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Old 01-10-2008, 03:32 PM
 
Location: Hutto, Tx
8,642 posts, read 16,468,700 times
Reputation: 2337

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If it ends up being anything like Stapleton, many of the East side naysayers are gonna eventually end up eating some crow. Stapleton's even added more sections, and it really is a very nice looking neighborhood. So look forward to many, many community sponsored events such as the type the people at Steiner and Circle C always talk about, and even more than that. A really great pool, with a diving area, kids beach, and kiddie pool (if they model the pool in a similar way), community intranet, a community magazine, internal sports complexes (stapleton has soccer, ice rink, basketball, etc), good schools, excellent use of common spaces, commercial and residential living, condos (but very nice ones), A lot of homes in Stapleton had large porches or wrap around porches, so it'd be nice if Meuller also has this in the plan. I guess I could go on and on, but I'd better stop myself Now!
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Old 01-11-2008, 10:40 PM
 
1,407 posts, read 1,498,164 times
Reputation: 1310
Quote:
Originally Posted by austifornian View Post
While they are not available online at the developer sites (and I can't think of any new developer that puts their CCR's online) they are available at muellercommunity.com.

I'm not sure where you are getting your information but the POA documents are all fairly standard stuff. In a nutshell it is set up so that in the beginning the majority of board members are appointed by the management company with a certain percentage of the board comprised of homeowners. As the percentage of homeowners increases the percentage of the board elected by the homeowners increases. It is actually set up to be more responsive to residents concerns having elected neighborhood delegates who will part of the governing body along with the POA board so I am not sure where your information about the lack of accountability is coming from.

The POA fees are $40/month with the goal being that the community pays for itself and is reasonable given the amenities and greenspace in the community.

As far as the 'most insidious provision', the transfer fee. it is not a percentage of the sales price it is a flat $200 for a single family home which is not unusual at all for homes with an HOA. The fee is not for the 'benefit of the community' but transfer the sellers interest in the common area to the buyer.

No, the homeowners do not own the common areas. Such property is owned by the POA - it is NOT a tenancy in common situation. Your point about the rationale seems quite illogical. Why would the POA be collecting money from the seller's sale of the seller's property to the buyer? The POA has zero ownership interest in the seller's property but gets a percentage of the sale? This is a way of getting more money from the people in these developments and diverting that money to "non-profits" controlled by others - in this case Catellus.

The fee is paid to the POA which is not controlled by the homeowners. The POA will act in the best interests of the majority of the Board members - not the homeowners. I refer you to the following document:
http://www.muellercommunity.com/files/2006050355.pdf
Look at page 3, item D. The rationale is that this fee is for "the benefit of the community".

The fee is NOT a flat fee - see page 4. The declarations can be changed at the whim of the declarant and they do not need homeowner permission to do so. The fee is a percentage of the sale price of the home and that percentage can be changed at any time. The fee may appear small now, but again your permission is not required to change it. In other areas of the state where the subdivision is under declarant control, transfer fees of 0.5% of the sales price of the home are being imposed.

You are also referred to page 13 which gives the master declarant (i.e., Catellus) approval power for the next 60 years over amendments to this transfer fee provision. You can rest assured that is the minimum length of time they want to be able to control all vendor relationships going on in Mueller as well as the Master Association. Only a majority of the Board controls the disposition of all of these fees.

Finally, if you consider the stated purpose of the fee and the promised amenities - it seems that the declarant's financial responsibility is lessened by turnover in the subdivision since the fees will be used to build amenities that were promised to purchasers in the first place and formed part of the basis for their purchase price.

These provisions are NOT written for the benefit of the homeowner but rather for the declarant and the vendors of the POA.

You will be under the rule of two associations - your immediate association and a Master Association. You will NOT be permitted to vote in matters relating to the master association. A "representative" system is established with delegates. This type of system is designed to give the appearance of democracy while primarily facilitating corruption. In fact, Arizona outlawed it last year because it effectively disenfranchises all but an extreme minority of the residents. see pages 15-16 of
http://www.muellercommunity.com/files/2004238007.pdf

In section 4.4 you will note reference to owners "entitled" to vote. This will also be used to disenfranchise owners from voting at their local level. You may not think much about the right to vote until your local association decides that you are not entitled to vote - that decision is made by the very people you often want to oust. If it's a democracy, then you should have the right to vote, period.
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Old 01-12-2008, 06:48 PM
 
Location: Hutto, Tx
8,642 posts, read 16,468,700 times
Reputation: 2337
So I take it you don't like Meuller and will probably never live there, but since things have been selling there, there must be people who do and will move there. And really, no matter how hard and fast the rules may seem, they can be broken. So if the current and future homeowners there want to, I'm sure they can and will change things.
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Old 01-12-2008, 06:59 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
75,635 posts, read 36,776,643 times
Reputation: 18439
Quote:
Originally Posted by love roses View Post
So I take it you don't like Meuller and will probably never live there, but since things have been selling there, there must be people who do and will move there. And really, no matter how hard and fast the rules may seem, they can be broken. So if the current and future homeowners there want to, I'm sure they can and will change things.
But only after they get to run the Board and make decisions based on a vote.

My deed restrictions say they run with the land for 20 years after the HOA is formed before they can be changed and can only be changed with a 75% majority vote. This was good in that now (10 years after) all of the lots are built out. Got another 10 years to go.
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Old 01-12-2008, 07:13 PM
 
Location: Hutto, Tx
8,642 posts, read 16,468,700 times
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That seems like such a long time, but really since it's supposed to be a pretty big project, I guess that's pretty normal.
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Old 01-12-2008, 07:16 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
75,635 posts, read 36,776,643 times
Reputation: 18439
Well if you think about it..60 years is a long time and at the end of it..who would want to bother changing the rules at that point ? By then it's time to demolish stuff and rebuild it
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Old 01-12-2008, 07:43 PM
 
Location: Hutto, Tx
8,642 posts, read 16,468,700 times
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And after 60 years, what fun it will be to let the younger ones rebuild it (Of course, I'd be too, too old to do anything anyway cause I'd be about 98 yrs old, if I made it that far!)
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Old 01-12-2008, 08:26 PM
 
1,407 posts, read 1,498,164 times
Reputation: 1310
Default Mueller development - Mandatory Association

Quote:
Originally Posted by love roses View Post
So I take it you don't like Meuller and will probably never live there, but since things have been selling there, there must be people who do and will move there. And really, no matter how hard and fast the rules may seem, they can be broken. So if the current and future homeowners there want to, I'm sure they can and will change things.
I think the appropriate characterization is that I dislike mandatory associations and Mueller happens to have an ugly one. You have obviously not experienced the ugly side of these things. I do not mean to attack your personal viewpoint, but your statement illustrates that you are under the misimpression that there is any type of democracy. Mueller has been set up to ensure that the homeowners will never really be able to vote.

The place touts itself as "a laboratory for innovative approaches to community development and governance". In fact, you will be ruled by a corporate entity that is not subject to open meetings, open records, nor is it subject to any limitations you would expect for a government. Mueller has been set up for profitability of a private government - namely Catellus and its "professional partners".

I do not think that the residents of Mueller should be responsible under threat of foreclosure on their homes for maintaining the areas that the City of Austin insists must be open parkland. By keeping private ownership, the city and county get tax dollars off the property. If its public, then it would be tax exempt. Certainly, the residents should not be exclusively responsible for public areas.

The site claims that Catellus will "turn the old airport into a new model for urban living in Austin." If you're model for urban living is an environment where your vote does not count, you can be threatened with the loss of your home for disagreeing with the Board, and you will be taxed by a city that has little responsibility to you then good luck.

"Mueller will bring new life and choice to Austin (especially East Austin), enhance the nearby neighborhoods, and create opportunity and diversity, all without burdening the environment, Austin taxpayers, or local quality of life." - In short, even though the residents are "Austin taxpayers", they will have greater responsibility than other "Austin taxpayers" because they will be required to pay to maintain property for the benefit of all Austin taxpayers. If you look at the Declarations, well, there isn't much room for "diversity." The people in Mueller are "lesser citizens" and they will be the subjects of a private government for the next 60 years at least while the city of Austin denies accountability to them.

The very idea that you are required to pay a "transfer fee" to a private entity when you sell your house is disgusting. This is about Catellus profiting from holding the residents captive and responsible for paying for everything while Catellus controls the HOA. The CCRs were written to give the appearance of democracy - but we already have a pretty good model and the CCRs are designed to ensure that members are disenfranchised at the whim of the Board.
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Old 01-12-2008, 11:14 PM
 
Location: Hutto, Tx
8,642 posts, read 16,468,700 times
Reputation: 2337
Well, so far I've read an Austin American Statesman article and a New York Times article about Meuller and it's governing system, and they both say residents do get voting rights and that they will eventually have full control. Off to do some more research.
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Old 01-12-2008, 11:36 PM
 
Location: Hutto, Tx
8,642 posts, read 16,468,700 times
Reputation: 2337
Still doing some reading, but I've read the implementation plan and the development plan and still haven't found this, but I'll keep on looking. I did see where the State of Texas isn't involved now, so now they had to do some tweaks for private business to have a little more control in what they develop, but not without approval from boards made up of resident representatives from each "neighborhood" inside of the development.
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