By CASSIE MCKEE, Four Points News
Steiner Ranch Master Association homeowners are invited to an informational meeting Wednesday, March 26, at 7 p.m. at the Towne Square Community Center to learn about the association’s transition from a developer- to homeowner-controlled community.
“For a community the size of Steiner Ranch, transition is not a single event, but rather a multi-stage process taking place over a period of time,” stated an email that was sent to Steiner homeowners notifying them of the meeting.
This transition will take place over the next 12 to 18 months. It will require time and effort from both the homeowners and the developer of the community, Taylor Woodrow Communities, Steiner Ranch Ltd.
Scott Selman, executive director of the Steiner Ranch HOA, said transitioning to a homeowner-controlled community is standard procedure and required for every home owner’s association. The Steiner Ranch Residential Owners Association went through the transition in 2001 and consists of 695 homes in the neighborhoods of Hancock Hill, Rocky Ridge, Chaparel, Plateau, Mason North, East Ridge Valley and East Ridge Summit.
This forthcoming transition will apply to the remaining 3,500 homes which make up the Steiner Ranch Master Association, Selman said.
“Basically transition is just a term that’s used when the control and responsibilities of governing the HOA board are transferred from the development company that built the community to the homeowners that live in the community, basically the board of directors,” Selman said.
Homeowner board seats
The current board of directors has six members, four of whom are elected by the developer and two of whom are elected by homeowners. At the HOA’s upcoming annual meeting on April 29, two of the board seats will transition to homeowner seats and will be voted on at the meeting.
In 12 to 18 months, the final two seats on the board will also transition to homeowner seats and two more homeowners will be elected.
While nominations will be accepted at the April 29 meeting, Selman said he encourages anyone who would like to sit on the board to notify him by April 14 by emailing him at email@example.com.
“We’d like to promote who will be running for the board and create a candidate profile,” he said.
Once transition is complete, all decisions for the community will be decided by the homeowner-controlled board. While the developer board members currently lean very heavily on the homeowner board members when making decisions, ultimately all of that authority would be transferred to homeowners.
He said as the HOA transitions into a homeowner-controlled community, homeowner participation will become even more important.
“We need a higher level of participation definitely than we’ve had in the past,” he said. “Those decisions will be made by an elected board of homeowners so in order to make decisions that will be supported by community you need that involvement.”
Transition committee, policies
Currently, a transition committee is being formed which will consist of between eight to 12 homeowners who will be appointed by the management office. The committee will be responsible for learning all the requirements for managing an association, such as becoming familiar with the bylaws, community restrictions, rules and regulations. They will also review audits of the HOA’s financial statements.
The committee will have the opportunity to make recommendations for policies that need to be changed. Selman said after the transition is complete, it will be much more difficult to change community policies, as a 2/3 vote of all homeowners will be required.
“They will review contracts – landscaping, trash and recycling, and insurance policies just to make sure the homeowners are educated and comfortable with all those policies after this transition occurs,” Selman said.
Following the transition, the Steiner Ranch Master Association and the Steiner Ranch Residential Owners Association will have a shared use agreement, meaning that they will continue to share amenities such as parks and pool areas, and will also be managed by the same management office.
March 26 meeting
Selman said the March 26 meeting will give residents an opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the process.
“It’s purely an informational meeting so that homeowners are informed and aware,” he said. “If they have any questions or concerns, they can pose them then and as the committee works through this process they can take those into consideration.”