Meeting Minutes — 4/26/2017
On Wednesday, April 26, 2017, Steve Stearns, President of the Board of Trustees called the meeting to order at 6:30 PM. Other Trustees present included Jason Mitchell, Vice President, and Nicole Cote, Trustee. Present from North Point Property Management, LLC. was Lisa Benoit. Present from Perkins & Anctil, PC. was Attorney Scott Eriksen.
There were 31 people who attended the meeting, 27 were Unit Owners and 4 were Non-Owner Residents, representing 19.2085% of Ownership Percentage of Liberty Commons Condominium Trust.
- Meetings are facilitated by the Board of Trustees
- Be respectful
- One person speaks at a time; no side conversations
- Only legal Unit Owners may participate (and attend)
- No video or audio recording of the meeting
Special Topic: Grills at Liberty Commons
The Board outlined their due diligence and the implications of 10.11.6 Appliances – Cooking of 527 CMR 1.00, conducting research and multiple inquiries with the City of Leominster Fire Department, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), our insurance agent/carrier, and our legal counsel. As background, there are only about 30% of Units that currently have grills on the property some are in poorly maintained condition. Since the Board became aware of 527 CMR 1.00, the Board has been proactive in moving to compliance. 527 CMR 1.00, The Massachusetts Comprehensive Fire Safety Code, prohibits all grills (including electric) within 10-foot radius in all directions from any combustible material or structure. This is the law and Liberty Commons must comply and ban grills due to site constraints and limitations that exist.
Attorney Eriksen discussed that the national fire regulations are incorporated into 527 CMR 1.00 and confirmed that the Association and all Unit Owners and Non-Owner Residents must comply with the fire code and laws. Compliance is not a personal choice and cannot be waived or ignored.
Of the 31-people present, only 10± individuals spoke regarding grills, in varying levels of frustration, understanding, and/or a few with constructive ideas.
A question was raised about the possibility of establishing one or more community grilling areas. The Board was open to the idea, if a suitable and safe area could be identified and there were no objections from any nearby Units. Attorney Eriksen further clarified that the use of the Common Areas could not be repurposed or changed without more than 50% of the Ownership Percentage voting in affirmation. He further explained that if more than 50%, but less than 75% voted in affirmation, then those Units would have to solely bear all of the initial and ongoing expenses associated. If more than 75% affirmed community grilling, then the Association would bear the expenses.
A Unit Owner questioned why the Leominster Fire Department was not in attendance at the meeting. The Board explained that due diligence was performed including consulting the Leominster Fire Department and that they were not necessary, as they do not have any authority in the governance of Liberty Commons. Attorney Eriksen confirmed that due diligence was performed and that he has had experience with other condominium associations that have banned grills due to the law and other motivations.
- The Board asked Unit Owners and Non-Owner Residents to refrain from all interactions with all of Liberty Commons’ contractors, as interactions has caused significant impacts and has the real potential for significant increases in costs to Unit Owners.
- Some contractors do not want to work at Liberty Commons due to a few Unit Owners and Non-Owner Residents inappropriate behavior and language.
Snow Removal Procedures
- The Board reminded everyone that guest vehicles are not allowed on the property when snow or winter weather is predicted, when snow or other precipitation is falling, and until final cleanup has been completed.
- More Unit Owners and Non-Owner Residents opted-in for text message, which may have been a contributing factor to fewer fines needing to be assessed for impeding snow removal efforts.
- There are no “safe zones” where vehicles may be parked and left during the winter weather events. All vehicles must be moved when snow removal is occurring, and not at individual convenience.
- Preventative measures have taken to minimize impacts from potential ice dams including clearing of loose snow or ice off of the roofs from the ground and from the roofs using the permanent roof anchors by repelling down or securing themselves on ladders.
- Tree removal after high winds brought down a tree limb onto the deck that has direct access from Unit 179 over Unit 177.
- No structural damage to the Units nor deck was observed or reported. The deck railings were restored within days.
- Two 80-foot pine trees were removed from property to mitigate risks and liabilities.
- Unit Owners and Non-Owner Resident need to abide dumpster rules and are not to put anything prohibited into dumpsters. Please consult the Rules and Regulations, and if there are still questions, contact our Property Specialists at North Point.
Sewer Pump Station
- Sewer Pump Station maintenance has drastically increased due prohibited items being disposed of through toilets and drains. The Board reminded Unit Owners and Non-Owner Residents to please refer to the Rules and Regulations for a list of prohibited items.
- Ground Improvement Initiative was not completed last year. Building 6 and Building 5, are being scheduled to be completed.
- Tree removal from the front of Buildings 9, Building 8, Building 7, Building 6, Building 5, Building 1, and Building 2 is being scheduled.
- Liberty Commons Condominium Trust is in the process of receiving claim checks from a master insurance policy claim for damages sustained during the winter of 2014-2015. Rain gutter and downspout repairs have been defined and reviewed with the contractor and repairs are being scheduled.
- Pavement contactors, curb damage and a sinking section of pavement are to be fixed, and restriping of lines throughout the property is being considered.
- Other perimeter trees are being considered to be taken down to reduce liabilities. The Board waiting for quotes from the contractor.
- Another set of mailboxes may be authorized for replacement, dependent upon budget for either Building 8, Building 9, and Building 10.
- The Board are assessing the potential to pressure wash and stain decks, deck stairs, deck stair landing, railings and stiles. The Board of Trustees inquired when Unit Owners would like to schedule this work, if the budget permits, and the answer was in the Fall.
Unit Owner Forum
- Status of Verizon FiOS. All copper landlines will be removed in Leominster at some point in the future. Verizon will be getting back to the Board with a proposal and initial design. The Board does not want conduits running on the outside of the buildings, therefore proposed having our general contractors remove siding and open up walls to facilitate runs to the attics and then down into mechanical rooms. This will provide options for Unit Owners to select from Comcast/Xfinity or Verizon for service for telephone, Internet, and cable TV.
There being no further business, the Board unanimously agreed to adjourn the meeting.
The meeting adjourned at 8:38 PM.