What is going on with our roads?
We field this question often and have communicated at the annual meetings and most recently through a newsletter sent in 2016 that repair of the roads is not an issue that the Pine Lake Estates Association can directly affect.
The roads in Pine Lake Estates are not owned by the homeowners or by the Pine Lake Estates Association. They are owned by Oakland County. The Road Commission Oakland County (RCOC) does not pave neighborhood roads through county taxes. The only way our roads will ever be repaired/paved is by a neighborhood initiative through a special assessment payable by homeowners on a particular street being repaved.
Homeowners are responsible for the road on which they live. The Road Commission will patch roads within the 15-year limit that is determined as the useful life of said roads, but beyond that time frame, they have no obligation to patch or repair.
Repair requests, and their associated special assessments, are on a street-by-street basis. Repaving, as initiated by homeowners on a street, is a two-year, multi-step process. Assessments don’t start until after the repaving is complete and are stretched out over ten years. There are also flexible payment options for seniors. If there is any interest in exploring the repaving of the roads, volunteers willing to work on a committee should contact the Board of Directors. We can help direct you to the resources that you need to get the process initiated.
Here is the basic process:
Define the scope and collect signatures.
The first step is to collect at least 51% of homeowners’ signatures who live on the street designated to be paved. This information is submitted to the Road Commission Oakland County, who complete the first step of the procedural request.
The next step is for RCOC to survey the road. At that point, plans and cost estimates are prepared by RCOC. All property owners will be notified, both in writing and through a public meeting, of the planned improvements, estimated costs, and tentative assessments. This information will be provided PRIOR to any formal commitment by property owners.
Obtaining of final approval of homeowners.
The final step is obtaining approval of owners of properties representing more than 51% of the lineal footage along the road. With that completed, repaved would be scheduled.
Dee Chandler strove to accomplish repaving of Iverness in 2011. Patti Beaujon engineered the repaving of Tyrconnel Trail several years earlier. Both are knowledgeable about this subject.
D’Alice Drive & northwest Iverness Circle was repaved about 2000. More recently, Westover Court was repaved in 2012. Most recently, Iverness Lane is approaching the third stage of the process laid out above, but nothing is yet formally approved. Westover is also midway through the process. If there is any interest in exploring the repaving of your street, volunteers willing to work on a committee should contact the board at email@example.com.
Why is hard copy correspondence with notifications or discussing issues not mailed more often?
Unfortunately, it costs a lot of money to mail notifications regularly. With postage at $0.55, plus production and printing, it would cost the community over $300 each time we sent out a newsletter via US Mail. Unfortunately, since we currently pay less than half of the average of other homeowner’s association fees in our area, we do not have extra money by which to send regular (e.g. monthly) transmissions. Electronic mail keeps our costs in check given our very low dues. E-mail access is free to all users. Additionally, transmissions will be communicated on our new website (under construction) going forward, which is also available to everyone – not just residents – for no cost to the viewer or the association.
Furthermore, as of 2019, annual meeting notification and dues invoices are being combined by PLEA and PLEBA to save money for all in the neighborhood.
If we could find more regular volunteers and funds for printing, we would love the opportunity to distribute printed materials by hand to each resident’s door.
Who are on the Boards of Directors for our two associations and what is their responsibilities?
The PLEA Board (Homeowners Association) is made up of 9 fellow residents who have given up their free time to assist in making and keeping our community running well and looking beautiful for all of the residents. The PLEBA Board (Beach Association) is made up of an indeterminate number of contributors and works hard to beautify and keep running our beautiful beach. We all have full-time jobs, families, and our own homesteads to attend to on top of offering to assist the broader community. Being on the Board is a volunteer position, and often a thankless one. We are barked at for not doing enough to help the community or criticized for not doing it the way someone else in the community thinks it should be done. The same people who criticize generally do not constructively offer to help in any capacity. We are all equal partners in our community. All 280 households should participate in making our community great, and many of the long-term residents have dedicated significant time to one or both of the associations in the past. The Boards of Directors take it upon themselves to analyze, research, and hold accountable contractors who do work to keep our community running. We monitor mailboxes, sprinkler systems, lights and landscaping – and often fix things ourselves. We hire and manage lifeguards at the beach. We conduct clean-up efforts for the entire neighborhood. We manage the dues coming in and try our best to get all needed recurring and improvement work done within the limited budgets that we are afforded.
We are not criminal investigators, punitive enforcers or servants. We are taking on a larger role to help everyone. Beyond the elected board members, there are PLENTY of opportunities to serve our community on efforts such as social event planning, light maintenance, landscaping/beautification, the welcoming of new residents to our community, and representation of issues like road repair with Oakland County. Should you desire to offer assistance, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why are there two separate associations – PLEA and PLEBA? Why do I have to pay dues separately?
The Pine Lake Estates Association does not cover issues that occur at the beach. We, as residents, are all part of a separate association called the Pine Lake Estates Beach Association, or “PLEBA,” which attends to the maintenance, operation, safety and beauty of our wonderful, private beach. The setup does not allow for the two to operate as one and funds are handled separately for each association’s responsibilities, hence the two separate, mandatory dues payments.
My neighbor’s dog is barking too loud at night. My neighbor has too much junk on their lawn. What can be done about it?
Talk to your neighbor! We are a community. Bringing issues about discomfort to the Board of Directors is just passing the responsibility to another neighbor who may not be affected or fully familiar with the situation. We encourage you to interact with your neighbors to resolve issues.
As a general rule, if you believe that your neighbor is violating the rules and regulations of Pine Lake Estates and you do not feel comfortable approaching them about remedying the situation, please do contact us at email@example.com.
If you believe that your neighbor is violating municipal laws and you do not feel comfortable approaching them about remedying the situation, please contact the police or code enforcement divisions of West Bloomfield Township.