As indicated in earlier emails and in a letter being mailed to owners the first week of August, due to Covid 19 the Board wants to hold this year’s Annual Meeting “virtually” via Zoom rather than in person. This means that before September’s annual-meeting announcement is sent we need to amend our bylaws to allow for virtual Annual Meetings. After consultation with Lakeport’s attorney, we are presenting six amendments, and we request that owners keep their eyes open for the mailing from SCS and submit their signed ballot by the end of August.
Amendments to Lakeport bylaws “may be adopted by the signed assent of a majority of all members without regard to residency,” which means not submitting your ballot has the same impact as voting “No” on each amendment. Thus we are asking you to use the ballot included in the mailing to vote on the six amendments below and then enter your address and sign and date the ballot. Note you have three options for submitting your ballot so that it will be counted:
- drop it at a collection box at one of two homes in Lakeport Cluster: 1971 Lakeport Way and 11125 Lakespray Way
- email it to Ali Long, our property manager at email@example.com
- mail it via USPS to Ali at the address at the bottom of the ballot.
A link to a “Track Changes” version of the proposed new bylaws, with substantive changes highlighted, can be found at http://www.lakeportcluster.org/, together with this document and answers to questions submitted by owners. A copy of the ballot is also available online in case you can’t find the one that was mailed to you. If you inadvertently submit more than one ballot, only the most recent will be counted.
Amendment #1 – Allow virtual annual and special meetings - Add new Article III, Section 4
What – Allow annual meetings and special meetings of owners to be held via electronic communications instead of in-person.
Why – Alternatives to in-person annual and special meetings are sometimes necessary (as during a declared state of emergency), or virtual meetings could be opted for at any time, with agreement of owners.
New text to be added
Section 4. Virtual Meetings. The board may hold the annual or special meeting via electronic communication instead of in person. The virtual meeting shall, to the extent practicable, be held via video-conferencing technology and provide owners with an opportunity to comment during the meeting. The board shall send instructions for attending the virtual meeting to owners via both email and United States Postal Service and also post the instructions on the web site. The minutes shall reflect the fact that the meeting was held by electronic communication means, and the type of electronic communication means by which the meeting was held.
Vote impact - YES vote means annual or special meetings can be held via electronic communications. NO vote means all annual meetings must be held in-person.
Amendment #2 – Allow virtual board meetings - Add new Article IV, Section 12
What – Allow board meetings to be held via electronic communication instead of in-person during a state of emergency.
Why – Alternatives to in-person meetings are necessary during a declared state of emergency (otherwise in-person meetings are required by law).
New text to be added
Section 12. Virtual Meetings. In the event of a declared state of emergency, the board may hold its meeting via electronic communication instead of in person. The virtual meeting shall, to the extent practicable, be held via video-conferencing technology and provide owners with an opportunity to comment during the meeting. The board shall send instructions for attending the virtual meeting to owners via email and also post the instructions on the web site. The minutes shall reflect the existence of the State of Emergency, the fact that the meeting was held by electronic communication means, and the type of electronic communication means by which the meeting was held.
Vote impact - YES vote means board meetings can be held using electronic communications during a state of emergency. NO vote means all board meetings must be held in-person even during a state of emergency.
Amendment #3 – Formalize home inspections - Add new Article V, Section 1, Paragraph G
What – Add a section authorizing the board to conduct external home inspections, a standard practice of most Reston HOAs.
Why – Conducting regular inspections is the current practice, and this amendment merely formalizes it in the Bylaws. Our attorney recommended including this, RA and SCS verified this is considered standard practice and done by most HOAs, and these inspections are included in SCS’s annual fee. Note that they will not lead to a penalty, although RA is likely to cite an owner for these items when the house is sold. These inspections alert owners to small problems so they can be fixed before they become larger (and more expensive) ones that could delay a home sale. So far, we have had good cooperation from owners in remediating violations and hope that continues. Regular inspections help identify maintenance problems early and help Lakeport maintain property values.
New text to be added
(G) arrange for a designated agent to conduct periodic inspections of the exterior of individual homes to ensure that Lots and structures are properly maintained in accordance with good property maintenance principles. Owners shall be sent notices for violations relating to needed maintenance and repairs, proper use of property, and where appropriate, violations of architectural design standards of Lakeport Cluster and Reston Association, in order to help owners protect and enhance the value of their homes and to maintain property values and the community aesthetic in Lakeport Cluster.
Vote impact - YES vote means the bylaws are updated to authorize the board to conduct the inspections already taking place. NO vote means the bylaws remain silent on inspections. It does not mean that inspections will not be done.
Amendment #4 – Add some duties for board directors – Amend Article VI, Section 4, Paragraphs A, C
What – Adds duties for the board president (serve as spokesperson) and the board secretary (maintain records).
Why – These duties are currently being performed but not explicitly expressed in the bylaws. In addition, the Community Associations Institute includes these new additions as part of the list of responsibilities that should be expected of these officers.
Amended text shown in bold italics-
(A) The President shall preside at all meetings of the Board of Directors; shall see that orders and resolutions of the board are carried out; shall serve as spokesperson for the board; shall sign all leases, mortgages, deeds and other written instruments; and shall carry out such duties as may be assigned by the board…(C) The Secretary shall record the votes and keep the minutes of all meetings and proceedings of the board and of the members; serve notice of meetings of the board and of the members; maintain Association records; keep appropriate current records showing the members of the Corporation together with their addresses and any other contact information provided by the members, and shall perform such other duties as required by the board.
Vote impact - YES vote means the bylaws are updated to include the missing duties. NO vote means the bylaws are not updated, so there is no mention of the missing duties.
Amendment #5 – Increase voting rights for owners who do not live in Lakeport – Delete Article II, Section 2, Paragraph C
What – Delete paragraph C which prohibits owners who do not live in Lakeport from voting for members of the Board of Directors, special assessments, and on other actions taken at Annual and Special meetings of owners.
Why – A request for increased voting rights has been received from a couple of Lakeport owners. Currently, owners who don’t live in Lakeport can vote only on changes to the bylaws. This amendment would allow non-resident owners to also vote on issues brought to owners’ meetings.
Amended text with strikeout to show deleted text for this section is below
Section 2. Voting Rights. The members of the corporation shall have the right to vote for the election and removal of directors, changes to the corporate bylaws (see Article X), the levying of special assessments (see Article VIII), and other matters required by these bylaws or that the Board of Directors may choose to be submitted to member vote. Each member of the corporation shall have one Vote, except that:(A) Any person owning more than one dwelling unit shall have the number of votes equal to the number of dwelling Units owned.(B) When any dwelling unit on the Property is owned of record in joint tenancy or tenancy-in-common, or in any other manner of joint or common ownership, such owners shall collectively be entitled to only that number of votes to which one person would be entitled were he/she the owner of such dwelling unit. Such vote shall be exercised only by the unanimous action or consent of the owners of record of such dwelling unit who are entitled to vote with respect thereto.
(C) Only a member of the corporation residing in at least one of the dwelling units with respect to which he is entitled to vote, shall have the right to vote. For the purpose of this provision, an owner shall not be considered a resident of the dwelling unit if their driver’s license address differs from the unit address of a Lakeport Cluster unit which they own.
Vote impact – YES vote means owners who do not live in Lakeport can vote in the same manner that owners who do live in Lakeport can. NO vote means owners who do not live in Lakeport cannot vote on Lakeport issues other than on changes to bylaws.
Amendment #6 – Make stylistic changes – Amend various sections
What – Making stylistic or minor changes to older text. Updates to remove masculine-only pronouns (e.g., change from “he” to “he/she”) and other outdated text.
Why – This change would update language in the bylaws to remove the older default to masculine pronouns.
Some examples of changes shown in bold/italics below. The Tracked Changes version of the Bylaws showing all of these changes can be found at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1S7H-IJlInuJcw847IntsD4e4sp58QnC7/view.
i) Pronouns: No person shall be a member of the Corporation after he/she ceases to be the owner of record of any dwelling unit on the Property.ii) Remove option to allow meetings outside Virginia. Section 5. Special Meetings.”... persons authorized to call special meetings of the board may fix any place, within or without the Commonwealth of Virginia, as the place for holding any special meeting of the board…”
Vote impact - YES vote means the bylaws will be updated with stylistic and minor changes. NO vote means the bylaws will not be updated.