Thursday, February 04, 2016

Update on Clubhouse Use Status


The board has met with our HOA attorney regarding our governing documents (bylaws, CC&Rs and Articles of Incorporation) to increase  facility utilization, including fundraising activities for  non-profits, and still protect our homeowners from liability, while not violating our own rules.  Our attorney initially indicated that we should not allow use by any outside organizations, but the board unanimously wanted events like these while still protecting our members from liability.  The board undertook several rewrites of the draft clubhouse policy and held a follow-up executive board meeting with the attorney.  

Our lawyer made it clear that there are multiple places in our bylaws and CC&Rs that preclude use by an outside organization.  Our bylaws and CC&Rs are outdated, and they are due for a modernization, but that is a lengthy expensive legal process that will require approval by 75% of the homeowners.  However, we did reach an agreement with the attorney about how to allow our homeowners to host events on behalf of their favorite non-profit organizations, detailed in our letter to the GHSC, below.

This is our understanding of the history of the GHSC event:

For some period the MIA board members received one free clubhouse rental.  As a volunteer board, it seemed only fair to have this one “perk.”  Since he joined the board in 2010, or shortly thereafter, Barrett Scott generously donated his “free” night to the school for the GHSC fundraiser.  The Scott family was responsible for this event for the past 5 years in which the event was held at the MIA clubhouse.

The current board signed a commitment to the highest level of ethical dealings and fiduciary duty when we took office (see board meeting minutes April 14, 2015).  As part of our commitment, all of us agreed we would no longer accept a free night of clubhouse use, but would reserve it just like every other member of our community because the bylaws (Article III, Section 9) prohibits board directors from receiving any kind of compensation.

Prior to 2010, the GHSC fundraiser used to be held at the Guadalupe Elementary School multipurpose room.  It is substantially similar in space and quality to the MIA clubhouse.  

Barrett Scott’s family has been donating a great deal of personal time, attention, care and financial support to both our school and our neighborhood.  Barrett has decided to step down from the board and turn his attention to other matters, which we all appreciate and understand.  

It takes a whole community to make our schools and neighborhood flourish.  Hopefully other families will step forward and be similarly generous as the Scott family has been.  

This is the letter we, the board, sent to the Guadalupe Home and School Club:

I wanted to let you know that we met with our lawyer last night and agreed on a process for reserving the clubhouse.  We are still finalizing the language that we will propose to the community, but I wanted to give you a heads up on what we discussed, as I know you are facing a deadline for the GHSC fundraiser.

As long as a homeowner meets the requirements of our draft use agreement, a homeowner can hold a fundraising event (such as the homeowner event benefiting GHSC).
Specifically, a homeowner needs to sign the exclusive use agreement, vetted by our attorney, which will be finalized and published this month.  The homeowner will take on responsibility for the event, including event coverage, covering the homeowner who reserves the facility and MIA as a third party and any other liability.  The insurance agent who has been helping the association with our coverage may be able to provide this coverage to the homeowner.  If you’d like more details, please contact our insurance agent, David DeLozier at 408.296.7527

We will make sure you get the exact language of our new proposed exclusive use agreement as soon as possible, but in the meantime feel free to have someone reserve a date for the event, and once the contract is finalized we will get it to whomever reserves the facility.

As a preview of some of the language we discussed around alcohol, we are going to ask the homeowner to provide a way for attendees to get home if they are unsafe to drive, to stop serving alcohol an hour before the event closes, to avoid serving alcohol to intoxicated persons, and use common sense in the amount and type of beverages served.  This assumes there will be hosted alcohol served at the event, as sale of alcohol has never been allowed.  Hopefully this will help all of us ensure we get all of our neighbors and guests safely home to their children and protect our homeowners from any undue risk.

Please let me know if you have any questions.  

We have received a response from the board of the home and school club.  The individual board member we have been in discussion with is unable to take on reservation of the MIA clubhouse for the GHSC fundraiser personally.  However, the GHSC board has expressed their hope that a member of our community will step forward and reserve the clubhouse for the benefit of this important event.  Please do not hesitate to contact the GHSC if your family is able to host this event.
We have also been alerted that there are other Guadalupe and local school events seeking hosts, including the 5th grade graduation party, traditionally held at the MIA pool. We hope to see this event, and other local school events hosted by members of our community.

4 comments:

  1. This is an unacceptable decision. First, the decision is not based in the facts. For the past TWO years, the GHSC has paid to rent the facility for the fundraiser. And, in both of those years, the GHSC provided its own insurance policy to cover any liabilities. No homeowner needed to "host" the event for the past two years.

    Second, our children are the losers here. This board is hiding behind lawyers and fear as it strips this community of all of its benefits. The 5th grade pool party has been a tradition in this community for decades. Shame on you for taking it away!

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  2. Anonymous10:45 PM

    This is a serious mis-statement of facts. The requirements that the new Board rules impose in any homeowner that tries to assist is that all liability is passed to this homeowner. Given the extremely bad state of the facility, anyone that trips and has an injury can demand damages from the homeowner that rents the facility. This is passing a community responsibility to a single member. This is a huge requirement and it wouldn't be wise for any homeowner to accept this liability.

    There are mechanisms that the board can host an event of behalf of the GHSC and pass the liability to the GHSC insurance policy. Unfortunately, our board members are not interested on the interest of the community and they have stubbornly refused to listen to any suggestions.

    The even more fundamental problem is that the board refuses to invest in making the facility safe.

    Its sad to see this happen ! It's even sadder that we continue paying money for an unusable facility.

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  3. Anonymous2:28 PM

    As Dimitri noted in his Nextdoor post, the main issue is keeping us a private entity so we do not have to comply with ADA. If you read Todd Osborn's 6/4/2014 MIA and ADA presentation in our minutes it lists a lot of helpful information for both arguments.

    However, if one of our disabled residents asks for any type of accommodations with use of the pool or clubhouse, this could be a moot point since the presentation lists this

    "RECOMMENDATION: If a request for accommodation is raised by a handicapped resident, boards should seek legal counsel and consider ways to reasonably accommodate the request. The same is true for swim meets. Even if handicap issues have not yet been raised, boards should budget for and make facilities ADA compliant whenever possible. Handicap advocates and their lawyers tend to be aggressive, and fighting over such issues can be expensive. It may be less expensive to make amenities handicap accessible than to spend money on lawyers."

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  4. Anonymous5:28 PM

    To be clear, the cafeteria space at Guadalupe is absolutely NOT "substantially similar in space and quality to the MIA clubhouse" The Clubhouse patio/lawn seated over 200 people for a sit down dinner, live auction and dancing while inside the clubhouse housed the Silent Auction baskets.

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