October 11th, 2017 — Fire and Safety
Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those in the Fountaingrove community who have suffered in this disaster. Many questions have been raised regarding the Fountaingrove Ranch Master Association in the aftermath of the Tubbs Fire. Below are answers to the most common questions.
If our home was lost do we still have to pay assessments?
Yes, under California law and the Declaration of Conditions Covenants and Restrictions owners are still obligated to pay assessments. The Association must still operate and will have to spend money to repair the Common Area and make sure it is in safe and stable condition so that it does not cause further harm to people or property. Check your insurance – some may cover assessments while you are rebuilding.
What is the Association’s obligations in rebuilding the community?
The Association must first put the Common Area into safe and healthful condition. This will include removing debris, assuring drainage on the Common Area is still functional, and erosion control measures on the slopes. The Association must then repair the Common Area including fences, drains, signage, and landscaping.
Can the Association choose not to rebuild the Common Area?
60% of the members of the Association (X votes) can vote not to rebuild the Common Area. In that case, the Association uses the insurance proceeds and reserves to put the Common Area in safe condition. However, the City could still compel the Association to rebuild the Common Area.
Who rebuilds our homes?
Each owner is responsible for rebuilding his or her home unless you are in a sub-association that has the obligation to rebuild.
Can an owner choose not to rebuild their home?
For homes that are not in a sub-association, an owner may choose to remove all structures and debris and landscape the lot. The owner and lot will still be subject to assessments and required to maintain the landscaping on the lot, even if the home is not rebuilt.
Do we have to rebuild exactly the home we lost?
The CC&Rs provide that an owner is required to rebuild in substantial conformity with the appearance and design of the home immediately prior to the destruction. However, an owner can apply for architectural approval for changes to the exterior appearance of the home. The Architectural Committee will approve changes if the committee finds the new design is still harmonious with other homes in, and the natural topography of, the neighborhood. Owners can change the interior as they desire without approval of the Association – only exterior changes require approval.
When do we have to rebuild?
Owners must put their lots in safe condition as soon as possible. The CC&Rs require owners to commence reconstruction within 90 days and diligently pursue completion. We understand that with the scale of loss in our City, it will not be possible for many owners to start construction in 90 days; but each owner should start the process of getting plans drawn and engaging a contractor within 90 days, even if actual construction cannot start during that time.
The Association and management will do what it can to help the Association members through this disaster. If you have a suggestion of what we can do to help, please let us know and we will see if it is within our capabilities.