8.1 Creation of the Lien and Personal Obligation of Assessments
The Declarant, for each Lot owned within the Project, hereby covenants, and each Owner of any Lot by acceptance of a deed therefore, whether or not it shall be so expressed in such deed, is deemed to covenant and agree to pay to the Association any assessment duly levied by the Association as provided herein. Such assessments, together with interest, costs, late charges and reasonable attorneys' fees, shall be a charge on the land and shall be a continuing lien upon the property against which each such assessment is made. Each such assessment, together with interest, costs, late charges and reasonable attorneys' fees, shall also be the personal obligation of the person who was the Owner of such property at the time when the assessment fell due. The personal obligation for delinquent assessments shall not pass to successors in title unless the lien for such delinquent assessments had been properly recorded prior to title transfer or unless expressly assumed by them. Provided, however, that in the case of a sale of any Lot which is charged with the payment of an assessment or assessments payable in installments, the person or entity who is the Owner immediately prior to the date of any such sale shall be personally liable only for the amount of the installments due prior to said date. The new Owner shall be personally liable for installments which become due on and after said date.
8.2 Uniform Rate
Any assessments which may be levied from time to time pursuant to the authority of the Board as set forth in Section 5.4.1, shall be fixed at a uniform rate for each Lot, except for assessments levied against an Owner for the purpose of reimbursing the Association for costs incurred in bringing the Owner or his/her Home and/or Lot into compliance with the provisions of this Declaration Declarant shall not be obligated to pay any assessment levied against any Lots owned by it. An assessment against a Lot shall be the joint and several personal obligation of all Owners of that Lot.
8.3 Initial Assessment Amount
Upon the sale of each Lot by the Declarant (whether to a builder or otherwise), each Lot Owner, at the time of his/her purchase of the Lot, shall pay an initial start-up assessment to the Association in the amount of $250.00. Such initial assessment shall be in addition to any annual assessment provided for in this Article 8 and shall be for the purpose of reimbursing the Declarant and/or Association for maintenance and operating expenses of and for the Common Areas during the initial development and house sales period Notwithstanding the provisions set forth above, the Declarant shall not be liable for any initial assessments assessed or due so long as Declarant owns any Lot.
8.4 Limitation on Annual Assessment Amount
8.4.1 Board Authority
At any time after the sale of the first Lot by the Declarant (whether to a builder or otherwise), the Board shall have the authority, without obtaining prior approval of the Owners, to levy assessments in a given calendar year totaling not more than $250 00 per Lot Assessments included in the foregoing calculation shall not include any assessments which are levied against an Owner for reimbursing the Association for costs incurred in bringing the Owner or his/her Home and/or Lot into compliance with the provisions of this Declaration nor any initial assessments provided for in Section 8.3. Notwithstanding the provisions set forth above, the Declarant shall not be liable for any fees or assessments assessed or due so long as Declarant owns any Lot.
8.4.2 Annual Increase in Dollar Limit
The maximum dollar amount specified in Section 8.4.1 shall not be increased by more than fifteen percent (15%) without the approval of a majority of the Lot Owners voting at a meeting duly called for such purpose.
8.4.3 Owner Approval Required
Any assessment to be levied in a given calendar year which would cause the total of all assessments for the year to exceed the sum per Lot permitted by Sections 8.4.1 and 8.4.2 shall require the calling of a meeting of the Association upon notice sent to all members not less than thirty (30) nor more than sixty (60) days in advance of the meeting, and the approval at such meeting of the levy of such assessment by a majority of the Lots represented at such meeting, provided a quorum is present as defined in the Bylaws.
8.5 Manner and Time of Payment
Assessments shall be payable by each Owner in such reasonable manner as the Board shall designate Any assessment or installment thereof which remains unpaid for at least fifteen (15) days after the due date thereof shall bear interest at an annual rate equal to the greater of twelve percent (12%) or the Prime Rate plus three percent (3%), and the Board may also assess a late charge in an amount not exceeding twenty-five (25%) of any unpaid assessment which has been delinquent for more than fifteen (15) days. "Prime rate" means the prime business lending rate, determined and quoted from time to time by US Bank, Seattle Main Branch (or its successor), as the same may be adjusted from time to time If U S Bank ceases to quote a prime rate or a similar rate, the interest rate shall be based upon such similar prime business lending rate as is determined and quoted from time to time by the Wall Street Journal or, if the Wall Street Journal ceases to quote such rate, by a nationally recognized financial publication selected by the Board. If any such prime rate is determined and quoted as a range of rates, the simple average of the high and low rates of such range shall be used.
Any assessments collected by the Association shall be deposited in one or more insured institutional depository accounts established by the Board the Board shall have exclusive control of such accounts and shall maintain accurate records thereof, provided, however, that the Board may exercise such control through a property manager retained pursuant to Section 5.4.2. No withdrawal shall be made from said accounts except to pay for charges and expenses authorized by this Declaration.
In the event any assessment or installment thereof remains delinquent for more than thirty (30) days, the Board may, upon fifteen (15) days prior written notice to the Owner of such Lot of the existence of the default, accelerate and demand immediate payment of the entire assessment The amount of any assessment assessed or charged to any Lot plus interest, costs, late charges and reasonable attorneys' fees, shall be a lien upon such Lot A claim of lien may be recorded in the office where real estate conveyances are recorded for the county in which this Project is located Such claim of lien may be filed at any time at least fifteen (15) days following delivery of the notice of default referred to above The lien for payment of such assessments and charges shall have priority over all other liens and encumbrances, recorded or unrecorded, limited as provided in Section 11.1. Suit to recover a money judgment for unpaid assessments or charges shall be maintainable with or without foreclosure or waiver of the lien securing the same.
8.8 Waiver of Homestead
Each Owner hereby waives, to the extent of any liens created pursuant to this Article, the benefit of any homestead or exemption law in effect at the time any assessment or installment thereof becomes delinquent or any lien is imposed pursuant to the terms hereof.
8.9 Continuing Liability for Assessments
No Owner may exempt himself/herself from liability for his/her Assessments by abandonment of his/her Lot.
8.10 Records, Financial Statements
The Board shall prepare or cause to be prepared, for any calendar year in which the Association levies or collects any assessments, and shall distribute to all Owners, a balance sheet and an operating (income/expense) statement for the Association, which shall include a schedule of assessments received and receivable, identified by the number of the Lot and the name of the Owner so assessed The Board shall cause detailed and accurate records of the receipts and expenditures of the Association to be kept specifying and itemizing the maintenance, operating, and any other expenses incurred Such records, copies of this Declaration, the Articles and the Bylaws, and any resolutions authorizing expenditures of Association funds shall be available for examination by any Owner at reasonably convenient hours.
8.11 Certificate of Assessment
A certificate executed and acknowledged by the treasurer or the president of the Board, or an authorized agent thereof if neither the president nor treasurer is available, stating the indebtedness for assessments and charges or lack there of secured by the assessment lien upon any Lot shall be conclusive upon the Association as to the amount of such indebtedness on the date of the certificate, in favor of all persons who rely thereon in good faith Such a certificate shall be furnished to any Owner or any encumbrance of a Lot within a reasonable time after request, in recordable form, at a reasonable fee Unless otherwise prohibited by law, any encumbrance holding a lien on a Lot may pay any unpaid assessments or charges with respect to such Lot, and, upon such payment, shall have a lien on such Lot for the amounts paid of the same rank as the lien of his/her encumbrance.
8.12 Foreclosure of Assessment Lien, Attorneys' Fees and Costs
The Declarant or Board, on behalf of the Association, may initiate action to foreclose the lien of, or collect, any assessment. In any action to foreclose the lien of, or otherwise collect, delinquent assessments or charges, any judgment rendered in favor of the Association shall include a reasonable sum for attorneys' fees and all costs and expenses reasonably incurred in preparation for or in the prosecution of said action (including in any arbitration, on appeal, and in any bankruptcy proceeding), in addition to taxable costs permitted by law.
8.13 Curing of Default
The Board shall prepare and record a satisfaction and release of the lien for which a claim of lien has been filed and recorded in accordance with this Article upon timely payment or other satisfaction of all delinquent assessments set forth in the Notice, and all other assessments which have become due and payable following the date of such recordation with respect to the Lot as to which such claim of lien was recorded, together with all costs, late charges and interest which have accrued thereon An additional administrative fee of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) covering the cost of preparation and recordation shall be paid to the Association prior to such action The satisfaction of the lien created by the claim of lien shall be executed by the president or treasurer of the Association or by any authorized representative of the Board For the purposes of this paragraph, the term "costs" shall include costs and expenses actually incurred or expended by the Association in connection with the cost of preparation and recordation of the claim of lien and in efforts to collect the delinquent assessments secured by the lien and a reasonable sum for attorneys' fees.
8.14 Omission of Assessment
The omission by the Board or the Association to fix the estimate for assessments and charges hereunder for the next year before the expiration of any current year shall not be deemed a waiver or modification in any respect of the provisions of this Declaration, or a release of the Owner from the obligation to pay the assessments and charges, or any installment thereof for that or any subsequent year. The assessment and charge fixed for the preceding year shall continue until a new assessment or charge is fixed.
8.15 Assessment Deposit
A Lot Owner may be required, by the Board or by the managing agent, from time to time, to make and maintain a deposit of not more than the total of one (1) annual assessment, plus either one (1) special assessment if special assessments are payable on an annual basis, or three (3) special assessment installments if special assessments are payable on a monthly or other periodic basis Such deposit may be collected as are other assessments and charges. Such deposit shall be held in a separate fund, be credited to such Owner, and be for the purpose of establishing a working capital fund for the initial Project operations and a reserve for delinquent assessments. Resort may be had thereto at any time when such Owner is ten (10) days or more delinquent in paying his/her assessments and charges, to meet unforeseen expenditures, to acquire additional equipment or services deemed necessary or desirable by the Board, or as a credit against any annual or special assessments to become due from such Owner Said deposits shall not be considered as advance payments of annual assessments. All or any portion of such deposit may at any time be refunded to the Owner by the Association in the discretion of the Board, such refund being made as a cash refund or a credit against assessments subsequently to become due or a combination thereof.
8.16 Exempt Property
The following property subject to this Declaration shall be exempt from the assessments created herein.
8.16.1 All properties dedicated to and accepted by a governmental entity,
8.16.2 All Common Areas, and
8.16.3 All properties owned by a charitable or nonprofit organization or an organization exempt from taxation by the laws of the State of Washington.
However, the land or improvements, which are referred to in Sections 8.16.1, 8.16.2 and 8.16.3 and which are devoted to dwelling use, shall not be exempt from said assessments.
8.17 Effect of Legal Proceedings
In any legal proceeding commenced pursuant to Section 9.11, and notwithstanding the assessment limitations provided for in this Declaration, the court having jurisdiction over such proceeding shall also have jurisdiction and power to cause assessments to be levied and collected on an equal per Lot basis in such amounts as is reasonably necessary to cause the Project to be properly administered in accordance with the provisions of this Declaration and the Bylaws, or to cause the provisions of this Declaration and the Bylaws to be properly applied and enforced.