A forum for and by past, current, and future Edgewater Isle residents (and not run by the Associations)
In 2004, the then-board of directors refused to comply with the Edgewater Isle bylaws which provided for a member to receive the membership list. The Edgewater Isle North board of directors actually thought they had the right to "approve" a homeowner communication to other owners. Unbelievable but true.
The solution was to start this website.
Today, residents and visitors can share their experiences about living or visiting Edgewater Isle here. Because the Edgewater Isle boards of directors will not allow you to put your opinion in their newsletter, demand an owner to remove a sign in their window (which is against California law), or try to prevent owners from conducting a vote on an issue, indivuals come here to highlight issues in the community.
Almost anyone can be on the board of directors
Homeowners associations (HOA) is managed by untrained and inexperienced neighbors. It's not an insult: it's a fact. Any owner can run for the board. If elected, that new board member likely has no idea that their conduct is actually governed by California laws. It is a "learn as you go" process with the important responsibility of other people's money attached to it. There is no training or educational requirement for being on a HOA board.
Municipal and state governments are failing their constituents with the perpetuation of this system of "housing choice:" the results of these failures can be seen on this web site and countless others. The end-result is that these HOAs are run by untrained homeowners accountable to no one, whose authority and power run unchecked and unchallenged. HOAs have created a new industry to support them, one that is entirely self-serving, self-promoting, and unnecessary:
Examples: Common Interest, Community Management Services, Pargett Association Management, PML Property Management. The association managers who work for these companies aren't necessarily the moxt experienced in what's required to run your largest investment. See a job posting that one management company posted.
Lawyers who only accept Associations, not individual home owners, as clients
Various trade groups
Examples: Community Associations Institute (CAI), and California Association of Community Managers (CACM), and Executive Council of Homeowners (ECHO) are a few examples of the self-made industry of leaching money out of HOAs. These company also employ people whose full-time jobs are to lobby the state legislature to pass laws that benefit the HOA industry over the individual homeowner.
Are your checking, savings, IRA, and 401(k) accounts managed by your untrained neighbors, too?
No? Why not? You have already blindly trusted more money to your untrained neighbor. This neighbor can cost you thousands of dollars with wasteful spending, often preceded by a point of pride they are unwilling to let go.
Multiple associations + overlapping problems = lots of fighting
Every homeowner at Edgewater Isle is mandated to belong to 4 associations. A homeowner will own in either Edgewater Isle North or Edgewater Isle South, and must also become a member of Edgewater Isle Master and Edgewater Isle Commercial Master. It makes it that much more challenging and costly when the respective Boards of Directors don't get along and sue each other, which happened here: Edgewater Master Association sued Edgewater Isle North Association.
They'll sneak things by under cloak of being a “volunteer”
Board members like to remind everyone they are "volunteers," but they are nonetheless compensated behind the scenes. They will spend your money like a drunken sailor on their HOA lawyer. A board member's problems are fixed long before yours are. And some of them get stuff for free: construction work in their kitchens, free lawns, and coffee and pastries from Starbucks at every meeting (called "office supplies"), to name a few. Read here about the goings-on in this association, and know that this stuff and more happens every day in every homeowners association.
It's your money they're spending! Watch what they're doing!
Watch your Board of Directors, and don't believe everything they say at face value. Question and research what they say. Perhaps well-meaning, they are still untrained volunteers who (likely) have no experience in the management of a homeowners association or the California laws that govern them. (Yes, there are laws. See California Civil Code §4000-6150. See the Sunset Park HOA web page on this.)
Having said all that, experiences at Edgewater Isle are no more or less egregious than violations that occur in other homeowners associations. The problems all sound similar.
One question: why do countless people who don't know each other experience the same problems with their HOAs?