In the Sept. 28 issue of the Discovery Bay Press, Mr. Fritz again refers to the DBPOA as a "club" and not a homeowners association. Unfortunately, this "club" controls the property rights of over 1,600 people through misrepresentation. Since they do not manage common interest (jointly owned) property for the home-owners, one must ask what motivates them.
Through mismanagement of funds, they have no choice but to try to raise membership dues. What will the home-owners get in return? More of the same …
The CC&Rs are selectively enforced. When a homeowner points out the inconsistency, as one homeowner did by submitting a list of 75 properties with fences exceeding 6 feet when he was cited for his, the DBPOA simply turned the list over to the county for enforcement. They do the same for parking violations, etc.
What they do maintain control over are the choices for your property, which should be personal. Obviously there's great satisfaction in dictating their personal choices for what they think Discovery Bay should look like.
Their last newsletter included the "reminder" that the county will not approve any plans without the DBPOA's stamp of approval. This is blatantly false. We were delayed four months, through the rainy season last year, trying to get their approval for a new roof because they did not like the look of it.
We finally submitted it to the county, which approved it with no problem; however, the DBPOA again delayed it until they approved the color. Ironically, after it was installed, the board stated it "looked nice." They overlooked the water damage suffered to our home; we should have bypassed them entirely.
The "straw vote" to increase dues, which was sent out with this year's board election ballots, was not to see if an increase was appropriate, or people willing, as stated in the last newsletter, but rather, the homeowners were told it was necessary and given options with the instruction to choose their preference for increasing revenues.
Knowing it's unlikely to get the number of votes necessary to increase yearly dues, the DBPOA included the option of increasing submittal application fees (construction and remodel) and sales transfer fees by a significant amount. They already significantly increased the submittal fees (each by 100 to 125 percent) in 2005, without any membership input, on the pretext that a more thorough review was going to be conducted. (By whom? DERC members are volunteers. The county still has to approve plans.)
Perhaps they feel homeowners trying to improve, or now sell, their properties should be as monetarily penalized as those who neglect their properties. After all, the arbitrary and unreasonable decisions DERC has been challenged on deserve compensation; but obviously, even the 2005 increase wasn't enough to offset needless spending.
Time to wake up. Ask what they are really doing to maintain the value of your property. Ask them to justify and be accountable for unnecessary and improper spending. There's nothing at stake to be gained, and everything to lose.