Darien Club Owners Association

Darien Club Halloween Parade! October 30th 3:30 PM

Darien Club Design Manual Survey Attached Please complete and return by 10/20/21

10-11-21 Board of Directors Regular Meeting and Zoom Link

DARIEN CLUB OWNERS ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
NOTICE OF REGULAR MEETING
Monday, October 11, 2021
7:00 pm


A notice is hereby given of a regular meeting of the Board of Directors on Monday, October 11, 2021, at 7:00 pm via Zoom. Link is attached below.


AGENDA – BOD MEETING 10/11/21


Welcome
Community Comments
Call to Order
Roll Call
Approval of Minutes of August 30, 2021, BOD Meeting
Treasurer Report 9/30/21
Discuss the 1998 Design Manual Rules & Regulations
Adjourn Meeting


Darien Club HOA is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting:
Topic: DCOA BOD Meeting 10-11-21 7pm
Time: Oct 11, 2021, 07:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81583887345?pwd=R0tmV0h4aVBXZ3FnY3ZhK3BPaDVvUT09
Meeting ID: 815 8388 7345
Passcode: 493653
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+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
Meeting ID: 815 8388 7345
Passcode: 493653
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kddTz0oHUD

Community Update from your Board of Directors 10-1-21 regarding Petition

Date: 10/1/2021

To: Darien Club Owner’s Association

Fr:  John Becker, DCOA President

Dear Darien Club Owners and Neighbors,

We have received inquiries from numerous Community Members regarding a petition circulated in our community by a few owners.  So that Community Members are not misled, the Board of Directors has the obligation to provide the community with facts which can be verified related to the Petition circulated. 

The Board deemed the petition to be invalid as duplicate names and non-owners were represented on the petition.  More so, petitioners made demonstrably false and misleading statements, both verbally and in writing to Owners, some of whom forwarded petitioner emails to the Board.  Numerous homeowners have voiced concerns that they were misled into providing their signatures.  Despite the petition’s validity concerns, the Board has chosen not to impede the petitioners’ request for a Special Meeting.

Specifically, in the petition, the representatives included two Items:

Item 1 – “Discuss the procedures of and conduct of Board meetings, including, but not limited to:  in-person meetings, the ability of homeowners to comment during meetings while receiving equality of time and topic, requirement for homeowners to receive adequate notice of open DCOA meetings including the agenda and prior minutes, and the need for more details in the minutes of the meeting discussions and financials for full transparency.”

The Board is providing the following clarification to the community for Item 1:

In-person meetings: Historical in-person Board Meetings were poorly attended, often having single digit attendance.  The current Zoom format was established by the prior Board President (now a Petitioner) based on Covid concerns.  The Zoom format has continued for the same reason under the Current Board and has also resulted in the largest attendance and participation in Board meetings than ever before due to the safety, flexibility, and convenience, and as demonstrated by the vast numbers of HOAs and organizations adopting this platform.  The safety of the community is priority to this Board.  Read the following link on HOA’s moving to virtual meetings: https://www.buildium.com/blog/how-to-run-virtual-hoa-board-meetings

Ability of homeowners to comment with equality of time and topic: Our current Board members instituted a new and formal “Community Comment” session as a part of every board meeting beginning with the June 3, 2021, meeting. Attendees were given 2 minutes to comment on Agenda items and to keep the meeting on schedule. The 2-minute equality of time rule allows ALL residents a forum subject to the time allocated for comment. In recent board meetings, a few attendees spoke well beyond the 2 minutes on items unrelated to the meeting Agenda. Some attendees spoke over each other, and background noises also led to interruptions.  For this reason, and consistent with common Zoom practice, attendees are muted while other Attendees speak for their 2-minute interval. There are protocols the Board must follow to keep meetings orderly during community comment.  Also, once the meeting is officially convened, public comment is closed.  For this portion of the meeting, attendees will be muted.  This is protocol for all Homeowner Associations as well as other organization board meetings.

Homeowners to receive adequate notice of open DCOA meetings including the Agenda and prior minutes: The current Board has provided proper notice for all meetings in accordance with the Bylaws

section 4.05 and 5.04.  Agendas have been provided by the current board in advance of meetings for the first time in 27 years.  Notices and Agendas have been posted on the DCOA Website by this Board.  For the most recent meeting, Agendas were delivered by both E-mail, physical mail, and listed on the website.  In addition, notices were posted on the entranceway monuments which were removed by unknown persons.  Minutes are available to all Owners by request from the current Management Company, Oak & Dale Properties.  For the new Management Company, Real Manage, these minutes will be immediately available on the Owner web portal to provide transparency that has not previously existed.Please see the DCOA website for Notices and Agendas for the meetings run by the current Board: https://dchoa.org/

The petition states that there is the “need” for more details in the minutes of the meeting discussions:

The minutes prepared by the board are complete, accurate, and under the direction of legal counsel.  Our newest Board Member, Sara Vaince is our Secretary, responsible for minutes, and an Attorney. Board meetings have been recorded to ensure accuracy of minutes.  Historical minutes formerly prepared by the prior Management Company often had inaccuracies and omissions.  A stated “desire” of certain Petition Organizers was to include their personal monologue in the minutes of the Association meetings.  This is inappropriate, historically inconsistent, and HOA Associations should not include these as directed by our Association outside counsel.  Again, homeowners can request minutes from the management company anytime.

Financial Statements Transparency: The current board released historical financial statements and the 2021 budget on July 14, 2021, since financial data had not been released in recent years.  Oak & Dale’s Email Address is: donotreply@cincsystems.net.  Please confirm your receipt of the July 14th email that included a community newsletter along with the financial data and to assure you are receiving all Board communications.  Check your spam and confirm your email to the management company if you did not receive an email.  Homeowners can request financial data through the management company at any time.

Item 2 – “Discuss the Design Manual and the creation of a Commission comprised of a diverse set of participants to be selected by the attending Owners.  The Commission’s goal is to be transparent and inclusive of all Owners.  The Commission’s purpose is:  to review the Design Manual, determine if any changes are necessary or requested by a majority of Voting Members, and if so, provide recommendations, if any, to the Board at an open meeting of the Owners where they will be discussed openly to ascertain the general will of the Owners before being voted upon at the same meeting by the Board in its fiduciary capacity for all Owners.”

Item 2 asks for a discussion but is asking to subvert the 1998 Design Manual Rules & Regulations to the benefit of the Petition Organizers.  A significant number of Owners have agreed that the Design Manual Rules & Regulations from over two decades ago are outdated and should be reviewed.  Family need, technology, and safety concerns have evolved and ALL Owners, legacy and new community members alike, should be able to provide input as opposed to a vocal minority.  All Owners will have the opportunity to provide comment/input via survey while the Board conducts its review of the current Design Manual Rules and Regulations.  This process will be substantially more inclusive than a handful of petition organizers usurping the ability for ALL Owners to provide input.

The Board does not wish for this petition to be a divisive factor in our community. The Board was reconstituted on July 29, 2021, a mere 60 days ago.  Former Board Members that are petitioners were allowed the latitude and respect to do their work.  While change and lack of control may be difficult, this Board should be afforded the same responsibility allowed under the governing documents for this board to do its work on behalf of the community. This Board understands that it represents the community in its entirety and hopes to bring community members together for the benefit of the subdivision.

The Board is proud of recent community events that have brought neighbors together.  Please visit the Darien Club Community Social Facebook Page for neighborhood social gatherings, events, and communications.  A Halloween Parade is currently being organized by members of the community and will be posted on the Facebook page and DCOA Website.  All events are open and inclusive to all community members.

A regular meeting of the Board of Directors is scheduled for October 11, 2021. The Board is currently reviewing contracts for renewal in 2022 for preparation of the Budget.  In addition, the transition to Real Manage as the community management company will be effective November 1, 2021. Real Manage will present their services to the community at an upcoming meeting or by way of a welcome packet.  The Board looks forward to working with Owners who wish to improve and enjoy their homes and at the same time add value to the Darien Club community.  The Pandemic brought much change in recent years.  Families found themselves working at home and socializing in their backyards.  This led to Owners making improvements to their homes including adding home offices, gyms, outdoor entertaining space, pools, etc.  The Board recognizes the importance of this societal change and wishes to work with owners to make their home the perfect family haven while upholding standards of value.  ALL owners of Darien Club should equally be allowed this privilege.  One of the most significant drivers for the review of the Design Manual Rules & Regulations is to assure consistency in application of the rules rather than what appears to be inconsistent enforcement on a cursory review of the subdivision.  Many homeowners have expressed their frustration with the Architectural Review process for improvements to Owner home exteriors.  The Board will work to facilitate and improve this process with rule revisions.  While there is a need for a formal approval process to maintain value, the process should not be cumbersome or subjective.   Any owner that feels they have had a difficult process in the past is welcome to contact the board so that consideration can be given to improve the process through rule revisions.   The Board urges homeowners to work with reputable architectural firms and designers to create a beautiful project that enhances value for the homeowner and the subdivision. 

We welcome the community to email the board of directors dchoa2014@gmail.com with any questions, comments, or concerns.  Please feel free to reach out to any one of us anytime in the neighborhood or through the directory.  We are here to answer your questions, hear your concerns, and dispel rumors. We look forward to everyone coming together as a community to promote Darien Club as the inviting, kind, and premier neighborhood it is.

Sincerely,

John Becker

John Becker, President on behalf of the

Darien Club Owners Association Board of Directors

Community Memo From Your BOD

Date: 9/16/2021

To: Darien Club Owner’s Association

Fr:  John Becker, DCOA President

Dear Community Members,

As you know, the reconstituted Board had its first meeting July 29.  With that meeting, we added two exceptional professionals.  Sara Vaince, an accomplished Corporate Attorney, serving as our Secretary and Daniel Carnet, a 25-year accounting professional, as Treasurer.  With these additions we have a diverse board representing a cross section of our community.  The Board has divided duties to better serve the owners.  Sara Vaince has volunteered her legal background to review legal, contract, and Oak Trace Phase III Zoning matters for the Association.  Daniel Carnet will apply his accounting expertise to develop a proper reserve study which is long overdue while assembling a plan to address the depleted reserves due to prior spending for large non-planned capital projects.  Alan McNea, Vice President with his construction expertise is overseeing the maintenance of common areas and owner lots while George Battaglia, Vice President has been focusing his energies on reviewing the future needs of the community to improve the Darien Club Subdivision, its vitality, visibility, and value.  The Board has asked Gary Wadhwani to manage and improve the Darien Club HOA Website (https://darienclub.com/). 

Our mission is the following:

The mission of the Board Members of the Darien Club Owners Association is to preserve and enhance the property values of our subdivision by maintaining/enhancing the common ground areas, upholding our Declarations and By-Laws, and ensuring that the Design Rules address the needs of community. The Board will serve the Homeowners by taking a fair, ethical, and objective approach in representing the interest of all homeowners.

The Board has been hard at work to address, for the benefit of all owners, the many issues facing our community.   It has immediately established various commissions with our dedicated community members to ameliorate many of the issues that have grown over the last 20 years. 

Commissions established:

  • Wetland/Pond Commission led by Scott Carson
  • Common Area Commission led by Marie Becker and Pat Coutre’
  • Oak Trace Development led by Cindi Lopez
  • Social Committee/Facebook page (Darien Club Community Social) led by Shawna Herbert

All Commissions have been given clear charters to make recommendations to the Board to be considered on balance with the overall needs of the community.

Management Company:

In addition to organizing our Community, the Board is moving swiftly to address Management Company concerns moving away from Oak & Dale Properties to Real Manage, effective November 1, 2021.  This move is driven by Real Manage’s broader range of capabilities including Board and Community Member web portals, text blast capability for urgent community issues, ability to ensure consistent enforcement of Association rules and a broad array of professional support.  At a meeting soon, a representative from Real Manage will demonstrate the web portfolio functionality and speak to their capabilities.  We are certain you will immediately see the improvement in professional service and administration for the community.

Financial Transparency:

The Board recently issued historical financial statements and the current year budget to all homeowners.  The Board is also in the process of reviewing all current contracts and vendors in place with the intention increasing overall value while controlling cost.  During the process, the Board will have an overdue reserve study prepared to evaluate current reserves which were significantly depleted with the replacements of the monuments.  Other elements in the common areas will be reviewed and included in the reserve study in addition to necessary replenishment of reserves to allow for capital improvements and maintenance that will be required over the next several years. 

The Board is focused on enhancing the value of the subdivision, re-establishing it as the premier community in Darien while focusing on the needs of the community which is now over 30 years old.  Today’s needs differ from those in 1990.  We look to invite the next generation of owners to our community.  In doing so, the Board will complete its review of the Design Manual Rules & Regulations for any necessary updates and improvements.  Community comments, requests and recommendations for any rule changes are welcome.  The Board’s objective is to allow owners broader enjoyment of their ownership, increase buyer interest in the subdivision, and as a result increase property value. A board meeting will be scheduled in the upcoming weeks for this purpose.  In the meantime, compile your comments and email any recommendations or comments to the Board Members at DCHOA2014@gmail.com

We look forward to your feedback as the Board works to the benefit of all Community members.

Sincerely,

John Becker DCOA President

Zoom Link for DCOA BOD Meeting Scheduled for 8/30/21 6pm

Darien Club HOA is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: DCOA BOD Meeting
Time: Aug 30, 2021 06:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84068867967?pwd=OUNsVTZXcE5FNkNuazUwS1A0SGpsdz09

Meeting ID: 840 6886 7967
Passcode: 982304
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Meeting ID: 840 6886 7967
Passcode: 982304
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kdCCwrLsjQ

Notice of DCOA BOD Meeting 8/30/21 6pm Via Zoom

DARIEN CLUB OWNERS ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
NOTICE OF REGULAR MEETING
Monday, August 30, 2021
6:00 pm

A notice is hereby given of a regular meeting of the Board of Directors on Monday, August 30, 2021, at 6:00 pm via Zoom.
A Zoom link will be sent to homeowners and posted on the Darien Club Owners Association Website.

AGENDA
Welcome
Community Comments
Call to Order
Roll Call
Approval of Minutes
Treasurer Report
Commission/Project Updates:
• Wetland
• Median Trees
• Oak Trace
• Surveillance Cameras
Review/approval contracts
Adjourn Meeting

Revised Zoom Link for Board Of Directors Meeting 7/29/21 at 7pm

Darien Club HOA is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Darien Club Owners Association

Time: Jul 29, 2021 07:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89399729821?pwd=eFFFeURaTHczN1czSXBYS0tQdGF4dz09

Meeting ID: 893 9972 9821

Passcode: 792611

One tap mobile

+13126266799,,89399729821#,,,,*792611# US (Chicago)

+19292056099,,89399729821#,,,,*792611# US (New York)

Dial by your location

        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

        +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

        +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)

        +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)

        +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

        +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

Meeting ID: 893 9972 9821

Passcode: 792611

Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kdiDq67RyT

Agenda – BOD Meeting 7/29/21

2021 Summer Newsletter