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Governing Documents Advisory Committee

The Creekside Bylaws, last revised in 2007, were becoming become badly out of date. Over an approximately five-year period in the late 2010s, Creekside volunteers began working with the Berding|Weil law firm to revise those Bylaws, but their progress was uneven. Because so much had changed since 2007, Berding|Weil advised the board to start with B|W’s template and customize it to meet Creekside’s needs. This is the normal process followed by law firms updating old corporate documents, but the new documents tend to look very different from the old documents.
 
At a Town Hall in June 2021, the board presented to the membership a set of draft Bylaws prepared with Berding|Weil, along with new CC&Rs. Member reaction was negative, so rather than advance the drafts to a vote by the membership, the board asked a task force to create Bylaws that would be acceptable to the membership and to deal later with the CC&Rs.
 
On September 21, 2021, the board gave the process additional life when it created a Governing Documents Advisory Committee, approved its charter on February 23, 2022, and revitalized it again with this rationale under the leadership of Lisa Lai. That committee first studied various concerns that members had expressed in 2021 and then published its Goals Statement.
 
Many had asked for greater clarity, particularly seeking a document directly comparing the new proposals with the existing 2007 Bylaws. But because there were so many changes, a traditional “redline” or machine comparison was found to be unworkable. That need for a comparison didn’t go away, of course, so in August of 2022 the Committee issued this Redline Equivalent.
 
Some suggested that only changes required by law - mandatory changes - should be included in the new Bylaws. Others felt that changes that were not mandatory - discretionary changes - could be adopted but only with very good reason. To provide more clarity on these questions, the Committee issued a Mandatory vs Discretionary Provisions chart in September of 2022. It identified various Bylaws provisions as mandatory or discretionary and explained why the changes might or might not be necessary. It also posted these additional resources on the Creekside website:
The Governing Documents Advisory Committee then made some serious progress. In early May of 2023 it released three versions of a Bylaws proposal and asked members for their feedback.
  • 2023 Draft Bylaws - this is the document the committee will ask the board, and then the menbers, to approve after all member and board suggestions have been considered.
  • 2023 Annotated Bylaws - here the committee explains in the margin how the 2023 Draft Bylaws are different from the 2007 Bylaws currently in effect.
  • 2023 vs 2021 Redline - which points out the differences between the 2023 Draft Bylaws and the 2021 Draft Bylaws side by side.
In mid-May, the committee invited members to meet with them in small-group discussions, and it circulated a survey seeking written feedback.
 
After a final fine-tuning, the 2023 Proposed Bylaws were approved by the board on June 8, 2023, clearing the way for a vote by the community. The committee then sent all homeowners a final explanatory letter, along with this explanatory Bylaws + Commentary comparison again.
 
The ballots were mailed June 25th, to be returned by July 25th. On July 26th the board announced that Creekside homeowners had overwhelmingly approved the revised 2023 Bylaws and released this election report with vote totals.
 
Although the process was not an easy one and required hard work from a dedicated crew, the final result is a set of up-to-date HOA Bylaws with which the community can be very pleased.