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Open Letter to Members and Residents

To the Members and Residents of the Wilderness Rim Association,

The Board of Trustees is writing this letter to update you on a couple items related to the management of our Association, the volunteer run Board of Trustees, and the various committees associated with the Board of Trustees.  As you likely are aware, the WRA HOA is self-managed by a volunteer group of 11 trustees, 4 of which hold the 4 officer positions.

The current board is operating with too few volunteers for the amount of work we are hoping to accomplish.  The Board of Trustees (BOT) currently has 2 un-filled seats (which could be filled immediately with volunteers that meet the requirements, according to the HOA bylaws).  Additionally, we are lacking committee chairs for the park committee and the communications committee, and very much need regular contributors to all committees.  Without adequate committee participation, the workload falls to individual trustees or committee members, which is leading to the imminent burnout of some of those members.

Without immediate change, the board is likely to see resignations of trustees, which would likely create difficulty completing basic day-to-day operations of the HOA, including: paying of bills, performing required financial reporting and auditing, preparing the upcoming annual budget, preparing for the upcoming annual meeting, writing articles for the newsletters, submitting water test reports to the Department of Health, ensuring water leaks are fixed, etc.

The board is currently exploring two avenues to address these concerns.

The first, and the main reason for this letter to you, is to try to recruit willing and able volunteers to help run the business of the HOA, either as a trustee or as a committee member.  We are looking for professionals that can maintain a businesslike attitude, and tactfully navigate the environment of running a business that involves friends and neighbors as stakeholders.  We also need these volunteers to have the time available in their lives to commit to attending 1-2 meetings per month, as well as helping out with tasks throughout the week.  As a benefit, the volunteers will be rewarded with valuable experience that can be put on your resume, as well as serving and getting to know your community on a deeper level.

The second option being explored by the BOT, is researching and seeking proposals from professional, 3rd party HOA management companies, that would take over a majority of day-to-day tasks involved with running our HOA.  We have solicited 4 initial proposals so far and have also met in-person with 3 of these companies.  We will be sending out a formal RFP to these companies in the coming weeks.  If the board elects to move to contract with one of these outside companies, this would likely happen early in the next fiscal year, which starts on 7/1/18.  This would very likely impact the annual HOA dues to all members but would also reduce the number of hours required by volunteers on the BOT, as well as likely improve the service level to all members related to various aspects of interacting with the business and community functions of the WRA.

To be clear, the current board does not believe that the status quo is a viable option, and we either need more volunteer manpower and/or we need to move forward in transitioning our self-managed BOT to a 3rd party management partner.   Please consider whether you have the skillset and time to volunteer.  We do understand that volunteering isn’t for everyone, but either way, we do want to hear your thoughts on the topics outlined above.  We are asking for you to please send your thoughts to the WRA BOT via email, to: trustees@wildernessrim.org or via snail mail to: Wilderness Rim Association PO Box 315, North Bend, WA 98045.  Please do not reply to this letter via social media, in-person discussion at the WRA Office, or telephone, as we wish to keep track of all feedback, and we want to ensure we all hear what you have to say.

Thank you,

Your WRA Board of Trustees

Chipping Spots Still Available

It’s not too late to get on the list for free branch chipping through the Firewise program.  Chipping is scheduled for Saturday, April 21, 2018.  Please call the WRA Office at 425.888.0087 or email Firewise@WildernessRim.org with your lot number and contact information.  Chipping is done on a first come-first serve basis.

Notice of King County Utility Rate Increase

On November 7, 2016, the King County Council passed Ordinance 18403, by a vote of 7 to 2 (Mr. Von Reichbauer and Mr. Dunn dissenting), creating New Section 6.27.080 of King County Code. This new code section requires franchise utilities,    consisting of electric, gas, water, and sewer, to pay a fee to the County in return for the right to use their right of way. The King County Facilities Management Division is currently creating administrative rules to implement the Ordinance.

More information, including the draft rule and a comment form can be found at the following website:

http://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/facilities-management/real-estate-services/public-rule-proposal.aspx 

The WRA WUC recommends contacting members of the King County Council to share your thoughts about this new fee.  Councilmember Kathy Lambert is the District 3 representative encompassing Wilderness Rim and surrounding communities. Councilmember Lambert can be contacted via email at kathy.lambert@kingcounty.gov  or by phone at (206) 477-1003.  The deadline for comments is 5:00 PM, December 7, 2017.

If the current proposed fees are implemented, it will increase every utility bill you receive by $5.00 (minimum) to $???? per month.

Being a Good Neighbor

Recent nice weather has led to an increase in member complaints. Nearly all could have been resolved by members following Rim Restrictive Covenants and Architectural Guidelines, King County Ordinances, or by talking to their neighbors and working with them to resolve the issues. Issues included:

  • Dogs Barking and Off Leash. Dogs and children have recently been hurt or harassed by dogs off leash in neighborhoods or in the park or greenbelt. Dogs must be on-leash at all times in Wilderness Rim. Members have also been disturbed by loud barking dogs. If your dog is a barker, keep them inside or get a barking collar from a pet store. The Board does not have the power to intervene. Dealing with barking and off-leash dogs is a legal action handled by King County. If you cannot get your neighbor to quiet their dog, please contact King County at http://kingcounty.gov/safety/regionalAnimalServices/~/media/safety/regionalAnimalServices/documents/AnimalComplaints.ashx.
  • Bright Lights on Houses. Several members raised concerns about very bright house lights that light up the neighborhood and make it difficult for nearby neighbors to sleep at nights or enjoy the stars. According to Architectural Review Guideline 8.9.1. Lighting. “Outdoor lighting shall not be intrusive on neighboring properties or roads.” If you have a bright light, consider a lower wattage bulb, a smaller, less intrusive light fixture, or a security light. Also, consider turning off the light when you go to bed at night.
  • RVs and Camping Trailers. RVs and large trailers have popped up everywhere. Although great for camping, they are now taking up space on roads and some are being used for long-term living in the Rim through hook-ups to septic and propane tanks. Restrictive Covenant 7 prohibits the use of a trailer or RV as a residence either temporarily or permanently.

Bottom line – Treat others as you would like to be treated!

2017 Annual Meeting: Board of Trustees Requests Nominations and Pro and Con Statements

The Board of Trustees of Wilderness Rim Association request nominations for positions on the Board of Trustees, Architectural Review Committee (ARC), and Advisory Committee. The Board is also asking for pro and con statements for proposed ballot approvals and bylaw amendments.

If you are interested in serving on the Board of Trustees, ARC, or Advisory Committee, please submit your name and a short statement (a paragraph or two) as to why you want to be on the Board, ARC, or Advisory Committee. If you would like to write a pro or con statement, limit it to a few paragraphs. Submit your name and statement of qualifications, or pro/con statement, by email to office@wildernessrim.org, by mail (WRA, PO Box 315, North Bend, WA 98045), or hand deliver to the office drop box behind the Cascade Park Chalet. Nominations and statements must be received by the Office by August 11, 2017. This information will be included in the ballot information provided to the members later in August.

The duties of the Board of Trustees are to ensure that our common resources are managed in compliance with all the applicable laws, such as the Revised Code of Washington, and in the best interests of the membership. The number of Trustees who shall manage the business affairs of the Association is 11. Two trustees are currently serving three-year terms, thus nine positions are open.

The Architectural Review Committee, also known as the Architectural Control Committee, is responsible for assuring the compliance of Association members and Wilderness Rim residents with the Wilderness Rim Restrictive or Protective Covenants as applied to members’ lots; maintaining records of construction and improvement plans; drafting or amending Architectural Guidelines, which then must be approved by the membership; and educating the membership about the Architectural Guidelines. Members serve for one year, and the Committee shall be composed of at least three, but not more than six members.

The Advisory Committee is responsible for advising the Board of Trustees about current issues that may be subject to the Association’s governing documents and continuing resolutions. The committee shall be composed of at least two but not more than five members. To be a member of the committee, you must have completed a minimum of three years on the Board of Trustees and have served as an officer for at least one of those years.

 

 

Water Rates to Increase

Wilderness Rim Association (WRA) purchases its water from Sallal Water Association (Sallal). In 2016, WRA paid Sallal about $11,125 per month for water. Sallal recently notified the WRA Board of Trustees (Board) that Sallal was increasing the monthly fee to $13,855 per month, or nearly 25%. Sallal stated that the increase reflects rising costs since the last rate update in 2011, as well as a one-time adjustment for the cost of hiring a new field operator. On January 18, the Board met and passed a motion to increase the Base water rate from $36 to $44.82 beginning at the end of March to cover the cost of the wholesale water rate increase. The Base rate covers water usage from 0 to 200 cubic feet per billing period, which means that all residents will pay the increased fee, regardless of total water use. The fees for water use above this rate will remain the same. For water rates, see “WRA Water Rate and Fee Schedules” at https://wildernessrim.org/legal.

2014 Holiday Light Contest Winners

Over 200 homes had lights on them this year!  Thank you to everyone who shared some cheer this season with their neighbors, and thank you to our sponsors:

boxleys-logo-wb_blackletters

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eleven adults and nine kids helped judge the winners based on curb appeal, use of color, content, and volume of lights.  The competition was fierce, but here are the homes that won gift certificates to Boxleys or Ace (and the grand prize winner gets to ride in the fire truck next week!):

1st Place:   17007 426th Ave SE

17007 426th Ave

2nd Place:  17403 SE Cedar Falls Rd

17403 S E Cedar Falls Rd

3rd Place:  17436 426th Ave SE

17436 426th

4th Place:  17404 426th Ave SE

17404 426th

Also honorable mentions:

16827 426 Ave 43305 432nd 42805 se 170th pl 17014 427th 17320 426th 42406 S E 169th 42766 Se 173rd pl 42921 175th17335 428th ave se 17212 428thpl se 17004 426th

 

 

If you haven’t already, take a drive around the Rim to see the excellent displays before Christmas!