Info on Lakes of Northville Homeowners Association

Important Info regarding the LNHA

The Lakes of Northville Homeowners Association(LNHA) was incorporated on October 10, 1978.  The board failed to refile documents as required by the Non Profit Corporation Act PA162 of 1982,MCL 450.2101.  The last document filed was by Marjorie Banner on March 16, 2003.  Peggy English filed the 2004 report. According to the LNHA 2012 directory, Ms Banner is presently serving as V.P. and Chairperson of Legal/Government Affairs.  Who is responsible for filing these documents?

According to a letter to the Lakes of Northville Association on June 27, 2012, the LNHA has been legally prohibited from conducting any new business since October 1, 2007.  The letter from Attorney Kimberly J. Bowlin continues, "Moreover, the board has no authority to assess and collect dues, assert authority over any homeowner, conduct activities for alleged by-laws which are null and void....".  Over the past 5 years the alleged LNHA has collected over $250,000 in dues.  Was this money illegally collected? If so do we get money back and from whom?  This board does not have authority to conduct ANY business.  Records of expenditures for 2011 and the budget for 2012 can be found on the LNHA web site.(www.lakes of northville.org.)

According to Atty Bowlin, "One cannot simply re-file corporate documents and expect that individual owners in a platted subdivision are bound."  This organization was dissolved by the State of Michigan in 2007 for failure to file timely reports.  In order for everyone to be bound, signatures must be collected.  Homeowners may agree to be reincorporated and proper documents submitted to the State of Michigan.  This is not an "instant cure" problem.  It may takes months to a year to reconstitute.

Some of these individuals associated with LNHA are running for election or re-election to NORTHVILLE TOWNSHIP POSITIONS.  Before voting one must consider the competence of individuals who cannot perform simple tasks of filing a document for a non profit organization in the State of Michigan. 

This entire revelation came to our attention as result of a LNHA resident filing a complaint about the placement of playground equipment in very close proximity to her/his lot line.

Lee Gribbs /Len Piner


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bill sivy July 27, 2012 at 12:09 PM
The subject documents were always filed promptly when it was Ms. Banner's responsibility. The lapse in filing occurred after it became the responsibility of another Lakes of Northville Homeowners Association board member. Further, the letter writers are citing a letter from an attorney which is not completely accurate. Bill Sivy President Lakes of Northville Homeowners Association
leegribbs July 28, 2012 at 01:10 AM
All is completely accurate. The attorney researched all the info. The bank account has been frozen and the organization has no status.
Carol Oldenburg July 29, 2012 at 07:24 PM
As a longtime homeowner in Lakes of Northville, it is obvious the entire circumstance of not renewing corporate paper was an unfortunate oversite. Let's just fix the problem and work together to ensure we continue to have the same level of services we have always had in our neighborhood. There is no benefit in trying to point fingers or make this more complicated. Let's just move forward and go about fixing this oversight. If there are those that are unhappy with association leadership, they are always welcome to run for an association board position. As far as Margie Banner, she has worked tirelessly for not only our homeowners association but also Northville Township. She is the right candidate for Treasurer. Margie has the experience, integrity and dedication to service we need. Carol Oldenburg Lakes of Northville Resident
Mark Anderson July 30, 2012 at 07:09 PM
"This entire revelation came to our attention as result of a LNHA resident filing a complaint about the placement of playground equipment in very close proximity to her/his lot line." Sure is a lot of effort for somebody to take on just so playground equipment, which the neighborhood children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews will use, won't be placed in a COMMONS area that just so happens to be behind a lot which a homeowner purchased knowing full well it was an area owned by the subdivision...Such is life these days, rather than allow happiness or talk about good things, somebody always has to turn things negative and sour in an incredibly selfish manner.
Mike Garbarz July 31, 2012 at 02:17 AM
Mike Garbarz Whether or not, who did or did not, file the proper paper work, it simply was not filed. I personally believe the "playscape" will not be used to the best benefit of "all" Lakes of Northville home owners. If the few who want to "meet" the neightbors, go the association picnic or talk to your neighbors when you walk around the subdivision with your neighbors. For those who want the playscape, drive around the Northville Commons subdivision and look at how their playscape in NOT being used. The money that the association has in cash reserve was ear marked for lighting and new street signs, not for a playscape. I don't live on the commons, so its placement won't effect me one way or the other, it certainly will not increase my property values, despite what the association pronounces. Mr. Anderson, every difference of opinion is not a difference in principle. Whoever the resident is, they brought to light a serious issue with LNHA board and their operation. If done properly, every resident should have a say in the building of the playscape, not just the few who will benefit from it. If you were at the meeting, you would have witnessed that the board does not even know the rules for the commons area. As the president of the association stated, "children can play ball around the playscape", (paraphrase). He was corrected by another resident who read the by- law, the one which reads; playing of sports on the common area is not allowed.
Mark Anderson July 31, 2012 at 03:32 AM
Mr. Gabarz - I respect your individual opinion that you feel the structure may not be used to the best benefit of all. That said, the board did not take this measure on itself, it was only through the diligent work of a few of your fellow residents that this idea even came about. The proper steps were then taken, allowing each and every resident the opportunity to voice their opinion, which led to a 7-1 vote. The playscape passed overwhelmingly, this isn't a courtroom, one dissenting opinion does not and should not rule. If you were at the meeting, as you seem to let on, you would have heard the discussion regarding the earmarked funds for the lights/street signs and the declaration that this would have zero impact on those funds, as such that should not be an issue (I wasn't there, but it's clearly documented in the minutes available on the website). Bottom line is protocol was followed by the board (oddly, if the board doesn't exist, neither do the bylaws you referenced) and the VAST majority of residents would like this structure, which can come to fruition with no additional raising of funds. I look forward to bringing my kids there and we'll be sure to stop by and say hello since you live kitty corner from the entrance. I look forward to discussing with anybody at the picnic on August 26.
Christopher Sala August 03, 2012 at 12:54 AM
It doesn't really matter who is responsible does it Bill,The entire group of you has failed 303 homeowners.The main purpose of the association was to protect its homeowners from any litigation that may arise from any incident that could occur on on our commons area.Looks like we as a group have wasted $5000 over a 5 year period on an insurance policy that probably will not protect us as homeownersI do know that Mrs Banner was listed on the committee for legal/government affairs in the 2006-2007 association directory and also was the last person to sign said document in 2004.After checking thr current directory it appears she still holds the same position.Your comment doesn't carry any weight,and the arrogance of the entire board has brought us to this point.And finally if the attorney is incorrect why is it that no one from said board has come forward to defend themselves.Instead you have decided to hide from the reality of this situation and continue on as if nothing has happened.
Christopher Sala August 03, 2012 at 03:50 AM
What started as opposition to a playscape construction by all of the commons homeowners has escalated into something I almost still cannot believe/Our former bylaws stated that the association was responsible for the maintenance of the commons area,Yes I know they mow the lawn.What about trimming the shrubbery that they had to plant 20 some years ago.I've got better things to do on my weekends than trim the association's shrubbery.They seem to think I do it out of the kindness of my heart but actually I get sick of looking at them.They have 30 grand to blow on a playscape and can't spend a few hundred extra on maintenance. None of the grass along our edge of our properties has been trimmed yet this year.This situation was brought to the attention of the association board and absolutely nothing has been done about it yet.Anyway the issue of this letter is not really not about the playscape.It is about the situation this group of individuals has put 303 homeowners in.You seem more concerned about a playscape than whether these people illegaly may have placed liens on a fellow homeowners property and had no legal right to do it.Can we as homeowners be held legally responsible for the actions of a few people?Or the dues that have been illegally extorted from me for the last five years.And one hundred thirty-some votes is far from a majority of 303 homeowners and the admission by the board the counting mechanism allowed double votes.And the letter didn't take much effort
LEN PINER August 05, 2012 at 03:05 PM
erbrel August 05, 2012 at 03:06 PM
This happens to many non-profits and small businesses. It is a simple paper to be filed, but often mailed by the State to an old or out of date addresss. If the homeowners retains and attorney or accountant, they should be listed as the registered agent, so that filings are done on a timely basis. This happens to PTA's, clubs and homeowners associations on a very regular basis. It is not a malicious act, it is an act of innocent ignorance...regular citizens VOLUNTEERING for non profit jobs that do not have proper guidelines and annual tasks clearly written and passed down to the next board of directors.
Christopher Sala August 06, 2012 at 02:10 AM
Regular citizens volunteering,what a joke.These people want these positions and some of the same people have been participants on this board for decades.The same person has been in charge of legal/government affairs for quite some time(in this particular case over 8 years.So don't tell me tasks were not passed down.The association lawyer is also at fault for not timely filing documents.He should know how the system works.Thanks to Lee and Len for taking the time to submit this letter.
Kelly Anderson August 06, 2012 at 03:09 AM
I think it is so sad that people jump to negative conclusions of their neighbors. As a resident of the sub I can say that our streets are always plowed, we have nice neighborhood picnics and holiday parties, the commons areas are maintained and other misc items that build our sense of community are tended to. Further, there are two board members for finance positions, which is a great internal control of our assets. Our financials are published and available for all residents to see, and are even audited. I have ever confidence that our board has nothing but good intentions, and I am very grateful that they take time out of their lives for these matters. I think this is a great subdivision to live in and have full confidence these conspiracy theories are just that.
Mark Anderson August 06, 2012 at 04:02 AM
What is the point of all this senseless banter? We live in a community of 303 homes, I don't care what role the board plays (some of you like to think it doesn't exist, but would likely complain if it snowed and the roads weren't plowed), they are simply a proxy for the residents. The decisions they make are in the interest of the "community". Nobody, absolutely nobody can tell me they honestly think a play structure is not a good addition for our community. So what are we arguing about? If you live on the commons, you purchased your home knowing exactly that. That property is not yours, it just happens to be within sight of your home. I feel bad for you if you think the idea of families within sight of your house is a negative thing and not good for the community. Stop being selfish and allow those of us who want to build the best community do just that.
leegribbs August 06, 2012 at 01:39 PM
If you think this is senseless banter, why are you continuing this senseless banter? Could it be you are trying to spin what is true to blame the individual who merely ask questions into an ogre???!!!!!
Mark Anderson August 06, 2012 at 07:44 PM
Great question - I continue it because, regardless of whether the board is in proper standing, etc., I want somebody who is against this community building project to give me a good reason as to why it shouldn't exist. I don't think there is a good reason. I believe the only reason is because certain individuals believe the commons are their backyard that somebody else should mow, should install and trim shrubbery on, and no resident should ever step foot on. Another question, if the board was such a big deal for you, why did it only now come up? I must have missed hearing about this when you complained about the roads being salted and plowed for you...
Christopher Sala August 07, 2012 at 01:13 AM
No one has ever said that no one should step on the commons Mark.And the board planted the shrubbery so does that not make them responsible for the timming and maintenance.They had to plant everything as close to the property lines as they could,Now I am responsible to keep them from growing into my yard? Your comments are going as far away from the context of this letter that it is almost laughable.And the reason this is a big deal is that even they were not paying attention.No one knew any of this about the non-profit status of the association,and it seems like the board does not want anyone to know.The fact of the matter is if the plan for the playscape would have included clearing an area at the bottom of the hill where it would have had no negative impact on anyone whose property is adjacent to the commons area I could have cared less.What's a few grand more when this amount of money is being spent,Three board members made sure it would have no negative impact on them.I do not have any objection to the playscape my objection is to the process that was used.
Mark Anderson August 07, 2012 at 04:04 AM
Chris, You may as well say you don't want people in the commons because they are in your yard because every comment you make is in that direction. Did you ever think for a minute about the incredible amount of liability that would be on the association if this playscape were to be at the bottom of the hill? You do realize that a pond and little kids don't well mix, right? Liability costs would correlate. Plus nobody would use the playscape during the evening hours as the bugs, in the summer, are far too bad down by the pond. If you think my comments are so far from the context of the letter, consider how ridiculous the entire letter actually is. You and a few others, who don't want people within your assumed "yards", didn't get your way and are now going to the furthest lengths to continue denying all the neighborhood kids fun and community.
Christopher Sala August 07, 2012 at 08:14 AM
If that Is how you feel so be it Mark.I don't feel that a minority of sub homeowners should be able to impose there will on the rest of us.And a little over 100 homeowners is a minority of 303 of us
Kelly Anderson August 07, 2012 at 02:15 PM
Chris, In all due respect, only 37 homeowners voiced a "opposed" opinion....which is an even smaller minority. Neither of us can make assumptions for the ones who did not voice any opinion in favor or against. The Board gave countless ways to voice opinions. There were forms to fill out and mail in or drop with a board member, 2 meetings, and email addresses available to solicit any and all feedback. If people felt passionate one way or the other they had adequate methods to communicate their feelings and I trust that they would have. It is unfortunate that a proposal passed for something you are not happy with or in support of, and I understand your disappointment with that, but I do not think it is fair to make it seem that you wronged by the process. I personally know that the Board spent several hours in a meeting discussing the logistics to ensure that the communication was adequate and everyone had amble opportunity for feedback. They were very considerate of all sides during the process. At the end of the day, we are all neighbors and I hope we can go back to being the very friendly subdivision I always say I am happy to live in.
Christopher Sala August 09, 2012 at 12:12 AM
Kelly and Mark there has never been any insinuation that other residents are not wanted in the commons area.This whole thing keeps getting twisted around to imply that.Nowhere in this post have I or anyone else ever said that.No one is trying to say that having an area to gather as a group is a bad thing.If either or both of you wants to come by and take a walk with me I would be more than happy to show the area I am talking about.It is more than far enough away from having any direct access to the water.I am here most evenings at about 6:30 P,M. if you would like to take me up on my offer .Not one of the residents who live along the commons has any kids and I am hoping that you can respect the fact that we really enjoy the peace and quiet .If you take a look at the deed restrictions our commons area is actually an easement for the storm and sanitary sewers.I don't think any type of structure can legally be placed back there and if that is the case the board is at fault for leading people along.I have never had a problem with with the snowplowing or the picnics,etc.that I have chosen never to attend.That is my money also that is used for such expenditures.Also Mark,the implication that anyone demanded any type of shrubbery to be placed on the commons is completely false as mowed grass would have been more than enough.Thousands of dollars were wasted on that years ago by the association only to have to spend thousands more to have most of most of it ripped out due to neglect
Mark Anderson August 09, 2012 at 05:50 PM
Chris, I simply want to point out to you that you continue to prove my point for me - you said "not one of the resident who live along the commons has any kids and I am hoping that you can respect the fact that we really enjoy the peace and quiet". That is exactly it - you don't want people behind your house, just the same as you don't want people in your yard. The only difference is the yard is yours and you are free to desire peace and quiet and lack of intrusion. The commons area is not yours. Just because you've become accustomed to having an extended yard does not mean that it's yours or that you have any right to dictate what goes on in that area. So long as it's within the bylaws, it should be out of your control. The board did everything to accomodate the opinions (too much so in my opinion) of those with lots backing to the commons. The plain and simple fact is that there are approx 12 houses on the commons of the 303 in the neighborhood. And of the 140 some people that responded to inquiries, over 100 were in favor of a structure. It's really sad it's come to this as the entire purpose of this was to build the community, not tear it down....
Christopher Sala August 10, 2012 at 12:21 AM
Mark I will ask you again to come by and at least look at the area of the commons I was talking about in my last post.
Christopher Sala August 10, 2012 at 12:22 AM
And people walk through the commons area all the time and cannot think of anyone who has been told to go away
d benoit August 15, 2012 at 01:03 PM
The bottom line to me is that a greater good would have been realized had this money gone towards a much needed new signage and lighting.I did submit my opinion via e-mail and was out of town and could not voice my opinion at either meeting. The positive impact to our homes values would be much greater with new signs and lights than with a playscape.(I would submit to ask any realtor which would have a greater impact on our values). I also do not believe that there are enough young kids in our aging subdivison that will truly use this structure. In these tough economic times we all are facing does a $28k playscape really seem appropriate? Lets at least spend funds to clear away all the overgrown trees and shrubs that prevent anyone walking the commons to even get near the lake shore to enjoy the views D. Benoit LON resident
Mark Anderson August 15, 2012 at 02:28 PM
D Benoit, It's clearly stated in the minutes to the meetings that this in no way impacts the amount set aside for signage and lights. Believe me, I agree with you. When I first moved in, I attended the annual meeting and spoke up about my desire to have both, and have them mimic in form those in Maple Hill (as they have gorgeous signs and lights - in my opinion). At that time, and to this date, the Board has been in favor of doing this, but not until lighting has come to the point we can install solar lighting, thereby reducing the need to dig through yards to run electrical. I have nothing else I can do but be confident the Board continues to look into these solutions. Regarding the play structure not being utilized, there are over 100 children under the age of 12 in the subdivision plus plenty of grandparents in this "aging" sub. I'm personally not concerned about the structure not being used. Mark
Northville Lifer August 16, 2012 at 02:22 AM
“Lets at least spend funds to clear away all the overgrown trees and shrubs that prevent anyone walking the commons to even get near the lake shore to enjoy the views." Couldn't agree more. We've lost the "Lakes" in "Lakes of Northville." It got cleaned up about ten years ago and was beautiful. The grandkids could fish and I walked there almost every day. Now it's brush, junk trees and most of the views are gone. I hardly walk there anymore. My neighbor used to walk his dog there, and he stopped too. I don't know why the board didn't have it cut once or twice a year after it was cleaned up before, enough to keep the brush from getting overgrown. Perhaps it's only a matter of more of us letting them know we'd like our "lake" back? I know they work hard and don’t know if we don’t speak up. I’m happy for kids to have their play structure. But I’d also like all of LAKES of Northville to be able to enjoy the “lake” views again. I think if the brush were kept moderately cleared, it would add greatly to our subdivision’s character and property values.
Jackie West August 17, 2012 at 08:23 PM
Simple answer, Mr. Piner: the bank account is not frozen. Seems your facts are all knotted up. Oh, and your caps key is stuck:) One more question: when is the last time YOU volunteered to do anything in this subdivision?


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