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Proposed Inspection Policy Draft

In an effort to reduce past confusion and tensions regarding neighborhood inspections, the Board has drafted a proposed Inspection Policy (click on the link to view). The proposed policy is not intended to replace our existing Neighborhood Policies or Bylaws, but rather to clarify expectations about the process and content of the inspections themselves. The proposed Inspection Policy incorporates the feedback received from last year’s Aesthetics Survey, and attempts to strike a healthy balance between differing interpretations of the Association’s enforcement role. Please take a moment to read through the draft policy, and let the Board know what you think. This topic will likely be discussed at the Board meeting on February 26th, and your feedback would be much appreciated.

Here are some highlights of the proposed policy:

There would be 2 main types of inspections: “Routine Inspections” and “Annual Inspections”.

Routine Inspections would be carried out regularly, but would cover only those items that are very straightforward, clearly spelled out in our Bylaws and Neighborhood Policies, and have proven “non-controversial” in the past. Many of these are also in keeping with Ann Arbor City code. These items also tend to have the characteristic that problems with them can develop quickly, but they are generally easy to correct. They include things like keeping grass height to 6” or less, keeping snow cleared from sidewalks, and not allowing debris to accumulate. These inspections would be carried out by our management company.

Annual Inspections would be carried out only once per year, and would cover items that fall under the “properly maintained” provision of our Bylaws. By their very nature, these items are open to greater interpretation, and therefore have sometimes proven to be controversial in the past. The policy attempts to help clarify these issues by defining some standards based on the results of the Aesthetics Survey from last August. Holding these inspections only once per year is in keeping with the survey results, since a majority of respondents preferred that inspections be no more frequent than this. Because a majority of survey respondents also preferred to have inspections carried out by a homeowner committee, it is proposed that a reconstituted Landscape & Architecture Committee take the leading role in organizing and conducting the Annual Inspection.

The policy also includes a mechanism for handling complaints from homeowners regarding violations. The intent is to document how the Association will handle such complaints in a way that protects the rights of all homeowners.

Since the nature and tone of violation letters has been a cause of concern for many homeowners in the past, the policy sets some standards for such letters, and places ultimate responsibility for their content with the AHCA Board.