[Homeowners] Six Hills: Annual Meeting Follow Up

Darin Bartik Darin.Bartik at software.dell.com
Fri Apr 1 08:39:19 EDT 2016


Six Hills Neighbors -

Thanks to all who attended Saturday's meeting and all who contributed input over email before the meeting.  I think we had a good discussion about one big topic and many other smaller issues.

Here are some notes and updates on the 2016 Six Hills HOA Annual Meeting:

Date: Saturday, March 26, 2016
Time: 10:00 am-12:30 pm
Location: Six Hills Cottage

MAJOR ITEM: Doug Hay Property update and discussion

Special Guests:

-         City of Milton Mayor, Joe Lockwood

-         City of Milton Police Chief and City Manager, Steve Krokoff

-         City of Milton Attorney, Ken Jarrard

-         Six Hills HOA Attorney, Elina Brim

I gave a general update on the topic including the many, interesting, and recent communications with Mr. Hay.  Neighbors raised concerns about property value impact and real estate issues created by the situation.  We discussed many different concerns, opinions, issues, and multiple recommendations including a couple more formal proposals.  Some were long term and some more near term.  One near term proposal was to have Six Hills HOA clean up and beautify the access way from the street to the back fence.  We discussed multiple legal and non-legal issues at play.  Our special guests as listed above advised the group very thoroughly on this and other points - and we appreciate their willingness to take time away from their weekends. In the end, we agreed not to enter the property without consent from Mr. Hay.  This is consistent with our HOA practices for the past many years.

Take-aways and actions:

1.      HOA President, Darin Bartik, will re-engage with Mr. Hay to learn more about his latest proposal including monetary figures.

2.      HOA Attorney, Elina Brim, will investigate the title history of the access way.  There is some question about the validity of its last transfer of ownership.

3.      Subsequent to action #2, if the title history suggests the access way is owned by someone other than Mr. Hay, then the HOA, City of Milton, and HOA Attorney will evaluate next steps.  Certain next steps may include significant legal fees that would warrant an increase in HOA Dues and/or a special one-time assessment.  If these are determined to be the best course of action, we will bring the matter back in front of the neighborhood.

4.      City Attorney, Ken Jarrard, will review whether or not the City owns the strip of land between Owens Lake Road and the entrance gate that opens to the access way and leads to the Hay Property.

5.      Subsequent to action #4, if the City owns the land, it will take action to beautify and maintain said strip of land.  If it is deemed property of Six Hills, we will beautify and maintain the land moving forward.  If it is part of the Hay Property, we will again look to action #2 above to help determine next steps.

I believe the situation is being handled appropriately.  As Saturday's attendees witnessed, there are many complicating factors and legalities that weigh into the independent actions taken by City and HOA.  I'd review more of the discussion here, but frankly it was a healthy 90 minutes worth.  So if anyone would like more detail, please feel free to reach out to me or Paul English, HOA Treasurer.

HAY PROPERTY UPDATES SINCE THE MEETING:
Everyone prepare to do a small happy dance. As I indicated Saturday, I would re-engage with Mr. Hay.  I'm extremely pleased to report the email dialogue has been uncommonly constructive and positive.  Skipping ahead to the good parts:

1.      The Loyal White Knights signs have been taken down.  Mr. Hay made an offer of good faith in order to demonstrate his attempt to resolve the tension about the situation.  He asked I remove the Loyal White Knights Farm signage.  The signage clearly indicates the land is occupied by the LWK, which is reportedly associated with the Ku Klux Klan.  The signage rapidly took tensions to a whole new level some months back.  Drum roll...as of about 8:00 am March 31, the signage was removed.  The No Trespassing postings that had become damaged and unsightly were also removed.  To be clear, the LWK are "still tenants of the land and allowed to use the land for religious retreats and gatherings."  So the game ain't over, but I think this is a genuine and constructive gesture by Mr. Hay.  If it's not, then a small amount of the hope I have for human decency will die.

2.      Mr. Hay requested a local landscaping contractor to clean up the access way.  His plan is to have the contractor clean up and improve the appearance of the access way, including the strip of land between Owens Lake Road and the gate.  I connected Mr. Hay with A+ Landscaping.  A+ takes care of the neighborhood common areas and, in turn understands the quality we seek in Six Hills.  The maintenance may be done as soon as next week.  I'll do a second happy dance when this is actually done.
However, Mr. Hay also informed me he would be visiting from Colorado next week [April 3-10, 2016].  He intends to help prepare the land for a LWK gathering.  The landscaping is part of this preparation.  I've made the City aware of this - just in case they didn't already know.  I'm sure City Police will maintain watch and keep the peace as needed.  Unfortunately, I will be out of town for Fulton County Spring Break, as I hope many of you will be, too.  If anyone needs me, please free to reach out via my cell or email<mailto:darinbartik at gmail.com>.  Finally, I will offer this.  Although he claims there will be a gathering of some kind, there have been many other statements like this.  Most have not come to fruition so let's not panic about this.  I and others keeping an eye on this will update all the neighbors if more information becomes available.

$$$: I was also able to gather some specifics on the current financial outcome Mr. Hay is looking for.  He's proposing two 3 acre lots be parsed and sold for $379K each.  These would be accessible via a shared driveway created in the current access way.  The other remaining 17+ acres would be for sale at $65K per acre.  If you are interested in speaking with Mr. Hay about the land at this price point, I can provide his contact info or you can call the number on the FSBO sign at the entrance to the access way.

OTHER HOA BUSINESS

1.      Clean up after your Dogs...please!  If you don't, some irritated neighbor may just come over and take a crap on your lawn.  Come on...it's common courtesy.  If your pet makes a deposit, pick it up and dispose of it.  This does not include leaving it by the curb in a plastic bag.  Thanks for the attention to this simple matter.

2.      Do not park on the grass in front of the Orchard Gate.  Please guide your students and their friends to keep the tires off the dirt/grass and on the pavement.

Since prior requests like this haven't worked, we are curbing the street in front of the Orchard Gate.  Leslie Vaught has been graciously working with the City and a contractor to have a curb installed along the grass in front of the Orchard Gate.  This will be our one significant and budgeted neighborhood project for 2016.  It should be completed in the next couple months.  After the curbing is done, we will install sod to match what was installed throughout the front area last fall.  In addition to addressing the issue of parking on the grass, this project will help with drainage issues and erosion from run-off at the corner of Old Cedar Lane.

3.      About 10 neighbors still owe the $800 for 2016 Dues.  Treasurer Paul English has already contacted everyone at least once.  Another round of notices will be sent out. Dues are required, without exception.  I don't want to sound like a heavy here, but failure to pay dues can result in late fees and possibly in a lien against your property.  And you don't want to mess with Paul.  He's feeling stronger than ever.

4.      Multiple mailboxes around the neighborhood need repair.  I put my own mailbox in this category, so there are no stones being cast here.

a.      If your mailbox is leaning, you may want to try putting concrete in the post hole for better support.

b.      If it looks like a beaver attacked the base and it's balanced on splinters held together by Georgia red clay, you'll want to replace at least the post.  To prevent future weedwacker damage, you can purchase a durable sleeve to go around the mailbox post base.

c.       Thanks to a family of carpenter bees that should be paying rent by now, I am going to replace the whole shebang.  I am gathering names of a couple contractors that have done other mailboxes in the hood.  Email me<mailto:darinbartik at gmail.com> if you need help with a name.

d.      NOTICE: If you fail to repair your mailbox in a reasonable time, the HOA has the right to remedy the situation at your expense.

5.      A Fire Hydrant is Out of Order. Robin Felton is going to contact the local fire department to have the fire hydrant near 530 Owens Farm Road investigated.  Hopefully it can be brought back to working order.  If not, we'll verify others are in good working order, and the lack of one hydrant does not pose a safety hazard.

6.      A couple things about the Tennis Court...

a.      A schedule of regular users will be posted at the court.  Some neighbors have regularly scheduled games or instructions at our court.  We want to avoid future uncomfortable situations between a casual user and a user with a regularly scheduled time.  I will create a schedule and display it at the court.  All of us will need to give way to regular users scheduled for a particular court time.  If you would like to add your name to the schedule for a particular time, please email me<mailto:darinbartik at gmail.com>.

b.      The HOA will provide a new table and seating.  These will not be secured to the ground as they are often moved to accommodate the sun.  If they disappear as a result of not being secured, we will need to explore a different strategy.

7.      "Crepe Murder" will be banned in Six Hills common areas.  The common, but arguably wrong, treatment for crepe myrtle is to hack off the growth each year in nearly the same spot.  This produces knuckling of the tree branches and is sometimes called Crepe Murder.  Our HOA landscape crew has performed this gastly act up on Owens Way.  I'm meeting with A+ Landscape on April 1 to review the neighborhood status and this will be most certainly be covered.  No more knuckling! :)

8.      Some yards need some significant TLC.  I know it's Spring and some of us are just getting around to a cleanup, however some are beyond a Spring cleanup.

a.      When the weeds outpace the grass, you know you are into bad territory.  It's time for a new chemical treatment provider, and some seed or sod.

b.      When your trees shade the lawn so much, that grass will not grow, it's time to simply limb up the trees. Early Spring is perfect for this.

c.       When a shrub is engulfing your house or overpowering everything around it, pruning is warranted.  Both manicured and 'natural' landscapes can look beautiful, but an overgrown and unhealthy landscape just isn't the Six Hills aesthetic any of us bought into.

9.      The Orchard needs a facelift.  The Orchard is meant to be a visual showpiece when people come into the neighborhood.  But, it has seen better days and doesn't get much use.  The grape vines are sagging pretty low because of broken wires and old posts.  Although A+ Landscape has been maintaining it well, it really could use an overall update.  If it weren't for some nice McCormick Muscadine Wine and Canned Pears coming out of the Orchard, it really would be just a bunch of plants with a fence around it.  We had a proposal to do some minor repairs this year, but we elected to wait until a complete fix could be applied.  Moreover, we don't have room in the budget for minor or major repairs this year, so we will create a new Orchard plan in 2016 and look to implement in 2017.

10.   Finally, the HOA Secretary position is open.  If you would like to volunteer a little time to help with the administration of the Six Hills HOA, please email me<mailto:darinbartik at gmail.com>.

Well, this email turned out to be a novella.  Sorry about that, but I hope the info was helpful.  If you are still reading at this point :), thank you for your attention to these Six Hills matters.  Please email me<mailto:darinbartik at gmail.com> or Paul English<mailto:english1994 at comcast.net> know if you need additional information about these or other topics.

Regards,
D

Darin Bartik
Six Hills HOA | President
225 Six Hills Lane
office +1 949 754 9145, mobile +1 614 832 0205

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