132.7. The quorum requirement for this item is one-third of the voting power.