Mountain Creek Recreation Association (MCRA) is incorporated in accordance with the Georgia Property Owners’ Association Act (”ACT”). The Recreation Association that owned the pool, tennis courts, and playground in the Mountain Creek neighborhood was an all-volunteer organization until September 1997.
Prior to that date the homeowner paid a $575.00 initiation fee, and dues were paid each quarter. If a member no longer wanted to belong, they could just stop paying the dues. Somewhere around late 1996, there was a series of articles in the AJC about neighborhoods that had aging recreational facilities and were struggling to keep up with the required maintenance because of declining membership. Because of this, several neighborhoods had recreational facilities in such disrepair, they were an eyesore and had to be shut down. Home values in those neighborhoods fell as much as 20 to 30 percent.
The articles in the AJC were timely, because we were starting to experience declining membership here in Mountain Creek for many reasons. As our membership aged, the kids were moving away, people were buying boats, lake and/or mountain homes, etc. From February thru June of 1997, recognizing the value the recreational facilities and common areas have on the value of our homes, and faced with declining membership and aging facilities, we realized that we could not survive without a permanent membership base and set in motion a plan to move from a voluntary to a permanent membership.
At that time, the Recreation Association hired the law firm of Weissman, Nowack, Curry & Wilco. This law firm had been instrumental in helping several neighborhood organizations move from a volunteer to a permanent/mandatory organization. Each homeowner in Mountain Creek was given an opportunity to join Mountain Creek Recreation Association, during this set membership period, without having to pay an initiation fee. Everyone wishing to join was required to sign the ‘Consent To A Declaration Of Additional Protective Covenants’ on their
This Covenant requires that not only they, but also any subsequent owner of the property, would be members of Mountain Creek Recreation Association and, as such, would be required to pay the annual dues. These Additional Protective Covenants were recorded, in Cross-Ref: Book 10645, Pages 21 – 460, Cobb County, Georgia Records, in September 1997.
Those of us that were here in 1996/1997, when this all took place, view our recreational facilities as a major contributor to the value of our homes. That means every homeowner in Mountain Creek benefits from our recreational facilities, even while some contribute nothing. It is not unusual for non-member homeowners, which have contributed nothing to the upkeep of our recreational facilities, to put great emphasis on these same facilities when they sell their home here in Mountain Creek, i.e. “Active Swim & Tennis Community” in their real estate listings.
It is the Board policy to offer only permanent memberships for current non-member Mountain Creek homes with a goal of one day having 100% permanent/mandatory membership. There has been recent interest in voluntary membership which is permitted by the Declaration at the sole discretion of the Board. However, this would be a membership where the homeowner would not have to sign the ‘Consent to a Declaration of additional Protective Covenants’ on their property and could quit at any time. The Board feels that since every homeowner benefits from the Recreation Association that every home should be a permanent/mandatory member. It would not be fair to our homeowners that have signed the Covenant and obligated themselves to invest in their community to allow homeowners that have no secured interest to use the facilities. Over the years it has become clear that having a permanent membership has ensured the continued operations and maintenance of our facilities. Of the 344 homes in our neighborhood 210 joined during the initial signup period and we currently have 253 member homes which have agreed to the ‘Covenant’ on their property.