Why was the Architectural Control Committee Election Canceled?

While it was a great step forward to have another election planned to fill the seats of a long-vacant committee, there was good reason to cancel the election. It wasn’t actually needed.

According to Sagemeadow’s covenants and restrictions for every section (Part B – Architectural Committee), a committee of three individuals were designated by name, to oversee and approve all new structures, alterations, improvements, etc. in each section. Once one or more of the committee leaves or is unable to perform the role, the remaining members have full authority to appoint a replacement. After a period of time (typically 1 – 2 years depending on the section), the authority of that committee would be passed to a committee of three homeowners, selected by a majority of lot owners in all sections of Sagemeadow. Since June 1, 1997, there is no record I can find that points to any election of any replacement architecture committee. So what does that mean then? It means that according to our restrictions documents, there was no longer an architecture committee. We thought then, let’s revive the architecture committee and hold another election, just like we had for the Sagemeadow Committee. The plan was in place. Unfortunately (or fortunately), we read more about our subdivision’s restrictions and it seems that there was much more work to do than we first thought.

At that point, it was our belief that in order to have another architecture committee, we would need to hold an election that all 1,161 lot owners of Sagemeadow would need to participate in, and in which the candidates needed to receive a majority vote for each seat. As you can probably appreciate, setting up an election where everyone in the subdivision participated is itself, a very challenging task. We needed to postpone the election until we could properly canvas our neighborhood and make sure that every homeowner at least had the opportunity to vote for the new architecture committee. The story could stop there but, as with everything in this subdivision, there was more to know about how things work now.

When I was first considering running for the chairman’s seat, I began doing a great deal of research (actually, thanks to several of our neighbors for helping me find much of the information that I digested). One of the many sources of information I began reading was the Texas Property Code. What I suspected, and then later confirmed was that the State had a specific section in it talking about architectural control committees (Sec. 204.011.  ARCHITECTURAL CONTROL COMMITTEE.) In fact, they address the very situation we were facing. What I read there is basically, if a member of the architectural control committee abdicates their responsibility for more than one year, then that authority automatically falls to the HOA leadership. Since there has been no other architecture committee of record since ~1997, the authority ultimately rested with the Sagemeadow Committee. This was the light we needed. The authority of the architecture committee, according to the State of Texas was ours and the committee and I agreed, that we needed to delegate that responsibility. It was at that point that we decided to cancel the election. As luck would have it, we also had three solid members of our community that had a strong interest in serving. So, on June 18th, 2020, the first three members of the new architectural control committee were introduced and officially acknowledged in their newly assigned positions. We will be posting mini-bios for each volunteer in the coming weeks.

To learn more about our newest team members, please visit the Architectural Control Committee page https://sagemeadow.org/architectural-control-committee/.

Seth Webb –

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