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By-Laws

(Download Bylaws document here)

Article I: Name and Organization

Section 1. Name

A. This organization shall be known as the Pine Hill Lake Property Owners Association (the “Association”), a nonprofit 501 (C)(3) corporation located in Hanover Township, Jackson County, Michigan.

Section 2. Fiscal Year

A. The fiscal year of the Association shall be the calendar year, January 1 through December 31.

Section 3. History of the Association

A. Initially organized in September of 2006, the first activity the Association was  involved in was a goose roundup. In 2010 the Association began completing nest and egg destruction under regulations and with appropriate permits from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

B. The Association began a program of weed control in 2000 with two sprays annually for milfoil and pondweed. The Association has contracted with private weed management businesses, that are approved and licensed contractors in managing aquatic weeds within the State of Michigan.

C. Each year the Association monitors E Coli levels in the lake by conducting the sampling and using private contractors in Jackson, Michigan for analysis.

D. The Association has held an annual meeting on the third Saturday of May, where annual board elections are held and resident property owners connect with the Association board for a report on the past year’s Association activities. The marine division of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department is also available for updates to new water regulations and safe use of our water resources.

E. Financial Practices – Initially financial resources supporting Association activities were based on voluntary dues from property owners on the lake. Beginning in 2009 by property owner’s petition, township resolution and property owner’s support, a ten -year special assessment was approved for weed control aimed at milfoil and pondweed. Dues were collected for all other Association activities relating to geese and water testing.

Beginning in 2019 a second ten-year special assessment (expires in 2028) has been approved by Hanover Township and the property owners on Pine Hill Lake to support goose control activities, weed control contracting, water quality testing, safety issues and other related business expenses required to maintain the Association’s nonprofit status and keep it in compliance with the bylaws approved by the property owners on Pine Hill Lake.

Article II: Definitions

Section 1.

The following terms as used in these bylaws are defined as follows:

A. Association… refers to the Pine Hill Lake Property Owner’s Association, an organization composed of owners of lakefront lots and residences in Jackson County, Michigan.

B. Board… means the Board of Directors of the Pine Hill Lake Property Owners Association.

C. Bylaws… the primary document providing structure, assignment of responsibilities, procedural rules and directives for the efficient operation of the Association.

D. Lot(s)… refers to platted parcels of lakefront property on Pine Hill Lake.

E. Riparian/Riparian Rights… Refers to the owner of property that boarders/touches a body of water and the rights of that owner to the use of the water resources directly adjacent to his/her platted lot.

F. Fee Simple… is considered the highest form of real estate possession since the property is titled and owned outright. Fee simple means that you own the land your home sits on, including the minerals underneath and the air above.

G. PHLPOA… Pine Hill Lake Property Owner’s Association

H. Special Assessment… refers to the collection of funds from property owners living in a specified area or “district” by their township board, to support specially identified activities for the improvement of the environment in which the property owners live.

I. Hydrological Data… Information collected through sampling and analysis of lake water, providing data observation of a lake’s water quality and watershed.

J. Goose Control… Under the auspices of the United States Department of Agriculture and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, a program to provide some control of the goose population on Pine Hill Lake and the connected property around it. The process is under permit by the USDA and uses trained personnel and licensed contractors. The program requires nest destruction and egg removal in late April/early May and a roundup of remaining geese in June. Directives on where contractors take the geese comes from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

K. Weed Control… a program to control unwanted weed growth in the lake’s waters. The program is contracted by a state licensed contractor, using state approved chemicals.

Article III: Mission and Purpose

Section 1.  Mission Statement:

The mission of the Pine Hill Lake Property Owners Association is to protect and enhance the living environment of the PHLPOA members by keeping them informed of lake use regulations, and by specifically protecting and enhancing the natural resources of Pine Hill Lake.

Section 2.  Purposes

A. Education of owners of the Pine Hill Lake resource… The Association shall promote the education of property owners and indirectly other lake users about water quality and safe use of the lake.

B. Protection of the lake… The Association shall support the measurement and evaluation of hydrological data concerning the water quality of Pine Hill Lake and connected watersheds and shorelines. The Association shall use the data to evaluate lake water quality and to propose necessary action, where needed, for water quality improvement.

C. Management of the geese on Pine Hill Lake and its shorelines… The Association will work in cooperation with governmental and private agencies to attempt to better manage/control the goose population on Pine Hill lake and its shoreline.

D. Weed control on Pine Hill Lake… The association will actively work in cooperation with governmental and private agencies to attempt to control undesirable weed growth on Pine Hill Lake, including milfoil, pondweed and other undesirable agents that interfere with recreational use of the lake.

E. Cooperating agencies… The association will facilitate activities with appropriate governmental and private agencies to promote the best interests of Pine Hill Lake and the PHLPOA members.

F. Research and communication of important educational information regarding lake use to property owners… The Association shall promote research and distribution of educational information regarding Pine Hill Lake and its connected waters (Farwell Lake, Fox Lake, and Rainbow Lake).

G. Finance… the Association will work in cooperation with Hanover township to establish the funding/appropriations for Association activities to improve the lake environment, including lake maintenance, safety, liability insurance to cover those involved in Association activities and maintenance of ongoing operating expenses. 

Article IV: Membership

Section 1. Member/Membership Defined

A. Membership in the Association shall be limited to riparian property owners on the lake, who have fee simple ownership of the property.

B. The term “member” is defined as a person or family who is/are property owners on Pine Hill Lake, contributing to the support of Association activities and who is/are current in their special assessment payments to Hanover Township or dues payments to the PHLPOA, whichever applies.

C. Each member of the Association shall be equally privileged with all other members in his/her voice and vote upon any policy or proposition presented for discussion or decision at any meeting of the members. One vote concerning Association business shall be extended to members for each lot that they own.

D. In case of multiple titled owners of any given lot or residence on Pine Hill Lake, a single owner must be given authority to cast an Association vote for the whole.

E. Membership is terminated when property ownership on Pine Hill Lake ends.

Section 2. Loss of Special Assessment Financing

A. Should the Association revert to dues for financing of Association activities, “member” is defined as a person or persons who is/are property owners on Pine Hill Lake and who is/are current in annual dues payments to the Pine Hill Lake Property Owners Association.

B. The membership year is/would be from January 1 through December 31.

C. Dues, if required, are payable to the Association treasurer on January 1 of each year. Dues shall become delinquent if not paid by the Association’s annual meeting on the third Saturday of May.

D. A person or persons delinquent in dues payments shall be eligible to attend Association meetings, but shall not be eligible to vote until his/her dues are current.

Article V: Association Board and Officers

Section 1:  Board of Directors

A. The Association shall be administered by a Board of Directors, who shall have control of the affairs and actions of the Association. The Board shall be composed of five elected individuals, who will fulfill the duties of the following positions: President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Member at Large. As a group the Board shall serve as the Association executive and policy making authority.

B. Association board members are elected by ballot at the annual meeting of the members on the third Saturday of May by a majority of members present.

C. Proxy votes shall be permitted in the case of illness or absence from the state at the time of the election and shall be submitted to the association treasurer by mail at least one day prior to the annual meeting. A proxy ballot shall be made available by the Board of Directors upon request of the member. The treasurer shall maintain the security of the proxy ballots until the member’s annual meeting.

D. Quorum Statement… A quorum for conducting Association business shall be (3/5) three Board members present at a Board meeting.

E. In the case the Board is unable to convene, Association business may be conducted electronically with modern technology. In such cases, business must be conducted openly, with all five Board members involved. Any Board decision made electronically shall require a minimum of three affirmative responses sent to all Board members. The secretary shall write a memo of minutes for the decision, including the motion (made by…, second by…, and voting results), date, and the record of how each Board member voted on the motion. The record of the Board action shall then be distributed to all Board members by email within five days of the action.

Section 2:  Officers

A.  Election

1. Term of Office… Association officers are elected by the membership at the annual meeting and shall take office at the annual meeting in which they are elected.

2. Officers hold their seat on the Board for a term of two years or until a successor is elected or appointed.

3. Defining Board Roles… The new board will convene on the adjournment of the annual member’s meeting to appoint individual board members to respective board positions/responsibilities.

4. The Past-President… The Past-President is a nonvoting, advisory position serving at the request of the majority of the board. The person serving as past-president will serve in that position with the board for two years or until there is a new past-president.

B. Compensation:

1. All officers shall serve without compensation and will donate their time and efforts for the public interest; thereby, lessening the burdens of government in areas of public safety and protection of water quality.

Section 3:  Filling an Empty Board Position

A. Inability to Perform Duties/Requirements of Office

1. In the event the president is unable to perform his/her duties, the vice-president shall at once assume an interim role as president, assuming the title and responsibilities of the position until a new president is confirmed by a simple majority of the Board.

2. In the event that any other board officer is unable to serve his/her term, the office shall be immediately filled by appointment of the president with a majority of the board concurring.

3. Any officer or director becoming ineligible for membership in the Association shall forfeit his/her office and such vacancy shall be filled by the procedure stated above in Section 3, A2.

Section 4:  Roles and Responsibilities of Board Officers

A. The President

1. The President shall organize and preside over all meetings of the Association and Board of Directors and shall prepare agendas for each scheduled meeting.

2. The President shall monitor all operations of the Association and Board of Directors to ensure timely application and permitting for Association activities and proper completion of Association functions. He/she assumes ultimate executive responsibility for the efficient operation of Association activities.

3. The President shall communicate and contract with service providers and governmental agencies working for/with the Association, including the USDA, the Michigan Natural Resources Department, weed control contractors, goose removal contractors and water quality analysis labs.

4. The President shall be responsible for contracting and scheduling weed control activities.

5. The President will assist, monitor and participate in board research activities related to ongoing Board and Association business.

6. The President shall cast the deciding vote in case of a tie vote on any decision under consideration by the Board.

B. The Vice-President

1. In the absence of the president, the vice-president shall preside at the meetings of the Association and Board of Directors.

2. The vice-president will submit to the Board Secretary research for environmental education relating to water quality, lake and stream management, water safety and laws for publication on the Association website.

3. The vice-president will assist and participate in board research activities related to ongoing Board and Association business.

4. The Vice-President will be responsible for hydrological sampling and testing of lake waters.

C. Secretary

1. The secretary shall keep minutes of membership and Association Board of Directors meetings.

2. The secretary shall maintain a complete and clear record of the business of the Association and board of directors.

3. The secretary shall distribute minutes of Association and Board meetings to other board members by email in a timely manner prior to the next scheduled Board meeting.

4. The secretary will assist and participate in board research activities related to ongoing board and Association business.

5. The secretary will be responsible for up to date editing of the Association website, including adding articles on topics of interest to PHLPOA members.

6. The secretary shall be responsible for public communications and resident/property owner communication and contact. This would include slow mail communications, flyer distribution and maintenance of current property owner membership data.

D. Treasurer

1. The treasurer shall maintain an accurate record of the financial status of the Association and regularly report it (including documentation) to the Board at board meetings and to Association members at their annual meeting in May.

2. The treasurer shall present expenditure requests of eligible Board approved invoices to the Hanover township treasurer for payment from the special assessment account. He/she shall make all deposits to the Association checking account if/when such assets become available. He/she shall disburse such monies from the Board checking account, as approved by the Board, for all expenditures not covered by the special assessment account. All expenditures made must be approved by the Board.

3. The treasurer shall maintain regular communication with the Hanover Township treasurer concerning special assessment activities.

4. The treasurer will assist and participate in board research activities related to ongoing Board and Association business.

5. The Treasurer shall be responsible for the ongoing maintenance of the Association’s 501 (C)(3) non-profit status, including submission of the 990 PF forms.

6. In the case, where the Association may be financed by voluntary membership dues, the treasurer will be responsible to maintain accurate records/a list of members who are current in dues payments.

7. The treasurer will be responsible for formulating a budget for the succeeding year, no later than September 1 of the current fiscal year.

E. The Member-at-Large

1. The member-at-large will be primarily responsible for goose control activities, including filing of a timely permit application to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for nest and egg destruction, a timely report of nest and egg activities to the USDA, a timely permit application for a goose roundup in June and the timely return of a report to the USDA on the number of geese relocated. Data from these reports will be submitted to the board by email and at regularly scheduled board meetings.

2. The Member-at-Large will assist and participate in board research activities related to ongoing Board and Association business.

3. The Member-at-Large shall be responsible for preparation and presentation of both short and long term vision concepts for Board activities and actions for lake management, within the scope of the parameters stated on the petition for a special assessment for Association activities.

Article VI: Meetings of the Membership

Section 1: The annual meeting of the Association shall be held on the third Saturday in May or as determined by the Association board each year.

Section 2: Special meetings of the membership may be called at the option of the president or when requested by any three board members. Every member shall be notified of scheduled special meetings of the membership by regular United States mail or by email (member’s request) at least 15 days prior to the scheduled time of the meeting.

Section 3: A quorum of Association membership at a specially called membership meeting shall be the total of those in attendance and casting votes or absentee ballots. Voting members at that meeting shall register with the Secretary of the Association immediately prior to any regular or specially called meeting of the membership.

Section 4: For purposes of voting, the “rule of thumb” shall be one lot, one vote and half lots will equal one-half vote. Final decisions on any issue in a membership meeting shall be determined by the number of whole votes only.

Section 5: When a lot is owned by more than one individual, the one vote allocated to such lot shall be cast as all members with an interest in such lot shall agree. The Association may conclusively rely on the representation of the co-owner that he/she has the authority to cast the vote without requiring signed, written formal proxies from the other co-owners. If any dispute between co-owners as to how their lot’s one vote shall be cast is made known to the meeting, no vote shall be counted for such lot.

Article VII: Committees

Section 1: Ad Hoc Committees may be established by majority vote of the Board of Directors as the need arises and shall report to the Board of Directors as requested.

Article VIII: Order of Business

Section 1: All meetings of the membership and Board of Directors shall be as follows:

1. Call to Order
2. Roll Call of Officers Present
3. Reading of Minutes
4. Reports of the Officers
5. Reports of Committees
6. Unfinished Business
7. New Business
8. Election of Officers (Annual meeting only)
9. Adjournment

Article IX: Parliamentary Authority

Section 1: The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the Association in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these Bylaws or any special rules of order the Association may adopt.

Article X: Amendments

Section 1: The Association bylaws may be amended at any regular or properly called special meeting of the membership by a 2/3 vote of those members present at the meeting.

Section 2: The Association bylaws may be amended by an 80% majority (4/5) of the Board of Directors present and voting at two (2) consecutive regular meetings of the Board of Directors, in no event less than thirty days apart.

Section 3: Members shall be notified in writing of proposed Bylaws changes at least 15 days prior to the membership meeting or any Board meeting called to consider revision of the Bylaws.

Section 4: Association bylaws will also be posted on the Association website.

Article XI: Appropriations

Section 1: No debts shall be incurred by the Association.

Section 2: No funds shall be appropriated except by order of the Board of Directors.

Section 3: The Board of Directors shall develop and adopt a budget of estimated income and expenditure for the succeeding fiscal year no later than September 1 of the current year. Requests for special assessment collection amounts shall be communicated to the township treasurer no later than October 10 for the winter tax notice to property owners.

Article XII: Liability and Indemnifications

Section 1: Liability

A. No person shall be liable to the Association for any loss or damage suffered on account of any action taken or omitted as a member or officer of the Association Board of Directors, if such person (a) exercised and used the same degree of care and skill as a prudent person would have exercised or used under the circumstances in the conduct of one’s own affairs, or (b) took or omitted to take such action in reliance on advice of counsel for the Association or upon information furnished by Officers of the Association, which such person had reasonable grounds to believe.

Section 2: Indemnification

A. Each member and Officer of the Association shall be indemnified by the Association against all losses, costs and expenses actually and necessarily incurred by such person in connection with the defense of any action, suit or proceedings in which the person is made a party by reason of his/her having been a member or Officer of the Association, except in relation to matters in which he/she shall be adjudged in such action, suit or proceeding to be liable for negligence or misconduct in the performance of his/her duties as such member or Officer. (Taken from the Kingsley Lake Association bylaws, Art. X Sec 2)

Section 3. Funding Liability Insurance

A. In the case that funds for liability insurance protecting those working on any endeavor for the Association are not chargeable to the Special Assessment District under Public Act 188 of 1954, the Association will make a reasonable attempt to cover such insurance premiums from voluntary dues, collected from Association members within the Special Assessment District.

Article XIII: Dissolution of the Association

Section 1: Distribution/Use of Association Assets in Case of Dissolution

A. In case of dissolution of the Association, the remaining assets will be used for 501 (c)(3) exempt purposes only in accordance with the laws of the State of Michigan.

Adopted: May 20, 2006
Revised: 2014
Revised: 2019

Sources used to complete this document include:
Pine Hill Lake Property Owners Association Bylaws
Rainbow Lake Association Bylaws
The Kingsley Lake Association Bylaws

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