Dear Editor:

I write as a disgruntled, ex-board member of the PLPOA. I am beginning to hear from enough others who I believe see the need for a big change at the PLPOA front office, that it seems to me timely to begin to surface the issues more openly.

The basic issue, and really the core matter, is the new rules adopted during the last year which have undertaken in the authority of the declarations to substantially expand the control of the front office over your property. It started with gravel under all parked vehicles not on pavement or driveways regardless of the size and type of lot you have. It is not how many cars, trucks and campers you have so long as it is “tidy” underneath them. The new rules include landscaping for the first time. Anecdotally, noxious weed removal on the lot next door is now a type of “landscaping.” You must now comply with ECC approvals of landscaping plans as well as the color of your roof, etc. Did you get permission to plant those trees yet? This summer we all got a note from the GM to “tidy up” our yards and drives because that affects property values. I wonder if the wild grass and weeds in the “yard” across the street from me is an approved landscape even though untidy.

All of this is claimed to derive from and have the authority of the Master Declarations which, in fact, do not speak directly to any of these issues, but which have been used to empower a number of new and noxious rules. I am sure all of you have gone to the website to download this enormous document and read all of the new language. When I quit the board several months ago in disgust over the way the GM was controlling the board and its meetings, and his attempts to “Aspenize” the Lakes, the current board was happy to see me go. If you want to hear the board discuss matters, be sure to go to the “working meeting” the week before the mandated board meeting where discussion and debate are not encouraged.

I am likely to still be in a minority of property owners on these issues, but I don’t think for long as more tickets are issued and more permits required where common sense once ruled. I don’t suggest face-to-face meetings, though, unless you are willing to tolerate someone who has trouble controlling his temper.

Tom Cruse

This story was posted on August 1, 2013.