PRESIDENT INTRODUCTION, BJ Oneal –
The annual meeting was called to order at 7:05 PM BY Zoom by BJ Oneal RIGHT ON TIME given the great news of achieving a quorum by 7:00PM. Thank you very much to everyone who voted and encouraged your neighbors to do so! In my opinion, reducing the quorum in the bylaws last year from 50% to 40% made a significant difference here. Having directed the annual meeting for the past many years it is typically the last 10% of votes that are the most difficult to get (e.g., last year the meeting couldn’t start until about 8:15PM due to the need to gather votes to get a quorum).
I would first like to take this time to thank the board and community for allowing me to serve with a group of great people for the past six years. I have enjoyed my time serving on the board, first as the grounds chair, then as the secretary and legal affairs chair, then vice president/compliance chair, and most recently filling in as the president once Jeff Gough moved out of the neighborhood this past summer. I have tried hard to represent the community well, have assisted in various thorny compliance issues, worked with our website expert to design an online voting module during COVID times, have worked with the pool board to navigate a variety of interesting and challenging issues, and have been readily available to talk with neighbors who call and have questions and concerns. During the time serving as president for the past many months I have learned that it is quite easy to lead this group of board members as they are all quite proficient and thoughtful neighbors. Being a volunteer board member certainly comes with pros and cons, but I am very grateful for the time serving on the board for the past two terms.
I’d like to share a quick bit of information about this annual meeting: There are a total of four board positions open, three 3-year positions, and one 1-year position. Like we have done in the past, the candidate with the lowest number of votes will fill the 1-year position. In terms of the online voting, which was exactly the same as it was last year, there were very few neighbors who had website difficulty (e.g., I personally had three calls and believe that Cheryl, our administrative manager, had three calls) and overall, the voting seemed to go smoother than it did last year. I would also like to note that all ballots that came in by paper mail and online were valid and accurate. In other words, EVERY vote counted. As of 7PM on 01/19/22, here is the breakdown of votes:
- 39 neighbors voted by mail
- 231 neighbors voted by website
- Total Number of IA residents voting = 270
- To achieve a quorum, we needed a total of 216 votes (538 properties x 40% = 216) and fortunately exceeded that amount this year
ANNUAL MEETING PROCESS
There was a total of 50 IA residents on the Zoom call including 9 board members.
Board members present: BJ Oneal, Maggie Taber, Mary Ruhlman, Bruce Vincent, Jason Barth, Omar Nur, and Steve Johnston, and Cindy Esselman. Dave Fosmire joined the Zoom call toward the end of the meeting.
BJ made a motion to approve the 2021 Annual Meeting Minutes, which was seconded and passed unanimously.
BJ made a motion for one-to-two executive sessions with the new board to review acting compliance matters. That motion was seconded and unanimously approved.
BJ called for any nominations from the floor and there were none.
All five candidates, Judy Allen, Jason Barth, Cynthia Esselman, Jennifer Mace, and Omar Nur gave brief statements and the community had an opportunity to ask questions of the candidates.
BJ, Maggie, and Jason (Treasurer) briefly discussed the other issues on the ballot (i.e., Activities board member, 2022 budget, and 2022 dues). After that, the community was asked to cast any lingering votes at that point. Then BJ and Stacey Pedersen (IA resident and volunteer for the Annual Meeting voting process) went to review all votes and current board members provided their respective reports as such:
COMPLIANCE COMMITTEE, Bruce Vincent, Acting Chair –
- For the first half of 2021 IAC Board VP, BJ Oneal, performed the duties of Compliance Committee Chair. Upon Jeff Gough’s resignation from the Board, BJ Oneal was appointed to President in July and Bruce Vincent agreed to fill in Acting Compliance Committee Chair, with the understanding that all Board Members would now assist with sharing the workload.
- As of January 2022, there are 13 petitioned (CRF) properties with unresolved compliance issues.
- Properties with long outstanding compliance issues are now ranked on a FIFO basis (First In, First Out), therefore the oldest are now first on the list and given the highest priority.
- Members of the Compliance Committee and IAC Counsel are continuing to focus on gaining compliance on all properties that the board has received a Compliance Request Form (CRF) of merit on. The Committee greatly appreciates the efforts of all members that are voluntarily, continually working with their neighbors, and keeping all the vegetation on their properties from blocking any views of the sound and mountains.
TREASURER REPORT, Jason Barth –
Both 2022 Budget and dues of $735 annually were approved and ratified by the members of Innis Arden. Will be transitioning the treasurer role to new board member Jennifer Mace next month.
BUILDING AND REMODEL, Cindy Esselman –
In 2021 rebounded from a slowdown in 2020 with the approval of eleven remodel projects.
There has also been an increase in Solar Panel submittals, with five neighborhood approvals in 2021. In response to the continued increase in solar panel submittals, the Board developed a solar panel policy. The policy is not a change to what the neighborhood has approved in the past but clarifies what the parameters are in alignment with the Washington State regulations .Currently, there are three major rebuilds under construction in the neighborhood with two additional projects scheduled to begin this spring. We look forward to 2022 and thank the neighborhood in advance for working with your neighbors in reviewing upcoming proposed projects.
CLUBHOUSE, Mary Ruhlman –
I have enjoyed the last year working with the board and representing our neighborhood as the Clubhouse Chair. Due to the Pandemic, this has not been a particularly busy year. I’ve appreciated working with Cheryl Malone who handles our rental calendar and contracts, among other things. Thanks to Judy Allen for doing some kitchen counter calking! We have had some issues with the refrigerator, and it will be replaced in 2022.
We have very few scheduled rentals in the beginning of 2022 but look forward to a more active summer at the clubhouse!
GROUNDS, Bruce Vincent –
- AS Landscaping will continue to provide excellent quality weekly landscape maintenance services on the IAC Grounds. They have also focused efforts on removing invasive plants and brush in the NW corner and overall trimming up of limbs and vegetation to improve visibility/security for all grounds users.
- Northern Waters is the primary irrigation contractor. They are now maintaining and improving the irrigation systems along with annual start-up and shutdown. They will also be performing all back-flow device testing and maintenance.
- Ballard Tree Service will continue to perform annual maintenance trimming and pruning of the trees that AS Landscaping cannot reach.
- Weekly maintenance also by AS Landscaping this season along with additional trimming for security visibility.
- Ballard Tree Service will continue to perform annual maintenance trimming and pruning of the trees that AS Landscaping cannot reach.
Grounds Capital Improvements:
- NE Wood Crib Retaining Wall Replacement: Aspect Consulting performed and issued a Geotechnical report in June. Evaluations of two options (MSE type retaining wall or simply permanent sloping) are still pending action.
- Parking Lot Railing Repairs or Replacement: -No update-
ROW, Bruce Vincent –
- Only one ROW permit was signed off in 2021 after 6 replacement trees were allowed to be planted at an alternate location. No other ROW tree permitting, or work, is scheduled or pending to-date.
- Walking Safety & Landscaping Trimming Reminder: Since IA does not have sidewalks, we are encouraging all property owners to trim back vegetation on the street side of their properties to ground level, at least 3 to 4 feet from the edge of the paved roadway. This will help provide a safe location for pedestrians to step out of the way of on-coming traffic. Thank you to all property owners that have done so and continue to do so!
SECURITY, Bruce Vincent –
2021 Trial Program for Off-Duty Shoreline Police/KCSO Deputy Officers Patrolling IA & 2022 Program
- This trial program started on June 15th, 2021. In December the Board voted to continue the program for the year of 2022.
- A total of 20 hours of Deputy time (w/vehicle) per month, on random days and hours, is budgeted for 2022.
IA Clubhouse and Grounds
- Clubhouse grounds will continue to be patrolled by our off-duty officers to deter after hours use and vandalism.
City of Shoreline IA Reserves Park
- North Entrance (15thAve NW) The installation of a new streetlight to illuminate the ROW at the north entrance is still pending City of Shoreline action.
Please continue to report activities to the Shoreline Police (KCSO) using these Guidelines:
- If it is an emergency CALL 911
- If it is not an emergency, you can call 911 and tell them “It’s not an emergency” and you will be routed to a Non-Emergency “Call Receiver”.
- Alternately, you can call the KCSO Non-Emergency phone at 206-296-3311and you will also be routed to a Non-Emergency “Call Receiver”.
- A “Call Receiver” will ask you many questions to triage the call. When they ask “Do you want contact?”, always answer “Yes”, if you want an officer to respond onsite. If you answer “No”, an officer/s will not be dispatched.
- Please tell the “Call Receiver” you “Saw this ______, and I’m willing to assist with being a witness for prosecution.”
- Photos should be submitted online to the KCSO. The photos need to easily and clearly identify a suspect and/or vehicle. Do not post these photos on Next-door.
NATURAL RESERVES, Steve Johnston –
Natural Reserves End-of-Year Summary for 2021
It has been an honor and a privilege to serve on the Board for the past 8 years.
As a community we own approximately 45 acres of private forested land. Our goals for managing these Reserves include:
- Maintaining Wildlife Habit and Forest Health
- Providing for Safe Recreation
- Managing Efficiently and Cost-Effectively
- Protecting Sound and Mountain Views
I’ll review Reserve management for last year and the coming year in terms of these goals.
First Goal: Maintaining Wildlife Habitat and Forest Health
The Club takes habitat maintenance and forest health very seriously. This is a core stewardship responsibility which involves increasing native plant diversity, installing plants suitable for the changing climate, and invasive plant monitoring and control. We invest about half of the annual Natural Reserve budget in invasive plant control and voluntarily tree planting. Many restoration areas are easily viewable from the trails in Blue Heron and Eagle Reserve, and newly planted trees may be seen throughout the Reserves. Over the past 5 years we have removed Himalayan blackberry, English ivy and other invasive species, and replanted over 1000 native trees and 750 native shrubs and plants in areas that had suffered tree canopy loss due to aging trees, creek bed erosion, and drought-induced stress or disease. Typical replacement trees are small and medium-sized natives such as Shore Pine, Vine Maple, Pacific Crabapple, Cascara, Pacific Wax Myrtle and Black Hawthorne – all of which are excellent for birds. In 2022, as more areas are cleared of invasive plant infestations, additional native trees will be planted.
Second Goal: Providing for Safe Recreation
Trails, Bridges, handrails and steps
Maintaining the trail system, with its graveled paths, handrails, steps and bridges, is another core stewardship activity. Over the past couple of years our forest trails have benefited many residents during the pandemic restrictions. Last year we added more steps and handrails, replaced the pedestrian gate lock mechanism at Boeing Creek and installed a small pedestrian bridge to make the beach more accessible at the end of the tunnel at Boeing Creek. Severe stream erosion in Eagle reserve destroyed the middle pedestrian bridge crossing Storm Creek last winter. We rebuilt the bridge further west in January and February and built a new trail connection to the original trail, complete with handrails and steps. We also reconstructed the maintenance trail west of the concrete bridge at the west end of Blue Heron Reserve, adding handrails, new steps, and plantings.
Fire Threat and Prevention
The threat of forest fire in forests west of the Cascades is becoming increasingly higher. Drier, hotter than normal conditions over the last several years have dramatically increased this threat. Two fires in the City of Shoreline-owned Innis Arden Reserve Park near the encampments were fortunately put out in late summer by the SFD. Additionally, illegal campfires were left smoldering in upper Grouse Reserve and were put out by IA residents. We are working to have the DNR do a professional fire hazard assessment of the Reserves in 2022, and then to act based on the results. We were unable to get them onsite last year.
Two known attempts to establish encampments in the Blue Heron Reserve were thwarted in April 2021 thanks to quick action on the part of alert club members. We don’t think BJ was involved in these attempts 😉 There is an encampment above the railroad tracks in the middle of City-owned Innis Arden Reserve Park where the Fire Department put out a fire in late August. In April, at our Club Counsel’s advice, newer private property signs emphasizing that the reserves close at sunset, and reminding folks that the Reserves are a Wildlife Area, were placed at Reserve entrances. The signs also emphasize that dogs must be leashed, and that dog waste should not be left on the trail even “temporarily”.
Patrols and Vandalism
Partying and vandalism in the Boeing Creek reserve was significantly lower in 2021 than in previous years, perhaps due to increased patrolling by after-hours SPD. Upper Grouse reserve, however, seems to have become a popular drinking and party site this past summer. We trimmed brush between the trail and the area in question to provide better visibility, and Adrian’s crew periodically picks up empty beer bottles and other trash from this area and other parts of the Reserves. Several trees and a bridge in Eagle Reserve were defaced with graffiti.
Hazardous Tree Removals
Approximately 25 diseased or dead trees threatening the trails or private property were removed and replaced with site-appropriate lower growing trees such as Shore Pine during 2021, mostly in Blue Heron. In some cases, the removals incidentally improved sound and mountain views for residents. All removals were approved by the City Planning Department. An additional 9 hazardous tree forms have recently been submitted to the City all of them in West Blue Heron. The City has recently signed off on the 5 year “Hosey Mitigation” project (for illegal cutting) in Blue Heron with its annual inspections. The performance bond has been released.
Storm Creek Project
Severe erosion at the far west end of Storm Creek in Eagle Reserve has led to unsafe and unstable hillside conditions and threatens adjacent Innis Arden properties and the road surface along 17th Ave which just happens to contain a Ronald Sewer District sewer pipe. After several years of effort and expense our Club Attorney and Board were successful in obtaining a funded City project to deal with the erosion. The project will include tight-lining the stream from the road to a conveyance near the beach and backfilling the eroded land area with boulders and crushed rock. The City is now finalizing its agreement with a specialist contractor and expects the work to be completed by the end of 2023.
Third Goal: Efficient Cost-Effective Management
The year-end Natural Reserve expenses came to about $118,348 about 3% above the $115,000 budget. This can be attributed to costs associated with the new bridge in Eagle Reserve and I believe should be charged against the asset Reserve. A combination of volunteer effort and excellent project work from our native plant/invasive control contractor (Garden Cycles, LLC) and excellent trail maintenance from (A.S. Landscaping) has allowed us to make continued improvements to the Reserves within the constraints of our budget
Finally: Protecting Sound and Mountain Views
At the founding of Innis Arden in 1940 the Reserves had been freshly logged by the Puget Mill Company. Since then, hundreds of Reserve trees have grown up, unmanaged, into our residential view corridors and increasingly block views from hundreds of properties. There is a long line of property owners who have asked the Board for help to save or recover their Sound and mountain views. Unfortunately, most Reserve trees are in City designated “stream buffer” or “steep slope” critical areas. They cannot feasibly be removed and replaced with more appropriate lower growing native species under current City ordinances and under the constraint of limited Club finances (and lack of expertise on our volunteer board). Individuals and groups of property owners in the past, however, have self-funded view recovery projects to replace trees of concern to them in Grouse and Bear Reserve with the Board’s approval, monitoring and oversight
We continue efforts to attempt to work with the City towards a Vegetation Management Plan (VMP) that would recognize the Reserves as forested land rather than a residential lot. It would allow the Club to potentially operate a 10- or 20-year program using “best practices” to gradually and systematically replace view blocking canopy with lower growing native trees while preserving and enhancing the natural character and functionality of the Reserves (excluding Boeing Creek Reserve). We have demonstrated over the past 5 or 10 years that we are responsible stewards of our private reserves, yet as Rodney Dangerfield, who some of you might remember, once said “We don’t get no respect”.
A proposal currently working its way through the City ordinance process will make tree management on private property even more onerous. It is not based on science. It’s based on political pressure. We urge concerned residents to get involved with the City Planning Commission and Council. Please get informed, make calls, send emails, and go to meetings. Despite our 1000+ voting residents and 538 taxable properties we have almost zero positive visibility at City Hall.
ACTIVITIES, Maggie Taber –
Greetings all, with a special welcome to all of you who are new to the neighborhood.
COVID has made it difficult for all of us to gather and enjoy our usual events.
The Activities Committee annual report will be different this year. Declining community participation in the Activities Committee, and concerns about gathering in person, have dramatically impacted our ability to recruit the next generation of event organizers. Community events have been the pipeline for new committee members and volunteers. The Activities Committee needs more help from the community. Long-serving Activities Committee members are either moving out of the neighborhood, burning out, or retiring. We need a fresh perspective; new attendees to meetings, new people to help plan and execute events, new officers, and new fresh ideas. Unfortunately, if new members choose not to step up, there is a danger of the Committee changing and not being able to provide the same comprehensive service to the community. “Many hands make light work.”
The Innis Arden Activities Committee is a separate, stand alone, non-profit corporation. We receive no funds from HOA annual dues. In 2021, we were unable to hold the Rummage Sale and the 4-Corners Brewfest due to public health concerns. Both events provide the annual revenue that underwrites all other Activities events. We were able to fund smaller-scale outdoor events from savings such as the Egg Scramble, the Nature Discovery event, the Halloween Treat Map and Costume Parade, and the neighborhood
Santa Sleigh Ride.
The Innis Arden community really turned out to support the Salmon BBQ in July which had the largest recorded attendance since it was first held over 50 years ago. We were grateful for the sunny weather which made it possible to have the clubhouse folding tables outdoors on the playfield grounds.
The Wine Tasting Event was held outside in September between the Delta and Omicron waves.
The Tennis program, currently sponsored by the Activities Committee, had its best year ever. However, its expanded programming generated revenues that came close to exceeding the amount allowed for our non-profit status. We are beginning to investigate other options for where the Tennis program is administered.
If you value what the Activities Committee creates for the Innis Arden community, we invite you to attend our next meeting on February 7th. Please watch for an email meeting announcement sent by Innis Arden Communications. Remember, the Activities Committee is the best kept secret in Innis Arden. It’s the easiest way to contribute while having the most fun!
2022 ANNUAL MEETING VOTING RESULTS:
As of 7:58 PM on 01/19/22 (after voting during the meeting occurred), the total number of IA residents who voted was: 270.
Cynthia Esselman obtained 251 votes and has a three-year appointment to the board.
Omar Nur obtained 230 votes and has a three-year appointment to the board.
Jason Barth obtained 220 votes and has a three-year appointment to the board.
Jennifer Mace obtained 194 votes and has a one-year appointment to the board.
Maggie Taber was ratified as the Activities board member with 256 votes (10 abstain, 4 no).
The 2022 budget was approved with 247 yes votes (15 abstain, 8 no).
The 2022 dues (which are unchanged from 2021) were approved with 256 votes (3 abstain, 11 no).
The Annual Meeting was adjourned at 8:25 PM at which point the board then went offline to join a separate Zoom meeting to determine 2022 board positions which will be shared with the community by email within the very near future.