Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the New Discovery Homeowners' Association?
- What is the annual fee?
- What period does the annual fee cover?
- Who created the NDHA?
- Why was the fee raised from $150 to $300?
- Who is on the Board of Directors?
- How does the NDHA pay for maintenance of the green spaces in Discovery Ridge?
- What is being done to collect unpaid fees?
- Is the annual fee the same for all residences?
- How is the NDHA's budget established?
- Does the NDHA receive money from the City of Calgary?
- Who determines the landscaping needs in Discovery Ridge?
- Who is responsible for maintaining Griffith Woods?
- How often does the NDHA Board meet? Can I attend these meetings?
- Does the NDHA have an annual general meeting?
- How can I help the NDHA?
1) What is the New Discovery Homeowners Association?
The NDHA is a community-run, non-profit organization responsible for the maintenance of green spaces in the community of Discovery Ridge. The NDHA is administered by residents of Discovery Ridge who volunteer their time and talents for the betterment of the community.
The NDHA maintains the two waterfall features, the extensive pathways and open spaces within Discovery Ridge, as well as the trees, grass, and flowerbeds that fill the road medians. The pathways of Griffith Woods and its designated parking lot are maintained by The City of Calgary.
The NDHA is a separate organization from the Discovery Ridge Community Association (DRCA). The DRCA is also a volunteer based group of residents with many responsibilities including the planning of sports facilities, the community newsletter, and various social events. The two associations work together to ensure that community concerns are managed efficiently and effectively.
The annual Association fee (or 'rent charge') is assessed to residental properties in Discovery Ridge and is currently set at $300.
The annual fee is assessed for the period of January 1 to December 31 and is due by June 29 of the year in which the fee has been assessed.
4) Who created the NDHA?
The NDHA was established by United Communities, the developer of Discovery Ridge. It was incorporated under Part 9 of the Companies Act of the Province of Alberta as a non-profit corporation with its Memorandum of Association duly filed with the Registrar General on February 18, 2000. In June 2006, the NDHA was turned over to the residents of Discovery Ridge. A Board of Directors was formed by residents of Discovery Ridge who stepped forward to volunteer their time and talents to administer and carry out the NDHA's mandate of maintaining the green spaces of the community.
5) Why was the fee raised from $150 to $300?
The original annual fee of $150, as is documented in the NDHA Encumbrance, was set by the Developer when it formed the NDHA in 2000. In 2006, the Developer initiated the process of turning over management of the NDHA to the residents. A committee of volunteers from the community negotiated the turnover.
In performing their due diligence, the residents’ committee determined that, based on the NDHA’s responsibilities and the Developer’s previous expenses, the annual cost of landscape maintenance was much greater than $150 per residence. They estimated instead that the cost was $300 per residence.
At the NDHA’s Annual General Meeting in June 2006, the residents’ committee presented the results of their research and negotiations. Following the requirements in the NDHA’s Articles of Association, a special resolution was approved by the membership to raise the fee to $300 per year.
The $300 fee has proven to be a very good estimate of the cost of caring for green spaces within Discovery Ridge. With the $300 fee in place, the NDHA has been able to maintain the aesthetic and horticultural standards residents value and expect. This was confirmed in the 2011 survey of residents when 88% rated green space maintenance as good or excellent.
As the population of Discovery Ridge has increased, so have the responsibilities of the NDHA. This is because as each of the 10 phases of the development were issued a Final Acceptance Certificate by The City of Calgary, the additional areas were added to the list of green spaces the NDHA had to maintain. The NDHA’s total costs rose in line with the increase in population.
6) Who is on the Board of Directors?
The members of the Board of Directors are residents who volunteer their time. They are:
- James Wilson - Interim President
- Ron Parisien - Treasurer
- Vacant - Secretary
- Ayodeji Gbobaniyi
- Joe MacLean
7) How does the NDHA pay for maintenance of the green spaces in Discovery Ridge?
The registered homeowners of residential properties in Discovery Ridge are required to pay an annual fee (or 'rent charge') which has been secured by the registration of the NDHA's Encumbrance on title of each property. The collection of the annual fee is used to maintain the green spaces within Discovery Ridge at a level that is superior to the standards that would have been provided for by The City of Calgary through the assessment and collection of property taxes.
8) What is being done to collect unpaid fees?
The NDHA has established a strict policy for collecting unpaid fees. Homeowners who have not paid their fees are sent a statement listing the amounts owing, including interest and administrative charges if any. The interest rate charged on outstanding balances is 18% per annum in compliance with the terms of the NDHA's Encumbrance. If payment for outstanding fees is not received, the account will be turned over to the NDHA's lawyer for collection.
Any and all legal costs incurred by the NDHA to recover the outstanding balances become the responsibility of the homeowner. Failure to pay outstanding balances and legal costs may ultimately lead to foreclosure proceedings being commenced in respect of the homeowner's property.
Only a small minority of homeowners have accounts that are in arrears. Updates on the progress in collecting unpaid fees will be reported regularly in the news section of the website and in the Ridge Review.
9) Is the annual fee the same for all residences?
Yes, the annual fee is the same for each residence. This reflects the fact that the common green space areas within Discovery Ridge can be enjoyed equally by all residents.
10) How is the NDHA's budget established?
The NDHA Finance Committee develops an annual budget for approval by the Board of Directors. The budget includes funding for items such as contract landscape maintenance, tree replacement, garbage collection along the pathways, electricity, seasonal lighting, insurance, homeowner communication costs, audit and legal fees, as well as other administrative costs.
Landscaping costs are the largest item in the budget. Because of this, a detailed tendering process for landscape maintenance is used. Organizations interested in landscaping work are contacted and those with the required expertise and resources are asked to submit bids. The current landscaping contract is with ULS Maintenance and Landscaping Inc.
11) Does the NDHA receive money from the City of Calgary?
Along with other community groups that have taken on responsibility for green space maintenance, the NDHA receives a rebate from the City of Calgary. The rebate is approximately $20,000 per year and is based on the amount of green space the City would have provided had it developed the community and the City's basic level of landscape maintenance.
12) Who determines the landscaping needs in Discovery Ridge?
The landscaping needs are identified by the NDHA's Landscaping Committee and are approved by the Board of Directors. The objective is to maintain and, where feasible, improve the high quality opportunities for recreation and leisure that our green spaces have provided in the past.
Putting in hundreds of hours of volunteer effort, the members of the Landscaping Committee were instrumental in the smooth transition to a community-run organization during 2006 and managed the successful tendering process for the landscape maintenance contract in 2007 and subsequent Landscaping Contract renewals. They have also identified deficiencies in the areas that the NDHA looks after, met with City officials on what the NDHA responsibilities are, and have dealt with a variety of other issues.
The Landscaping Committee wants to hear from members of the community. Your comments and ideas are always appreciated. Contact the Landscaping Committee at: firstname.lastname@example.org
13) Who is responsible for maintaining Griffith Woods?
The City of Calgary is responsible for maintaining all aspects of Griffith Woods.
14) How often does the NDHA Board meet? Can I attend these meetings?
The NDHA Board of Directors and its various committees meet regularly, typically on a monthly basis.
The meetings are open to NDHA members. However, participation in portions of a meeting may be limited when matters of a confidential nature are discussed. If you are interested in attending a meeting, contact us at email@example.com.
15) Does the NDHA have an annual general meeting?
The Articles of Association require the NDHA to hold an Annual General Meeting at least once a year. Notice of the Annual General Meeting, which is typically held in the first week of June, is mailed to each member of the Association.
16) How can I help the NDHA?
As an organization run by volunteers, the NDHA depends on Discovery Ridge homeowners to provide the time, expertise, and suggestions that keep our green spaces healthy and attractive. Your help is needed. If you would like to volunteer or have comments or questions, call, e-mail, or write to us:
2478, 246 Stewart Green SW