The recent e-mail that the ASPOA board sent regarding the outcome of the lawsuit against the ASPOA needs clarification. We have been asked by many to distribute the actual arbitration decision. Please follow this link that will allow you direct to read for yourself as it directly affects your property rights.
First and foremost of importance, which was not mentioned by the board in their email, was the determination that the ASPOA had no legal basis to try to convert Alta Sierra into a mandatory HOA with mandatory dues in order to enforce the Deed Restrictions on your property. This ruling has been recorded and will serve as a guarantee that neither this board nor any board in the future can attempt such an effort. This was the basis of the lawsuit against the ASPOA and our opposition to the board's actions and expenditure of legal fees from the treasury. The ruling was a success for the lawsuit.
Second, as per the lawsuit, it was determined that the ASPOA has no authority to enforce our deed restrictions. There are 21 subdivisions and each one has it's own separate restrictions. The importance and repercussions of this ruling is evident by the arbitrator's decision that the board cannot be sued for past actions against homeowners who they attempted to exercise authority over. However, in moving forward, if the ASPOA attempts to usurp their authority to enforce the deed restrictions, they are open to a lawsuit...with a ruling that has already been decided and recorded. The duties of the Architectural Review Committee (ARC), which again are not all the same in each of the 21 subdivisions, does have authority over matters such as: new home construction, fence building, mailboxes and tree cutting. Because the ARC has allowed just about everything in the past, they cannot now arbitrarily pick and choose what they deem acceptable. Further, new home construction and new additions are covered by county regulations. The rules pertaining to fire prevention and trees are defined by fire safety regulations, which trump the ASPOA. The ASPOA has never had authority to fine anyone and because of this, the board, through legal means, attempted to pursue the mandatory HOA/Davis Stirling Act, which would have allowed it.
What this ruling means is that approx. $25,000 in legal fees was completely wasted from the treasury from 2012 and 2013 in attempting to enforce the deed restrictions that the board had no power to do, and to pursue a mandatory HOA, for which Alta Sierra could never have qualified under the Davis Stirling Act.
The arbitrator's ruling chastises the board for breaking their own By Laws by not providing the updated membership list so that the Recall could properly notice all members. Yet the recall was ruled invalid because the Recall was unable to properly notice all members. In order to accomplish that, the Recall would have had to file another lawsuit, gone to court to have a judge force the board to comply with their own By Laws. Unfortunately, there were not unlimited funds for legal fees nor was there a treasury from which to draw funds. The members were noticed in every way possible under the circumstances, and we had competent and experienced legal advice. However, the arbitrator ruled that because we had the option to file another lawsuit, the recall vote was invalid. Whether you support the board's actions or oppose them, it is your right to voice your opinion and receive accurate facts. The ASPOA is a voluntary membership organization of far less than half of the residences and it does not speak for Alta Sierra as a whole, and cannot by law, be involved in political issues.
We are all neighbors and regardless of our opinions, we can treat each other with respect. We can agree that we want the best for our community, even as we may see that road differently. These court decisions have succeeded in putting important issues to rest. Thank you for your involvement in this process.
I was asked to mention: Some residents are exploring the idea of having another voluntary neighborhood organization/club as an alternative choice to the ASPOA that could also provide the propane discount and offer new benefits to the community separate and apart from the beneficial, established ASPOA programs. Two organizations could provide choices in member dues and provide more benefits, especially if the two agreed to work together. Your thoughts and ideas are welcome by replying to this email.