Relieving the woes of mandated membership?

NEWTON. The Urban and Community Affairs Committee takes steps to alleviate lake membership mandate woes by approving Bill S3661

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  • Cranberry Lake pedestrian bridge. (Photo by Mandy Coriston)

  • Cranberry Lake foot bridge.

By Mandy Coriston

The Senate Urban and Community Affairs Committee voted Monday, May 13 to approve Bill S3661, which will clarify the language in Chapters. 30 and 106 of the Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act. The bill, which is being co-sponsored by Sen. Steve Oroho (R-24), may be the key in alleviating the mandated membership woes which have been plaguing lake associations statewide; locally, Cranberry Lake and Forest Lakes have been affected. Committee passage paves the way for S3661 to be voted on by the full senate.

The proposed new amendment to PREDFDA would denote that lake clubs and homeowners’ associations cannot force membership based on the 2017 amendments to the statute, unless they were designated as planned developments were established as such prior to that date. It also clarifies the voting rights of the members of said established developments and homeowners’ associations, and excludes those who would be considered ‘non-members’ from voting or being elected to the governing boards of those groups.

The language in S3661 leaves very little to be interpreted about membership and voting rights in planned developments, which emerged as problematic after the 2017 PREFDA amendment. Many organizations have been citing Chap. 106 to mandate membership in lake clubs and community groups which previously did not function as homeowners’ associations.

Kristine Cerza, who has been leading the group of residents opposed to mandatory membership at Cranberry Lake, traveled to Trenton on Monday morning to speak before the committee. She was thrilled with the outcome of the vote.

“It looks like we are one step closer to showing that the Cranberry Lake Community Club doesn’t have the right or authority to use Chap. 106 to mandate dues,” Cerza said, “We’re looking forward to the bill heading to the Senate floor.”

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