The Creek Pointe Homeowners Association

Buyers Beware!

An unofficial website for Creek Pointe HOA information by Rick Happ

For those who wish background information, please visit the original web page from April 4, 2006.

March 06, 2008 Update:
(revised with minor corrections, additions 03/08/08)
(added page 'Where the Hearts are' 03/09/08)
(revised formating, 03/10/08)
(added “Hell is a Gated Community” w/comment 03/11/08)
An apology to Tony & Lisa Free 03/12/08)
(fixed Hyperlinks, formating 03/13/08)
(added Proxy Form w/comment 03/18/08)

Over the past 7 years, I have been physically beaten, maliciously prosecuted, framed and blamed, and continually threatened for standing up for my rights as a homeowner in the Creek Pointe Homeowners Association. For more on this, scroll down to page 15 of the July 2002 issue of the Carolina Journal (pdf file). There have not been any updates to this website for two years as not a single homeowner has spoken to me since April 2006 except as noted in what follows. Neither have I have received a response from 2 different requests for financial information via certified letters during these past two years. Today however is historic. I have finally received a small amount of financial information from the Creek Pointe HOA. The information did not come in response to these certified letters but from a friendly couple, Tony & Lisa Free, who are new to the HOA. Lisa Free is now on the HOA Board and holds the Office of Secretary/Treasurer. Today Lisa provided me a copy of the financial records for a 3 month period (3rd quarter 2007). She informed me that she had no other financial information. Insufficient information was on these few pages to gain a true picture of the money that has been spent, wasted or misappropriated. Previously requested information on how the tens of thousands of dollars in reserve funds, wasted on an unsuccessful lawsuit against me from previous years, were not in this report. Nor was requested information regarding the willful misappropriation of Weyerhaeuser settlement money, a more recent event, detailed in this 3rd Quarter 2007 Report. I have voiced my concerns in certified letters that the Weyerhaeuser settlement money was not divided equally (as assessed) among the homeowners as certain Board members received a higher share.

I was also informed by Lisa that Robert Hollatschek is the current President of the Creek Pointe HOA. Amazingly “frame & blame” Robert Hollatschek, a main initiator of the lawsuit which caused tens of thousands of HOA money to be wasted, is still President of the Creek Pointe HOA and still being paid substantial money year after year for mowing both the public 7 mile road and the private Creek Pointe roads. Although I do not have an accurate accounting of how much money in total the HOA wasted in litigation and the subsequent gate, my guess it was well in excess of $100,000. The new homeowners appeared surprised to hear of the large sums of money wasted when I mentioned it to them today.

To my sadness, I doubt there will be a continuance of any meaningful friendship with this couple for a number of reasons. First, any HOA member may risk retribution from other HOA members for not adhering with the community in ostracizing my wife and I. Secondly, Creek Pointe HOA Board members can yield unchecked power against a regular member. It it probably wiser for an outspoken person like myself to keep a distance from any HOA Board member, especially with Robert Hollatschek still running the show. Finally, Tony Free stated he will volunteer as a Board member along with his wife at the upcoming March meeting and that the Board has decided to reduce the number of Board members from six to five. Although Tony and Lisa both have assured me that their only concern is “road maintenance”, both desire a “gated community” and feel that a Board is necessary to enforce the rules. With an even smaller number of Board members yielding so much power over the members, obviously the Creek Pointe HOA will have a difficult time overcoming The Fatal Flaw:

The cornerstone on which the efficacy of the law resides is in the citizens being treated fairly and impartially, which in turn generate the acceptance and support necessary for society to function in an orderly manner, hence the phrase “justice is blind”. The reason any person who sits in judgment, who happens to find themselves in the situation of having to judge someone with which he or she has had any personnel involvement whatsoever, will recuse themselves is to preserve that sense of impartiality. The same is true of juries. One only has to look at the great lengths that are taken to insure that a jury is unbiased to understand how paramount this concept is to the law.

In a HOA this principle can never be applied. It is simply impossible for residents to make impartial judgments concerning other residents. This results in the “Fatal Flaw”. Every violation notice, fine, or ruling handed down by the HOA is taken as a personal slight. It cannot be avoided. The effect over time is cumulative; a corrosive force that slowly, but inexorably, destroys the fabric of the neighborhood, setting neighbor against neighbor, raising pettiness to a high art form, and creating deep-seated resentments that never dissipate. Unfortunately impartiality and fairness are diametrically opposed to personal involvement and friendship. Ultimately this fact, and this fact alone will force an end to this style of living, at least as it exists in its present state.

- Robert Metcalf, July 2007

As one who was invited by a State Senator to testify before a Nevada State Congressional hearing on the abuses of HOA's, I can speak with authority about HOA abuses. The information I brought to the hearing is now part of their Congressional Record. Too often, HOA Board members are empowered with being judge, jury and executioner to enforce covenants & restrictions. This situation does not breed good friendships among homeowners, but rather “alliances” are formed to further agendas or even sometimes to ensure protection from the “HOA entity”. To make matters worse, HOA's are incorporated legal entities with Board members protected from liability via (expensive) Director's and Officer's Liability Insurance. It is no surprise that the “HOA Industry”, that is, lawyers, developers, insurance companies, accountants and other HOA management companies, have their own lobbying group, Community Associations Institute (CAI). It is a big money making scheme, and it is not accidental that the typical HOA homeowner is the loser. CAI offers training for those in the industry and for HOA Board members also. Again, not surprising, CAI teaches HOA Board members to isolate and ostracize “disgruntled homeowners”. CAI falsely claims to represent the interests of homeowners even as they continue lobbying from state to state establishing legislation that further empowers these “private government nightmares”. And without a doubt “Gated Communities”, by their very nature, only increase such unfriendliness and snobbery. When the Creek Pointe HOA was unsuccessful in their litigation against me, the Creek Pointe HOA Board members sought to further their power and control by adapting in full The NC Planned Community Act. This fairly recent legislation, written and introduced by CAI , was lobbied for passage by Weyerhauser Corp. and the NC State Bar Association. Currently, some but not all parts of this legislation are retroactive, and there have been ongoing legal challenges to such an unconstitutional law that effectively removes an owner's property rights.

Not only are Board members judge, jury and executioner, they also write and distribute – at their sole discretion and creativity, all HOA meeting minutes. Of course, I have not received a single word of Creek Pointe HOA Board Meeting minutes in a number of years. The Creek Pointe HOA Board typically conducts its real business in secret. I received this email from prior Board member Jim Schulteis on April 9, 2007. Jim Schulteis is a good and honest person who, in my opinion, finally realized he was being used by the rest of the Board as an attempt by the Board to show some illusion of legitimacy. I have not talked with Jim Schulteis (or had any other communication in any form with him) in about two years. Though I am still not sure who is currently on the Board and what positions they hold, Lisa did supply me with the General Membership Annual Meeting minutes from March of 2007. Along with these 2007 minutes, a notice for the 2008 Annual Meeting (held March 15, 2008) and a Proxy Form were also enclosed. Not to my surprise, there was not a Treasurer's report or financial data included with the annual meeting minutes. However, there were more than implied threats of additional litigation coming against me concerning a gate that the Board had erected as quoted from the March 2007 meeting minutes:

It was explained that the gate was erected but vandalized. As it turned out, the person who committed this act, by his own admission to the Sheriff's department, was one of our own Creek Pointe HOA members. Many HOA members were outraged that this has taken place and requested that the HOA Board members address this situation and complete the installation of the gate as authorized by the membership. This type of activity in the community cannot, and will not be tolerated. This will be looked into immediately and the necessary actions will be pursued by the Board.

The gate was erected without my consent and it restricted access to my property (and everyone else's). The Board also placed a camera at the gate in an attempt to take pictures of my comings and goings, along with everyone else's, as we stopped at the gate to enter the necessary key code. With the gate being immediately dismantled by my “vandalism”, I am now told by my new neighbors that the Board has removed this particular camera. I guess moving cars are more difficult to capture with the type of camera the Board had purchased. Of course, I was never told about the camera either until after it was purchased and installed. Not found in the 2007 Annual meeting minutes was any discussion whether or not the Board actually had the legal authority to restrict access to my property without my permission (or again, the permission of other property owners). But the meeting minutes certainly emphasized the fact that “an HOA homeowner” had dismantled (“vandalized”) the gate and the Board will be taking the necessary steps of retribution and punishment against that homeowner. Unfortunately, these new neighbors of mine favor a gated community, and they probably didn't understand why I wasn't totally pleased when they told me they would put the gate issue “on hold”. It sounded as if Lisa and Tony now will have the power to decide whether or not I will spend approximately $50,000 in lawyers fees this year defending my right to free and unrestricted access to my property. And in truth, they probably do have that power as the remaining Board members have already made known their desire for retribution, and Hollatschek, the perfect politician, will attempt to please the new power group in whatever they decide. I suppose I should have been grateful that these new Creek Pointe HOA Board members will be exercising their authority in delaying what I surmise to be the main agenda item in the upcoming annual meeting this mid-March. However, I told Tony and Lisa, “The HOA has no right to block people from coming to visit me or delay deliveries.” I continued, “If the Creek Pointe HOA wishes to pursue litigation against me, I will fight in court to my last penny if that is what it will take.” Again, it is more difficult to keep friends inside of an HOA than it is with neighbors in a non-HOA residential area. I will consider as true friends those at Creek Pointe who wish to abolish the powers that this Creek Pointe HOA Board now holds over their members. Such a change would allow civility and perhaps even allow the seeds of friendship to develop amongst all homeowners.

After the last several years, the fact that Board members desire to hold positions of such power over others should not be a mystery to me, yet I find it appalling in a most basic, moral sense. And again, as Creek Pointe HOA Board member James Oster said in his email to the other Board members, “people like Rick Happ need to be sent a message in order to control their irrational actions.” Of course, the Creek Pointe HOA Board members are just the right people to do just that! From what is contained in the 2007 Annual Meeting minutes, it appears a “special” message for Rick Happ is being prepared. Too many in this world, including myself, have experienced such messages of hate in recent years. The need for a gate is mere political pretense, for the obvious reality is in stark contrast to the message delivered by Creek Pointe HOA Board members. Hell is a gated community,” announced the Sarasota Herald-Tribune last June, reporting that market research by the big homebuilder Pulte Homes found that no one under fifty wants to live in them, so its latest local development will be open and non gated. What I write here is as plain as the light of day - no tricks, no pretense, and I don't play politics. For those who point to the gate I have at the entrance to my private property, let me say that the purpose of this gate is to keep HOA snoopers out seeking to check “what rules I have broken”. Although my wife and I own almost 250 acres, I have been told by HOA Board members that I do not have the right to cut down one single tree without their permission. My wife Nancy and I do not have a problem with other visitors coming to visit us at their discretion from outside the HOA. None of our visitors will care or threaten to sue us if we decide to cut down a tree. Again, in stark contrast, the lies, wasted time, wasted money, and the continuing cover ups by various HOA Board members over the past several years must be growing tiresome not just for myself and others, but even for the Board members themselves.

For another HOA example closer to home, after tens of thousands of dollars in advertising, and thousands of visitors to its model home, the new River Dunes development in Oriental has sold only three or four homes (Visits to "Idea House" far below expectations, PamlicoInk 02/22/2008). Seems like even older retired folks aren't rushing to buy into this HOA dream. Maybe River Dunes' serenity and security, quite a selling point, is not quite as good as its hyped up to be. Reported in the Pamlico News, March 5, 2008:
Boat owned by Wal-Mart exec stolen from River Dunes marina - Theft proves embarrassing.
Here's a thought, maybe the crooks came by water. Will the Creek Point Board seek to fence off the waterfront next?

My property was purchased with unrestricted access to and from the public road. There has not been a gate restricting access since the beginning of the HOA nor is a gate specified in any deeds, covenants, bylaws or restrictions. The HOA is located down a 7 mile isolated dirt road. It is a truly remote area, highly forested, and cell phones do not work where the gate was to be located. There was not a security guard planned for this gate for visitors to gain access, nor was there an intercom to allow a visitor or delivery person to receive verbally the necessary key code to open the gate. The road is narrow and there is no area to turn around if someone does not have the key code. Naturally, the key code is provided by the HOA and would be changed at the HOA's pleasure. A forest fire is one of my biggest fears - most of the lots are vacant, only 6 or 7 homes exist and only 4 or 5 of those are occupied. The lots are large, all over 10 acres, and a smoldering fire can quickly grow out of control. The gate would not stop troublemakers driving 4-wheel off-road vehicles, but yet may prevent someone in a truck or auto attempting to appraise a possible growing fire on a vacant lot if smoke is seen. Moreover, delaying emergency fire equipment and personnel could be disastrous. And from a more personal standpoint, my wife works until late at night and it is a safety hazard to have her stop in a secluded area with no houses or anyone around for protection and enter a key code. Except for this new couple, the other few people living in the HOA would surely not provide us any assistance. To the contrary, as stated before, nearly 100% of the direct communication that I have received have been verbal death threats, non verbal obscene gestures during chance vehicle encounters, and continued threats of litigation. If time permits, I hope to retype the financial info and the 2007 Annual Meeting Minutes obtained today to post on this site. I doubt the Creek Pointe HOA Board would give this to me in digital form and I won't even waste my time asking.

Rick Happ
1000 Deep Creek Dr.
New Bern, NC 28560

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