What are the subdivision covenants (a/k/a Declaration)?
The covenants are the documents recorded in the public records that establish the governance and use rules related to our subdivision, West Point SSI.
What is the Amended and Restated Declaration?
It is an amendment to some but not all of the existing covenants and a restatement of the existing covenants that also incorporates all prior amendments, so that this one document will replace all of the existing covenants and amendments. The Amended and Restated Declaration is being proposed by West Point Plantation, LLC, the developer of the subdivision and the declarant under the existing covenants. The document has been reviewed and approved by an advisory committee of owners in the subdivision.
What are the differences between the existing covenants and the Amended and Restated Declaration?
There are a number of differences between the existing covenants and the Amended and Restated Declaration. There is a document posted in the portal that attempts, in redline form, to show the changes from the existing covenants in the Amended and Restated Declaration. There is also a Summary table at the end of this document outlining some of the important changes.
With so much information, what is important for me to review?
Because the format of the new and old documents are different, and the nature of the proposed changes, we recommend that you read the proposed Amended and Restated Declaration first and base your consideration on the review of that document. The documents in the portal are intended for reference and for those owners who wish to dig deeper into the proposed changes.
I understand that the Developer has in the past recorded amendments to the subdivision covenants without an owner vote. Why am I being asked to approve the amendments in the Amended and Restated Declaration?
The existing covenants state that the Developer can unilaterally amend the subdivision covenants, and the Developer has in the past recorded amendments without a vote of the owners. However, the Developer would like to have owner input and agreement as to this full Amended and Restated Declaration because Developer believes it is a benefit to the subdivision and its owners.
As a further showing of good faith, the Developer has agreed to require a 2/3 vote of the owners (and the consent of the Developer during the period in which the Developer has the authority to add property to the subdivision) for any future amendments of the Amended and Restated Declaration (see Section 2.5(A)(1) on Page 8 of the Amended and Restated Declaration) and a majority vote of the owners (and the consent of the Developer during the period in which the Developer has the authority to add property to the subdivision for future amendments to the design guidelines) for any future amendments of the Design Guidelines (see Section 4.1 on Page 27 of the Amended and Restated Declaration).
The Developer is requesting your approval of the Amended and Restated Declaration to secure a vote of as many of the owners as possible for transparency and also unity of the neighborhood. The goal is to obtain 2/3 approval of the owners for the Amended and Restated Declaration, but Developer also reserves the right, without obligation, to record the Amended and Restated Declaration under its express authority to unilaterally amend the covenants under the existing covenants (again, this right is relinquished by the Developer upon the recording of the Amended and Restated Declaration if approved in its current form).
Why should I care about the covenants and this vote?
The Developer is seeking your support of the Amended and Restated Declaration to minimize the risk of conflict over the existing covenants in the future, which could potentially affect marketability and value of property within the subdivision, including your property.
When will control of the association be turned over to the lot owners?
The existing covenants include a provision stating that the Developer’s intention to retain control of the association until the subdivision is fully developed, which is typical in Georgia and St. Simons subdivisions. The special voting membership of the Developer, which gives the Developer majority vote and the appointment of the members to the Board, will remain in place until the Developer sells all of its lots or voluntarily terminates the special voting membership. In the new document that the Developer is asking you to approve, the Developer is giving up some rights and specifies that an owner vote is required for future amendments to the covenants, including the design guidelines.