I have been contacted by a number of Cloister residents who are unhappy that certain Cloister Rules and Regulations are starting to be enforced. One resident attempted to recruit me for a petition drive. Frankly I did not understand the goal for the petition drive and I decided that I really didn’t want to be involved in some plan that was not well thought out or possibly worked against my property values.
Perhaps my problem is that at one time I was responsible for facilities maintenance and repair of a dining hall, power station, motor pool and electronic equipment on a remote island across the China coast in the East China sea. It does change my viewpoint about certain matters involving property management, maintenance and repair.
As I understand it, there are two categories of permissions and restrictions governing owner actions and behaviors effecting Cloister property and welfare of residents.
- The first set of permissions and restrictions are contained in the Bylaws of the Cloister. These bylaws are attached to the Master Deed for the property. Amendments are recorded with the Office of the Register of Deeds of Davidson County. Any amendment to the Bylaws requires an affirmative vote of 2/3 of the eligible unit owners(only one vote per residential unit).
- The second set of permissions and restrictions are contained in rules and regulations that are issued by the elected Home Owners Association Board of Directors or various committee chairmen appointed by the board and granted the powers of the board.
What does this difference mean?
Any change in the Bylaws requires a meeting of the homeowners and approval by 2/3 of eligible homeowners. These become a part of and attached to the the Master Deed of the property.
Any rule and regulation can be issued by the elected HOA Board of Directors or Committee Chairs appointed by the board and granted the power of the Board to set rules and regulations. They do not require any agreement or vote by residents and the Board of Directors has the power to enforce these rules and regulations.
Bonney and I have made every attempt to comply with both 1. Bylaws and 2. rules and regulations at considerable expense and some inconvenience. I may not like some of them but I understand the basic principle that the goal of these permissions and restrictions is to maintain the market value of my unit, control operating and maintenance costs which I pay for with my monthly HOA fee, and maintain the appearance and condition of our community as well as promoting the general welfare of the residents. I have served on the Cloister HOA Board and I know it is impossible to make everyone happy with board actions and decisions but people elected to the board are responsible to take decisions on behalf of the residents.
Some people choose to ignore these rules and regulations, others buy a Cloister property that through the actions of a previous owner does not meet the requirements of the Bylaws or Rules and Regulations.
I have little respect for people who fail to curb their dogs and allow the dog to relieve itself on my front lawn and simply walk away leaving a pile of excrement. It’s their dog and it’s their waste!
As I drive around our neighborhood I see trees and shrubs growing into the side of our residential buildings, bushes and hedges reaching the rooftop or covering windows making maintenance of the buildings impossible. I see trees dropping leaves into raingutters and cloging the underground drains which we homeowners paid hundreds of thousands dollars to install and pay $thousands more for machinery and manpower to replace clogged underground drainage systems.
One caller told me that she objected having to maintain her property because she wanted to leave an inheritance for her children! How about the rest of us homeowners? Is it necessary that we should drive by her overgrown yard for the sake of this woman’s heirs as she leaves this world?
I would hope not………………
My son and his wife keep several cats at their home. Bonney and I have only one cat….Jake. Jake has been with us for many years.We inherited Jake from our son Michael after a nasty divorce which made keeping Jake too difficult. We had various dogs and cats over our married life. Our favorites had tragic endings.
Pepper the Cat was an outdoor hunting cat and would bring live creatures he had caught to the front porch so Bonney and I could admire his catch. Pepper was not a house cat. Over time he got just a step slower and was eventually trapped by a large dog who shook Pepper until the dog broke Pepper’s back.
Barkley, our American Eskimo was lively, active companion dog who loved to entertain and join in on all family activities. He was outgoing and friendly with our family members, but reserved with strangers. Barkley was a small dog, under 30 pounds,–with a big-dog attitude. Unfortunately Barkley decided to fight against a giant German Shepherd who bit Barkley’s rear leg in two. We paid a lot to have a metal rod inserted in his leg, but Barkley began suffering with the dog version of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and had to be put down after he “went postal” and attacked the Postman and two neighbors, including a young bike-riding girl, attacked after Barkley tore the leash out of Bonney’s hand.
My attitude about dogs and cats is much like that of Bonney’s father, Ben. Ben was raised on and later operated a farm. To him an animal was simply a resource and any dog he tended to and fed was a hunting dog. Later in life his attitude softened and he became attached to these dogs and fed and tended to them for the rest of their lives. But I never saw him pet any dog of his. The best any of Ben’s dogs could expect is that Ben would throw them some raw meat over the fence! I don’t throw raw meat to our cat Jake but he will rub against my leg when he wants something. He and I tolerate each other but Bonney and Jake are like Mother and Child.
Jake does not meow but rather scolds with a human like voice when he wants food or an open window to peer out. Jake is an indoor cat for two reasons 1. he has lived in a house for much of his life and 2. He was declawed early in his life and cannot defend himself or even climb trees to escape danger. Jake is getting old, his equivalent human age is 84 years but he has a good life and is well cared for by my lovely wife Bonney.
How old is your pet in Human Years?
6 mos 15 years
1 year 24 years
2 years 28 years
3 years 32 years
4 years 36 years
5 years 40 years
6 years 44 years
7 years 48 years
8 years 52 years
9 years 56 years
10 years 60 years
11 years 64 years
12 years 68 years
13 years 72 years
14 years 76 years
15 years 80 years
16 years 84 years
17 years 88 years
18 years 92 years
19 years 96 years
20 years 100 years
Human equivalent years
Dogs and cats were domesticated by humans at least 15,000 years ago. Their greatest service today is as household pets.
Out of curiosity I decided to see if The Cloister Homeowners Manual has anything to say about pets. The following is from the May 1993 Printing:
- Each pet owner shall file with the COA Board a written registration of his pet, giving a description including age, name, color, and license number.
- All dogs and cats owned by residents or their guests must be on a leash while outside the unit. When not on a leash, they must be kept inside the house or privacy area. All dogs must be exercised in designated areas. Owners must use their best efforts to cause their dogs to relieve themselves only in these areas.
- No dog or cat shall be tied at any time outside the unit or privacy area. A dog may be kept in a garage with the garage door left partially open for ventilation providing 1) the dog is tied so it cannot come outside the garage and 2) it does not create a nuisance by persistent barking.
- No dogs or cat shall at any time be allowed to run or roam at will.
- Dog owners are to prevent their dogs from wetting on mailbox posts, fire hydrants and street light posts.
- Dogs shall be exercised on a walking leash not more than six feet long, on the walking strips provided. They must not be allowed to wander onto other residents’ lawns or around shrubs to relieve themselves.
- Owners are responsible for removing their dog’s droppings from all streets, sidewalks, and lawns, and taking them home for disposal.
- Any pet causing or creating a nuisance shall be removed from the Cloister upon written notice from the COA Board. “Nuisance” shall be defined as, but not limited to, behavior or condition of the pet that diminishes the beauty, cleanliness, or quiet of the community.
- An owner of a pet is liable for any damage caused by or resulting from any activity of the pet.
- Animals found running loose shall be deemed to be stray and subject to impoundment without advance notice to anyone.
- No animals may be raised or bred in any Unit. No more than two four- legged pets (cat or dog) may be kept in a unit. Pets must be kept in strict accordance with the Rules and Regulations. They may not be kept for any commercial purpose, nor constitute a nuisance to others.