Transfer Fee: Let’s Get It Done!

Dear fellow Staffordshire members and all Friends of Staffordshire,

Please consider this as my personal contribution to hopefully solving this Transfer Fee issue.

This is an update (1/9/2014 2024 and 1/11/2024) that just might help SHOA actually amend the CC&Rs, according to the instructions within the CC&Rs:

Please read our CC&Rs for yourself on our official Staffordshire HOA website:

For your convenience, I have copied the pertinent information we need from our CC&Rs, below:

Article X, paragraph 3, states very clearly how to amend the CC&Rs. Basically, we write down the proposed amendment, then get 3/4 of the members to sign the document.

“3. Amendment: Any of the covenants and restrictions of this Declaration may be amended by an instrument in writing, signed and acknowledged by three~fourths (3/4) of the votes of the members who are entitled to vote. A copy of the protective covenants, conditions and restrictions, as amended, or the amendment thereto, certified by the President and the Secretary of the Association, shall be effective when recorded with lane County, Oregon”

An example of this method of amending the CC&Rs is shown below. The document below is recorded with Lane County on microfiche, so the quality is poor. But you can clearly see this method as it was used in 1983 1989:

In 1983 1989, SHOA leadership created an instrument in writing and had the membership sign the document, thereby acknowledging their consent. Notice that there are 80 lots represented on this document, which is above the required 3/4 of the votes required. Of special interest to me is the second-to-last signature where Jean Rivers signed for lot number 70 (street address: 85721 Chelsea Ln). I checked (of course), and Lot # 70 corresponds to the legally platted lot number (not some artificial phone directory “lot number”). A simple double check is where Darwin and Carol Martin signed for Lot # 53 (street address 85707 Hampstead Ln) again according to the official Staffordshire subdivision plat lot numbers. It should be very clear now why it is so important to use official lot numbers on important documents.

Some may have noticed that, at first glance, this particular amendment document was recorded at Lane County in 1983 and apparently again in 1989. I’m sure there is a logical explanation, but I don’t know why. (Late edit, 1/11/2024: My working theory now is that our original CC&Rs were certified in 1983, and that is what is being referred to in this 1989 amendment. Are there any “history buffs” who can solve this mystery? I think, but am not 100% certain, that this 1989 filing with Lane County was recertifying amending the action taken in 1983 for some unknown reason in order to make this a 55+ park.

Well, here is the certified amendment that made this park a 55+ community:

So, as you can see from the above example, the CC&Rs were amended according to the guidance in the CC&Rs (almost). Why almost? Because our SHOA CC&Rs call for the amendment to be certified by the President and the Secretary of the Association. As far as I can tell from this document, only the President, Robert D. Abts, certified this amendment.

Well, there you have it. Why are we conducting a “secret ballot” vote to amend the CC&Rs? This apparent effort to conduct a secret ballot will not result in a valid vote since it violates the specific instructions within the CC&Rs. Also, did you notice that each signature was subscribed and sworn before a notary? This adds another layer of authenticity, in my opinion. MUCH more transparent than a secret ballot, don’t you think?

The suggestions below were my original contribution, back when I, too, believed VFLaw when they advised SHOA to conduct votes to amend the CC&Rs. (Look where THAT got us!) It is NOT too late to amend the CC&Rs according to Article X of the CC&Rs. Let’s get ‘er done!

My original post is below; I still insist on no exceptions, btw.

I am not the original source of most of what I’ve written but have merely taken parts of some great ideas and “melded” them into this possible solution:

1) We will need to amend the rules for each corporate entity: SHOA and SWS. In other words, we will need to make two separate amendments and vote separately for each of them.

2) The amendment can be as simple as one carefully crafted paragraph, written by a competent attorney who understands Staffordshire.

3) I offer an example document, Summerfield HOA New Ownership Fee for Board members’ consideration (see bottom of this page or follow the link above, then scroll down about 22 pages.):
a) My comments about this Summerfield Estates example:
i) We need to meet with Summerfield Estates to learn from their experiences with their amendment: good, bad or ugly.
ii) Explicitly state that the funds are going exclusively to the Reserve Fund of each corporation (SHOA and SWS).
iii) Do you notice the elegant solution for building in “inflation” by tying the fee to the yearly membership fee amount? (Brilliant!)
iv) Make the transfer fee as “equal to the amount of the annual membership assessment fee in effect” for instance. (or more, or less)
v) Notice that this amendment has NO exceptions; it treats EVERYONE the same. (To have exceptions is to build in discriminatory policies.)

4) For existing members concerned about “exceptional circumstances” and therefore WANT an exception built into the amendment, I suggest this:
a) Get with your own personal counsel and craft a legal “work around” that has the same effect as any exception they would like us, Staffordshire Estates, to provide.
b) For instance, put their heirs on the title somehow, before they die, so that the property never actually “transfers” upon death of a member.
c) I’m sure a competent estate attorney can get the job done.
d) Or just pay the fee, like everyone else.

Stephen Short

The above message is an edited version of the same message I shared with certain members on10/04/2023, before our Community “party”. I waited to post this message, so I might include any ideas generated at the party. Larry Cotton’s comments helped make this message better. Thanks!

I wish to also take this opportunity to explain why I was “out of order” when it seemed to me that my neighbors would rather fine or punish their neighbors instead of helping them. I still maintain that it is better to help your neighbor than to bully them.

Please follow the “Golden Rule” (Matthew 7:12), and treat other people as you would like to be treated.

Rather that divide our community with MORE rules, the GOLDEN RULE will BUILD our community.

Matthew 7:3 contains Jesus’ warnings addressed to those who judge others.

World English Bible: Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but don’t consider the beam that is in your own eye?

2 thoughts on “Transfer Fee: Let’s Get It Done!”

  1. Friends of Staffordshire;

    Leave a comment; let’s get as many good ideas as possible.

    All comments will be visible to anyone, so please be concise and polite.


  2. It should be very clear now why it is so important to use official lot numbers on important documents.

    Is there any logical reason to continue to use the phone list’s artificial “lot numbers” for any reason?

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