Governance

Articles of Incorporation

Filed by Alscot Development Company, Inc. with the State of California on 25 October 1973, the Articles of Incorporation of Aegean Heights Homeowners Association (HOA) codified the primary and specific purpose of the Association as the maintenance, preservation, and architectural control of the planned unit development. The original Articles of Incorporation can be found at Governing Documents and Forms.

Aegean Heights Homeowners Association By-Laws (amended)

Although not required to be a public record, By-Laws were drafted in 1973 establishing the mechanics of self-governance and a Board of Directors consisting of five elected homeowners to jointly supervise and manage the Association. The principal mandate of the Board of Directors, acting through a property management company, is to provide for the preservation of property values and amenities by:

  • administering and enforcing the CC&Rs
  • maintaining and administering the common areas
  • collecting and disbursing assessments and charges
  • directing and managing the fiscal health of the corporation

Importantly, Board members have a fiduciary responsibility to the members. For a greater appreciation of powers and duties of the Board see Articles VIII and IX of the By-Laws at Governing Documents and Forms.

Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) (amended)

Established in 1974 and filed with the County of Orange, the CC&Rs as amended remain in full force and effect. CC&Rs establish the responsibilities of the Association to its members and outline the rules for homeowners including the rights and obligations of the membership as they relate to other members and the Association as a whole. Ownership in the community confers automatic membership in the Association and implied compliance with the CC&Rs.

Aegean Heights Homeowners Association Rules of Conduct & Responsibility for Members, Residents and Guests (HOA Rules for short) (revised)

By authority of the By-Laws, HOA Rules consolidate and elaborate the rights, responsibilities, and restrictions of membership in the Association as delineated in the CC&Rs. Applicable to owners, their families, lessees, contract purchasers of any property, and any guests of the aforementioned, HOA Rules were adopted by the Board on 1 February 1988 with the latest revision dated November 2010. This document amplifies the rules that serve the common interest, protect common area property, and promote health and safety. The attached Exhibit “A” contains detailed enforcement policy provisions and a fine schedule. See Governing Documents and Forms for the current edition of our HOA Rules. “Hot button” issues addressed in the HOA Rules to include:

Architectural Restrictions and Maintenance

Architectural control is a central compliance issue of the HOA Rules. Architectural approval procedures are required to both protect property values and the rights of the surrounding neighbors who may be affected by modifications to exterior architecture or landscape. Deviations from the original style, materials, or designs of patio homes or townhomes must be submitted on a Request for Architectural Approval form to the Board via TSG. Additionally, planned modifications to landscape and hardscape must also be submitted for approval. The Request for Architectural Approval form is available at Governing Documents and Forms. A generic Request can also be downloaded at www.tsgindependent.com. Modifications requiring approval include but are not limited to the following:

  • artificial grass
  • doors and windows
  • driveways and garage aprons
  • exterior lighting
  • exterior paint
  • fascia paint
  • fencing
  • garage doors (townhomes only)
  • hardscape
  • irrigation systems
  • landscape impacting neighbors
  • mailboxes
  • patio brickwork and pavers
  • patio covers /pergolas
  • permanent planters
  • pools and spas
  • solar panels
  • storage sheds
  • sunrooms
  • the enclosure of original architecture
  • window and roof AC units
  • wrought iron gates (townhomes)*

* The maintenance of wrought iron front gates on townhomes remains the responsibility of the owners since these gates were not part of the original design. The maintenance of wrought iron fencing added by the owner to the top of rear patio slumpstone half-walls is the responsibility of the owner. Additionally, the maintenance of full-wall height wrought iron gates installed by the owner, replacing an original half-wall gate is the responsibility of the owner. The maintenance of the original half-wall and full-wall height gates (per the original slumpstone wall heights) remains the responsibility of the HOA.

For any modifications, other than routine maintenance, affecting the exterior or landscape of a property, it’s best to submit the Request for Architectural Approval. The approval process rests with the Board of Directors and/or with a designated architectural committee. Please see the HOA Rules for further guidance regarding architectural and landscape modifications. Improvements and modifications made without following the architectural approval procedure are subject to removal and rectification.

Violations of HOA Rules and Enforcement Actions

Cooperation and courtesy are the hallmarks of living in a homeowners’ association.

When violations occur, it is incumbent upon both TSG and the Board to address and rectify these situations. We accept that rules are designed for the majority and that a degree of discrimination may be necessary in some isolated circumstances. Some examples of violations that trigger enforcement action include:

  • Use of a home for purposes other than a single-family residence
  • Neglected private landscaping and fencing
  • Litter and trash in yards and on patios
  • Neglected exterior maintenance of patio homes
  • Failure of townhome owners to maintain front doors, entry gates, and garage doors
  • Failure to pick up pet waste
  • Loud noise, parties or music impacting immediate neighbors
  • Activity that is offensive or annoying to other residents
  • Home-based business activity prohibited by City Code (see Community Insider)
  • Parking violations (see below)

Enforcement Actions

Generally, the Board and TSG will follow these steps when an enforcement action becomes necessary:

  • Informal Resolution: The violation is resolved as the result of engagement by neighbors, TSG or Board members.
  • Written Complaint: When documentation, including photographic evidence, of a violation is submitted to TSG by an owner, resident or by members of the Board, enforcement action is initiated.
  • First Notice: After investigating the complaint, and at the discretion of the Board, a Courtesy Request for Compliance letter is sent to the offender. The letter requests resolution of the violation within ten days of receipt.
  • Second Notice: If the violation is not resolved within a ten-day period, the Board can either send a second letter or invite the offender to a hearing before the Board. Oral or written statements are acceptable at a hearing.
  • Decision: After evidence and statements have been presented to the Board and the violation continues after a Courtesy Request for Compliance letter(s), disciplinary action may be imposed involving increasing levels of monthly and/or daily fines, including legal action, in pursuit of compliance.
  • Appeal: An offender has 60 days from the date of the Board’s Decision to present an argument and/or further evidence as to why the decision should be overturned. See also Alternative Dispute Resolution and Internal Dispute Resolution below.

Parking Violations

Perhaps since the inception of the Association, no more ink has been spilled than in matters of parking and parking enforcement. Every home in the community was built with a double garage and designated guest parking was designed into the private streets and cul-de-sacs. As parking violations continue to generate a steady stream of enforcement activity, the reasons are many.

Public Streets

For many years, congestion and overflow parking have been evident on our public streets. Enforcement of parking rules on public streets is handled by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. The City Code of Ordinances at Title 12 – Traffic, Section 12.08.030 outlines parking violations on public streets which include:

  • more than 72 hours at the same location
  • inoperable vehicles
  • trailers and non-motorized vehicles
  • vehicles being repaired
  • within 15 feet of a fire hydrant
  • right wheels more than 18 inches from the curb
  • oversized vehicles more than 25 feet long and 7.5 feet wide
  • a vehicle with an expired registration

The Sheriff’s Department will normally issue a warning first and then cite (ticket) the vehicle if the violation has not been remedied three days after being warned. If the violation is not remedied within three days of the citation date, the vehicle is subject to towing. The non-emergency number for the Sheriff’s Department is 949-770-6011. Press 9 for the dispatcher.

Private Streets

In accordance with our HOA Rules Sections III-V, parking restrictions, the operation and repair of vehicles, and enforcement are clearly defined. Patrol Masters, a private security firm, provides daily patrols and enforcement actions to include warning notices and towing on our private streets. Vehicles parked in designated spaces can be Safe Listed for up to 20 days in a 90 day period on the Patrol Masters’ website. Non-listed vehicles parked in a designated space are subject to towing after 72 hours. Contact Patrol Masters at 949-209-6370, 949-209-6371 and 877-648-0602.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and Internal Dispute Resolution

Effective January 2013, Article 5 was added to Chapter 4 of the Davis-Sterling Common Interest Development Act. Article 5 requires alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceeding to be invoked before owners and associations file lawsuits against each other for declaratory or injunctive relief for monetary damages under $5,000. Declaratory relief concerns the rights and responsibilities of parties whereas injunctive relief involves the stopping of certain acts or behaviors by the defendant. Forms of ADR include mediation, negotiation, and binding and non-binding arbitration. Parties to the dispute may also invoke Internal Dispute Resolution measures in which the Association must agree to meet and must follow the guidance contained in the Summary of the Civil Code. See Alternative Dispute Resolution and Internal Dispute Resolution at Governing Documents and Forms.

Property Management

Since 1999, the Board of Directors has engaged TSG to manage the community. Represented by Mr. George Gustave, TSG negotiates and manages multiple contracts for services to include landscaping, common area maintenance, private street maintenance, townhome building maintenance and repair, facilities maintenance, legal representation, and property/liability risk insurance. TSG responds directly to homeowners and residents regarding HOA Rules, vendor services, and maintenance issues, in addition to providing management guidance, administrative and operational support. TSG also collects monthly homeowner association assessments, provides accounting and budgeting statements, manages reserve planning, and ensures compliance with State Law bearing on common interest developments and homeowners’ association governance.

Risk Management

Certificate of Liability

By Law, the Association must acquire insurance to protect the common area property, residential building property, members, the Board, and the management company from liabilities and other common risks. The current Certificate of Liability Insurance is available at Governing Documents and Forms.

Understanding how our Association risk management strategy impacts homeowners and residents is important for personal financial planning. For proof of structural insurance, a copy of the Certificate is normally required when purchasing or refinancing property in the community.

Generally, most risks to structures and common property including exposure to liability are covered under our Certificate of Liability Insurance less earthquake damage. The Certificate protects neither the interior of the home nor personal contents. Although personal property insurance is optional, it’s highly recommended that owners and residents purchase this coverage. Policies commonly known as HO5, HO6, contents, renters, condo, or tenants insurance are designed to cover losses from the walls-in for most hazards and often include liability and additional living expense coverage. Some personal property policies might offer or include coverage for property loss or damage due to earthquakes. Some carriers may offer separate personal property earthquake policies or riders, although this type of coverage might come with a high deductible.

Yea or Nay on Earthquake Insurance

Per the Davis-Sterling Common Interest Development Act, homeowners’ associations are not required to purchase earthquake insurance and our CC&Rs do not address this insurance. In the past, the Association evaluated the addition of seismic damage to our risk management strategy. However, the high deductible and the expensive annual premium for this coverage were considered both unattractive and prohibitive in view of the increased monthly HOA dues that would be required to add this coverage. It should be noted that individual homeowner structural earthquake coverage is generally not available due to insurance industry practices affecting common-interest developments.

Nevertheless, in the event of a damaging earthquake, the Association is obligated to maintain, repair, and rebuild property as necessary to basic grade. Such a scenario might involve construction loans and/or long-term assessments.

Board of Directors Monthly Meetings, Elections, Annual Meeting, and Current Members

Board members are volunteers who serve two-year terms without compensation. Terms are staggered so that Board member seats open for election each year.

Monthly Meetings

Board of Directors meetings are held on the second Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. Prior to Covid-19 restrictions in 2020, in-person meetings were held in the Aegean Heights Homeowners Association Clubhouse at 24726 Daphne East, Mission Viejo, CA 92691. Since March 2020, monthly Board meetings have been hosted on Zoom by our property manager, Mr. George Gustave. Board meetings are open to all homeowners and residents. Meeting ID information is provided in monthly HOA billing statements. Homeowners desiring to address the Board are encouraged to submit a Request to Address the Board form in advance to TSG Independent Property Management Company. Minutes from the most recent Board meetings are posted under Notes and Notifications.

Election Rules for Board of Directors

Effective 1 January 2020, California Senate Bill 323 enacted major revisions to the Davis-Sterling Act regarding HOA election rules. Refinements to the rules governing HOA elections include the right to vote, qualification of nominees, the nomination of directors, and an optional candidates’ forum. For election compliance, TSG has engaged Accurate Voting Services Inc. to administer our election procedures. Two or more Board seats normally expire each year. The election process follows these steps:

  1. A request for Board candidates is mailed to the membership each September. Interested members are invited to submit a Statement of Candidacy (candidate nomination form) to TSG not later than the specified date in November.
  2. A notice of the Annual Meeting date in January and a list of candidates and their Statements is mailed by Accurate Voting to the membership in November.
  3. Thirty days after the above notice is mailed, Accurate Voting sends out a ballot containing specific instructions to each member pursuant to Civil Code Section 5115.
  4. Thirty days after the ballots are mailed, they must be received by Accurate Voting for tabulation before the annual meeting in January. Accurate Voting will publish the last day ballots can be received.

A qualifying requirement for a nominee is that they be a member of the HOA for at least one year. See the Candidate Nomination Form at Governing Documents and Forms.

Annual Meeting of the Membership

The purpose of the Annual Meeting of the Membership, normally scheduled in January, is to report the results of the election, determine if a voter participation quorum has been met, install members of the Board for two-year terms, and elect a Board President. Other Association Business can be made part of the Annual Meeting at the discretion of the Board.

Current Board Members

  • Mr. James Gotses, Interim President (term expires 31 Dec 2021)
  • Mr. Vadim Popov, Secretary (term expires 31 Dec 2022)
  • Mr. Jim Hayes, At Large Member (term expires 31 December 2022)
  • Mr. Curt Rastetter, Treasurer (term expires 31 December 2021)
  • Mr. Jeffrey Spies, At Large Member, nominated by acclamation to fill a vacant seat (term expires 31 Dec 2022)

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