The process started about 2 years ago, with the formation and efforts of the Ad-Hoc Commission to Review the PTCA Declaration and Bylaws. To help understand what they did and the recommendations they made to the Board, below is a direct link to a PDF of their report as well as an introduction letter to help guide readers:
Saturday March 18th at 11am in the Party Room
Wednesday March 22nd at 7pm in the Party Room
(Notice presented as mailed to Unit Owners on Monday February 27th, 2017.)
Proposed Amendments to PTCA Declaration
And Purchase Of Unit 12c In The Mall
February 27, 2017
I am writing to inform you of important business before the Association. The Board of Directors requests Owners consider and vote on four proposed amendments to the PTCA Declaration and By-Laws, and a ballot initiative to give the Board permission to purchase Unit 12c in the mall. The Board believes making these considerations may improve quality of life for most residents and increase property values for all owners. These were among ten issues researched by the Ad Hoc Committee to Review the Declaration and By-Laws. They published a report which can be read online at www.ptcondo.com/library. The wording of the proposed amendments is enclosed with this letter, along with ballots and a self-addressed and stamped return envelope.
The Decs and By-Laws are two of the Association’s three governing documents. The Declaration defines basic policies for use of the building and units, and the By-Laws outline how PTCA is to be run. They were put in place by the building’s developer at the time of PTCA’s incorporation, in 1979. The Declaration has since been amended several times on procedural and technical matters; the By-Laws have never been amended. The third governing document is the Association’s Rules & Regulations. This document establishes everyday policies and procedures and is reviewed and republished by Boards as needed. All three governing documents, and materials supporting the proposed amendments, can be viewed at www.ptcondo.com/library.
The amendments now before Owners concern changes to the Declaration and By-Laws regarding Pets and Detection Animals, Smoking, Leasing Restrictions, and Health Club Memberships. In addition, the Board is seeking permission to purchase a Unit. The amendments were drafted by the Board’s attorney, David Bendoff, who is guiding the Board through the process. Below are simple explanations of each proposed amendment.
PETS & DETECTION ANIMALS
PTCA does not presently allow cats or dogs as pets. The Board would like Owners to consider whether the Declaration should be amended to specifically allow or not allow cats, dogs and/or detection animals (such as the bed bug dog) to live in the building with its owner. The amendment is worded in such a way that of five possible choices, each owner may only vote for one. (Selecting more than one option will invalidate the vote on this particular amendment.) The Board strongly endorses allowing cats and detection animals.
Nationwide and here in Chicago, more and more condominium associations are banning smoking on their property. Smoking is currently prohibited by our Rules and City Ordinance throughout “common elements” such as the lobby, elevators, mall, hallways and Health Club. The Board would like Owners to consider whether the Declaration should be amended to extend that ban to all areas of building, including within residential units, with the exception of outdoor areas designated by the Board.
The Board would like Owners to consider whether the Declaration should be amended to specifically allow the Association, through Rules & Regulations, to establish restrictions on the renting of units. Such a provision would give more flexibility to the Board when changes in the rental market or within the building require quicker decisions on changes to policies which can impact renter and owner occupancy. That is either strengthening or weakening policies as market or building conditions dictate and are considered by the Board.
HEALTH CLUB MEMBERSHIPS
The Board would like Owners to consider whether the By-Laws be amended to specifically allow Park Tower to charge non-residents more than residents for membership in the Health Club; and, at its discretion, to allow use of the Health Club by outsiders. The developer of Park Tower included this provision forcing PTCA to accept members from our neighbors to the North (5445 and 5455), and at the same rates as we charge Park Tower residents. This provision would give future Boards more protection and flexibility in determining fees and whether to accept members from outside Park Tower.
PURCHASE OF UNIT 12c
For more than a decade, owners of this unit have come and gone, struggling with the high cost of the assessments and property taxes – compared to other units, based on square footage this unit has one of the highest percentages of ownership per square foot. At present, the Association is pursuing foreclosure of the Unit for past due assessments in an amount far exceeding the purchase price the last time the Unit was sold. The collection process is underway and the Unit may be sold at auction for the past due assessments or less as a result. For this reason, the Board would like Owners to consider giving permission to purchase the unit, and either incorporate it as an asset or sell it in the future should an entity come forward which has the wherewithal to handle the assessments and taxes.
As befits amendments to our two most important governing documents, the requirements for passage are quite high. 75% of all Owners must vote in the affirmative to pass the amendments on pets and detection animals, smoking, and leasing restrictions. 66⅔ % of all Owners must vote in the affirmative to pass the Health Club Membership amendment, and giving the Board authority to purchase Unit 12c. Owners who do not vote are, in effect, voting no!
Owners are invited to discuss the proposed amendments, purchase of 12c and the voting procedures, in Special Meetings scheduled for that purpose:
Saturday, March 18, 11am in the Party Room
Wednesday, March 22, 7pm in the Party Room
Please consider attending one of the Scheduled Meetings and thereafter marking and mailing back your signature page in the enclosed self-addressed, stamped envelope. Following these meetings we are planning a vigorous effort to “turn out the vote.” We do not mean to harass owners but we do need for them to understand that not voting is, essentially, voting “no” to amendments many believe will greatly benefit our residents, and most particularly, our owners and their investments.
As soon as each amendment receives the percentage of vote required, it will be certified and regarded as passed. The effort to secure the necessary votes will continue until December 31, 2017.
Thank you for your participation.
Michael Parrie, President
PTCA Board of Directors
PS This letter, the proposed amendments and related documents can be read online by registered users. To register, “login” and then complete the short registration form. Go to https://www.ptcondo.com/library/ and scroll down to Governing Documents. The Ad-hoc Committee report recommending these changes is available at https://www.ptcondo.com/ad-hoc-committee-to-review-the-declaration-by-laws-final-report/
(OWNERS – If for some reason you did not receive your packet and/or signature page, or you otherwise need another signature page, please contact the office. ALSO – Stay tuned for further announcements with regard to the measure to purchase Unit 12c.)