2018 Elections – The Candidates
The Annual Meeting of the Members of the Old Orchard Community Association Inc. (OO CAI) is scheduled for October 25th, 2018 at 6:30 pm at the Community Clubhouse. There will be two (2) open Board Director Positions for which elections will take place. These positions are for three (3) year terms each. The candidates who have submitted their names are included in this file (click here). Please review their platforms and vote at the meeting. See you all at the meeting.
Mr. Salman Khan has withdrawn his application and candidacy for the O.O Board of Director election. When voting please do not mark his name on the ballot as any votes cast for him will be void. Any votes cast for another candidate on that same ballot will be counted. We apologize for any confusion this may cause.
Solicitation for Community Input
As an Old Orchard community resident, you know by now that the process for refreshing the Board has begun with the September Board Meeting. Two new Board members will join us at the October Elections.
We want to get a head start in bringing the community together to a common vision and make some needed changes in the way we manage Board proceedings, communications, and implementing decisions. Based on the recent discussions in social media, we would like your input on the following topics:
The OO Board is inviting concrete suggestions from you - OO residents - on these topics, and any other ideas for improvement. Please submit your ideas through the Old Orchard website. Separately, we are looking into a secure software that would maintain a database of the OO residences so that individualized communications, accounts, and transactions can be made.
Your ideas should be bulleted and concise without historization. Concise suggestions would help us tabulate these ideas and our work in terms of prioritization, allocation, and execution of the selected ideas. Please identify yourself: include householder name and address, (optional: phone number).
Please share this solicitation with your OO friends and neighbors who may not be currently the e-blast list, as well as remind them to register on the OO website so that every single household in Old Orchard can participate in the matters that are important to the community.
Deadline for input: October 10th, 2018.
Introduction of new Board members
Please click here for an introduction of the new Board Members.
2018 Board of Directors Solicitation of Candidates
The O.O. Community Association, Inc. annual meeting will be held Thursday October 25, 2018 from 6:30 to 8:30 PM. The meeting will take place at the O.O Community Association, Inc. clubhouse located at 13222 Peach Orchard Lane, Richmond, TX 77407. Two (2) three-year positions are available for election.
If you are interested in running for a position, please submit your request in writing providing your name, address, phone # and email address to April Pitarra at email@example.com, Fax (713) 776-1777, or mail to O.O Community Association, Inc. c/o MASC Austin Properties, Inc., 945 Eldridge Road, Sugar Land, TX 77478 no later than October 4, 2018.
Old Orchard Inspections and Enforcement (ON HOLD)
The Board of Directors has been made aware that some of you are still concerned about the Deed Restriction Inspections and Enforcement (even though it was already placed on hold). We are making this official so as to avoid any confusion. We are suspending Inspections and Enforcement until further notice to the contrary. This means that no further inspections will be conducted, and the enforcement on the violations recently noted (May 2018) is suspended. The new board will determine how to proceed on the Deed Restriction Inspections and Violation Enforcement in accordance with the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&R), and the Fine Policy already established. Fines levied prior to the audit (December 2017/Jan2018), continue to be in the homeowner’s records and must be cleared. The Board advises to work with the Management Company to determine which fines are in the records prior to the audit.
Old Orchard Board of Directors
OO Lawsuit Update
The Temporary Injunction hearing set for tomorrow morning has been postponed. The association attorney contacted counsel for the Plaintiffs and reached an agreement to work together on all issues related to the calling of the Special Meeting. This agreement does not conclude the litigation, it is simply an interim agreement as it relates to the Temporary Injunction hearing (now postponed) to allow the parties more time to discuss the details of the Special Meeting.
Old Orchard Lawsuit
The Board of Directors understands that many of you may be aware of and/or may have questions in relation to the litigation filed against the Association, its directors, and a former director. The lawsuit is available through a public records search in Fort Bend County using the following information:
Cause No. 18-DCV-253277, 268th Judicial District, Fort Bend County, Texas
Frank Kalkattawi, Catherine Holland, Sunil Sajja, John Joseph, John Porter, Edward Stecher, and Daneane
O.O. Community Association, Inc., Julio Acosta, Zeeshan Khurshid, and Chris Harmon
The defense of the suit is being covered by the Association’s insurance policy. The insurance carrier appointed a new law firm to represent the Association in the defense of the litigation. There are now 4 different law firms involved with the Special Meeting:
1.Roberts Markel Weinberg Butler Hailey PC: Brady Ortego represents the Association as general counsel. Many of you may recall Mr. Ortego’s presentation to the members during our February Board of Directors meeting wherein he advised the community regarding the potential expense to the community and suggestion that the community find a resolution that did not involve a Special Meeting to remove the directors. Mr. Ortego’s firm has again reached out to opposing counsel in the litigation to discuss resolution. This is the first time that Sears Bennet Gerdes LLP has expressed an interest in working with the Association’s counsel, Mr. Ortego.
2.Litchfield Cavo LLP: This law firm represents the Association in the defense of the litigation appointed by the insurance carrier. Mr. Ortego is working with this firm to ensure that it has all the necessary background information.
3.Sears Bennet Gerdes LLP: This law firm represents Frank Kalkattawi, Catherine Holland, Sunil Sajja, John Joseph, John Porter, Edward Stecher, and Daneane Hogan-Stecher and perhaps others. Mr. Sears refused to provide Mr. Ortego with the complete list of names of all his clients, but suggested that it may be up to 150 owners within Old Orchard.
4.Henry Jakob, PLLC: Mr. Jakob represents Frank Kalkattawi, Catherine Holland, Sunil Sajja, John Joseph, John Porter, Edward Stecher, and Daneane Hogan-Stecher.
It is of note that the lawsuit filed against the Association, its directors, and a former director suggests that any owner that signed the petition to call a Special Meeting to remove the directors also supports the lawsuit. We understand that many of you disagree with the notion that litigation is the best method to reach resolution. The Board of Directors believes that there is a better way to reach resolution, without engaging in expensive, time-consuming litigation that may go on for years. The litigation against the Association, its directors, and a former director has created an insurance claims history. We can say with confidence that the Association’s insurance premium and deductible will be higher upon renewal. Additionally, the current carrier may choose not to renew the insurance policy. Any increase in costs to the Association are passed through to all members through the assessments. The same is true for the substantial amount of attorney fees the Association has had to invest in relation to the Special Meeting. While we appreciate that not everyone may agree with some of the decisions of the Board of Directors, we hope that we can all agree that none of us want to pay higher assessments because we need attorneys to “referee” our disagreements.
We also understand from many of our neighbors that, although they may have signed the petition to call a Special Meeting to remove the directors, litigation and/or the involvement of 4 different law firms is beyond their original reason for signing the petition. As a result, many owners have reached out to the Association and asked that their names be removed from the petition to call a Special Meeting to remove the directors. We would like to invite any of our neighbors to contact the Association if you would like to remove your signature from the petition to call a Special Meeting to remove the directors. If you would like to remove your name from the petition, please send written confirmation of this to the Association’s community management team: firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your name, address, and a statement that you would like to revoke your signature to the petition to call a Special Meeting to remove the directors.
The Board of Directors hopes that the attorneys with the cooperation of the owners can find a way to resolve the dispute so that our community can move forward and avoid expensive, time-consuming litigation. We believe in the notion that productive, respectful communication amongst the Board of Directors and the owners is the better way. Litigation, lost resources and time may only be furthering the rift in our community.
Old Orchard Board of Directors
I attended the MUD # 25 Board Meeting on July 19, 2018 to inquire about the inspections being performed in Old Orchard where the Lakes level had to be lowered. As far as MUD 25 is concerned, their inspections are complete, and the drainage system is in optimal condition. MUD 25 already discussed with Lake Management (which happens to be our contractor as well) and the Old Orchard Water Well was turned on to replenish the front lakes. The two back Lakes, number 3 and 4, will be refilled by pumping some of the water from the front lakes once they are filled. Our front lakes are connected to each other and the well, as done by the developer, and the back ones were designed to be filled by rain water. Below is the complete statement from MUD # 25:
Old Orchard wells were turned on Monday, which should begin filling the larger lakes. Once filled, we can then transfer water over to the two back lakes. However, it will take some time to fill using the available lake makeup.
The District is not allowed to fill amenity lakes using potable (drinking water) nor can we pump water from Oyster Creek, without permission, because the water in Oyster Creek belongs to the State. The District's Project Engineer, Chris Canonico, has a call into the appropriate authorities to request permission to pump water from Oyster Creek.
Old Orchard Board of Directors
Fireworks and Enforcement
We do understand that fireworks are not enjoyed by everyone. While the Declaration does prohibit fireworks, enforcement of this violation requires evidence or proof of the owner or owners responsible for the fireworks. If you have specific information regarding the individuals responsible for the fireworks, we will investigate the incident. If you have photographs or videos and know the identity of those responsible, please forward to our attention. As stated, without evidence or proof, we do not know whom to pursue for the violation. In most cases, this information is simply not available which makes it difficult to move the violation forward. Thanks again for reaching out, and if you have information that will help, please forward to our attention.
Board Update 07/10/18
The Board of Directors understands that there may be an allegation circulating through the community that the Association is seeking removal of an improvement that serves a disability-related need of one of our neighbors. This allegation is wholly inaccurate and false. The Fair Housing Act protects the rights of disabled owners to install improvements that serve a disability-related need as reasonable modifications. The Association works closely with its management team and legal counsel on all Fair Housing Act questions. The Association has not sought removal of any improvement within the community that serves a disability-related need. We would like to remind our neighbors to investigate allegations and claims prior to communicating or forwarding potentially false or inaccurate information.
Board Update 6/29/18
The next Old Orchard Board of Directors Meeting will be held on July 26, 2018, at 12 noon at the clubhouse for the purpose of calling the Special Meeting as petitioned by residents.
The Board currently has a vacancy and is seeking residents who have an interest in serving on the Board to help build a better community in Old Orchard. If you have a desire to be on the Board, please send an email to Austin Properties or the Board of Directors as soon as possible.
Clarification on inspection letters received the week of 6/25
We are aware there is concern from the inspection letters received this week and confusion of how the enforcement was explained in the second paragraph of the document "Deed Restriction Inspection - May 2018", which accompanied the inspection letters. We hope the following detail will help clarify.
Austin Properties conducted a recent inspection of the Community on May 24th and instead of sending out actual deed restriction letters the Board agreed to send out a “Mock” letter, to help the community with a "soft restart" to inspections and enforcement. This letter includes the current violations we are seeing on the Property during a routine deed restriction inspection of the community. These letters are to serve ONLY as a “Warning” letter to the homeowners and no fines or fees are associated with it, and no letters were sent by certified mail. The purpose was to give the community enough notice that inspections were restarting, and corrective actions should be taken within the next 30 days from receipt of the letter, otherwise a similar letter will be sent post or certified mailed (as appropriate) after the next inspection for the existing violations, along with the corresponding enforcement action. The letters were delayed in the mailing as the Board needed time to put together the statistics and write up of the document "Deed Restriction Inspection".
At this time there are no hearings being scheduled with the Board because these are not actual certified letters. Again, there are also NO fines and fees being assessed with these letters at this time. Please note the next inspection will occur no sooner than July 25, 2018 ( 30 days from June 25th). Please make all necessary corrections per the letters to avoid any future fines and fees.
If you still have questions, please contact Austin Properties. Thank you for your patience as we seek to improve and restart the inspection process.
OO Home with Alleged Construction Defects
The Board of Directors recently received inquiries related to alleged construction defects in relation to sheetrock/drywall installation in at least one home in the community. While we appreciate the concern regarding the alleged defect in construction, the Board must make it clear to the owners/members that the Association, Board, and/or management are in no way involved with the details of the construction of a home. While there may be limited architectural review authority reserved to a committee of the Board in relation improvements, this authority in no way allows the Association, Board, and/or management to dictate how a home is constructed and/or whether or not the builder hired by the owner/member complies with general standards of construction. We hope that the owners/members understand that if there is a defect related to the construction of a home, the Association, Board, and/or management are in no way responsible for the defective construction. The dispute exists solely between the owner/member and the builder(s).
While the Board acknowledges the free speech of residents recently observed within Old Orchard, the posting of signs, banners, or yellow tape on residents property is not allowed per the governing documents for Old Orchard. Residents / members will note these are being removed at the concerned property which would have a negative impact on property values within the community.
Results of the Criminal Investigation
As many of you may know, the Board of Directors of the Association and the Management Company were contacted in relation to a criminal investigation filed with the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division, Fraud/Organized Crime under Case No. 18-16523. In summary, Detective Matthew Carl led the investigation involving the Association, requested certain documentation in relation to recent contracts entered into by the Association, and notified legal counsel of the following:
“I reviewed the provided information and found no reason to continue an investigation into the claim.” (emphasis added)
Detective Carl informed legal counsel for the Association that the complaint was filed by one individual on behalf of himself (“Complainant”) and an unidentified number of residents that the Complainant alleged to the detective to be represented by the Complainant. Detective Carl described the investigation as “administrative”. Detective Carl further advised legal counsel that a high percentage of these types of complaints against associations never result in formal investigation much less formal prosecution. Detective Carl stated that nonetheless, the complaints must be investigated and documentation must be provided. While the Board, Management, and legal counsel felt confident that the Complainant’s allegations were unsupported as later confirmed by Detective Carl, the Board, Management, and legal counsel nonetheless cooperated completely and provided information and documentation requested by Detective Carl. To the extent that any of you are interested in the details of the investigation, you may submit a public information request through the following link:’
As you can see from the statement from Detective Carl, the Board, Association, and Management company have been cleared of any wrongdoing. The criminal investigation initiated by the Complainant did not proceed or escalate into any sort of subpoena, indictment, or other formal process with the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division, Fraud/Organized Crime.
The Board is pleased that the Association no longer must invest the community’s precious time and the members’ assessments on this complaint. We had hoped to focus time and finances on more pressing issues facing our community, but the investigation could not be ignored even if the allegations against the Board, Association and Management ultimately did not have any support.
We urge the community to come together and stop actions that unnecessarily divert community time and members’ assessments. The Board wanted to come forward with this important information for the Old Orchard Community with the hopes that we can find a way to bring our community together with under the common goal of preservation of resources.
FB MUD # 25 Maintenance and OO’s Lake # 2
The Board has been made aware that MUD 25 is in the process of inspecting the drainage system around the neighborhood. It appears they have been here already as homeowners have reported manhole tops being removed and a truck inspecting them. As part of this inspection and maintenance, Lake # 2, which happens to be our main rain water collector, will be impacted. The below is the verbatim statement we received from MUD # 25:
Please advise the HOA board of directors that Fort Bend Municipal Utility District No.25 is in the process of
routine maintenance of the storm drain infrastructure in all subdivisions in our district. The maintenance
includes jetting (high pressure spraying) and TV’ing (video photography) to ensure no blockage exists to prevent
drainage and that the integrity of the infrastructure is still satisfactory (no cracks, breaks, tree roots, etc.). Again,
this is routine maintenance .
The Old Orchard storm drain system was constructed in conjunction with the desired lake level in the amenity \
pond. As the amenity pond elevation was set, the storm drain system was designed with a submerged drainage
system. This is different than a normally dry system in other parts of the District. Both type of systems have the
necessary capacity to carry the design storm, but the Old Orchard system storm drains are wet and drain
through an outfall system in the amenity Lake. The best practices method for inspecting the storm drains in Old
Orchard is to pump the amenity Lake down so storm drains can empty all water and then go through the storm
drain system with cameras and jetting (cleaning) equipment. Please advise your HOA that the District will begin
to pump down the front amenity lake and drain to the back amenity lake June 18-29, or until the process is
complete (may be completed sooner).
Please be aware if you start to see the Lake level go down.
Response to Homeowners Petition
Please click here for the Response to Homeowners Petition.
Pay Your 2018 Assessments Online
Please click here to pay Your 2018 Assessments Online