May 14, 2019 Board Meeting Minutes

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM by President Easton Craft. Board members present: Easton Craft, Maggie Taber, Cindy Esselman, Dave Fosmire, Steve Johnston, Brian Branagan, Jeff Gough, and BJ Oneal.

Approved May meeting agenda and April meeting minutes (with no updates/edits).

PRESIDENT, Easton Craft –


The trial in the Carlson case is set for June 24th, which in a lawsuit context is not very far off.  As a result, there has been a huge amount of activity in the case in April and early May. Our attorneys succeeded in having Carlson’s demand for a jury trial stricken, meaning that if the matter goes to trial it will be tried before a judge and not a jury. A “bench trial,” as it is called, is much more efficient and less expensive than a jury trial. Our attorneys have also filed a Motion for Summary Judgment, asking the Court to decide the case in the Club’s favor without a trial. Carlson has filed his own motion requesting summary judgment in his favor. The briefs and supporting papers on these “cross-motions” are hundreds of pages and have consumed many hours of our attorneys’ time.

The hearing on the summary judgment cross-motions before Judge Catherine Schaffer is set for May 17th at 8:30 AM. At the King County Courthouse. There is no way of knowing whether the Judge will issue a ruling from the bench, or take the matter under advisement and issue a decision later.

This matter continues to be a very significant expense for the Club. But no one should be deceived by claims that the Carlson lawsuit is not critical to the Club and the Covenants.

Storm Creek: As noted last month, the City is attempting to obtain grant funding for Storm Creek work.  The City’s Public Works Director has now sent an email proposing a meeting among all stakeholders to discuss next steps. The email is an encouraging sign that the City may be taking ownership of the problem and facilitating a solution.  The Club plans to attend the meeting tentatively scheduled for June 7th.


As previously reported, Hjelle, the Club, and the Court have agreed to extend the case schedule so that the trial in this enforcement lawsuit will be in October rather than June. This is supposed to give Hjelle time to provide the City with reports needed to obtain City approval of the necessary tree work. Progress does appear to have been made along those lines.

Hjelle’s attorney apparently met with the City last month to go over the City’s requirements. And subsequently he reported to Club counsel that he had obtained an arborist’s report, slope restoration plan, table of trees, tree locator map, tree removal and slope restoration map intended to comply with City requirements.  Her attorney informed ours that he will meet with the City about these shortly and expressed optimism that the City would work cooperatively with him. Further progress depends of course on Hjelle herself who must authorize work by the attorney and others. The Club will continue monitoring.

Tynan:  Tynan was given until June 15th to deal with the blackberry bushes – the other vegetation / trees have been in compliance for some time now.

Assuming all is progressing in terms of compliance, E&W will send a letter and take steps to wrap up the lawsuit

Reserve Trees:

The Club is still awaiting a formal proposal from the City for vegetation management plan that includes view preservation.


NOTE: All Compliance hearings are held at the Innis Arden Clubhouse at 7:00PM unless noted otherwise.

Nothing to report for this month beyond what is noted in the President report.



New Construction- 18734 Ridgefield RD NW

The Board previously approved an extended completion date for the exterior of the home to April 1, 2019. The Campbell project has continued to have numerous and contentious permitting issues with the City because of the site conditions and with Seattle City Light, which has taken months beyond any reasonable timeline. It has tied up resources and time that would otherwise be making headway on the exterior completion of the structure.

The Board voted unanimously to extend the completion date for the exterior of the Campbell project to July 15, 2019.


New Construction- 1098 NW Innis Arden DR

The McNaughton project has extended beyond the eight month required completion for the exterior of the house. There have been delays beyond their control that have caused slow downs in the progress of the house construction. There have also been a few minor changes to the exterior siding from the plans approved by the Board. Those changes have been reviewed by neighbors and the Board and have been found to be of no significance.  There are also plans to install solar panels, which the McNaughtons will have approved by the Board before proceeding.

The Board voted unanimously to extend the completion date for the exterior of the McNaughton project to July 30, 2019.

It was also brought up through discussion that the Board has not received an updated landscape plan, including fencing. The Board will reach out to the McNaughtons to obtain the current landscape plan.


1038 NW Innis Arden DR

A remodel and addition were approved at the December 11, 2018 Board meeting. They have decided to not move forward with the project at this time and but instead are working on updating landscaping and painting the house.

June projects for Board review:

The Ferguson, Shed

17030 12th Ave NW

The project was on the schedule for Board review this month but is now being pushed back to the June meeting.

Buchmayr, Shed

1086 NW Innis Arden Dr

TREASURER, Jeff Gough –

I’m pleased to announce we have interviewed and hired Cheryl Malone to be the new Communications Manager for Innis Arden.  Cheryl was also interviewed by Board Member Brian Branagan and outgoing Clubhouse Manager, Laura Taylor, who were also keen to bring Cheryl on as Laura’s replacement.  Cheryl accepted their offer too and will now be performing a handful of roles ranging from managing the website to facilitating the bulletin and electronic communications to assisting with the annual meeting to facilitating Clubhouse rentals. Part of her initial focus will be on completing the website migration and also helping us get paper bulletins out in a timely fashion.  Cheryl and her family reside in Edmonds and she comes to us with a wealth of experience in event planning, administrative and office management, and communications.  She holds a degree from UW in Business Administration with a Finance & Management concentration.

Regarding Innis Arden’s finances, year-to-date we are under budget in all expense categories except Legal, where we are at 140% of budget.  Granted, there have been a handful of legal matters we are in the thick of.  I anticipate that number could even out as the year goes on, especially if there are reimbursements.  On the whole, expenses are at 76% of year-to-date budget.

At the close of April, the Club Operating Checking balance was $22,524, the Collections Savings balance was $321,179 and the Asset Reserve Savings was $277,096.

CLUBHOUSE, Brian Branagan


Current Clubhouse Manager Laura Taylor and I interviewed Cheryl Malone to take over Laura’s responsibilities handling rental requests and showing the clubhouse to prospective renters.  We were impressed with her five years of event-planning experience at Microsoft and her familiarity with facilities management issues while she was an office manager for a church in Kirkland.  We are pleased that she accepted our offer and will start learning the ropes from Laura in June.

I am still looking for someone to clean the clubhouse after rentals.  Please contact me if you have any recommendations.


Clubhouse use during April included two events hosted by the Innis Arden Activities Committee: the Annual Family Easter Egg Hunt and the Innis Arden Wine-tasting Night.  Other rentals included the Ski Bus Celebration, a political campaign kick off and a gathering hosted by a local business.

Rental Income was $3,000 with damage deposit refunds at $500.

GROUNDS, Jim McCulloch –

2019 Objectives for the Grounds Committee:

  • Maintain and improve the existing lawn and planting beds around the Clubhouse
  • Maintain the Innis Arden Main Entrance and other Innis Arden Entrances.
  • Improve lawn areas by removing moss and re-seeding.

Work Items Completed Last Month:

  • Main Entrance:
    • Weekly maintenance.
    • Seasonal pruning
    • Planted color annuals.
  • Grounds:
    • Weekly maintenance.
    • Thatched and over-seeded a portion of the west field; fenced to protect new grass.
    • Aerated entire grass areas

Work Items Scheduled this Month:

  • Continue weekly maintenance of Grounds and Entrances.

ROW  Trees

  • 1463 NW 186th St: (One 18” deciduous):  Tree and stump removed; replanting remains.
  • 18742 Ridgefield Rd. NW (One 30”Conifer):  City denied hazardous tree assessment; proceeding with standard ROW Tree removal permitting with City.
  • 16904 14th Ave NW (Two 14” Conifers):  City confirmed location of trees are within ROW; proceeding with City permitting process.

Other Items

  • Reminder: Please note requirements for use of Grounds by organized sport teams:
    • Fields are NOT reserved; use is on first come, first serve basis.
    • At least one member of the team must be a member of the HOA.
    • Team must provide the Grounds Chairperson a copy of their Certificate of Insurance, showing Innis Arden Club as additionally insured, prior to use.

NATURAL RESERVES, Steve Johnston –


Those who have walked though Eagle Reserve lately have probably noticed the new handrail on the middle foot-bridge across the creek (the one that was previously lengthened to combat creek bed erosion).  Adrian Sibaya and crew did a great job installing this handrail!

The Blue Heron and Running Water reserves hiking trails have now been weed-whacked to deal with plants and invasive weeds crowding walkers, and also due to patches of stinging nettle uncomfortably close to the tail in west Blue Heron. Stinging nettle is a desirable native plant until you brush it when passing by in a pair of shorts!

We plan to build a new bridge across the creek at the top of Eagle, very close to the existing split cedar bridge that is rotting and undermined due to water erosion. That should happen in the next several weeks.

Hazardous Trees

8 hazardous trees were removed from Blue Heron reserve and two were removed from Eagle reserve. These trees were recommended to be removed by a City approved arborist and were approved by the City. 7 additional trees, previously approved by the City, will  also be removed, and likewise replaced with native trees, in the next  several weeks. These trees are some of  many the previously topped senescent and diseased alders and maples in Blue Heron.  During the City inspection, we noticed 4 standing dead or almost dead alders, and one fir, all with valid damage targets. The City requested tree evaluations be provided for them prior to removal.  The trees will be marked with green paint.

Invasive control and Plants

Garden Cycles has been doing an excellent job cutting back blackberry cane and removing many other invasive plants. The focus this past several weeks has been mid-Blue Heron.

Almost 100 of our juvenile Shore Pines were supported with stakes and twine to straighten them after the record snowfall this winter.  The weight of the accumulated snow caused many of them to bow under its weight.


ACTIVITIES, Maggie Taber –

Save the dates:

Men’s Night – Saturday, May 18th

Annual Salmon BBQ – Wednesday, July 17th

Oktoberfest – Saturday, October 5th

The Wine Tasting event (aka The Night The Lights Went Out at the Clubhouse) was Friday, April 12th.  In true Innis Arden form, fun was had by all in spite of the unexpected power outage.  Delicious wines, tasty bites and a special art exhibit all made for a great evening.  Thank you to Jennifer Buma and Cori Whitaker for Chairing.  And a special shout out to Kelly Sanders for hauling down his generator to enhance the mood lighting for the 100 people in attendance.

The Egg Scramble was held Saturday, April 20th.  Fun for all age groups, special prizes and treats.  Thanks to Danny Shea and Stacy Chia for chairing.

This Saturday, May 18th is Men’s night.  This year’s theme is smoked food and unusual whiskey.  Tickets via Brown Paper Tickets. Co-chairs Gage Wagoner and Kelly Sanders.

The Summer Tennis program will get underway soon.  Look for updates to sign up shortly.

The next Activities Meeting will be Monday, June 3rd, 7 pm at the clubhouse.

Other Pertinent Matters:

An Executive Session was scheduled for May 29th at 6pm at Innis Arden related to ongoing and upcoming legal matters.

Shoreline Council of Neighborhoods:

Please see for the meeting minutes from the Shoreline Council of Neighborhoods.

Community Comments:

  • Concerns were brought forth with regard to recent and repetitive police activity at the Hjelle property. Easton will be sharing this information with our attorney.
  • Concerns were brought forth with regard to the Bargreen remodel to include the timing of day that contractors have been working to and the possible over-scope of work. Cindy will be following up about this.

Meeting adjourned at approximately 8 PM