Excerpt from Memorandum to Homeowners by Matthew Davis
Prior to 1992, the land that is now Homestead was open farmland well outside the center of
Lynden. James Wynstra acquired a large assemblage of land and applied to develop a Planned
Residential Development (PRD). A PRD is a plat that includes a mix of uses and improvements.
The Homestead PRD was built around a new golf course with amenities.
Lynden adopted its ordinance for PRDs just a few months beforehand, and Homestead was
the city’s first. The City made up the process as it went, and the project did not strictly meet all
requirements of the code. One requirement of the PRD ordinance was the creation of a
homeowners association to manage common areas, but as is normal practice Wynstra was to
retain ownership of the common areas until the PRD was substantially complete. The City
agreed to this in a preliminary agreement with Wynstra. The ordinance requires a final PRD
Agreement between the City and the Developer, but none was ever completed. As a result,
Wynstra continued to own the common areas and charge the owners $25 per month for
maintenance long past substantial completion.
Between 1992 and 2010, Homestead expanded from 33 lots to over 600 units. As new plats
were added to the Homestead PRD, they were subjected to the CC&Rs. Increased parcels
resulted in correspondingly less Common Open Space. Those common areas were to be
maintained with the monthly fee. A number of condominiums were constructed as well, and they
manage their own common areas and have virtually no Common Open Space. However, the
condominium owners are charged the same monthly fee. By 2010, the monthly fee from all
homeowners totaled over $15,000 per month, and after the recent increase to $93, 18 Paradise is
charging Homestead owners more than $55,000 per month.
According to the CC&Rs, all costs and expenses of maintenance of and improvements to the
Common Open Space are to be paid by the Declarant. Maintenance includes things such as
maintenance of entry signs and landscape, mailbox surrounds, streetlight electrical power bills,
and maintenance of lights not maintained by the City of Lynden. In addition, the PRD ordinance
states that private streets shall be maintained with the homeowner fee.
The CC&Rs state that the maintenance shall be done to a very high standard. In fact,
maintenance has been slipshod at best, and homeowners have had to pay for things like street
resurfacing and snow removal themselves. Many of the common areas have been ignored