Normally I wouldn’t be sending these out monthly but we had quite a controversial September. I quickly found out that many residents have varying ideas on our community and the Board’s work or involvement in being proactive or reactive. This is not a bad thing actually as the residents need to be concerned about how their Board functions. But if you are uninformed you may make statements that are not true or personal towards others.
But most of these things get started by some type of miscommunication and then just grow wildly. Unfortunately, the wording of the email blast that was sent to the homeowners led some to believe we had already hired the Sabens Group of (3) off-duty police officers to enforce our covenants and protect us from crime in 2020. It was corrected in an answer to a FB post but by then it was drowned out by all types of comments. This was not our intention, and we apologize for this error. However, on the bright side, it did prompt a record number of attendees at the September meeting as well as many emails with residents sharing their thoughts!
Many decided to come to the September open Board meeting (which by the way is the third Monday of every month @ 7 PM) and we had the largest crowd (30+) I’ve ever seen in the 7 or so years I’ve been attending the meetings. I first explained how the Board and I came in contact with Mike Saben and the error on the email blast that stated we had already made up our mind on hiring the group. We had Mike Saben the founder of the group there to explain their role with HOAs and what services the group provides tp the communities they work for.
Afterward, we had a spirited debate about this subject and many more. Plenty of communication was shared which is a very good thing. A random vote was taken of the attendees for hiring the group and it was 17 for and 12 against (remember you can only cast one vote for each household). Certainly, that vote was a surprise based on Facebook posts. I’m hopeful that most of us that attended came away from the meeting much more informed than when we arrived. An email blast with the meeting minutes will be sent out by the time you receive this letter so read through it and if you have additional questions contact us via email or by attending the next homeowners meeting. There was an error on the blast that stated the percent of the vote was 70% vs 30% when actually it was closer to 60% vs 40%. My second error this year!
This Board will always keep you in the proverbial loop of all big things that are going on with our community. Thanks to all of you that support us and provide us with constructive feedback.
Please, when responding to the Board, be it email or Facebook posts, consider how you would feel if you received what you are sending. In many cases, I doubt that you would like what was written when it is worded in that way. Your words can make a difference in the wrong way. Many Board members have left and others that would be volunteers will not become Board Members because of the stress caused by some of the written vitriol that has been communicated to the Board. When this Board throws in the towel, you better have a plan in place or otherwise, it won’t take long for this community to degrade itself.
Well, I hope you enjoy the rest of the letter and the information within it. We try to provide our homeowners, who cannot make it to the open meetings, the information they need to keep abreast of the activities that they pay for.
Thanks for reading,
Don Roach, President
News in the Neighborhood
Time To Think About Being A Board Member
The Board will be losing two very special people this year, Kathy Andregg, Landscaping Director, and Cindi Endsley, ACC Director. We need to have 5 directors, so I’m asking and begging some of you to step up and help the community. We have had help from our volunteers, but we need full-time director help now. If you have some landscaping or supervising background, that would be helpful but not necessary. We will try to find a fit for your skills so you will be comfortable. If you’re interested, please find the form on the website and send it to CMA or to our email site listed at the top of the page. Also consider helping with our volunteer committees.
Upcoming Social Events
Bunco Nov. 16 and Dec. 14 @ 6:30 PM
Bunco is a dice game that is fun and easy to play. Bring $5 per person, a snack dish to share and your drink of choice. We have a social half hour between 6:30 and 7 to meet and greet. Game usually lasts from 7 to 9 or 9:30 dependent on crowd. Come meet your neighbors.
November and December Meeting Dates Combined
The November and December meeting dates have been canceled. One combined meeting will be held on December 9. The open meeting will begin at the normal time of 7 PM.
Attention All Homeowners Who Decorate Their Homes for the Holidays
The Social Committee for the first year will be having a contest for the best Holiday decorated home. There will be a $50.00 Home Depot gift card to the winner. The social committee will decide among all the participating sub-division homes.
We will post the winner on the community bulletin board, Facebook Post and this newsletter. Good Luck!
Game Day for the Ladies
Elaine Drake, Social Leader, sets up a day once a month (Thursday usually) for the ladies to get together to chat and play games. Elaine normally posts the dates, times and particulars on Facebook. Watch the calendar on our website and Facebook for the next date. As info, Dec. 5 is the next date at noon.
An idea at the September meeting from the crowd to the Board to lessen our workload was us to develop something that could be used by residents to fix issues. Our Secretary will be developing a page on our website which will identify concerns that have been directed to the Board that require either Cobb County Departments, CMA, police, etc. issues to handle. This will help to alleviate answering the same questions, provide phone numbers and educate our residents. This will help you to address your issues versus the Board being an intermediate between you and the problem solver.
Getting a Fire Department Inspection Approval
Recently we were notified by Cobb County Fire Dept. that we never received a final inspection on the added extension of our fitness room. The inspector inspected the entire facility and we found a few items that needed to be repaired or replaced. Most of the failures found were dated so we replaced with new. All the exits signs and floodlights were replaced. The entrance door was switched so it now opens out versus opening in towards the breezeway. This work has been completed and we will be notifying the dept. to give us a final inspection.
We have 39 homes being rented in the community. Our max is 45 homes. Once we reach that maximum number no more homes will be allowed to rent unless they can show hardship to the Board.
Replacing the Spin Bike
At our Oct. meeting, the Board approved to replace the current spin bike at a cost between $1500 to $2000. The old bike will be sold to a resident before we offer it outside of the community.
Santa will be at the clubhouse on December 8 from 2 to 3 PM. Santa’s helpers will be there by 1 PM for you to drop off a gift for your young one(s) if you want Santa to give them one while they are telling him what they want for Christmas. Bring your camera for some candid shots!
We had our 5th front and side yard turf treatment for the growing season on September 18 and 19. The 6th and last one for the season is scheduled for November 6, and I believe it will be a liquid pre-emergent weed application. These turf treatments are at no extra cost to our residents as they are included in your monthly fee, but 4 Seasons does provide backyard treatments for $16.00/treatment as an additional cost to you. If you are new to the neighborhood and would like to get on the backyard treatment list for FUTURE applications you may call Linda Lane at 4 Seasons, 770-452-4455 to sign up.
The treatment of the fungus Spring Dead Spot took place on September 25. We have already planned a September 2020 application to the same areas as we did here in 2019 in anticipation that one application will not be enough. We will be on the lookout for any new spots that show up in later winter and early spring of 2020 to add to the list.
The lawn maintenance crew will be doing the pruning of our shrubs over the next two months in between blowing and disposing of leaves. Shrubs throughout the subdivision have generally put on very little additional growth since our last pruning in late August/early September. Mowing is not going to be a high priority now so the crew should have more time to do the light pruning that needs to be accomplished at this time. I’d like to mention too that the crew is permitted to dispose of leaves and organic material in our wooded common property BUT not in the actual stream courses where the creek water is running. They are instructed to push the material over the break-in slope so that it is primarily out of view.
Our second and last application of pine straw to our front and side beds will likely be in mid-December after the last of the leaves have fallen and disposed of.
In Case You Missed It…
If you haven’t noticed, we had a bike rack installed at the tennis court by the walkway to the playground. This will eliminate bikes or other wheeled items from being stored in the breezeway. Remember to lock your stuff at the rack to prevent theft.
Fining for Covenant Violations
The Board prefers to handle violations without fining. In fact, most cases are given many days to correct. But in some egregious violations, the Board can fine immediately and harshly dependent on the violation, safety factor and impact on homeowners. If we do fine immediately, you can request a meeting with the Board to explain your case and the Board may reduce, eliminate or leave the fine as is and will notify you of their decision in writing.
Garage Doors Open
I’m sorry we continue to preach about issues, but each one has its own importance. Leaving your garage door open while not using it or being in or around the garage or front yard leaves your home susceptible to crime.
Additionally, unless you have a beautiful garage it can be an eyesore. That’s why it’s in the covenants to keep your door closed. The Cobb Police department told us they have more home invasions by residents leaving their doors open than any other reason. Not to mention the vermin that can get in and cause havoc with your home. So please keep your door closed when the opening is not being used.
New Residents, Take Note! (from Kathy Andregg)
I have noticed that there are turf treatment signs out at a few resident’s homes during my walks around the neighborhood that do not coincide with our regularly scheduled treatments with Tru-Green through 4 Seasons. 4 Seasons subcontracts out 6 turf treatments during the growing season for your front and side yards so there is no need for a resident to hire a separate company to do your front and side yards. In fact, doing that can actually harm the health of your turf by doubling up on fertilizer and weed control that can weaken and kill your grass.
The 6 turf treatments that we get from Tru-Green are included as part of your monthly dues so they are already paid for. So save your money and let our neighborhood contract with Tru-Green do the work for you.
One other item I will mention, there we will be major changes to our front entrance landscaping in the next month to replace the 16-year-old, over-mature shrubs that we have out there right now and improve sight distance uphill on Woodstock Rd.
I know we have addressed this before but bear with me as I try to educate those that may have not read down far enough to see my previous writings on this subject.
- The Board does not intend to be your intermediary in any of your disagreements with your neighbors. You need to resolve them if possible with the neighbor. If the offense is covered in the covenants, the violation will be processed through CMA. That’s why we pay for them. The Board has to live with those that live here. We do not take sides except the side of the covenants.
- If you are unsure of your available options you can submit your complaint via our website at https://centennialcommonshoa.org under “contact us” or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- You may also contact Melody Daniels at CMA. Melodydaniel@cmacommunities.com. We do prefer you include the Board in your communications with CMA as we can help track the progress and ensure that timely actions are taking place.
- As soon as the additional page is up and running on our website, notification of violations and complaints will become easier for homeowners.
5. The Board does not do drive around to look for violations. CMA does a drive-through twice a month. But they will not see everything, nor do they know if a car has been parked for a long period of time. If you have an issue, you need to alert them as explained previously. Will it require some pictures, addresses, and information that only you are aware of? YES. So be prepared to provide that if you want resolution.
As I’m sure you’re aware of we’ve had problems with the roofing shingles that the original builder installed. Many residents have replaced theirs but there are many more homes that may need it to be done. The insurance companies and roofers are well aware of our issues so be careful with both. Review your insurance contract yearly as some insurance companies are writing in a different coverage for roofs that may raise your deductible for a replacement. Others are insisting on partial replacements (that most likely would be unacceptable to the HOA) or temporary repairs until what time the roof runs out of life and or they will only pay a small portion of the cost. Also, be very careful of whom you hire as some of these companies go out of business within one or two years and who would you go back against for poor workmanship if they no longer exist.
We have received many complaints regarding homeowners who walk their dogs and do not pick up after their dog. The residents have asked us to do something about this. As much as we agree that this is a very inconsiderate action, neither the board nor CMA has any recourse to this action without specific information.
In order to notify CMA to issue a violation, we must have either the dog owner’s name and/or address. Also, if possible take a photo and include it, It would be helpful. Just a photo by itself, without any other information, renders us helpless to pursue the homeowner. All names of those filing a complaint are kept completely confidential as we protect the privacy of our homeowners.
The covenants prohibit parking on the street. Consistent violators will be fined. Also if you’re unavailable to move your car at any time you are in violation of the fire code and could be ticketed according to Cobb County Police. Our streets are too narrow to allow parking in the street. If you need to park your car short term, try to park on one (right) side of the street. Don’t create a blockage (where two vehicles are face to face) on the road and be mindful of your neighbor’s ability to get out of their driveway.
New Violation Letter Verbiage Coming
CMA will be sending new violation letters with different wording in the letter. This wording has been approved by the Board so as to be more uniform and to be aligned with the covenants.
The gest of it is this, your letter will have the violation indicated, and it will give you 3 options and 10 days to notify CMA of your plan. The options are:
- Fix it and notify CMA when it’s completed before the 10 day period
- Plan to fix it and the date that it will be fixed outside of the 10 day period if needed, you need to notify CMA within the 10-day window.
- Contest it and ask for a Board Meeting, and notify CMA within the 10 days of your decision.
If CMA does not hear from you within the allotted 10 days another letter will be sent with the date the fine(s) have begun and they will continue until what time you notify CMA of one of the three items listed above.
We expect that this will bring about quicker resolutions, reduce additional letters, postage and other headaches caused by deferring violations with multiple notices. Once you’ve corrected the violation and you continue to violate the same offense at a later date that additional offense can be fined without a 10 day notice. This will be noted in the violation letter.
Homeowners Must Be Present with any Visitors Using the Amenities
If you or your family bring or allows visitors to use the HOA amenities, some adults from your household must be with them continuously while they are using the amenities. We have had numerous occasions of visitors who are unaware of our rules and become offended when we tell them to follow the rules and procedures. Please help us with this issue.
The pickleball group had started back up playing with the warmer weather arriving but things sort of stopped because of a lack of players. If you are interested in playing let us know at email@example.com. A paddle and balls are supplied so all you need to do is wear comfortable clothing and tennis shoes.
Instructions will be provided. They usually play every Saturday at 10 AM until June and then move the time back to 9 AM due to the Atlanta heat.
We are looking for resident volunteers for committees for the 2020 Season. If you have a little extra time and would like to help, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tennis Court Usage
The tennis courts are made for playing tennis and pickleball. Any other activities can result in damage to the courts, nets, and fencing. Skateboarding and roller blades will result in damage to the surface. Additionally, proper footwear is required to protect the surface and the user. The costs to maintain the courts are in the thousands and therefore we need to follow the procedures for playing at the courts. Please respect this amenity.
Our Facebook page is the best and fastest way to get immediate information regarding the subdivision, i.e.; looking for recommendations on home issues, posting events in the community, lost dogs, found dogs, and yes, even our recent bear sighting! If you have not already done so, please go to CCHOA in Acworth on Facebook and ask to join the group. We need to remind homeowners that this page is not somewhere to post a personal grievance that you feel the board should handle. The board does not handle the CCHOA business via FB. If you want the board to act on a complaint, make sure to send an email to email@example.com. Your email will be forwarded to the proper person to handle. (Make sure to take the time to read the conduct policy regarding all posts.)
There are certain restrictions in our Covenants for running a business out of your home. Refer to Article 8.1 Residential Use for a detailed explanation.
The other way to get information is to join our email list. You are getting this because we have your email information and can send you important information quickly. If your neighbor doesn’t know why they are not getting this, it’s because the Secretary, Shirley Cox, does not have their info. Tell them to drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. And she will add you to our community email list.
Thanks for reading!
Don Roach, President and the Board of Centennial Commons, Directors, Kathy Andregg, Landscape, Chuck Whitaker, Amenities, Cindi Endsley, ACC Coordinator and Shirley Cox, Secretary