SLLA LogoRoadmaggedon.

That's what the next few weeks sound like, when Seven Lakes Landowners Association [SLLA] President Bob Darr talks about the road repaving scheduled in Seven Lakes North and South.

"We are going to be really, really, really messing up the traffic in this community," Darr said, during the Wednesday, July 25 Open Meeting. The fact that paving is planned at the gates presents a particular challenge.

"Gates will be closed, intersections will be closed," Darr explained. "We are going to have to exit traffic back off of Cardinal Lane. And we may have to do the same on the South Side."

Exactly which roads will be closed -- and how traffic will be rerouted around those areas -- is information the Association will have only one day in advance, Darr said. For residents, the best place to obtain the latest information will be the newly-redesigned SLLA website.

"The plan for tomorrow will be there every night, so that you know what is going to happen," Darr said. Treasurer Conrad Meyer suggested that paving plans also be delivered via email to landowners, as well as through postings in the mailhouse.

"This will be a trial at the gates," Darr said. "Stay tuned in to what's going on, and you will have a better time of it. We will have people directing traffic. But it will be very inconvenient at least for a couple of days."

Riley Paving, the contractor the Association has hired for the job, is currently patching the most severely distressed areas. Once that work is complete, paving can begin, perhaps as early as the week of July 30. [An Association email on Saturday, July 28, announced that crews would be patching at Shenandoah and Dogwood -- near the North Gate -- on Monday, July 30, potentially causing some traffic delays.]

Noting that the Board had received some complaints about the roughness of the patches, Darr explained that all the areas that have been patched will be repaved in the next phase of the project, which will smooth out the surface.

Approval of Management Change Delayed

The Board was scheduled to vote Wednesday evening on the awarding of the management contract to CAS, Inc., but President Darr explained that a few points in the contract were still being finalized. He expected to call the Board into a Special Session for the vote as soon as those details were nailed down. [Darr told The Times on Saturday, July 28, that the contract had been received but the Board had yet to meet to formally accept it.]

Despite the delay, "we are not backing up in terms of: that is the contract that we are going with, and that's the company we are going with, and September 1 is the date," Darr said.

Treasurer Meyer said the Board has not been able to provide a firm number on the cost of the new contract with CAS, because that will depend on whether existing SLLA office employees are retained, and on the benefits choices of all employees.

"So we can't with precision tell you want the number is," he said.

During the Manager's report, Alina Cochrane announced that this would be her last Open Meeting as Community Manager.

"Thanks for allowing me to be your community manager," she said. "It has been a pleasure seeing you all. I thank you very much." Her statement was met with warm applause from the audience.

Boat Registration Rules Tabled

Director Don Fentzlaff presented a set of rules changes aimed at keeping unregistered boats off SLLA lakes. But Director Leach pointed out that language in the proposed rules would require that boat and boat trailer registration be handled in person at the office.

"That's over 200 interruptions to the staff," Leach noted, asking, "Can't it be handled through the mail?"

"We have a lot of counterfeit boats," Fentzlaff replied. "People will get a permit and give it to their friend. We have a problem with unregistered boats in our lakes."

But, under the proposed rules, "they go in office and get sticker, they leave, and then give it someone else," Leach countered. "I think that needs to be thought about."

"Part of the problem is that we don't have any way of making sure that the sticker gets on the right boat," a resident interjected. "Your proposal doesn't address that."

In the end, Fentzlaff asked that the item be tabled so that the proposed rules could be refined with some "sharp pencil" work.

Expedited Justice for Repeat Violators

Director Bob Racine introduced an action item that was not on the agenda, aimed at expediting the rules enforcement process for repeat violators.

He noted that some residents, notified of a violation -- for instance, vehicles parked on the right-of-way -- will correct the infraction in order to avoid a hearing before the judicial committee. Once the matter has been dropped by the Association, the vehicle reappears in the right of way.

The new rule, approved unanimously by the Board, will allow any resident who is charged with a violation that they have been charged with in the previous two years to be referred directly to the Judicial Committee for action, without being offered a grace period to correct the problem.


President Darr reported that the Association had to refund the rental fee for a picnic shelter during the weekend of July 21 because vandals had painted profanity on the facility in a way that prevents it being cleaned off.

He noted that many Southsiders were upset by vandalism at the Southside mailhouse, but added that similar incidents had been taking place on the North Side for some time.

"Some folks are talking about a community organization in order to catch the people that are doing this stuff," Darr said. "That very well could work. We all have to get involved in this. I would like to have all of us being very well aware of what's going on."

Grounds & Maintenance

Director Leach reported that water has been infiltrating the South Gatehouse during every rain storm, a problem that will be investigated and repaired during the month of August.

He said his committee is investigating the cost of a new roof for the North Clubhouse, as well as replacement of the fascia boards, soffits, gutters, and downspouts. The cost of fencing repairs is also under investigation.

President Darr complimented Director Leach and his Grounds & Maintenance Committee for recent improvements, including the cleaned and polished floors in the North Clubhouse, the redesign of the debris site, and clean-up at the maintenance yard and the boat storage area.

Architectural Review

Director Fentzlaff reported that the Architectural Review Board has been busy considering projects. Approved projects included a reroofing, two dock replacements, removal of a sea tree, a new fence, two deck repairs, a new driveway, a deck expansion, and the screening of a propane tank.

"ARB is also going to be tightening up on folks not filling out applications for work they do on their house," Fentzlaff said. "If you have doubt about whether approval is needed, contact the office and find out."


Director Ritter reported that he had met with representatives of The Budd Group, which handles SLLA security, and they had redesigned reporting procedures so that incident reports, whether on the lake or elsewhere in the community, are more easily identified and reported to Board members and the Judicial Committee.

Ritter said he had discussed recent incidents of vandalism with Budd and asked for their recommendations on how additional cameras could be used to cover specific areas. They are also investigating whether some of the cameras currently in use at the gates could be put to better use elsewhere.


Director Dave Buckingham reported that the number of landowners who had created accounts on the newly-redesigned SLLA website had grown to 297. He noted that accessing much of the information on the site requires that the user log in.

Buckingham said he is still looking for additional members for the communications committee.

Member Comments

During member comments, Andy Lowe, speaking for the lot owners on his cove, said the spraying of Diquat in that area had been inadequate for the past five years, resulting in an enormous grown of algae and the disappearance of fish from the cove. "I hope the last application was more effective than the last five years," he said.

Phil Thingstad said a newly-hired guard at the North Gate had a reputation for threatening women, including Mrs. Thingstad. He said he had informed The Budd Group of the officer's reputation but had been rebuffed. "This guy is a loose cannon," Thingstad said. "I would be real concerned with having that individual there. I think you are talking a big liability there."

Rick Long said he was losing faith in the security operation at Seven lakes because he has had difficulty getting roving patrol to check his home when he is away on extended trips.

"We will be addressing all of those issues, and, in some way, will get back to those who have made those comments," President Darr said. "We will make sure to get back to you."

Other Business

In other business during the Wednesday, July 25, SLLA Open Meeting:

• Director Fentzlaff reported that work on the Sequoia Island bulkhead has been completed.

• The Lakes & Dam Committee completed a second testing of water in the lakes for total coliform and e. coli at the end of June and "the numbers are really wonderful," Fentzlaff said.

• Director Racine renewed his pledge that the Community Standards Committee would be redoubling their efforts to spot and deal with violations, He said the Judicial Committee would meet as often as necessary to hear cases.

• On the Recreation front, Racine reported that a S'More Party is in the works for September. Meanwhile Pony Camp is "going great."

• The Board approved the minutes of the June 27 Open Meeting and the July 9 Work Session.

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