Shadowmoss residents seek to oust HOA board
Low Country Source
by John Steinberger
24 August 2016

Most newer subdivisions are governed by Homeowners Associations (HOAs), which hire management companies to maintain common areas and amenities. The HOAs are represented by a board of directors elected among the homeowners.

Shadowmoss Plantation in West Ashley is one of more than 40 lowcountry subdivisions which sued management company Marshland Communities and its owner Karen Colie in March for misappropriating funds. Several months later, the Shadowmoss HOA board hired Community Management Group.

the lack of oversight and transparency within its elected HOA board

Some Shadowmoss residents became concerned with the lack of oversight and transparency within its elected HOA board. The HOA rules require all checks to be signed by the HOA president and treasurer, which was not being done. Annual audits were not being conducted, as required. There was also concern about a vacant lot purchased by the HOA at the intersection of Muirfield Parkway and Shadowmoss Parkway and legal fees vastly exceeding the amount budgeted.

Homeowner Rebecca O’Grady is part of a team walking door-to-door to call for a special HOA board meeting to elect new officers to the seven-member board. There are 647 homes in the HOA. Signatures from 162 homeowners are needed to hold a special HOA meeting, and 325 on-hand or proxy votes are needed to remove current HOA board members and elect new ones. Each household gets one vote. The Charleston County RMC (Register of Deeds) office will have to certify the voters are valid homeowners.

O’Grady says that many residents became concerned about management problems in the neighborhood and attended the HOA annual meeting in November, 2015. “Many of us had never met before (the HOA meeting) and decided to do something positive,” she said. “We want a mandate to improve the neighborhood.”

Lin Bennett, who is the Republican candidate for South Carolina House of Representatives District 114, which includes West Ashley and part of Dorchester County, is a longtime Shadowmoss resident who is fed up with the confusing citation letters and property liens issued by Community Management Group. She wants to pass legislation which prohibits HOA management companies from issuing property liens on homeowners.

Steve Taylor, a 26-year Shadowmoss resident and past HOA President, wants a competitive bidding process for landscaping and legal services. He also wants to stop the practice of issuing citations and levying fines for situations ranging from cracks in the driveway to installing basketball hoops. “We’ve lost our focus here,” he says. “We have serious problems with drainage and road maintenance that are not being addressed.”


Shadowmoss homeowners vote to oust board;
suit threatened

The Post and Courier
Warren L. Wise
13 October 2016

Homeowners in Shadowmoss Plantation voted Wednesday to oust the current board of directors, setting up what’s expected to be a protracted legal tussle over control of the West Ashley neighborhood.

By a vote of 344 — the disgruntled homeowners needed 325 votes — the disaffected homeowners decided to remove the current seven-member board and install a new nine-member regime, according to Rebecca O’Grady, who led the effort to change the board’s makeup.

The new board members include Kelly Gaskins, Mike Duck, Steve Taylor, John Nelson, Lin Bennett, Lauren Cushing, Artemiy Zheltov, Curt Norman and Ron McCullum. The association’s bylaws allow up to nine members.

“We are hoping for a peaceful transition,” O’Grady said.

That is not expected to happen.

original board threatened legal action

The original board, led by Aaron Richard, sent a letter to homeowners in September that the vote would be illegal because the disenchanted homeowners did not follow protocol and threatened legal action if it went forward.

Homeowners grew concerned over the past several months when they said the seven-member board bought a piece of property without their input, didn’t perform an audit, levied liens and fines against property owners and didn’t have proper checks and balances in place over spending.

The board homeowners voted to oust maintains everything was done legally and any undue fines levied have been repealed.

The homeowners association’s annual meeting is set for Nov. 9, when dueling boards are set to oversee the gathering unless the court steps in.


Competing Shadowmoss board countersues in HOA dispute
The Post and Courier
By Warren L. Wise
28 October 2016

The newly elected leadership of the Shadowmoss Plantation Homeowners Association wants a judge to appoint an independent third party to oversee the association until a legal dispute over dueling boards is settled.

The nine residents who were elected at a special meeting Oct. 12 are countersuing the seven members of the incumbent board, saying they don't have authority to act on behalf of the homeowners in the West Ashley neighborhood because they have been voted out of office and replaced.

The incumbent panel maintains the voting results of the special meeting are invalid because the new slate of candidates failed to follow policy.

the incumbent board filed a lawsuit after the election

The incumbent board filed a lawsuit after the election. It is seeking a restraining order to prevent the upstart board slate from claiming legitimacy and from attempting to run the upcoming Nov. 9 annual meeting and other meetings.

The strife at Shadowmoss resulted from a series of grievances about HOA policies and how the neighborhood was being managed.

They include concerns over a lot the board purchased without notifying the membership, the lack of a financial audit, liens and fines brought against property owners and checks and balances over spending.

The original board said it addressed many of the concerns over several months.

It also said that an audit of the books had not been performed because of an ongoing investigation of the HOA's previous property manager.

The new board wants a third party to conduct an audit and take over the association's management to pay only those items authorized by the association's covenants or by the court. It also wants the court to disallow the payment of attorney fees or costs relating to legal fights over control of the HOA by competing board members or HOA members.

The new board says association dues should pay only for maintenance and "to promote the health, safety and welfare of the residents" in Shadowmoss.

A hearing date has not been set.

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