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  • Why is Hillside a Condominium Association?
    Hillside at Cox Mountain Condominium Association, Inc. (HCA) was formed in January 2005. The developer of Hillside was the Big Canoe Building Group (BCBG). We understand that BCBG chose the condominium approach because it allowed the number of homes that they desired to build on the approximately 20 acres within the Hillside boundary. As part of using the condominium approach, BCBG was required to connect all 23 homes to the sanitary sewer system owned and operated by Utilities, Inc. of Georgia (formerly Big Canoe Utilities). Thus, there are no septic tanks within the Hillside neighborhood. Our HCA’s governing documents refer to your home using various words: home, house, condo, unit, condominium unit. For purposes of this Q&A, these words all mean “your home”, and the document consistently hereafter uses the word “home”.
  • What Are the Benefits of Hillside’s Location?
    Hillside is very conveniently located. We are a 5-minute drive or less from the Big Canoe Clubhouse, the Big Canoe Golf Club, the Big Canoe Wellness Center and Swim Club, the Big Canoe Racquet Club, the Big Canoe Post Office and the Big Canoe Chapel. And even with these conveniences, the Hillside homes have beautiful downhill and uphill vistas!
  • How Are the Affairs of the HCA Managed?
    When the HCA was formed, BCBG was also required to adopt the “Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions for Hillside at Cox Mountain, A Condominium” (DCR). The DCR is a very important governing document for the HCA’s operations. The affairs of the HCA are managed by a 5-member volunteer Board of Directors (all must be a member of the HCA). Members of the Board are elected by vote of the 23 HCA members at an Annual Meeting of the Members. Most actions of the Board can be made with a majority vote of the Board.
  • What Do I Own?
    You own your home. The DCR defines this as follows: “The horizontal (i.e., front, side and rear) boundaries of each unit [home] shall be a line consistent with and along the outer, exterior surfaces of the walls of the units, and along the outer surfaces or perimeters of each chimney, porch, stoop, patio, deck, portico and air conditioning compressor pad serving or forming a part of such unit.” (Note: a stoop is a set of stairs that connects a porch, patio or deck to ground level.) You are responsible for maintaining and repairing your home, including repainting the exterior, caring for your roof, and maintaining and repairing your chimney, porch, stoop, patio, deck, portico and air conditioning compressor pad. If you decide to replace part of your home or improve it, you are responsible for that. You also own a 1/23rd interest in the common area and assets that are within the boundary of Hillside and outside the boundaries of the 23 homes. Several of the remaining questions deal with how this distinction of ownership operates.
  • What Are the Common Elements?
    The Common Elements are: • the driveways • the flagstone sidewalks • the split-rail fences • all retaining walls other than a retaining wall that is part of the boundary of a home as defined in the preceding question The HCA is responsible for the maintenance and repair of all Common Elements.
  • How Are Roads and Driveways Maintained?
    Hillside Way, Mission Path and Craftsman Trail are owned by and maintained by the Big Canoe Property Owners Association. The driveways are maintained and repaired by the HCA. This has involved seal-coating the driveways and repairing or replacing portions as needed.
  • How Are the Flagstone Sidewalks Maintained?
    If a portion of a flagstone sidewalk comes loose, the HCA will repair that portion. The HCA does not power wash the flagstone surfaces, but it is fine if a homeowner chooses to do so at its own expense.
  • How Are the Split-Rail Fences Maintained?
    The HCA has a policy that all split-rail fences will be left natural. That is, they will not be stained, painted, varnished or otherwise coated. When the Board determines that a split-rail fence needs to be replaced, that expenditure is put in the HCA budget.
  • How Are the House Number Posts Maintained?
    The house number posts have a consistent painted look. The HCA is responsible for painting and replacing, as necessary, the posts.
  • How Are the Retaining Walls Maintained?
    The retaining walls are periodically inspected by a contractor that is experienced with building and maintaining retaining walls. When the Board evaluates that a retaining wall needs to be repaired or replaced, that expenditure is put in the HCA budget.
  • How Is Landscaping Maintained?
    Because the trees and shrubs are located on the common area, they are owned and maintained by the HCA. This includes: • trees and shrubs that existed in the common area prior to the development of Hillside • trees and shrubs that were added by BCBG when it built the homes • trees that were added by the HCA in 2010 The HCA contracts with a professional landscaping service to trim the shrubs, mow any grass areas, control the weeds, and blow the leaves during the Fall. Since the beginning of the neighborhood, the HCA has budgeted to apply pine straw to the “front yards” of the houses once a year in the Spring. This provides a consistent appealing look to the neighborhood and helps to prevent weeds. The costs of the landscaping service and the pine straw application is included in the HCA’s annual budget. Some homeowners choose to apply pine straw to their “side yards” and “back yard”. This is allowed and is at the homeowner’s expense.
  • How Is Termite Protection Provided?
    The DCR requires the HCA to provide termite protection and bond insurance for all 23 homes. We have used the same termite protection provider since the beginning of the neighborhood and have experienced great outcomes with “bait trap” detection and eradication, as well as a few instances of remediation.
  • What Insurance Coverages Does the HCA Carry?
    In order to understand the answers to this question, it is important that you read questions 4 and 5. The DCR requires the HCA to obtain and maintain a master multi-peril policy of property insurance covering all homes within Hillside on a replacement cost basis. Any betterments made to the home are also covered. The master policy affords protection against loss or damage by fire or hazards covered by the standard extended overage endorsement, and by debris removal, cost of demolition, vandalism, malicious mischief, windstorm, and water damage. The premium cost of the master policy is included in the HCA’s annual budget. The master policy on your home does not cover the personal property contents within your home nor does it provide coverage for any injuries that might happen to a third party within your home. If you desire to insure for these risks, you will need to take out a “condominium owners policy” (commonly referred to as an HO6 policy) at your expense. Currently, the master policy uses a $5,000 deductible ($10,000 for water damage). If an insurable event happens, this deductible will be charged to the homeowner or shared by homeowners affected by the event. Most providers of a “condominium owners policy” offer an extended coverage endorsement (sometimes referred to as a “loss assessment endorsement”) that would enable you to get reimbursed for the deductible amount assessed against you. The HCA Board encourages all Hillside homeowners to look into this extended coverage provision, but the decision to carry it or not is entirely the homeowner’s decision. Finally, the DCR requires the HCA to obtain and maintain a comprehensive policy of public liability insurance covering all of the common elements. Basically, if a third party is injured on the Hillside common area, this event is covered by the HCA liability insurance. In contrast, if an injury to a third party happens within the boundaries of your home, the HCA liability insurance will not cover that. Here is a summary of the division of insurance responsibilities:
  • How Are House Paint Colors Managed?
    If you are planning to repaint the exterior of your home, you must notify the HCA Board prior to proceeding. This notification is required even if you intend to keep the same colors that you have now. There is a form on the Hillside website that you should use for this purpose. The website also contains the list of approved house paint colors. Note that the Board is not trying to be unduly restrictive, but rather to ensure that the homeowner is aware of and understands the Hillside paint color policy. Note finally, that after the Board approves the change, it also needs to be approved in advance by the AECD (Treena Parish) of the Big Canoe Property Owners Association. This approval is nearly always granted but is nonetheless an important final approval.
  • How Are Proposed Additions by a Homeowner Managed?
    If you are planning to add something to your home’s structure or to add shrubs or trees, you must notify the HCA Board prior to proceeding. There is a form on the Hillside website that you should use for this purpose. Note that the Board is not trying to be unduly restrictive, but rather to ensure that the homeowner is aware of and understands the Hillside policies on matters like these. Note further that certain additions need to be approved in advance by the AECD (Treena Parish) of Big Canoe Property Owners Association.
  • How Does the HCA Fund Its Operations?
    The HCA Board prepares an annual budget that includes: • insurance expenses • termite protection expenses • landscaping and pine straw application expenses • contributions to the Maintenance, Repair and Replacement (MRR) Reserve to be used for the periodic maintenance, repair and replacement of common elements These expenses are funded through Assessments charged to the 23 homeowners on an equal basis. Currently, the monthly Assessment is $210 and is payable quarterly in the amount of $630. The Board believes that the services received by the Hillside members are good value for the money paid. The HCA also receives a $100 transfer fee when a house in Hillside is sold.
  • What Actions of the Association Require a Vote of the Members?
    The following actions require an affirmative vote of members who own at least two-thirds (2/3) of the homes: • amendment of the Articles of Incorporation • amendment of the DCR • amendment of the Bylaws • any special assessment to fund Capital Improvements The removal of a Board member requires an affirmative vote of members who own at least one-half (1/2) of the homes. The election of the members of the Board of Directors is based on the election process described in the HCA’s Bylaws.
  • How Can I Get More Information?
    You can go to the Hillside website ( and find: • the names of the current Board members • the governing documents for the HCA • insurance information • rules pertaining to repainting of home exteriors and modifications of homes • a directory of the 23 residents (accessible by the residents only) • minutes of meetings of the Board of Directors and the annual meetings of the members (accessible by members only) If you do not find what you are looking for at the website, then you should feel free to call the President of the Board.
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