Crested Butte South POA agrees to revote on restrictive covenants – The Crested Butte News

Aim for 90-day deadline, separate questions on backyard hens and contribution cap

[  By Katherine Nettles  ]

The Crested Butte South Property Owner’s Association (POA) determined last week that it would hold a new vote on amendments to its covenants this year after reversing the previous vote held last November. This time around, the POA plans to assign votes based on deeds, remove some irregularities from past practices, and add two voting questions that separate the controversial aspects contained in the proposed reworded clauses. But the board has been adamant that it does not want to reopen the whole process and review the entire multi-year effort of the Covenant Amendment Steering Committee (CASC).

At the February 9 POA meeting, board members decided, after extensive debate and public comment, that they would stick to holding a legally valid vote, but not on the modification of the general content of the current proposals for modification of the clauses. They also agreed that it would be best to hold a re-vote as soon as possible to avoid handing over unfinished business and policymaking to a potentially new group of board members, as several members are coming to the end of their mandate in August 2022.

The POA reversed its vote on the November pledge last month after a group of owners completed a review of voting materials, acknowledging that the review process had raised legitimate issues of misassigned votes and unclear details of commitment changes. The POA’s historic practice of giving two votes to a primary structure with an axillary structure instead of just one per act was based on vague and contradictory language in the bylaws, according to board chairman Andrew Sandstrom, and in some cases more than one vote was cast and counted per household than should have been.

The reformulated covenants also contained an allowance for backyard hens and removed a 10% cap on annual increases in owners’ contributions. None of these items were specifically highlighted on the ballot, and each proved to be cause for controversy.

Sandstrom initially suggested a six-month deadline for conducting a new vote, and suggested “redlining” the new pact proposal, or showing it line by line along with the old version. CHAC Board Member and Committee Member David Neben pointed out that the committee had already tried this approach from the start and found it nearly impossible due to the various changes over the years.

“It would be very expensive and basically unreadable,” he said of hiring a lawyer to create a redline document. “We have already spent two years doing this through a publicly available CASC process,” he noted. Neben suggested a 90-day deadline so as not to leave the process to a council after a possible renewal.

Board member Matt McCombs agreed. “I don’t want us to get sidetracked in reinterpreting the work that’s been done.” He said he thought the work on the key issues and pacts was quite good. “At the end of the day, what we voted on was pretty simple. I don’t think it was unclear; I don’t think that was misleading… I don’t support opening comments on the clauses themselves or the tenants we voted on.

However, there was plenty of public comment throughout the meeting suggesting reopening the process and supporting extensive redlining.

“If you hadn’t been involved in the process for the past three or four years, you wouldn’t have realized that the red line document would be so difficult,” said board member Mary Haskell. .

Maggie Dethloff said she considered the vote allocation to be a very clear black-and-white matter and offered to help based on title deeds. Dethloff also offered to lead or participate in a committee to attempt a redline document and help the POA avoid spending money on legal counsel. The idea was that a lawyer could then review a final version instead of charging for the hundreds of hours it took to create it. Ultimately, after much debate, the council decided that a committee of volunteer citizens creating this document would significantly delay the re-vote.

Different STR hats? Third stories?

Deborah Tutnauer said she thought there were more issues with the vote to consider. “There were many suggestions from the public in the process of moving towards the alliance’s final vote that were ignored,” she said. “And we have the opportunity, although it may be difficult and time consuming, to revisit some things that people are really concerned about,” she said. She specifically mentioned removing the 10% cap on dues and the 90-day cap on short-term rentals (STRs).

“I heard there was a lot of discussion and research…but I can find limited documentation of all that research and discussion and I would really like to see it,” Tutnauer said of the STR cap.

Sandstrom said the minutes of the meetings were not always as complete as they could have been, but said those meetings did in fact take place.

“We don’t do that [re-vote] because people weren’t happy with the results,” said board member Liz Jordan.

Mark Ewing, who has been involved with CASC since its inception, spoke with the Crested Mound News after the committee process meeting. He said 90 days stemmed from the intention to allow STRs for community members as supplemental income, but to prevent it from attracting full-time STR businesses or businesses. “The goal was to build a real community and not allow Crested Butte South to become what became ‘the Crested Butte Hotel,'” he said.

“When people complain now that there was no chance for people to give feedback, I find it incredibly frustrating,” Ewing said. “There were multiple attempts to get everyone involved – there were emails, public meetings from March 2019 through to the vote (21 meetings over three years), public notices and articles in the newspaper. We asked everyone’s opinion and asked more members of the community to volunteer and be part of CASC. We did everything to get people involved and they weren’t. For people to complain now, I feel like they kind of missed the boat,” he concluded.

The new vote also drew several people to the board meeting hoping to add a new element to the amendments to the covenants. A group of attendees advocated bringing back a ballot question from a few years ago allowing three-story buildings in the CB South commercial area that had failed due to insufficient voters.

Tina Kempin spoke on behalf of Gunnison Bank & Trust Company, which owns two lots at Pioneer Plaza in the Commercial District. She supported the placement of residential spaces above commercial spaces using three floors to address the workforce housing crisis. “I think it’s an important option for all of us,” she said.

“It’s very important to us…that the POA is put to a vote, does the community want a commercial zone?” said Rich Saperstein, who aired past grievances about the Pioneer Plaza developments.

Sandstrom agreed there were some exciting opportunities ahead. “The commercial area is our biggest opportunity in Crested Butte South and possibly the north end of the valley,” he said. He spoke of a larger vision that could include an elementary school, affordable housing and more. “I would like to reopen some of these conversations that seem to have stalled.”

Haskell said she thought the proposed clause changes should be dealt with first, and the other board members agreed that they didn’t want to invite more clause changes at this time, but would could work on these projects after the clauses become more streamlined and adaptable. in the future.

Stick to the basics…for now

Several board members said they had never had this kind of attendance at POA meetings – there were more than 40 people present – ​​and that there was hope to keep moving forward. with this new energy.

Through multiple resolutions and a rescinded/reworded resolution, the board ultimately voted unanimously to hold the re-vote; clarify voting allocations based on deed and dish; to add two commitment questions distinguishing between the removal of the 10% contribution ceiling and the authorization of backyard hens; and to update the reworded covenants by clarifying that pre-vote consolidated properties are grandfathered to a 1.5 rated vote.

The board will work with its committees and legal counsel to make changes to the convention proposal and present the new document to the community longer before the vote than last time. The plan is to confirm a new voting date at the March meeting based on proprogress.