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Crown Harbor Homeowner Association

Annual Meeting 2015

Date: Wednesday, March 25, 2015
7:00 pm Sign in
7:15 pm Meeting begins
Place: Ballena Bay Yacht Club
1150 Ballena BLVD
Alameda, CA 94501
roll call I. Roll Call
  • Count membership present by ballots and sign-ins
  • Total membership required present by both to establish a quorum and hold the meeting: 51% (39 homes)
call order II. Call Meeting to Order when Quorum is Established
  • Ballots collected: 46
  • Ballots required: 39
  • Call to Order: 7:15 pm
board III. Introduction of Board Members
  • President: Dave Eck
  • Vice President: Sean McDermott
  • Vice President: Roseanne DiSandro
  • Secretary: Scott Sheppard
  • Treasurer: Eugene McDermott
management   Introduction of Management
  • Property Manager: John Caffall
  • Roof Replacement Project Manager: Dan Poe
minutes IV. Approval of 2014 General Meeting Minutes

Presenter Item
2014 Annual Meeting Minutes

Responses to Last Year's Action Items
  1. Peggy McDermott: Ed Stavnezer would like to opt out of the US Postal Clarion mailing.

    The list for mailed paper copies was updated.

  2. Landscaping Committee: Consider drip irrigation systems to reduce water usage.

    • The Crown Harbor irrigation system has 24 zones.
    • The cost of a drip system for a zone is ~$1,400.
    • The total cost would be ~$33,600.
    • This is large enough that it cannot be absorbed into the operating budget.
    • This is an item that will be factored into our next reserve study which will be produced in 2015.
  3. Social Committee: Consider moving the Holiday Party to March or April (not so close to the Annual Picnic).

    The annual picnic was moved to July so there is some spacing between the picnic and the holiday party.

  4. Landscaping: Solicit proposals to reduce water usage in the common areas by eliminating or reducing the amount of grass.

    • This is a project that can be considered after the roof replacement project has been completed.
    • Step one would be to hire a landscape architect to draw up multiple plans that would amplify the beauty and property value associated with the green space, yet reduce water usage.
    • Community members could then provide feedback on those plans.
  5. Peggy McDermott: Show the Landscaping Committee what you have in mind for the front garden area.

    This was accomplished.

  6. Board: Consider barrels under spouts to collect rainwater.

    An analysis was conducted based on cost:

    • Alameda gets ~23 inches of rain annually. Each of the 2 sides of a Crown Harbor roof is approximately 24 feet by 16 feet. Each side typically has 2 down spouts. So the association would need 4 barrels per unit. If the 4 rain barrels were connected to the gutters from the roof, given the annual rainfall, the barrels could collect 11,010 gallons of water in a year.
    • EBMUD bills in terms of units (748 gallons). The highest rate for a unit of water from EBMUD is $4.42. So the worst-case cost of 11,010 gallons of water from EBMUD is $65.06.
    • Baytec Containers sells 55 gallon blue drums on the web for $119.95 (sometimes on sale for $94.95). Since the association needs 4 barrels per unit, the cost would be $379.80 per unit.
    • So the best possible cost of the barrels ($379.80) outweighs the highest possible cost of the water ($65.06) they would collect. The 55 gallon barrels would need to be emptied in some fashion ~50 times over the course of a year. Otherwise they would overflow, and the captured rainwater would not be put to optimal use.
    • The initial cost outlay to the association would be $28,864.80 for 76 units. It would take about 6 years to recoup the investment for just the barrels themselves, not accounting for any installation nor maintenance costs. There would probably be additional costs to develop and install a way to get the rainwater from the barrels to the gardens.

    A spreadsheet is available for those who wish to see the calculations.

  7. Board: Consider gray water recycling techniques.

    • A typical gray water system for a Unit that would convert household water for garden irrigation would be ~$3,500. The problem with this is that Owners would be spending personal money (water system) to reduce Association expenses (irrigation water costs).
    • A typical system that would make household gray water drinkable would be over $30,000. For most Owners, the costs of such a system could not be recouped during a lifetime.
    • As such, systems for either purpose are cost prohibitive at this time.


MotionScott Sheppard
SecondGene McDermott
Vote36 in favor, 0 opposed, 0 abstain


community reports V. Community Reports

Presenter /


President's Report
  • The early storms blew down trees, blew off shingles, and caused various leaks.
  • We all must remain vigilant to keep our (and visitors') vehicles to the posted speed limit of 15 MPH.
  • The new sewer system pumps we installed have greatly improved the reliability of the system.
  • Problems with streetlights and bollards shorting out were alleviated after contractors reviewed the problem and concluded that we should change the wattages on the bulbs in the system.
  • Sections of the pathway that were severely buckled were repaired, the pathway was resealed with a tar coating, and a berm was installed based on a concern that a pedestrian or cyclist could easily fall of the edge of the path and land on the concrete rip rap.
  • Thanks to the elimination of seed-based bird feeders, there were fewer complaints about raccoons and rats this year.
  • Friends of Crown Beach were successful in gathering the required number of signatures to place the fate of the neighboring Government Services Agency (GSA) property on the ballot, so the City of Alameda, rather that put it on the ballet, did the downzoning by Council resolution. GSA has not accepted the lowered value of the property for sale to the East Bay Regional Parks District (EBRPD) and has made the property available to other Governmental Agencies for either long term or short term use. Instead, owners and residents, can use information on the Crown Harbor website to send letters to our elected officials urging them to take action in support of East Bay Regional Parks District obtaining the property.


End of 2014 Summary

Approved Operating Budget

A‑One Bundled Services Contract Status

2015 Reserve Forecast

Assessment Estimate

Special Assessment Account
End of Year 2014 Financial Status
  • We collected ~$402,000 in dues, ~$1,800 over budget.
  • We spent ~$389,000 in operating expenses, ~$11,000 under budget.
  • The normal reserve account balance is ~$141,000.
  • The special roof replacement reserve account balance is ~$322,000, but the third installment has not been applied yet.
Approved 2015 Operating Budget
  • There was no dues increase from 2014.
  • The contribution to the reserve account was increased from 2014 to 2015, but was offset by reductions in spending to avoid raising the dues.
  • The planned reductions in spending come from administrative services, communications (e.g., printing/postage), insurance, utilities, contracted services, and maintenance.
  • These reductions also make up for modest increases in landscaping, irrigation, and professional services.
A‑One Bundled Contract
  • The budgeted bundled cost for siding repair, painting, and the roof tune-up was ~404,000.
  • After processing all of the change orders and walk-out roofs, the total came to ~535,000, ~131,000 over budget.
  • We anticipate no further charges for the Bundled Services Contract.
  • As new roof leaks appear, additional funds will be required to address them.
  • In February 2015, the Board voted to move forward with extending the contract to include the roof replacement project to minimize these additional expenses, and in particular, avoid the reimbursement costs to owners who incur damage from the leaks.
2015 Normal Reserve Forecast
  • The data is from the reserve study done in 2012.
  • The normal reserve account balance is expected to grow to ~$298,000.
  • For 2015, there is a plan to spend ~$38,000 from the reserve account on asphalt, a new reserve study, a new vehicle gate, and landscaping replenishment.
  • The plan also includes spending another ~$88,000 from the reserve account on gutters and sewer lateral testing, but these are less likely.
  • If all is spent, the normal reserve account will end up at ~$172,000.
2015 Roof Replacement Reserve Forecast
  • The special reserve account for roofing should grow to ~$507,000.
  • If the replacement project is pulled forward, that money would be spent, plus borrowing the rest.
Assessment Estimate
  • The assessment values were based on the cost of materials for a 30-year, not a 40-year roof.
  • In 2014, ~$120,000 was spent repairing the walkout roofs.
  • The remaining work is estimated at ~$622,000.
  • With a roof replacement account balance of ~$507,000, the Association would need to borrow ~$115,000 from A‑One at 0% interest and pay that back in 1 year.
Special Assessment Account
  • The forecasted income was to plan.
  • There is one unit with a bankruptcy/foreclosure in process that has not paid its 3 assessment payments.
  • The forecast demonstrates how the roof account will have ~$507,000 by the end of the year and ~$886,000 by the end of 2017.
  • If the project is pulled forward, it is possible that the funds from the final year of the roof assessment could be used to cover the costs of change orders or to help keep dues low in subsequent years.

  • The website serves visitors who may wish to purchase property in our complex and community members who want to know what is going on.
  • The Association does not incur any of the expenses associated with its two domain names ( and, website hosting via, and email distribution list through These costs are covered by Scott Sheppard as they are related to his profession.


committee reports VI. Committee and Special Topic Reports

List of Committee Chairs
  • CC&R: Dave Eck
  • CERT: Barbara Bolton, Deeahna Lorenz, Ellen Marshall (none present)
  • Design Review: Carol Ansley (not present)
  • Landscaping: Dave Eck
  • Maintenance: Richard Fabbri
  • Reserve Study: Scott Sheppard
  • Security: Burny Mathews (not present)
  • Social: Barbara Bolton (not present)
  • The Clarion: Peggy McDermott (not present)
Presenter /


CERT Committee Report
  • Crown Harbor is divided into 4 neighborhoods.
  • Each neighborhood has 4 teams, each with a designated responsibility.
    1. Radio and Logistics
    2. Search and Rescue
    3. Utility
    4. First Aid
  • New CERT class sessions are being held:
    • May 2015
    • August/September 2015
    • October/November 2015
    If you cannot attend each class you can take the missed class the next session.

  • Like last year, committee work has been fairly slow this year and primarily about already approved work.
  • Most projects this past year involved window replacement.
  • Additional approvals included projects for major bathroom renovation with plumbing/electrical work, installation of exterior wall vent for water heater replacement, and location of Direct TV installation.
  • The Crown Harbor Website Design Review Committee page is an excellent resource to homeowners wanting guidelines on making any alterations to their homes, both inside and exterior modifications.
  • Requests for approval should be submitted to the committee using the Architectural Variance Request form and submitted to the committee chairs or via
  • Projects with prior Board approval require no additional review and will be handled promptly.
  • The approval process will never be the critical path to completing a project. There is no excuse not to file.


Landscaping Committee Report
  • Our HOA came in at 58% below our water allotment and saved a significant amount of money on our water bills ($9,231).
  • This period has been a disaster for tree removal due to the effects of the storms.
  • With the water system frequency so low they would run the risk of transplant shock, we have not yet planted replacement trees by the front gate or on Kings Road.
  • Our arborist recommends pruning on the trees in front of view windows after the early burst of spring growth (April).
  • We had our landscaper submit a proposal (~$35,000) for drip irrigation of the landscape in zones near the residences. That would save some water; however, a bigger motivation is to go to a system that would not have over-spray on the buildings.
  • We have had discussion over the last few years about minimizing the amount of turf on our site. We have had multiple native grasses invade the lawn areas. This is especially true for the large horseshoe area bordered by Kings and Crown. With the drought so firmly in place, replacing it with new turf does not make much sense right now.
  • We have had limited conversations with landscape designers for a more xeriscape approach. They have immediately run into the dollars needed to that kind of project. That idea is something that needs to be part of our new reserve study.
  • The entrance landscaping project is done. Plants were selected based on their drought tolerance and our history with them in the Crown Harbor landscaping.

  • Ensured the garage lights and the pathway lights are on during the evening.
  • Kept the pathway gates' electric timers for opening and closing the gates adjusted to the ever changing sunrise and sunset times.
  • The committee is considering taking on small projects that can help save the Association money.


Reserve Study Committee Report
  • The current reserve study is from 2012. This was used to derive the $13,111 that is transferred from the operating account to the reserve account each month.
  • The Board contracted with Associa Reserve Studies for a new reserve study at a cost of $1,200. This study will be available in April. Associa Reserve Studies will provide future reserve study updates, e.g., in 2018, at a cost of only $375.
  • In April, a committee of interested Owners will be formed as part of receiving and accepting this new reserve study. Anyone interested can understand what money is being collected towards maintenance/replacement of physical assets over the long term. The chairman is interested in getting non-Board members involved. To date, only Richard Fabbri has expressed interest, but all Owners are welcome.
  • The numbers in this new report will be used to determine the dues amounts for 2016, 2017, and 2018, in other words, until the next new reserve study (actually an update of the 2015 one) is received in 2018.


Security Committee Report
  • The Alameda Police Department Crime Statistics Unit reports that from the 2014 calendar year, there were a total of 41 calls for service, both police and fire from our residents.
  • The types of calls include: AFD, suspicious person, false alarms, disturbing the peace and parking problems. Those which resulted in a criminal report included one burglary and one petty theft.
  • Residents are becoming more willing to observe and report what they see in these types of incidents. All Crown Harbor residents are reminded that it is imperative that we report anything or anyone who looks suspicious to the Alameda Police Department.
  • All streets in Crown Harbor are fire lanes. This means that you CANNOT PARK ON THE STREET. The only exception is when you are actively unloading/loading your vehicle and you are in close proximity to the vehicle.
  • Do NOT keep your gate and garage opener device in an easy location for someone to find inside your car parked outside of your garage. Thieves know there is a good likelihood that a garage door opener will be on the sun visor or dashboard of your vehicle.


Social Committee Report
  • We held our traditional holiday picnic on a sunny Sunday, September 14.
  • We held our progressive holiday party on Sunday, December 13.
  • Robert and Rise Hammond held a TGIF on April 11.
Crown Harbor has two primary events. Historically these have both been in the second half of the year. To spread our celebratory activities out, we have moved the picnic to July.
  • The annual picnic is scheduled for Sunday, July 12, 2015.
  • The holiday party is scheduled for Sunday, December 13, 2015.

The Clarion
  • After 4 years of faithful service, Peggy McDermott has decided to retire publication of The Clarion.
  • HOA information will be distributed using instead.
  • Past issues of The Clarion will remain on the site on the newsletter page.
  • Since everyone does not have an email address, per Davis-Stirling rules, official communications will continue to be sent via US Postal mail.


Special Topics
Presenter /

  • GSA has an existing easement with Crown Harbor to have their parking lot storm runoff enter Crown Harbor drains.
  • This easement would transfer to EBRPD if they acquire the property; however, the easement is only transferable for the same use.
  • If EBRPD were to construct something on the site other than a parking lot, is that the same use? Crown Harbor is looking for a legal opinion on this matter.
  • Crown Harbor drains connect to the Bay. Should toxins ever enter the Bay from Crown Harbor drains, Crown Harbor needs to be protected from ensuing fines if the toxins originated on EBRPD property.
  • If Crown Harbor drains get clogged and lead to flooding on EBRPD property, Crown Harbor also needs to be protected.


Pre and Post data for Meter 1

Pre and Post data for Meter 2
  • The Association spent $23,273 replacing our lighting system.
  • In determining the Association rebate, Alameda Municipal Power (AMP) initially computed it as more than the Association spent last year.
  • AMP's resulting impression was that the Association must have an additional meter that was not being read.
  • AMP walked the property with Board members to prove there are no hidden meters.
  • An agreement was reached for the Association to use the new lights for 6 months (ends this month) to determine what savings are being garnered.
  • AMP will compute a rebate based on the savings.
Post Meeting Update
  • Using the collected data (see spreadsheets to the right for 2 meters), AMP has calculated the rebate as $4,179.30.
  • With the rebate of $4,179, the Association's actual cost is $19,094 (down from $23,273).
  • The data shows an estimated savings of $3,565 per year yielding a pay-off of 5.35 years (5 years and 5 months).
  • The 2015 budget is conservative and only reduces the electricity budget by $2,850, so it looks like the Association will be another $700 ahead of budget.


elections VII. Elections
  • Collect late ballots
  • Open envelopes
  • Tally the ballots
announce VIII. Announce Results of Balloting
  1. IRS Ruling 70-604


    The motion to transfer the remaining balance from the operating account to the reserve account was passed.

  2. Election of five (5) candidates to the Board of Directors

    On the Ballot



    4Offer with first
    right of refusal
    2Offer with second
    right of refusal
    1Offer with third
    right of refusal

    Thanks to the candidates who volunteered. The write-ins will be contacted in the order listed and offered the remaining Board position. If all decline, based on Section 7.7 of the Crown Harbor Bylaws, since the Board vacancy is not the result of Board member removal by the Members, the remaining Board member slot can be filled by a vote of the Board.

discussions IX. Open Discussions from the Floor
  1. Warren Linney: Should we consider just installing solar for everyone at the same time the roofs are being replaced.
    The Association is covering the cost of the roof replacement. The electricity used by each Unit, as reflected by the Unit's meter, is the responsibility of the Owner. So it's no appropriate to spend Association money to reduce Owner costs. The savings would vary from Unit to Unit but the installation cost would be the same (or close to the same).

  2. Richard Fabbri: What are our options for skylights?
    Depending on the model, the expected life of a skylight can be as short as 5-7 years or as long as 20 years. Skylights were an option when the Units were constructed. As such, some have them whereas some do not. So the cost of replacing skylights is an Owner responsibility. The plan is to treat them like windows. The Design Review Committee will define a specification for allowable skylights. Owners will be free to have A‑One obtain and install them as part of the roof replacement (at an estimated cost of $1725) or hire their own contractor before/after the roof replacement project. New skylights are mandated to have UV protection.

adjourn X. Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 8:54 pm.

This Year's Action Items:
  1. John Caffall: Ed Stavnezer would like to know the cause and who paid for the leak repairs at 547 Kings.

  2. Community: The Landscaping Committee is looking for a new chairman. Contact Dave Eck if interested.

  3. Community: The Maintenance Committee is looking for residents with handyman skills to possibly take on some small projects that would save the Association money. Contact Richard Fabbri if interested.

  4. Community: Peggy McDermott has decided to retire publication of The Clarion unless someone wants to take it over. Contact Peggy if interested.

  5. Design Review Committee: Define the specifications for replacement skylights in the Association.

  6. Design Review Committee: Define the guidelines for solar panels in the Association.

  7. John Caffall: Poll the write-in candidates to see if one of them wishes to fill the remaining Board member position.

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