One of the more confusing aspects of owning a home in Chapel Trail is the structure of the Chapel Trail Owners’ Association. This blog article, we’ll try to explain the structure of the HOA and how it relates to each homeowner. This article assumes you have a basic understanding of HOAs in general. If not, head over to our HOA 101 article on our brokerage web site.
Chapel Trail HOA Structure
Each home in Chapel Trail is subject to Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions, Bylaws, and Rules and Regulations of two separate, but related HOAs, commonly referred to as “the master” association and “the local” associations, of which there are 17. The master association sets a minimum standard of rules for the entire Chapel Trail community that apply to all homeowners, while the local associations govern areas that may only apply to their local community, such as a community pool or clubhouse. Much like a city in a state/city hierarchical government structure, a local association may enact rules that are stricter than the master, but not more lenient.
The “Master” Association
Every home in Chapel Trail is a member of the Chapel Trail Owners’ Association. The Chapel Trail HOA is currently managed by Association Specialty Group and it’s website is located at https://chapeltrail.com. The CTOA and it’s Board of Directors is responsible for the direction, management and maintenance of the Chapel Trail Community. Dues paid by each homeowner contribute to the common areas and landscaping of Chapel Trail PUD (Planned Unit Development). The CTOA was also responsible for negotiating a bulk-services agreement with Comcast, in which each home receives cable and high-speed Internet service at a significant discount. All residents of Chapel Trail have access to Rose Price Park, through an arrangement with the City of Pembroke Pines. Contact information for the Chapel Trail HOA, as well as current dues, etc. can be found on our residents page.
The “Local” Associations
Located within Chapel Trail are 17 local associations that serve as “members” of the master association. For the most part, each of the 17 local associations is made up of a local community, such as Pasadena Estates 2 or Chapel Trail Estates. 2 local associations are made up of multiple communities…they are Pasadena Estates 3 / Pasadena Estates 4, and Kensington / Kensington Park. Because many of the 17 communities were built by different developers, and at different times, they each have their own individual Architectural guidelines, rules, amenities, etc. Each local HOA has their own set of documents, board of directors, dues, etc., but all are subject to the rules and oversight of the CTOA.
Board of Directors, Voting, etc.
The Chapel Trail Board of Directors is made up of 9 directors, elected by the members of the association. Annual meetings are held in December of each year and notices are posted throughout the community. The Chapel Trail Board of Directors is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of Chapel Trail, setting the annual budget, and governing the various committees that serve Chapel Trail.
While the Board of Directors is responsible for the managing of day-to-day affairs, they cannot do things like change the documents, hold elections, etc. without participation from the community as a whole. This ensures that each local community gets a say in these types of matters, as they can have long-lasting effects on the community as a whole.
Florida law states that “Unless a lower number is provided in the bylaws, the percentage of voting interests required to constitute a quorum at a meeting of the members shall be 30 percent of the total voting interests.” It would be nearly impossible to get 30% of the 3,676 residents of Chapel Trail together to vote on new rules, the election of Board Members, etc. For this reason, the creators of Chapel Trail created a system in which each local association assigns a representative or “voting rep” to cast the votes for their respective association. The votes for each representative carry the weight of the total number of owners in that association, with the total number of votes available to be cast being equal to 3,676.
Violations, Fines, etc.
While the Board of Directors is responsible for drafting the Rules of the Association, the management company is responsible for the monitoring and enforcement of those rules. Management makes weekly trips to the community to look for homes that are not in compliance with the Rules set forth by the Board. Should a violation be observed, it is recorded, photographed, and the owner is notified. It should be noted that both the Master and each Local has the power to enforce their own rules and regulations. If you receive a violation notice, pay close attention who sent it and who to contact once it has been corrected. Doing so will minimize the possibility of miscommunication.
If an owner does not correct a violation within a certain period of time, it is escalated and sent to the Covenant Compliance Committee, where a fine can be assessed. The best way to avoid fines is to communicate with both management and the committee should you be noticed to appear. In the coming weeks, I’ll write a more detailed article about fines and how best to avoid them.
I hope this gives you a little more understanding of how the HOAs of Chapel Trail are structured. If you are considering buying or selling a home in Chapel Trail or the surrounding West Broward area, contact me and I’d be happy to help you with that process.