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Owning the Common Lands

At our last Board meeting of 8/7/19, Diane asked a board member directly if the board had considered the pros and cons of receiving the common lands. That board members said yes, they had. When pressed for specifics, no answer was given.  News flash: the board had NEVER considered that the community might not want the common lands until Diane posed the question. 

Diane's question was never answered, so I'll try now. 

We currently pay for the taxes, insurance and roads on the common land, despite the fact that the lands are legally held in Reynolds' name and he is the sole legally responsible party. Further, his remaining lots within the common lands have not been surveyed and filed, so there is no legal way to distinguish the common lands from the lots. Mike has mortgaged his property at various times, so the common lands have been encumbered in the past, despite our being told this could not and has not happened. 

Many members actually have deeds which state that they own the common lands. This means that the lands should be titled either in the member's name or in the name of the GWLUA. Since the lands are actually only in Mike's name, those deeds are fraudulent. 

Since Mike is currently the responsible party for the lands, the PRO of not owning the land is that we do not have to pay for them and we are not liable for activity or damages on the lands. 

Since our documents refer to common lands, we legally have the use of these lands regardless of who owns them. 

The CON of owning the lands is that we will then be fully responsible for all financial and legal issues regarding the lands: taxes & liability.  Since the LUC says that Reynolds will maintain the roads until 90% build-out, he is still legally responsible for road maintenance until that time. 

There is one other issue:  under the expired rules that the prior board members are currently attempting to get you to accept again, when Mike turns over the lands, he will also title his remaining 42 lots. That means he will get 42 more memberships. Add those to his current 11 memberships and he will have over 50 memberships. 

Every membership currently gets one vote.  The Board wants to fast track incorporation and they insist that they don't have the time to change our documents, so they intend to keep the one vote per membership rule. That means that Reynolds will control ALL subsequent elections. 

That alone should be reason to reject taking the common lands AND allowing incorporation. 

This is our only opportunity to fix things. Mike could solve this by giving up his right to multiple votes, but he hasn't. Don't expect him to ever give up this control.

At this time there is no hurry to incorporate or take on the responsibility of the common land.  Doing so ONLY means we will be financially liable for them when now, we are NOT.  If we do not take on the common land there is no reason to incorporate because we will not be responsible for what happens on those lands. If we take on the common land we have to arrange management and spend money on insurance and taxes, as well as become responsible for the roads.