Sept 2, 2016
Dear Members of the LPPOA:
Over the past 12 months 25 dedicated member volunteers, have been investigating the possibility of implementing an easement assessment on all 2100 homes within the original purchase tract of the lake.
In addition to the volunteers we have, with membership approval, secured the services of Eileen Borne of Dolan and Dolan Attorneys to investigate the costs, steps and stages that would be needed in the process. Ms. Borne is the attorney that was involved in all of the transitions for the lakes in our area, so she brings a great deal of successful experience to the table.
The Board has projected that the possibility exists that we may be unable to support the lake from our operating budget within the next 6-10 years. Sadly, our neighbor Glacier Hills Pool is experiencing similar circumstances. This projection was confirmed as part of the membership volunteer’s investigation.
Over the years, the LPPOA Board has been learning from its participation in COLA (Coalition of Lake Associations) and by observing the efforts of other lakes in the area. Many have begun or are transitioning to a mandatory payment structure. Most recently transitioned are Lake Arrowhead and Intervale.
Many members have asked why the LPPOA doesn’t have a mandatory membership. The basic premise is that in order to reap the benefit you need to help with the burden. The concept is often referred to as “Fair Share” or “Easement Assessment”.
Basically how it would work is that every property within the original purchase tract of Lake Parsippany would be required to pay an annual assessment fee. This fee would cover lake property maintenance and would include structured lake usage privileges. In addition to the assessment fee, a membership option would be available at an additional cost that would allow you full access to all lake activities as a full membership does today. The combined fee (easement assessment and full membership fee) is projected to be less then what you are currently paying. These specific maintenance and usage privilege will be included in an information package that will be available soon.
Please go to the lake website lake-parsippany.org to read all the information to date on the ongoing investigation.
A Special meeting will be held on October 19th for all eligible property owner members living within the original purchase tract of Lake Parsippany (Districts 1-4) to vote on this important issue. More information will be coming soon.
The Board and the membership volunteers feel that the move towards this new membership format will ensure the lake stays a beautiful place for everyone to enjoy for years to come.
Vice President LPPOA Board of Directors
The Lake Parsippany Property Owners Association (LPPOA) was formed in 1933 and has managed the Lake and property funded solely on the dues of membership. The LPPOA is the organization that manages Lake Parsippany and the associated property.
The management of The Lake includes paying property taxes, lawn and tree care, property and liability insurance, water quality management, property maintenance, staffing of the beaches, and management of activities.
The LPPOA is investigating the feasibility and possibility of implementing an easement assessment on all property owners for certain expenses related to maintenance of the common areas within the boundaries of the original purchase tract of Lake Parsippany. The following language found in deeds in the title searches: "together with the right to use, in common with others, the waters of Lake Parsippany for bathing, boating and fishing." This language gives property owners an “easement” over the LPPOA property.
An easement is generally the right in the land of another; it does not give the holder a right of possession of the land subject to the easement, but gives a right to the burdened property.
The rights given to property owners in Lake Parsippany for the use of the lake for bathing, boating and fishing would be considered an easement. Moreover, the language in the restrictions indicates that the easement runs to each property owner in the chain of title for that property, which benefits all current owners, even if the easement language is not in the current deed. As a part of the investigation into the feasibility of an Easement Assessment the LPPOA has verified this understanding with our attorney.
One very important understanding from our attorney is New Jersey courts have recognized that lake associations that did not require mandatory membership in an association when they were originally formed can assess non-members who hold an easement over the lake and common properties. The theory of “fair share” assessment was developed in a series of cases which determined that a property which holds an easement to another property bore responsibility for the maintenance of that easement, which would be collected by an easement assessment fee.
We hope you will find this FAQ document helpful. We would like to get feedback from you, so if you have questions please go to our web site www.lake-parsippany.org and use the Contact Us option.
Vice President LPPOA
From: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>
To: LPPOA Mail List <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sent: Tuesday, November 17, 2015 7:45 AM
Subject: [Maillist] LAKE PARSIPPANY FAIR SHARE UPDATE 11-16-15
Fair Share Update
Four members of the board met with our attorney on Tuesday November 10 to discuss questions and procedural items towards the implementation of fair share. The letter that was distributed to the members in attendance at the November Board meeting as well as via email following the meeting. (see attached)The same letter will be posted in the December News and Views.
The results of the meeting with the attorney indicated that we as an association have work to do together to see this through. Many of you asked about committees and wanting to get involved in the process. The Board wants this to be driven by the membership not decided by the board.
At this time in a high level we will need to address the 4 M’s, Membership Management, Marketing and Maintenance.
Membership we will need to look at the overall structure in place as well as look at the original borders of the lake.
Management we will need to look at the financial and day to day operation of the lake.
Marketing we will need to look at how we can best promote fair share to our resident non members.
Maintenance we will need to look at our current maintenance program and determine what should be covered by fair share, where we need to increase maintenance to meet the needs of the facility.
Like the clubhouse purchase, the Board and its members only acted as facilitators and resource. No board members sat on any of these committees. The board created the parameters and the committee took it from there. The membership, not the board, voted between 2 final recommendations.
Since the current operation of the lake cannot be over shadowed, and that the members of standing committees have to focus on their current responsibilities, we really need people to serve on these committees. Ideally we want a person to serve on only one.
The formal start of these committees will be in February as the board will need to discuss the parameters for each of the committees before kicking them off. When that time comes we will be looking for volunteers with backgrounds in finance, accounting, marketing legal and business management as well as those with a genuine interest in assisting in any way possible.
November 10, 2015
Via Email (email@example.com) and First Class Mail
Board of Trustees
Lake Parsippany Property Owners Association
P. O. Box 62
Parsippany, NJ 07054
Attention: William Sempier
Annual Assessment - Maintenance Fee – Easement Fee: Follow up Summary - 9/14/15
Eileen Born of Dolan and Dolan, PA was presented with the relevant documents in our possession in advance of our meeting and on September 1, 2015 Bill Sempier and Debbie Orme met with her.
We posed the questions brought to us by the membership, gathered data and developed a tentative outline of potential steps in the process if we decide to proceed.
At the Board meeting this evening a Quorum of the membership in accordance with the bylaws, voted to begin the investigation into a mandatory maintenance fee to be assessed to all homes with in the borders of Lake Parsippany. The vote passed 49 to 7.
The attached letter was read and distributed at the meeting.
Lake Parsippany Property Owners Association
P.O. Box 62
Parsippany, NJ 07054