Governing Documents Work Session

Governing Documents Work Session

RA makes decisions about covenant enforcement.

At a working session Thursday, May 12, Reston Association board members continued to make changes to the governing documents.

Still in working draft, the board is revising the governing documents before they go to referendum for approval in October. The documents set out the powers, rules and regulations that govern the association.

This time, the board decided several matters relating to the covenants section of the documents.

First, the board decided to keep the enforcement of covenant issues within the legal committee’s purview, rather than give this power to the covenants committee.

In another matter, the board removed board member representation from the committees involved in covenant enforcement.

The attorney who prepared the draft, Bob Diamond of ReedSmith, LLC, said that it is not standard practice to have a board member on committees.

“There’s no reason," he said. "It’s inappropriate.”

Several board members, including Hunters Woods/Dogwood director Barbara Aaron and Lake Anne/Tall Oaks director Robin Smyers, suggested putting a board member on the Design Review Board (DRB) and the Covenants Committee as a non-voting liaison position.

“This would be useful for reporting back to the board,” Aaron said.

The board approved putting a board member on the DRB as a non-voting liaison. While the decision won’t show up in the final draft of the governing documents, it will be one of the resolutions.

THE BOARD SPENT MOST of the two-hour meeting discussing a time frame for resolving requests and complaints made to the DRB and the covenants committee. As the draft is written now, the two bodies “shall act on all matters properly within sixty days after its receipt of a complete application.” Failure to do so would result in the approval of the request.

“[Homeowners] ought to get a reasonable time period to get a resolution, ” said Diamond.

“The member needs to know what the process is and what that time frame will be,” said Milton Matthews, RA’s executive vice president and CEO.

Unable to make a decision on this issue, the board agreed to revisit it at the June 13 meeting.

Two other issues were quickly resolved. The draft, unlike the current documents, included a statement that would allow the DRB to charge a fee for its review. The board agreed that the DRB should not be allowed to charge such a fee.

The board also agreed with consensus to erase language that was added to allow the possibility to compensate members of the DRB.

“That sets a bad precedent for volunteers,” said Douglas Bushée, vice president of the board.

Smyers agreed saying it's a "dangerous idea for other committees.”