Question: What is a Homeowners Association (HOA)?
Answer: A Homeowners’ Association (HOA) is a legal entity created to enforce the community’s governing documents, which in Sudden Valley include the Bylaws, Restrictive Covenants (known in some other associations as “covenants, conditions & restrictions” or “CC&Rs”), and general Rules & Regulations such as the Architectural Control Committee (ACC) Guidelines, as well as to manage the common amenities of the community. Sudden Valley’s HOA – the Sudden Valley Community Association, Inc. (SVCA) – is a Washington nonprofit corporation, governed under R.C.W. 64.38 and R.C.W.24, and exempt from Federal taxes under IRS Code section 501(c)(4). Membership in SVCA reflects part ownership of SVCA assets, and is paid for initially upon purchase of any lot or condo unit, and then by payment of annual “dues and assessments, and any “special assessments.” Members govern Sudden Valley through an elected Board and elected or appointed committees. The Board selects, retains and evaluates a manager or other executive, or possibly a management company, to be responsible for the day-to-day management of the association and paid staff.

Question: What are the SVCA Governing Documents?
Answer: The Articles of Incorporation, Restrictive Covenants, Bylaws, and Rules & Regulations, including Architectural Control Committee (ACC) Guidelines. These governing documents can be located on our website at [link].

Question: What are the Restrictive Covenants?
Answer: In Sudden Valley, the Restrictive Covenants are what are often called in other HOAs “Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions” (CC&Rs). A real covenant is a legal obligation in a deed imposed by the seller upon the buyer of a lot/unit. Such restrictions are enforceable on all future buyers of the property. Examples include to maintain the property in a reasonable state of repair, to not run a business from a residence, not to build on more than a certain percentage of the property, and to not destroy trees without permission, or otherwise harm property values. In Sudden Valley this includes everything a homeowner can do to the exterior of their home (including paint colors), the number of non-familial tenants one may have, automobile placement or repair on property, etc. The Restrictive Covenants can be found on our website at [link].

Question: What Are the Bylaws?
Answer: The Bylaws set the rules regarding the normal governance and operation of the Board and SVCA. They set forth definitions of offices and committees involved with the Board of Directors. They include voting rights, meetings, notices, and other matters involved with operation of the SVCA. You can find the SVCA bylaws at [link].

Question: What is a ‘Common Area?’
Answer: Any building or area of property intended for shared use by all members of SVCA, whether or not an additional use-fee may apply.

Question: What is an ‘Easement?’
Answer: An interest or a right in real property which grants the ability of one entity to use the land of another for a special purpose or endeavor. For example, an association may have an easement for slope maintenance or other repair purposes. A public utility may also have an easement for installation, maintenance or repair work.

Question: What is a Lien?
Answer: A monetary claim levied against a property for unpaid mortgage, taxes, contractor work, or other charges. A lien is attached to the property, not the owner, but legally must be recorded in the property records of the county of residence. For example, if a lien is in place, property can only be sold if the lien is satisfied or removed before the sale can be completed.

Question: What is a Board of Directors (BOD)?
Answer: A director is a member of SVCA elected to serve with other directors collectively on the Board of Directors. Diretcors are charged with the conduct and management of SVCA’s business and other affairs. The Board will elect officers from among the directors: President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary.

Question: When/where does the SVCA Board of Directors meet?
Answer: The BOD meeting schedule/locations are listed here [link].

Question: How do I contact my Board of Directors?
Answer: Contact information as well as member names, meeting times, minutes, and other information can be obtained through checking the Board information area of the SVCA website at [link].

Question: What is a ‘Quorum?’
Answer: A Quorum is defined as the minimum number of owners required to hold an official meeting. For a meeting of the association, either annual or special: 50 voting members are required to be in attendance. A quorum for a BOD meeting requires 50% of the BOD and a quorum for a committee meeting requires 50% of the committee members.

Question: What are Dues?
Answer: Homeowners in Sudden Valley pay a share of common expenses per “lot” (including condominium units). These expenses arise from the costs of maintaining common property, such as maintenance, staff, roads, parks, community buildings, pools, a portion of other amenities, and so forth. Current Sudden Valley dues information can be obtained by calling the Administration Office at (360) 734-6430.


Q: Does the Sudden Valley Maintenance Department maintain the golf course?
A: No. The Golf course is maintained by Golf Maintenance, a department that reports to the Golf Director of Golf.

Q: Where is the Sudden Valley Maintenance Department located?
A: The maintenance department is mainly located in Area Z, just east of Gate 5 on the Lake Louise Road. Area Z provides large material laydown/ storage of rock, gravel, materials, our maintenance building and storage shed for large construction equipment. We also store snow removal equipment and supplies in Barn 6.

Q: How do I contact the Sudden Valley Maintenance Department?
A: The phone number for the Sudden Valley Maintenance Department is (360) 778-2223.

Q: What are the working hours of the Sudden Valley Maintenance Department?
A: The Maintenance Department works from 8:00 AM until 4:30 PM Monday through Friday. Normal lunch break is from 12:00 PM to 12:30 PM.

Q: If I need maintenance assistance after their normal work hours, who do I contact?
A: Contact Sudden Valley’s security patrol. They have a list of Sudden Valley staff that can be called, based on the situation and need.

Q: I drove through Area Z and I see they have logs and cut up trees lying around. How can I get some of the wood for fire wood?
A: This type of wood is from various wind storm blowdowns on Sudden Valley property. The wood is available on a first come first served basis by contacting the Maintenance Manager and arranging a time to pick up the wood. There a no provision at this time for the Maintenance Department to assist in cutting or loading the wood.


Question: When or why does the ice melt not work when it is cold/shaded?” 
Answer: The anti-icing solution used by Sudden Valley has a functional life span of 2-3 days if it does not rain and is not scrapped off by the snow plow. Any anti-icing solution is laid down on the road as it is being plowed will be scraped off as the surface is re-plowed due to snow accumulation. For this reason, most State Department of Transportation procedures do not apply de-icier or sand while snow is falling.

The current mixed solution, a clear liquid, used by Sudden Valley, is a combination of magnesium chloride, salt brine, a rust inhibitor and water and is most effective in the range of 26 degrees F to 32 degrees F. This solution is an anti-icing compound.

The anti-icing solution does not absorb heat from the sun. When the anti-icing solution is combined with sand the sand absorbs radiant heat from the sky enabling a warming effect to the magnesium chloride/brine solution allowing it to react better with the frozen surface and adhere to hard surfaces such as compact snow and ice. When applied to the surface of compact snow or ice at temperatures of 20 F or below, the melting effect is very slow.

Because many of the roads within Sudden Valley have a high tree canopy covering them, use of the anti-icing solution with sand on a slippery surface is minimal. Repeated applications must be put on the surface to obtain small results when temperatures reach the lower 20s and below. The effect improves as temperatures rise.

Use of an anti-icing solution on wet or slush covered roads is ineffective because the solution is quickly diluted. In some cases, as described in “how to use” instructions, it will actually cause roads to become slippery.

Some commercial liquid chemical compounds are designed to perform both anti-icing and de-icing functions. De-icing is the application of a chemical compound to the surface of ice in order to create a chemical reaction that generates heat resulting in the melting of the ice. De-icing solutions are only effective to the point of being diluted as the ice turns to water. The cost of a de-icing solution is approximately twice as much as the cost of the anti-icing solution Sudden Valley uses (approximately $500 compared to $1,000 for 270 gallons). Each large truck has the capacity of 250 gallons and can expend that amount of solution within an hour during a snow event.


Question: Does the ice melt have to be reapplied after it melts/ warms up?” 

Answer: See answer to question above.


Question: Why can’t we use ice plows on the roads?”

Answer: Towards the end of the Christmas – New Year’s 2008-09 snow event that paralyzed Whatcom County, Sudden Valley’s General Manager hired a road grader to remove the heavy ice layer covering all of the roads. As the road grader proceeded down the first road using a blade meant to remove ice from the road surface, loud “bangs” could be heard. It was a couple of hours later that reports began coming in of missing sewer covers on the roads that had been graded.

Closer examination showed that the grader’s blade needed so much force to break the ice from the road surface, it broke the road sewer cover rings and popped the sewer cover up and away from its location. Several attempts were made trying various down pressures to see if the ice could be scraped off, but without success. In the end, use of the road grader was deemed not feasible and created dangerous road conditions for vehicles.

In 2009 Sudden Valley purchased a large truck for snow response. The truck was outfitted with a sander, de-ice/anti-ice spreader and a special type of snow plow that could apply down pressure on the road to “scrape” snow down to the road surface, yet ride over uneven surfaces such as a speed bump.

The first test of the down-pressure snow plow using its steel blade resulted in popping off sewer covers. The next test involved using a special acrylic blade attachment, with the same results. After discussions with snow plow manufacturers, a special rubber blade attachment was tried. This allowed the full use of the snow plow’s down pressure, yet the rubber was pliable enough to bend over the sewer covers. This solution prevented damage to the roads, but did not allow for full ice removal.

Although the rubber wears down and needs to be adjusted and replaced, the removal of snow is much more effective now than it was during the winter of 2008-2009. With the implementation of anti-icing solution and use of down-pressure plows, snow removal has improved.

Additional FAQs:

How many miles of roads does SVCA have? 40 miles
How many miles of ditches/culverts does SVCA have? 80 miles


Question: “What are the requirements for removing trees in Sudden Valley?”

Answer:  Section 14.10 of  the ACC Policies explain in detail the requirements by Sudden Valley for tree removal and/or limbing.  In addition to Sudden Valley requirements Whatcom County has implemented a permit process for removal of any trees in the Whatcom County Watershed.  Sudden Valley is within the Watershed and therefore any “Significant Trees” to be removed, not only require  Sudden Valley ACC approval but also require a Whatcom County Permit. The ACC will only act on those tree request that are accompanied by a Whatcom County Permit.

A “Significant Tree” is defined as follows: Evergreen Trees with a DBH (Diameter at Breast Height) of 12 inches and Deciduous Trees with a DBH of 8 inches.