PLEASE NOTE: My strata blogs are for use on an as-needed basis. Some subject matter is disturbing, but it is not intended to be used in a malicious manner. I am seeking a reasonable level of accountability but would rather that it not be harmful to the parties named.

I have not promoted or advertised these strata blogs to the public and I would much rather delete all of my blogs and their contents than to have to live with the burdens created by the ongoing necessity of their existence.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Home Sweet Home

Hello, I am Dianne Bond. I am trying my best to change what I can, accept what I can't, and understand the difference - before strata stress becomes fatal.
I have worked as a newspaper carrier since 2013, when cumulative strata stress left me too disabled to function efficiently and effectively enough to continue with my career as a paralegal.
 

If you are looking for my other posts the easiest way to view them is to click on my Blog Archive links on the side here, under "About Me" and above "My Blog List" or on the Older/Other Posts link at the bottom. Links to all of my blogs are available by clicking on "View my complete profile" at the bottom of "About Me." 

The reader may see a noticeable difference between the law and its practice in this strata. This difference is upsetting, to me at least, a person who put a whole lot of trust in the law.
In 2007, I began blogging about governance issues in my strata corporation and members of the strata management team and strata agency industry acting contrary to the Strata Property Act with chicanery and persistent unfairness.


Even when it sounds like I may be ranting just to vent, I have tried to be as accurate as I could be. Without exception, I respond promptly to any concern that is drawn to my attention.



***************************

My husband and I have owned and occupied Unit 409-1215 Lansdowne Drive, Coquitlam, BC, Canada, since we bought it from the developer in 1988. 

This is our home -  it was new and beautiful when we bought it












It is no longer new, but it is still beautiful to us
 
The original peace, enjoyment, privacy, and pride of practical high-quality low-maintenance building materials and landscaping, legitimate voting, understandable minutes, and respect for law and equity was important to the value and enjoyment of our home. It is this value that has been lost.



















With common property worth more than twice as much as buildings, one of the most valuable assets was the original landscape architecture; which was similar in quality to what was seen in the Street of Dreams promotions highlighting some of the most luxurious and opulent homes in Metro Vancouver


Before 2003 when Al MacLeod moved in, acting contrary to Real Estate Services Act and the best interests of the strata, living in Unit 409 was like living in a park.

This is how it looked from our living room.

surrounded by natural beauty, with offensive views filtered by beautiful trees

with shade from the heat, clean air, geotechnical security, peace, and quiet

Original property values in Sunridge Estates
were considerably higher than average

but they were lower than average after a few rogues made significant changes to the use and appearance of common property
leaving it looking like a war zone for years

even building a great wall could not hide the stigma on the reputation of the complex 
devaluing units that were strata plan and SPA compliant, like my 409; but adding unjust enrichment to the minority of units unlawfully taking extra decks for their own exclusive use - like 208, 210, 408, 410, 412, 314, 502, 506, 508, 510, 516, 518, 520, 522, and 524
so that 2-bedroom units with extra decks and manufactured views (all created unlawfully)
sold for more than 3 bedroom units (which are all odd-numbered units, like 409) 



Sunridge Estates was an urban forest
















 
 of approximately 300 trees
cared, shared, and valued for years
 beautiful trees
 for the enjoyment and benefit of ALL
 not just for a privileged few

The developer's landscape architect planted these trees pursuant to binding restrictive covenants that are registered on title and run with the land

because in 1985 municipalities received power to deal with geotechnical concerns, giving notice respecting stability of land, warning of danger and safeguards required, including trees, which issuing the building permit was contingent on.

It would cost millions to replace them now (using an estimated $15,000 for each mature tree; not more than half a million for just one)

The roots of hundreds of trees and thousands of bushes planted by the developers provided geotechnical stability to a steep sensitive slope with a history of land slip
so that value and enjoyment would be preserved.
At least, that was the most reasonable expectation that due diligence could provide to a purchaser like me.  
The law gave me a reasonable expectation that our building, with a history of sinking, was protected by binding landscaping requirements and a 20-year geotechnical warranty
About 300 trees kept buildings and land solid for 15 years - until rogues who wanted panoramic views
 
and power tripping bullies hungry for egotistical strokes from the almighty Al MacLeod

destroyed the trees - and what had been park like was replaced with
 views of unsightly rooftops


invasion of privacy


added noise, dirt, and heat
(here are SOME of the fans and air conditioner we bought after the trees were removed)



2-bedroom units have a cross draft. 3-bedrooms units do not. 
3-bedroom units relied on trees, and the heat is stifling

destruction so horrific that a stockade fence was built to hide the embarrassment from passing traffic
 
unspeakable unfairness is foisted onto a unique minority on an ongoing basis
this used to be our view with a nice vine maple
 until Georgia Title had the tree removed - knowing its importance to me
Worse, as the roots of the trees decomposed
throughout the complex
our unit and things around it suddenly began sinking

and again ...

and again...

Pavement that was sound for 15 years suddenly developed alligator cracks
throughout the complex
and underground pipes were suddenly breaking


all over the complex
again...

 and again 
endlessly...
n
while common property valued at twice the buildings was taken for free for the own exclusive use of privileged neighbours and members of council
acting in conflict to the detriment of others

contrary to the best interests of the strata corporation



We were happy in 1988


















We are not happy now - after decades of crazy-making violations of the law.and shockingly costly waste and loss

 This article says a lot: http://www.macleans.ca/society/life/condo-hell/

this one too: http://www.macleans.ca/economy/realestateeconomy/when-the-dream-of-condo-living-turns-into-a-dictatorial-nightmare/

Our turning point was when Al Macleod, a rogue realtor disciplined by the BC Real Estate Council for misconduct, moved here, and took over in 2003.

Al MacLeod acted in conflict and violation of the law so continually that it seemed to become normalized.

 

He was instrumental in destruction of Sunridge Estates on such a mass scale that it reminded me of what Dr. Joseph Mengele said, "The more we do to you, the less you seem to think we are doing it..."



Mr. MacLeod wanted to sell extra decking and panoramic views. Since 2003 hundreds of sound, mature trees, thousands of bushes, and countless ground-cover plants that stabilized the slope were pre-emptively destroyed in violation of  statutes, bylaws, restrictive covenants, special levies, and property rights in a relentless campaign for the exclusive benefit of some at the expense of everyone else.
By 2017, Al MacLeod was gone, but his cronies were not. Bottom line: the strata corporation, and Unit 409 in particular, have not recovered, and may never recover, from the devastating costs of the destruction he left behind.

Nobody profited more than Mr. Macleod
and nobody lost more of their health and welfare or peaceful enjoyment of property than I did

Al MacLeod made strata decisions without votes or minutes, but he did not act alone. He was joined and supported by other power hungry newcomers who directly or indirectly destroyed landscaping and trees that the original owners paid for  

They also destroyed top-quality low-maintenance patios
and replaced them with high-maintenance inferior construction
building extra decks for their exclusive use contrary to the law and the best interests of the strata corporation

The costs of violating Section 71 of the Act impoverished the strata corporation for years, maybe decades, time will tell. Instead of maintaining the common property members of this rogue strata management team vandalized it to facilitate their own ulterior motives and left it derelict, looking like a war zone from 2004 to 2010, while they diverted half a million dollars of special levy funds collected for building envelope repairs into building extra decking and changing views.

Trees were killed by cutting them in half, crushing their roots, destructive pests were employed, and roots that needed to be kept covered and cool were stripped of surrounding plants and protective soil and left exposed to the killing heat of the sun.
When trees that escaped the axe were dead or dying they were removed and replacement trees were not planted despite continual requests.

  ...

Likewise, the surplus special levy funds were not reimbursed to those who paid them, despite continual requests. 
Common property was destroyed for over 5 years while strata rogues hired Adrienne Murray, the strata lawyer who described the conditions as "horrific" to accuse me of harassment for complaining. 
 



Worse, Ms. Murray made purposeful misrepresentations, which were repeated endlessly, disparaged my reputation and kept me in the dark, effectively depriving me of access to material strata records and statutory legal protections for years, if not forever.










Ms. Murray ignored my requests that she correct her erroneous advice, then she relied on a limitation date to argue against taking responsibility, just like council does to argue against completing strata insured repairs for water damage or other ongoing obligations mandated by the Strata Property Act.
Rather than a fiduciary duty that requires more care, not less, Adrienne Murray pleaded that she has no duty to avoid causing harm to owners who pay her through their strata fees to provide sound legal advice that can be relied on as being accurate.

Here is a link to my reply to her Response to Civil Claim: https://drive.google.com/drive/my-drive

Further to that, she admitted that her reputation or standing before the bar is at risk but she still failed to correct her error, apologize, or compensate for the resultant damage.
This was just the beginning of the ensuing damage and loss.

As the roots of the destroyed trees decomposed over the next few years issues suddenly developed that included soil erosion, sinking buildings, cracking pavement, breaking underground pipes and a costly loss of security all over the complex. Losses in the millions left the strata corporation destabilized and so impoverished that the work of a professional landscape architect and the standards of building construction that were so shockingly destroyed have yet to be reinstated, even a dozen years later.

The ever increasing havoc wrecked for so long, by so few, is beyond belief


Few owners dare face such severely punitive retaliation for resistance



Trees that were specifically saved during the building envelope project were flagrantly destroyed in retaliation against me, with one of the responsible parties emailing me a message blatantly claiming to have the right to act against others.


Our happy home became the home from hell, and I became increasingly sick from the stress.
Eventually decades of oppression and struggle against corruption were so disabling that I could no longer function effectively enough to earn a living, much less fight in court against 67 neighbours armed with lawyers and litigation insurance paid for with mandatory strata fees.

We did not want to be forced to move, we could never replace the positive features of our home, nor could we afford $20,000 for moving or taking the case through a trial before the court 

 

Walking through a minefield BLINDFOLDED


The law requires disclosure of strata records, but it is administered like a minefield, with the privileged few keeping material facts secret from victimized owners

 
The LAW is great, but the way it is administered is loaded with sneak attacks and artifice, which makes it too unpredictable to respect or rely on; with minimum protections promised under the Strata Property Act proving to be WORSE than meaningless when brought before council, police, or courts.  It is too often the opposite of equal protection on a level playing field. 

 I was too incapacitated by stress to effectively defend myself against gang assaults by bullies continually violating the law with perverse accusations, persistent misrepresentations, shocking vandalism, crushing expenses, and unjust enrichment, causing ever mounting loss and injury to me...



Peace, honour, and stability were replaced with costly extra decking, sometimes in inappropriate locations in terms of privacy, curb appeal, and property values.
510 above us (for city and strata councillor Mae Reid)

508 on the north side, with years of rudeness (from strata councillor Sherrill Berg)

407 beside us on the east side - with repeated hostile attacks on us
 
408 across from us on the south side (for strata councillor Marnie Hennan)

518 topped it off with a 4-way... balcony, deck, patio, and view - for former strata president and realtor Al MacLeod

Councillor Sherrill Berg in Unit 508 persistently erects unsightly tarps on the common property without caring about the effect on others and calls remedial proposals "outrageous"
 after diverting special levy funds contrary to the directions of the owners

  in the most scandalous conflicts of interest.

Members of the strata management team who persistently misrepresent facts and law or refuse to answer questions honestly should be prepared to take lie detector tests. The polygraph starts at about $500 plus tax.


CAVEAT EMPTOR ... let the buyer beware
At Sunridge Estates it is not "what you see is what you get"
and it is not law and order - it is the exact opposite.

Members of the strata management team are taking common property for their own exclusive use, without permission, without paying user fees, advertising for sale recreational sundecks that belong to others and spending other people's money for their own unjust enrichment. This unscrupulous group of rogues is collaborating in an unholy power alliance based on fraudulent misrepresentations that disparage complainants and mislead purchasers, officers of the court, police, and others.

All this corrupt governance, injustice, and continual violation of the Strata Property Act makes me so sick that I can no longer function efficiently and effectively. 

It is devastating beyond belief.

It deprives us of trees... money... security...
 

privacy, peace, and enjoyment
geotechnical stability
property value
pride of ownership

curb appeal

beautiful scenery


landscaping and gardening
unit entitlement benefits
structural repairs
insurance 
water damage repairs

statutory rights

equitable rights


rights to protest against corrupt governance 

loss of reputation


O Canada!!
our HOME?




O Canada
Oh DEAR!

Profit from abuse of power at the expense of others
.

is a sickening industry - that is growing and becoming increasingly normalized.

 
A corrupt strata management team acting in conflict for their own interests: 
  • denied my legal right to access strata records and the strata's obligation to provide them
  • failed to meet statutory obligations to insure against and repair water damage
  • misrepresented facts and law - flagrantly, blatantly, deliberately, and persistently
  • fraudulently purported that extra decking is limited common property - when it is not
  • falsely accused me of trespassing - undermining my credibility with a disparaging police record
  • induced the RCMP to trample on my constitutional rights - bullying me out of engaging in a sit down demonstration against oppression and fraudulent misrepresentations, and
  • disabled me with decades of prolonged stress and continual abuse - ruthlessly - without regret.
The strata management team's misrepresentations of facts and responsibilities is more costly than we can afford - but complaining is worse than shouting into an empty room - it is dangerous and destructive

injuring my health and welfare

Legitimate concerns about misconduct and significant unfairness are met with ruthless oppression, stunning RCMP attacks, and nefarious accusations of harassment and malice by lawyers hired by members of the strata council to thwart my rights, ignore the law, misrepresent facts, provoke litigation, and threaten me with crushing costs.

Strata lawyers and agents manifest the moral dilemma that arises out of conflicts of interest that are inherent in agency relationships. 

They charge money to ignore irregularities that would raise a reasonable apprehension of misconduct in a responsible professional and take my strata fees to pay their bill while taking the position that they owe me no duty of care and are immune from liability for contributing foreseeable damage with misrepresentations, oppression, and support of corrupt individuals on the strata council.


The home we bought was beautiful. We LOVED it - and STILL do - because Unit 409 is uniquely suited to our needs, and there is NOTHING else like it in Coquitlam!






































  • Convenient main-floor living (extremely rare in townhouses)
  • With a naturally bright south-east exposure
  • In a central Coquitlam location near schools, hospital, library, and recreation
  • Right next to bike lanes, transit, trails, pool, park, shopping, and services
  • With an open drip-through patio and 2 exterior taps
  • Great for plants and pets
  • Tons of storage space
  • Huge double garage and driveway
  • Generous accommodation for caregivers make it perfect for aging in place


  • All 68 units are naturally bright - UNIT 409 is the only unit spoiled by construction defects, water damage, building settlement, loss of patio space, and decades of unique oppression contrary to the Act. We want equal rights and protection. We want our home to to function as it was intended.


















    We loved being surrounded by beautiful trees... So did lots of foster cats




    Over the years we kept adding more mirrors
    to our living room, dining room, and hall

    to reflect our magical park-like surroundings, full of beautiful trees

    that filled my heart with joy and our home with beauty.

    Trees and landscaping that sheltered us from heat, noise, dirt, and exposure
    were wrongly destroyed without a vote


    providing extra decking

    and panoramic views for some
    and intrusive, unsightly views

    and pain and suffering for us

    We hung architectural glass  to block out the offensive invasion through our windows














    and restore some privacy and enjoyment

    costing us thousands of dollars in expense
    and subjecting us to bizarre threats of bogus fines.

    Strata governance at Sunridge Estates is so bizarre and perverse that it's crazy making and beyond belief.  After investing over 25 years in our home it is all we can do to try to live our lives and stay in touch with reality.



    After decades of unfair treatment and ever-increasing loss we still love our home and do not want to move. Our home is uniquely suited to our needs. We want to enjoy it again.

    Unique Architecture
    • built in 2 phases in 1987 and 1990
    • rainscreened by Morrison Hershfield Engineering and Heatherbrae Construction with Substantial Completion October 11th, 2005
    • overhangs added to the sloped roofs of garages
    • further architectural upgrades include redesigned balconies and railings
    • building envelope of fire-retardant Hardi-board siding with front cladding of vinyl and cultured stone
    • 10-year warranty good until October 2015
    • convenient floor plans with ample closets and storage
    • mainfloor laundry and bedrooms with walk-in master closets and 3 or 4 piece ensuites
    • angled windows to the south - spread the sunlight inside
    • private double garages for every unit - most with driveways
    • some units have been recently remodelled - creating a variety of interior design - including new appliances, plumbing, lighting, blinds, and floor coverings

    Every unit has a Fireplace - Wood or Gas

     Enjoyed

     or Not

    After special levies of nearly 6 million dollars attributable to building envelope repairs completed in October 2005, strata council minutes of February 9, 2009, state on page 8 under Miscellaneous that:
    "In 2006 - Linquist appraisal company following a thorough review of the rehabilitation done to this complex identified the effective age of the buildings at 7 years."
    The October/November 2008 issue of West Coast Homes & Design magazine advertised a new townhouse development boasting of features that professional realtors understand the value of:

    ".. a prestigious homebuying opportunity
    ... unequalled in the Tri-Cities area
    ... situated in a peaceful setting with mature trees
    ... elegant streetscapes, lush interior gardens ..."


    Words which could have described Sunridge Estates  ... it was such a delightful place to live
    ... until a few irresponsible people wrecked havoc and created a shocking path of destruction that left the common property in a dilapidated shambles from approximately 2004 to 2010, with such costly and perpetual expense that I see little chance of reinstatement - at least not in my lifetime. To me, it's a tragedy - and a crime - no less than vandalism.

    We miss the beautiful trees and landscaping we had until 2004
    • an urban forest on a steep 5.5 acre slope
    • over 280 birch and pine trees kept homes clean, quiet, and cool
    • planted pursuant to restrictive covenants that run with the land
    • providing erosion control and geotechnical security
    • peaceful elegant streetscapes and enhanced property values
    • natural privacy and park-like views created by a professional landscape architect
    • low-maintenance evergreen ground cover
    • thousands of slope protection bushes
    • expensive investments in valuable common assets
    • important for a sensitive slope with a history of slipping
    • paid for and beautifully matured
    • catastrophically destroyed
    • without approval of the owners


    Beautiful displays can be remembered in pictures - and some spots still exist ...

    Click here to take survey



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    FLOOR PLANS, LANDSCAPING, DECKS
    and all the rest of the posts in this blog
    until the last post called Q&A: What People Ask Me
    please click on 
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    My other blogs are all supplementary to this one: Sunridge Estates on Lansdowne Drive.