View of Whiteplains Plantation

View of Whiteplains Plantation
Over Head View

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Whiteplains UNICOM #14: Covenants and By-Laws

There are two principal documents that govern the way things are done at Whiteplains: the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&R) and the By-Laws. Every property seller is supposed to provide a copy of each of these documents to every buyer at settlement (if not before). All too frequently, this does not happen… so the Welcome Committee has taken upon itself to ask all new residents if they have copies. If they don’t, copies are provided.

The CC&R (sometime called simply “the Covenants” or “the Restrictions”) may be thought of as the Whiteplains Constitution: Written by the founders in the very early days, it sets forth both the privileges and the responsibilities of the property owners. It is very difficult to amend, requiring 80% of home lot owners and 80% of hangar parcel owners to change. The founder (Niel Bonacum) can, however, amend the CC&R at any time. The CC&R are filed and recorded with Lexington County; in effect, they have the force of law.

The By-laws were written because the Whiteplains Plantation Association is a corporation under the laws of South Carolina. As such, by-laws must exist “for managing the business and regulating the affairs of the corporation…” (SC Code of Laws Section 33-2-106). The By-Laws address topics such as the duties of officers, holding of meetings, maintenance of funds, and the like. The Board of Directors may change the By-Laws at any time.

Neither of these documents is what anyone would call “light reading.” In fact, they are very complicated reading that easily give rise to misinterpretation, or differing interpretations, among those who read them and try to understand them.

In order to develop a broader understanding of these critically important governing documents, your Board has been considering having a familiarization session some evening for all interested parties. At the last Board meeting, we decided to schedule it within the next month. Everyone is welcome to attend, but it should be of immediate usefulness for current Board members, officers, committee heads, and potential candidates for future leadership positions.

The date is Monday evening, September 24, at 7 PM. We’ll do it in my hangar, unless a more suitable place can be found. Niel has promised to attend to help us over any rough patches.

The format will be a seminar, not a lecture. We will read the documents aloud, paragraph by paragraph, and anyone is welcome to ask a question or offer an example. The objective is to come to a common understanding of the contents, not to champion any specific individual’s personal viewpoint. If consensus cannot be reached on the meaning of a particular sentence or paragraph, it will be flagged for further research at another time… then we will move on. If we are disciplined about this, it can all be done in 2 or 2½ hours.

Hope to see you on September 24th. Fresh copies of the CC&Rs and By-Laws will be provided, so please let me know (by return e-mail prior to September 22) if you are planning to attend so that enough copies can be made and enough chairs set up.

Ken Plesser, President
Whiteplains Plantation Association

No comments: