Issaquah Highlands & Snoqualmie Ridge HOAs
Homeowner's Associations (HOA's) began in the U.S. during the 1960's. They have generally been popular with homeowners ever since.
As a general rule, HOA's represent the residents or members of the HOA. Depending on how active these associations are, they can be quite effective in providing forums for common homeowner representation and needs.
Issaquah Highlands Home Owners Association
The Issaquah Highlands HOA is referred to as the, "Issaquah Highlands Community Association" or IHCA. According to the IHCA, the primary purpose of the IHCA is;
"The primary purpose of a community association is to establish an entity that will preserve, maintain, enhance and protect the value of property and amenities within the boundaries of a specific community. It does this by maintaining common areas and governing the community in accordance with the provision of the legal documents: CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions, & Restrictions); Bylaws; Use, Rules and Restrictions; and Articles of Incorporation. It is financially supported by all members of the community association through payment of assessments. Membership is both automatic and mandatory."
The IHCA is a non-profit corporation and therefore a governing body, or board, is required to oversee its business. The responsibility of running the IHCA is assigned to its Board of Directors composed of seven to nine volunteer members. These members are either elected by residents of Issaquah Highlands or appointed by the master developer of Issaquah Highlands.
The IHCA handles the governance and property management of Issaquah Highlands including rules and restrictions, CC&Rs, architectural review, and the maintenance of common areas such as parks and streetscapes. IHCA also manages a number of neighborhood and condominium associations within Issaquah Highlands. The IHCA offices are located at High Street within the Issaquah Highlands.
Issaquah Highlands Community Association 1011 NE High Street Suite 210 Issaquah, Washington 98029 http://www.ihwebsite.com
Snoqualmie Ridge Home Owners Association
The Snoqualmie Ridge HOA is referred to as the, "Snoqualmie Ridge Residential Owners Association" or the ROA. According to the ROA, the primary purpose of the Snoqualmie Ridge ROA is to;
"Facilitate a community environment by encouraging compliance with the governing documents, creating opportunities for social interaction, providing a forum for owner participation ane offering timely and relevant community information."
The Snoqualmie Ridge ROA is a non-profit corporation. The responsibility of the ROA is assigned to its Board of Directors which is composed of five volunteer members who are elected by the residents of Snoqualmie Ridge.
Snoqualmie Ridge ROA 7713 Center Blvd SE Suite 100 Snoqualmie, WA 98065 425-396-5430 http://www.ridgeroa.com/
HOAs Govern Much Like a City
Homeowner's associations come into existence in a couple of different ways. One way is for a home builder or developer to create an HOA while in the process of selling or building his homes. After the completion of the home, the builder then transfers his membership of the HOA to the new owner of the home. And generally, after all of the homes in a development have been built and sold, the builder and/or developer will transfer the complete responsibility of the HOA to the new homeowners.
Another way an HOA can be created is by existing homeowners. A group or several existing homeowners can agree to create an HOA and then abide by its Charter and decisions. Anyone purchasing a home in an existing area with an HOA must become a member of the HOA.
Most HOA's govern like that of a small town. The powers of an HOA could include imposing fines, organizing activities and providing certain services, such as lawn care and maintenance. Many also have the right to levy assessments on property, much like a city would.
HOA Governance and Representation - Washington State
HOA's are governed by the laws and regulations within the state where the association is located. What may be valid and enforceable in one state, may not be in another. In Washington State, HOA's are governed by Title 64, Chapter 64.38 of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW.) In some Washington State communities, HOA's are referred to as, "Community Associations." In almost all cases, HOA's (and Community Associations) are non-profit organizations.
As a general rule, HOA's in Washington State usually appoint a Board of Directors which then elect an association President and other Officers. However, some community associations allow for the direct election of its officers. These elected officials, together with the Board of Directors, then decide on a time and place of their meetings. Monthly or quarterly meetings are typical. Committees are usually also appointed for various activities, such as maintenance, membership dues and neighborhood representation. Sometimes there is an accounting committee which is assigned the task of creating the annual budget, and monitoring the expenses and the collection of dues from residents.
One of the most important functions of an HOA is the planning and scheduling of any physical maintenance that the HOA might be responsible for. Things that an HOA might be responsible for could include the exterior of a condominium building, the roof of a townhome or condo, the flower beds and lawn surrounding the homes within an HOA or even the paving and maintenance of the parking lots and driveways of the HOA units. It is very important for anyone living in an HOA community to know what the homeowners responsibilities are vs. those of the HOA's.
New Washington State Legislation regarding HOA's
The Washington State Governor signed into law new legislation concerning HOA's and reserve studies. The law became effective January 1, 2012.
An HOA reserve study is a financial planning tool that helps an HOA understand the estimated costs over a certain number of years of replacing, repairing, and restoring significant infrastructure that might be commonly owned or shared and is the responsibility of the HOA.
Under the new legislation, all residential HOA's are required to provide unit owners detailed information regarding the current and future projected reserve account funding, reserve-related assessments, and contribution rates for a fully funded plan. However, there is not a mandated new or existing rule or regulation as to how or when to fund such reserves.
Regardless, the new Washington State rule is important as all HOA residents now have the right to receive annual disclosures about the short and long-term financial health of the association. Such disclosure will also show whether there is enough money to maintain the property in the near future and the source of funding for the HOA during the reserve period. The legislation was passed with the hope of avoiding sudden large HOA assessments for foreseeable expenses.