The purpose of this wiki is to contain in one convenient place essential information about the Sunflower Gardens Neighborhood and the Sunflower Gardens Homeowners’ Association (HOA). If there is something you are looking for and cannot find it here, you are asked to let the wiki editor know. Additions and edits to the wiki are most welcome. By working together we can collectively improve the accuracy and usefulness of this document over time.

The fine print: This wiki is NOT a legal document. It is community-generated to assist residents and owners in understanding the ins and outs of the Sunflower Gardens Neighborhood. Because 45 of the 47 residences in the Sunflower Gardens Neighborhood are part of the Sunflower Gardens Homeowners’ Association (HOA) one of the purposes of this wiki is to be a comprehensive source of information about the HOA for both residents and owners. But this site is a Neighborhood Association site and does not belong to the HOA. If you need to know the official position of either the HOA Board or the HOA Design Committee you should contact them directly.

1) Is the Sunflower Gardens Neighborhood Association the same thing as the SGHOA?

No. The Sunflower Gardens Neighborhood Association (SGNA) and the SGHOA or HOA (officially known as the Sunflower Gardens Association of Co-Owners, Inc.) are completely separate entities.

The Sunflower Gardens Neighborhood Association is one of more than 50 Neighborhood Associations that have been recognized by the City of Bloomington to “work to proactively enhance the quality of life by unifying the voice of the neighborhood while mobilizing commitment for neighborhood issues and initiatives.”  For more information about Neighborhood Associations, please visit [For Neighborhoods] on the Bloomington website. Maps showing all of Bloomington Neighborhood Associations can be found at [Neighborhood Map Gallery].  Not only is The Sunflower Gardens Neighborhood Association separate from the HOA, it is also geographically different.  [Click here] to see a map of the SGNA.

Another related but different organization is CONA (Council of Neighborhood Associations).  CONA is an umbrella organization representing Monroe County’s neighborhood associations. They formulate positions on public policy and represent the neighborhoods at city, county and state government meetings.  For more information, visit [CONA].

CONA meetings are open to the public and are generally held on the third Wednesday of each month at 6 PM in the Hooker Conference Room of City Hall.
Last updated 3/6/17.

2) What is the Sunflower Gardens Homeowners’ Association (HOA)?

The SGHOA is a non-profit corporation established at the time the master plan for the Sunflower Gardens development was approved. It is responsible for certain aspects of managing the property contained within the development. Its full legal name is the Sunflower Gardens Association of Co-Owners, Inc.
Last updated 3/5/17.

3) How is the HOA governed?

The HOA is governed by a Board of Directors elected annually by the owners. The Board is responsible to the owners for the duties specified in the Governing Documents of the HOA which are a) the Bylaws, and b) the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs), also known as The Declaration. The Board has no authority to act or speak for members beyond the powers granted to it by the members in the Governing Documents.
Last updated 3/6/17.

4) Does the HOA own any property?

No. The HOA owns none of the real property within the development. All real property in the development is owned by the homeowner on whose lot it is situated.
Last updated 2/21/17.

5) What are the major responsibilities of the HOA?

Currently the HOA sees to it a) that the lawns are mowed, b) that the lawns receive proper applications of fertilizer, weed controls, and insect controls, c) that the planting beds easily visible from the neighborhood streets are mulched each spring, d) that any utility bill for the street lighting is paid, e) that the sign at the entrance is maintained, and f) that certain insurance for the benefit of the owners is obtained. When there is a property management company, as there is at the present time, the HOA is responsible for negotiating and managing the contract with the property management firm. The HOA also seeks to help owners with concerns that affect multiple units. Such help is provided not because it is specifically required by the Governing Documents but because it is generally acknowledged that for certain problems the HOA members working together can produce better results than individual owner working by themselves.
Last updated 2/21/17.

6) What are some examples of the concerns noted in the last sentence above?

Some examples: a) In 2012 the HOA assisted owners concerned about the expansion of the church that abuts our property on the west. b) Currently the HOA has formed a committee to help owners address the drainage issues on the east side of the property.
Last updated 2/21/17.

7) Does the HOA take care of all yard maintenance tasks?

No. Some examples are: a) Currently the HOA does not take care of weeding mulched areas or raking leaves. b) The HOA does not repair damaged lawns. c) The HOA does not address the presence of moles in the yards other than applying insect controls as noted above and purchasing mole traps that are available for use by owners. These are only some examples of yard maintenance that is not provided by the HOA. Yard maintenance not handled by the HOA is the responsibility of individual unit owners.
Last updated 2/21/17.

8) What determines what the HOA is and is not responsible for?

The HOA responsibilities are specified in the Governing Documents of the HOA. Currently these responsibilities are generally limited to purchasing certain insurance, managing the property management company if there is one, and care of the grounds. With respect to care of the grounds the Governing Documents give a fair degree of discretion to the owners as to what to do and what not to do. As a practical matter, within these broad limits, the community decides each year precisely what will and won’t be done when it approves the annual budget for the following year.
Last updated 2/21/17.

9) What areas does the HOA mulch?

Each year the HOA Board proposes a budget that includes a line item for mulching. This line item is then approved by the membership at the Annual Meeting. Consistent with the HOA’s responsibility for general beautification, the practice of the HOA has been to mulch areas that are highly visible from the neighborhood streets. Individuals owners have taken responsibility for mulching areas not mulched by the HOA.

Mulching is done annually, in Spring.
Last updated 2/21/17.

10) Is the HOA responsible for repairing roofs, fixing windows, cleaning siding, and so on?

No. Owners are solely responsible for maintaining their residences. In addition, owners have an obligation to the HOA to maintain the outside appearance of their properties to the standards set in the Governing Documents. This means that unlike private residences you may have owned in the past that it is not your decision, for example, whether or not to replace missing shingles. By buying property in Sunflower Gardens you have voluntarily assumed a contractual obligation to maintain your property according to the community standards.
Last updated 2/21/17.

11) Who enforces these community standards of the HOA?

The Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs) require The Design Committee to enforce these standards. Current members of the Design Committee are:

Tim Callahan, chair
Dot Hufford
Greg Lobdell
Last updated 2/21/17.

12) Does the HOA provide any assistance with tasks that are the responsibility of the owners?

At the present time, yes. Through Jamar, the current property management company of the HOA, owners are able to arrange for various service vendors to help with such tasks as snow removal, power washing, and so on. Interested owners should contact Jamar directly for details. Any costs associated with these services are the responsibility of the owner.
Last updated 2/21/17.

13) What is the HOA’s responsibility for the drainage issues on the east side of the property?

Both the 2015 and the 2016 Boards and some earlier Boards have taken the position that it is the responsibility of owners to maintain the drainage easements on their property. Nevertheless, partly because the Governing Documents are open to interpretation, and partly because of the desire of the HOA to help owners with common concerns, the HOA has formed a Drainage Committee to develop a permanent solution to the problem.

At the 2016 Annual Meeting five individuals volunteered to serve on the Drainage Committee: Tim Callahan, Evelyn Griffith, Bill Mankins, Ryan Nichols and Carol Wise. Tim Callahan subsequently decided not to participate.

At the February 21, 2017 Board Meeting the new Board President, Don Westerhaus, announced that he would be reselecting members for this Committee.  In a memo dated March 28, 2017, Don appointed Evelyn Griffith, Bill Mankins, Ryan Nichols and Carol Wise to the Committee naming Ryan Nichols as chair.  Terry Fink, who did not volunteer, was listed in that memo in error.  A copy of the appointment memo can be found [here].  To date the Committee has not met.
Last updated 3/29/17.

14) Does this mean that the HOA will be responsible for fixing the drains some time in the future?

The future, as it should be, is in the hands of the owners. Within the discretionary limits allowed in the Governing Documents the owners can decide how any issue is addressed. From a practical point-of-view this means that any task that is permitted by the Governing Documents can be authorized only if it is proposed in an annual budget that is approved by the membership.
Last updated 2/21/17.

15) Are there any exceptions to the above?

Yes, there are two. First, the Board has a limited degree of discretionary funds ($5,000) they can spend to address issues not covered in the annual budget. Second, there are provisions in the Governing Documents for Special Assessments outside of the annual budget. Approval of any Special Assessment requires a yes vote from a minimum of two-thirds of all owners (that is, at least 30 of the 45 owners). In either case, any funded activities must be allowed by the Governing Documents.
Last updated 2/21/17.

16) Are there specific activities disallowed by the Governing Documents?

Yes. These are listed in Sections 4 and 5 of the CC&Rs. But even these prohibited activities can be authorized if certain specified procedures are followed. For example, the HOA is currently restricted by the CC&Rs from taking care of snow removal. But this prohibition can be removed by the owners at times and in a manner specified in Section 12.1 of the CC&Rs. Without going into the details, and continuing with the example of snow removal, the next time that the HOA could modify this provision would be in 2024.
Last updated 2/21/17.

17) How is the Board selected?

The board is elected each fall at the Annual Meeting. The Bylaws specify three to five Board members each with one-year terms. Recent practice inaugurated by the 2015 Board makes it standard practice for five board members to serve for two years with staggered terms. This is done by nominating two or three current members each year so that in every year either two or three Board members serve a second year.
Last updated 2/21/17.

18) When do HOA owners need to submit a change request to the Design Committee?

[no answer: waiting for the Design Committee to propose words to use here.]

19) What changes can HOA owners make without submitting a change request to the Design Committee?

[no answer: waiting for the Design Committee to propose words to use here.]

20) Is there a vacant lot at the NW corner of Sunflower Drive and Petal Court?

No. The Sunflower Gardens development was completely built out in 2013.

The wooded area at the corner of Sunflower Drive and Petal Court is part of one of four Sinkhole Conservancy Easements shown on the plats of Sunflower Gardens. It is on the lot owned by Gary Arvin, a Sunflower Gardens resident. Each of the four Sinkhole Conservancy Easements in Sunflower Gardens contains a sinkhole surrounded by a 25 foot setback.

Any “land disturbing activity” in Sinkhole Conservancy Easements requires not only the approval of the Design Committee but also requires the approval of the City Planning Staff as noted on the plats. The contact person for the city is Linda Thompson, Senior Environmental Planner. She will ensure that any contemplated alterations conform to applicable city ordinances such as 20.05.042 (Environmental standards—Karst Geology) and 20.07.070 (Easement standards).
Last updated 2/21/17.

21) Are there other sinkholes in Sunflower Gardens?

There is a fifth known sinkhole near the eastern boundary of Sunflower Gardens which was identified in 2013. There is a chain link fence surrounding this sinkhole. Because this sinkhole was found after the plats were recorded it is not in a Sinkhole Conservancy Area and is not covered by the ordinances noted above. Nonetheless, alterations in newly discovered sinkhole areas such as this still require the approval of the Design Committee.
Last updated 2/21/17.

22) Who is responsible for trimming the trees that are in the tree lawns?

City code states that every property owner is responsible for maintaining trees and flora for the first 8 feet above a sidewalk and for the first 15 feet above a street. The HOA Board is looking into taking care of these responsibilities for the owners in their area of jurisdiction.
Last updated 2/25/17.

23) Has there always been a management company?

No. The HOA was self managed until the end of 2011. At that time the owners voted to hire Jamar Property Management which has acted as property manager since that time.
Last updated 2/21/17.

24) What types of things does Jamar do for the HOA?

Jamar is involved in many facets of the day-to-day operations of the HOA. They field calls and answer questions from owners. They solicit bids from vendors on our behalf and work closely with the Board in comparing bids and hiring vendors. They help arrange the Annual, Special, and other meetings of the HOA as needed taking care of such items as preparing & distributing required material, soliciting proxies, taking & publishing minutes, and scheduling outside venues. They render the HOA invoices for dues and insurance to owners, collect the funds and manage our bank accounts. When necessary they pursue delinquencies, file liens and/or small claims. They prepare and maintain the budgets and financial records of the HOA, ensure that annual filings are made on time, and provide Title companies with the HOA documents needed for closings. They work with the City as needed on such items as conservancy, street lighting, drains, trees, and so on. They do all this and more, but this should give you some idea of the work they do for the HOA. They also, as noted in Item 11 above, assist owners in finding vendors for needed services.
Last updated 2/21/17.

25) How do I contact Jamar?

The principal contacts at Jamar are:

James Eiermann, president
Tonya Newlin

James and Tonya can be reached at 812-330-8655 or at jamarproperties@yahoo.com for James and jamarbookkeeping@outlook.com for Tonya. Their offices are located at 318 E 3rd Street, Bloomington, IN 47401.
Last updated 2/21/17.

26) Who maintains the Sunflower Gardens website?

Presently the web presence of the HOA is a work-in-progress. One of the Board’s priorities for 2017 is to sort out what items will be hosted by Jamar and what items will be hosted by the website developed by Tim Callahan. The Jamar site can be viewed at http://www.jamarproperties.com/sunflower-gardens. Tim’s site can be viewed at www.sunflowergardenshoa.com/index.shtml. A portion of that website requires a password which you can get from Tim. There is also an older website (no longer being maintained?) at http://www.jamarpropertymanagement.com/homeowner_associations/sunflower_gardens_hoa.
Last updated 3/3/17.

27) How do I contact the wiki editor?

The current wiki editor is Terry Fink. He can be reached at editor@sunflowergardenswiki.com.
Last updated 2/21/17.

28) Is the wiki complete?

No. And it probably never will be. Suggestions of additional topics that need to be covered are welcome. Suggestions that include a draft of the answer are even more welcome.
Last updated 2/21/17.

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