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.
OWNERS – Please consider these proposals, and complete and return your signature page to the office. A PDF with the signature page can be found here: Amendments Signature Page
PTCA does not presently allow cats or dogs as household pets. The Board would like Owners to consider whether the Declaration should be amended to specifically allow cats, dogs and/or detection animals (such as the bed bug dog) to live in the building with its owner. There are three separate options, and owners may choose one, none or a combination. The Board strongly endorses allowing cats and detection animals.
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.
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 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.
THIS ITEM IS NOT ADDRESSED ON THE SIGNATURES PAGE – It is handled a bit differently than the Amendment Process.
For more than a decade, owners of this unit have come and gone, struggling with the relatively 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. To complete the foreclosure process, the Board must have Unit Owner approval. For this reason, the Board needs Owners to give 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.
(NOTE TO OWNERSHIP FROM MANAGEMENT, discussed at June 12th Board meeting: At this moment in time, the subject unit owes the Association about $75,000. And that is growing at a base rate of $1,919/month.
The ownership’s permission is needed to purchase the unit, in order to complete the foreclosure process on the past due assessments. If it actually goes to foreclosure and a Sheriff sale, like a bank, the Association would make an opening bid in the exact amount of the assessments due. If no one bids higher, then the Association is technically purchasing the Unit for the amount of the assessments due at that time. Therein lies the primary reason the Board needs permission from the Unit Owners, in order complete the foreclosure process.
We WILL NOT actually cut a physical check – at that moment, the worst case scenario is that the Association zeroes out the balance due. The Association would just be crediting the lien on the unit.
THANKFULLY, there may be an interested party, who is a current owner. They understand the cost of the taxes and assessments for the unit, and have a proven track record to make payments and remain in excellent standing with their present units. In Managements opinion, they have been by every measure an upstanding owner in terms of how they manage and maintain their existing spaces. They have suggested they would come to the Sheriff sale and either bid higher, or turn around and buy the space from us and possibly make the Association whole.
The alternative to foreclosure is to let the subject space continue accumulating past due assessments and incorporate the cost into the budget. That would be the past due $75,000, plus the ongoing assessments at $23,000/year plus any increases. By year end that balance will be $90,000, which is about 2.5% in the total assessments. So, we would budget that $90,000 in bad debt. THEN, we would need to budget an additional $23,000 plus any increase in assessments. That would mean about a 3% increase in assessments to all the owners, just because of this one unit.
So, some would argue it is in PTCA’s best business and financial interest to foreclose and if possible facilitate a transaction with the interested buyer. To do so, we need 66 and 2/3rds of owners to give the Board permission to purchase and sell the unit, so the foreclosure can be processed to conclusion.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
This particular initiative will require a separate Special Meeting, scheduled for Monday September 25th, 2017, where owners will vote much like they do for the Board Election at the Annual Meetings each year. A separate notice and proxy forms will be mailed to owners around late August or early September, to formally announce the meeting.
As befits amendments to PTCA’s two most important governing documents, the requirements for passage are quite high. 75% of all Owners must approve 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 participate are, in effect, voting no!
As soon as each amendment receives the percentage of approval 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
(some edits and updates provided by Property Manager Tim Patricio)
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/