Category Archives: FAQ

FAQ 16

Can the CRRA explain its policies regarding snow removal?

The CRRA does not get involved in snow removal. This is a City matter. The City bylaw (Bylaw #20M88) for sidewalks adjacent to private land states, among other things, that the owner of the private land is required to remove ice and snow 24 hours after the ice and snow has been deposited.

Pathways are another matter. Snow removal on pathways is the responsibility of The City. Concerns regarding snow clearing should be brought to the attention of the City of Calgary, utilizing the City’s general services line – 311.

The park areas, streets and pathways are the property of the City. Because of a liability issue, the City (Park’s division) does “not” want any private contractor working on or around these areas. Even if we could get permission by sponsoring a financial bond, it would still not solve our problem. The cost of removing the snow from the pathways would not only wipe out our total budget but we would need to raise the annual fee by at least another $100, without any flowers or landscaping enhancements (snow removal is very expensive). In order to keep everyone happy and to continue with landscaping efforts, the fee would need to be approximately $300/year to provide a budget that would allow for snow removal as well as general landscaping efforts. The CRRA Board of Directors can’t see residents agreeing to this type of fee increase. This is not our mandate for this year ,which was charged to us by the community at our last AGM. Budgets and contracts are already in place. This is an issue for a future Board.

If you are passionate about the CRRA Board taking this issue on, then please consider joining the CRRA Board.

FAQ 15

Will the CRRA do anything about the fence surrounding the community?

You may be surprised to learn that the fence is the responsibility of the homeowner on whichever lot it is situated, after purchase from the developer.

Currently, the CRRA is focusing on implementing our core mandate of enhanced landscaping. Once we have established operations for our core mandate, we may consider taking on upkeep and improvement of the fence.

To do this, the CRRA would need the cooperation of all homeowners on which this fence sits, to see if we can maintain it in a visually appealing manner. This would require the permission and explicit approval of all homeowners who have the fence on their property, as well as waiver from them, allowing this work to be done.

FAQ 14

Who cuts the grass on the boulevard in front of my house?

Some residents may be surprised to learn that the responsibility to maintain boulevards adjacent to private homes lies with the homeowner, which is a requirement throughout the City of Calgary pursuant to Bylaw Number 5M2004.

This applies whether the boulevard is separated by a sidewalk or whether the boulevard is immediately adjacent to the private lot, or even on the other side of their fence.

Residents seeking further information about this requirement should visit the City of Calgary’s website or call the City’s general services line at 311.

FAQ 13

Why don’t you offer online payment?

We agree that offering online payment would be more convenient.

Offering online payment would require a one-time set up fee of about $500, monthly fees of about $40, and about a 2% charge on each transaction. At this time we feel that is too expensive.

Residents associations that offer online payment options charge a higher annual rent charge than we do.

UPDATE:

Effective in 2015, there is an option to make on on-line payment via Interac eTransfer for a fee of an additional $5.25.  Email nicole@acms.ca; you will be prompted to setup a security question and answer.  The security question must be:  Who is your Management Company? The answer must be ACMS (this must be in capital letters).

FAQ 12

Why do you care whether Members pay on time?  Why are you planning to hire a collections agency to go after unpaid invoices?

Our landscaping efforts will not be as effective if our budget is unstable. We need to anticipate most of our funds coming in when they are due in order to most effectively allocate the funds.

When you pay on time, you allow the Board of Directors to focus less on asking for and collecting, which we do not enjoy, and more on our mandate of improving the community.

Collecting mandatory fees is the single most stressful and time consuming portion of running the CRRA; please consider this when making it difficult on our volunteers.

FAQ 11

Is everyone in Cougar Ridge required to pay the encumbrance?

No. Through a combination of human error and deliberate oversight, the City of Calgary and the developers of the neighbourhood did not put encumbrances on about one quarter of homes in the middle part of Cougar Ridge – the middle part of the neighbourhood immediately east of 85th Street. This part of the neighbourhood does not have to pay the encumbrance.

This would be difficult to change because it would require one of two things: 1) Either we would have to convince the homeowners in that middle part to add encumbrance to their land titles. Or 2) we could bring everyone’s encumbrance down to zero in the entire neighbourhood, then convince 66.7% of all residents (two third plus one) to vote for The City of Calgary collecting a $100 encumbrance form all residents at tax time. With this option, residents would have to vote on this issue every five years and the money could only be used for landscaping (for example, it could not be used to fixing the fence, or any other community projects that may come up).

The CRRA is not required to provide enhanced landscaping within the non-encumbrance part of the neighbourhood.

The CRRA finds it unfortunate that one part of the community is being treated separately from the rest of the community. If you think this situation is unfair, you may communicate your thoughts on this matter to your Alderman, Richard Pootmans, or call The City’s general line, 3-1-1. For more information on this issue, click on Information about the encumbrance issue sent to Alderman Connelly in 2010.

FAQ 10

Is the CRRA fee mandatory?

Yes. For the households in Cougar Ridge that are required to pay the annual CRRA fee, the fee is secured by an encumbrance registered on the homeowner’s property at the time the development was created.

In other words, each person with an encumbrance signed an agreement to pay the annual rent charge when they purchased the property. This includes the new Apex Development at Paskapoo Slopes as well as all those homes developed by United Communities.

FAQ 09

I think the annual fee per household seems like a lot of money for landscaping. How could you possibly use all that money just for a few plants?

Neighbouring communities of West Springs, Wentworth, Springside, etc. all have residents’ associations in place, and they also collect comparative annual fees to improve their community and allow for landscaping enhancements. Some of these neighbouring RAs charge $200-$300 per year.

If you walk/drive through these neighboring communities, you will see beautiful flower beds in the spring/summer, as well as enhanced maintenance of the grass/trees/walkways/etc.

Landscaping costs are high and with our current fee structure, the CRRA is not able to take over maintenance of green spaces from the City. We can only currently afford to enhance the boulevards, main entrance features in Cougar Ridge, basic weeding and maintenance for each growing season, while also building up a reserve fund which is mandated.
Reminder: You agreed to pay these fees when you purchased your home. There is an encumbrance on your land title, mandating that these fees be paid.

How do I know you’re not misusing the money?

The money collected by the CRRA needs to be properly managed, to provide the best value for the community.

Transparency is important, so we encourage you to examine our audited financial statements to make sure the money is being properly spent.

The CRRA had its books and financial statements audited in 2011 by an independent accounting firm, Cremers & Elliott. The audit confirmed the CRRA is in good standing and our books are in order.

In addition, we are overseen and supported by a professional management company, ACMS. They handle all our invoicing, accounts, payments, and collections.

FAQ 08

Why are there so many separate resident’s associations?  Why can’t there be just one resident’s association and community association for WSCR all rolled into one?

Good question.

Private developers are responsible for establishing the residents associations for new neighbourhoods, and The City of Calgary is responsible for the determining the regulatory climate under which these associations are established.

If you have concerns about the balkanization of residents associations, please contact The City of Calgary at 3-1-1, or speak with your Alderman, Richard Pootmans.

We cannot formally amalgamate the many different residents associations and the community association in this area, because that would require getting every single home owner to change the encumbrance on their land title. In the future, however, the residents associations and community association may informally merge our governance structures.