ROEHA FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
What is the difference between the ROEHA and the RRRO (Rocky Ridge Royal Oak) Community Association?
ROEHA is responsible for the maintenance of the green spaces within our community. The community association has a larger community mandate and communicates with the City on issues such as traffic, community development, etc. If you are a homeowner in Royal Oak Estates, you are part of the HOA. You must join the RRRO Community Association.
What is the Special Tax Levy on my Property Tax Bill?
This tax levy supports an enhanced level of community maintenance for Royal Oak Estates green spaces and parks, over the standard level of service provided by City of Calgary Parks Department. The enhanced maintenance provided by the tax levy, enables a better looking and more walkable community for Royal Oak residents. The enhanced maintenance increases the pride residents will take in their properties, which is reflected in the overall property values of the community. Royal Oak Estates is an ELM community.
Why do we have a Special Tax Levy vs. Homeowners Fee?
The special tax levy is the result of a community wide petition, where the majority of homeowners, agreed to the tax levy, instead of HOA fees. The fees are collected by the City as part of the Property Tax process and ROEHA then submits expense claims against these funds to the City to fund the required landscape maintenance activities in the community.
What is an Enhanced Landscape Maintenance (ELM) community?
Follow the link for a description on the City of Calgary website describing the ELM program.
Why was the ELM petition initiated in Royal Oak Estates?
In 2003 homeowners noticed the fountains had been removed from the ponds adjacent to Stoney Trail, and the community was beginning to look a bit rough around the edges; there was graffiti popping up on community power boxes and the Gazebo, weeds and unkempt lawns, intermittent snow shoveling and garbage everywhere. They wanted the fountains back and our community to be restored to what it was when we purchased our home.
The City had the fountains but had no intention of installing them because the community had no means to pay for them. It was then discovered that other residents were meeting with the City to determine if any help was available for community maintenance. After meeting with the Ward Councillor, it was determined the covenant on all the homes in the community was unenforceable in its current form, as the developer’s agreement with the City had expired. This meant that ROE would receive the same level of maintenance as every other community in the City, that did not have a Homeowners Association.
After talks with the Developer, it was found the Developer had put a Homeowners Association (HOA) in place as part of their agreement with the City, and they were happy to give it to the community group along with a bursary to get us started. The problem, there was no mechanism to get residents to pay for maintenance. The City informed the ROE group that some communities had a Special Tax Levy process, where the fees would come from resident’s taxes, but three-quarters of the community would have to agree to it in a petition to the City.
In 2009, Community Volunteers went to every household in the community to advocate for the tax levy and gather the required number of signatures for the petition. This petition was approved by the community in a resounding success. This then enabled the Royal Oak Estates Homeowners Association, to form a board and it had a budget to bring the community back to its original condition.
Soon the fountains were back in the ponds, repairs were made, graffiti removed, along with reliable and consistent snow removal and lawn maintenance in the parks. Since then there has been a marked improvement in the community, it is more walkable and obvious pride is taken in the community, along with the ancillary benefits and motivation for the homeowners. This is thanks to the volunteers who made the petition happen and the volunteers who have, and still serve on the board to keep Royal Oak Estates a livable, desirable, and beautiful community.
Who manages the ELM Tax Levy funds for ROEHA?
The Homeowners Association (HOA) is managed by a group of volunteer residents, who form the board of directors overseeing the contracting and spending on community landscape maintenance. The boards’ actions are limited to maintenance of the green spaces in Royal Oak Estates, and other responsibilities assigned to it by the City of Calgary ELM agreement.
How are the funds spent? How can I view the annual results?
The HOA has annual financial statements prepared by an independent accountant, posted to the website, and submitted to the City of Calgary. These financial statements are reviewed with residents at an Annual General Meeting held in the first half of each calendar year, generally March or April. (Look for notifications on the website, Facebook announcements, and signs posted prior to the meeting in the community). 95% of the funds from the tax levy, are spent on community maintenance, with the remaining portion going to insurance and administration.
What are the restrictive covenants on my property?
Please follow this link that describes the restrictive covenants that are on the title of each house in Royal Oak Estates. These covenants are placed on the title to ensure a consistent and cohesive look and feel to the community. Along with a well-maintained community, the restrictive covenants help to enhance every homeowner’s property value.
What if my neighbour does something to their house or property that goes against the covenant?
The first course of action should be to discuss this with your neighbour. You can also contact the City of Calgary at 311 to file a complaint.
How can I volunteer or become a ROEHA Board member?
You can volunteer by contacting ROEHA through our Facebook page or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org . The ROEHA board members are elected at the associations Annual General Meeting (AGM). If you wish to join the Board, you can put your name up for election at the AGM. New members are always welcomed, as they bring new ideas and ways of looking at issues.
Why join the Board of Directors for ROEHA (One person’s experience)?
As a homeowner, I had been concerned with the lack of weed control on the south facing hillside behind the houses on Royal Ridge Terrace, where I have lived for the past 10 years. I contacted 311 about Canada Thistle growth on this hillside and was told the issue was not the City’s problem, but I should contact the ROEHA. After discussion with the ROEHA President, Laura Parsons, I sent my photos and comments to Ward Sutherland’s office, requesting discussion on weed remediation. This led to a meeting between ROEHA and the aldermanic office, who supported the cause of additional weed control. Laura invited me to a board position to help champion the weed issue and other involvement as needed. I believe there is valued work done by a few dedicated board members and I have welcomed the invitation.