April 30, 2019 at 9:41 pm #2326Lisa and Courtney CoxParticipant
There’s a little something that affects everyone in the proposed bylaw changes so everyone needs to read them carefully. The board even managed to attack grilling, one of the greatest American summer traditions that exists! That may be a little dramatic but there are many changes that we need to carefully discuss such as the creation of zones, building restrictions, parking restrictions and yes, even the aforementioned grilling restrictions.
We are concerned about the addition of zones in the by-law changes. All beach front owners are put into a separate zone from the rest of the homeowners in Tower Shores. Do we see dues differences in the future so those who are located on the beach pay a different amount from those who are located elsewhere in the community? We are all neighbors and I think we should be treated equally. I may not be affected by the noise and disruption of Matt’s but I support the homeowners who are located by our commercial neighbor. It could be that the entire community will have to pay for security surrounding Matt’s. Homeowners who abut the land along the highway are not put in a separate zone to pay for grass maintenance and irrigation. We aren’t proposing that those homeowners are put in a separate zone for additional expenses. Why only put the beachfront owners in a separate zone?
A restriction that is not mentioned in the bylaw summary having to do with zones is the height restriction on water front property. In our house in Four Winds, we can’t stand up in the top floor. I’m not aware of any other houses in Tower Shores that have a top floor that only allows you to walk around with your head stooped over. We have intended to raise the roof on the house since we purchased the home but we have waited until our budget was right. We aren’t talking about building a high-rise, we only want to build to the current height of other beachfront owners. Furthermore, limiting us to our current height, will affect our property value when we go to resale. This change is being rushed through not even allowing us the opportunity to proceed with our addition before the covenant changes.
And where am I supposed to grill? According to the by-laws, I can’t grill on the beach or my deck. I can’t grill under my deck for fear of melting the ceiling. Do I grill on my driveway that has about a 25% tilt? Do I grill on Ocean Rd.? If you support the right to grill, bring your spatulas to the annual meeting so we can all wave them and sign the words from Bruce Springsteen: “GRILL in the USA!, GRILL in the USA!”
Please be sure to read the ByLaw changes carefully and take your vote seriously. There are many who will be affected.
April 30, 2019 at 9:59 pm #2328
Lisa and Courtney:
First, thank you for reading and reviewing the documents. We all appreciate you taking the time to do so. I hope you call into the May 13th meeting to obtain more clarification on these points.
Beach front owners are NOT is a separate class. We have 3 classes paying dues: residential, commercial and vacate lots. Residential is one lump sum. To charge one residential property one fee and another residential property a different fee is a violation of the documents themselves. The other classes for set backs are R-1 (they take up their own lot), R-2 (townhouses and condos that share lots) and commercial.
Regarding the height issue, this is/was an issue with Atlantic Watergate as well. At the May 13th meeting and in my post earlier today, I asked for feedback on making these documents effective January 1, 2020, which I was told would give 4 Winds time to fix this issue.
Finally, the grilling rules were coming from our current legal documents and rules, Bethany Beach Code and advise of our firefighting owners for safety. You can grill out front by your parking area. Let’s talk fire: the beach is windy – you grill on your deck or the beach and a fire is started. How many townhouses may be affected? Many of these rules are in place already and haven’t changed.
April 30, 2019 at 10:46 pm #2329
Lisa, I am still trying to absorb these “new restrictive convenants”, however, I agree with you, it appears that there are so many restrictions that will potentially affect the quality of life at Tower Shores. I think it important to understand “what the law currently is” and then understand why Tower Shores should be MORE restrictive than current law. I think when the convenants are more restrictive than what is allowed by law there has to be an overwhelming reason to pass them. Otherwise, let’s be tolerant of people’s different needs and generally allow people to live within the scope of current Delaware, Sussex county law.
May 1, 2019 at 12:55 am #2333Brad MandelParticipant
Lisa, Courtney, Diane & Homeowners:
HEIGHT ISSUE: Missing Flood Elevation Height
I would be okay with the height issue if it fell in alignment with Sussex County that says homes shall not be 42 feet above the flood elevation line. My flood elevation line is 10 feet so technically I should be able to go to 52 feet in total height but the board wants to cap us at 42 feet. Why is the board not explaining the reasoning so the community can discuss it and take a straw vote BEFORE putting it on the agenda.
GRILLING: Clarifying no grilling on the beach
Is the board is restricting ocean front homes from NOT grilling on the ocean side part of our property line (within the safe distance from the home line) I am totally against it. Grilling 10 feet from my bay side home puts me in the middle of the street blocking cars that would cause more of a safety hazard. If you are saying we cannot grill on the main beach past my property line that is different, we need clarification. Why is the board not explaining the reasoning so the community can discuss it and take a straw vote BEFORE putting it on the agenda.
DOGS ON THE BEACH?
We discussed this on the last board call, it is time to be put on the agenda for a VOTE. Whatever the majority wants is fine.
May 1, 2019 at 2:13 pm #2334Michael RenshawParticipant
I am in agreement with Lisa, Miriam & Brad. These bylaws are far too restrictive. In addition, appear to be an attempt to regulate the renters, with no regard for the owners. Put the restrictions in your contract with the renters & leave the rest of us owners to enjoy our properties. The new bylaws read like a trip down “what if” lane. The last thing the owners need are more rules & regulations, the ones we have are fine. I’M VOTING “NO” OR NOT REGISTERING & HOPING FOR NO QUORUM.
May 1, 2019 at 3:21 pm #2335
I have no issues with you not liking the results. Respecting that the committee put an incredible amount of their personal time shouldn’t have to be a reminder how to act. If you don’t like the result, vote no. If you want to get together and provide the board with the provisions that you find overreaching and are not justified due to safety, submit it prior to the May 13th meeting and put in some time to help resolve the issue for the community.
IF the board took your attitude when I believe you needed approval to install your outside lift, (ie: I won’t give quarum) then nothing would get done.
Reminder: get involved if you don’t like the suggested outcome rather than block it. Every meeting minutes and meeting announcements discussed the process. You could have always volunteered then. Volunteering now is helping the entire community, not just your needs.
May 2, 2019 at 2:03 am #2339Jean KrafftParticipant
Rules, rules, rules, and restrictions. What has changed that we need more rules and restrictions? I agree with Michael, Brad, Miriam, Lisa, and Courtney.
May 2, 2019 at 7:56 pm #2343
Re grilling and “turkey fryers”, I believe the regulations should simply conform with the current regulations of the Delaware Fire Department which has currently adopted the National Fire Prevention Code – no more no less. I believe this organization is considered the “expert” in weighing the risks of our activities causing a fire vs personal freedom and the pleasure of outdoor cooking. These regulations are as follows: (Note: there are no regulations advised for one and two family dwellings. Note: turkey fryers are not differentiated from other cooking methods). Certainly if individual condominium units want to have stricter regulations that could be their prerogative.
The specific code sections are as follows:
• NFPA 1:10.10.6.1 (2015): For other than one- and two-family dwellings, no hibachi, grill, or other similar devices used for cooking, heating, or any other purpose shall be used or kindled on any balcony, under any overhanging portion, or within 10 ft (3 m) of any structure.
• NFPA 1:10.10.6.1.1 (2015): Listed electric, tabletop grills, not to exceed 200 square inches of cooking surface, or other similar apparatus shall be permitted.
• NFPA 1:10.10.6.2 (2015): For other than one-and two-family dwellings, no hibachi, grill or other similar devices used for cooking shall be stored on a balcony.
• NFPA 1:10.10.6.3 (2015): Listed equipment permanently installed in accordance with its listing, applicable codes, and manufacturer’s instructions shall be permitted.
May 2, 2019 at 8:16 pm #2344
Addendum to above: Because this is currently adopted as the Delaware code, there should be no need to include in the restrictive covenants. That way, if the current state or National Code changed, we would not be out of compliance or cause any confusion over what is allowed.
May 4, 2019 at 4:13 pm #2353Adena AdlerParticipant
Lisa and Courtney, thank you for drawing attention to the new language in the restrictive covenants dealing with height restrictions. If I understand correctly, the proposed language would restrict a very small number of oceanfront properties from building any higher than they already stand, and from building as high as the majority of the other oceanfront properties in our community. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong.
I own #2 North Beach Condos, at the south end of Ocean Road. Our house has been in our family since 1982. Unlike most of the other oceanfront homes, which appear to stand much taller, we don’t have a third story. Although we have no current plans to “build up,” I’ve always assumed that, just like most of the other oceanfront properties, we could at some future date add a third floor, as long as we followed applicable state and local laws, and didn’t exceed whatever height restrictions have been applied to all of the other, much taller oceanfront properties in Tower Shores that have been expanded upwards over the years. I was stunned to hear that language had been proposed for new restrictive covenants that would eliminate our right to do so, dramatically limiting both our flexibility for any future renovations, and our property value.
I’ve looked through the Tower Shores website, and I can’t find any information or discussion about why this restriction was added. I can’t imagine how restricting the right of the few remaining “lower” oceanfront properties to build as high as all of the other oceanfront properties would benefit the community as a whole. The only benefit to anyone that I can imagine would be to any properties immediately behind us, providing them with a less obstructed view of the ocean, at our expense. Aside from this being a completely inappropriate reason to propose this change, I have no reason to believe that our neighbors behind us sought this amendment, or even know about it.
I’d like to understand why this change is being sought–who proposed it, and why? I’d like to assume that this is some kind of mistake, but the response to Lisa and Courtney’s post proposing that the change not take effect until 2020 in order to, I guess, allow folks to scramble to “build up” before some deadline passes makes me think that this change was intentional.
I’m not a real estate attorney or a developer, and I don’t have a sophisticated understanding of zoning issues, but I’m extremely concerned that a change that would affect only a small number of owners in such a drastic way, and doesn’t appear to benefit the community as a whole, is even being put up for a majority vote, without some kind of explanation about why this change is sought.
May 5, 2019 at 10:12 pm #2359Owen KirbyParticipant
Every owner should take immediate note of Section 8, B and C under Restrictive Covenants. 8 (B) states that minor, “other permitted,” and emergency repairs – which are all defined in 8 (C) – require prior approval of TSBA, including repairs to broken plumbing and electrical fixtures or interior painting, even “when the construction noise is not audible in occupied dwelling units in nearby buildings.” Violators are subject to a “per diem” fine of $250. If this is not an accurate reading of the INTENT of the drafters of the amendments, then the proposed language needs review and clarification before this is put to a vote. As it stands, all owners should vote in the negative.
May 6, 2019 at 1:28 pm #2360
Owen: please read the 2nd amended restrictive covenants on the web site. The current rules are: noise moratorium Memorial through Labor day. There is an additional grace period Monday – Friday 9-5 pm allowed With board approval. Thereafter, no construction or repairs absent emergency with board approval only for remaining of the time period. This means that the board is inundated with exception requests for the first month of the summer. For the last 3 years, there has been 3 different homeowners who continued with construction into the summer. Last summer, the board came within inches of having to hire an attorney, file a lawsuit and an injunction after numerous owners threw up their hands with negotiating and we had an entire board meeting discussing every option to stop the construction. The only change here is the $250 a day fine. The board does not have to implement it. It is to deter someone who believes the rules do not apply to them. With notice to stop, if they continue, the board can assess them daily. No attorney will need to be hired to collect because it will become an automatic lien. If we need to file an injunction, an attorney would need to be hired.
If you have another suggestion of how to stop summer construction from owners unwilling to comply with our documents, please email me at email@example.com Unfortunately in all 3 instances, talking did not stop finishing their projects.
May 7, 2019 at 12:48 pm #2364Owen KirbyParticipant
I think all owners appreciate efforts to control noise and related disturbances from construction during the summer season. However, the language in the Restrictive Covenants, as cited, is open to broad interpretation, thus leaving owners at potential risk of arbitrary censure for minimal or even emergency operating activities, if undertaken without prior approval. Over the past two summers, I have had to repair an A/C unit, replace a garbage disposal, fix a broken/leaking window, among other items; it may not be the intent of the board to regulate such emergency activities but the language appears to state otherwise.
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