Why doesn’t BVRI disclose which members need to pay dues vs. which members do not need to pay in order to continue as members -- or what effect non-payment of dues may have on certain members' standing.
Although BVRI has authority over all the properties in the New Subdivision through the CC&R's, that doesn't automatically make anyone a member of BVRI. To be a member, you must pay the dues which are billed annually. Payment of dues entitles you to the free use of the two beaches at Bear Lake. Members get all the newsletters, while non-members usually get just one a year, outlining BVRI's activities, the benefits of membership, and a solicitation for people to pay this year's dues. Membership entitles you to make motions and vote at the general meetings. Membership in BVRI makes you eligible to buy membership in the Lodge pool.
The dues which members pay support a variety of worthy activities. The dues buy sand for the beaches and the maintenance of said beaches. The dues help pay for the annual summer picnic. The dues pay for the newsletters. The dues paid for a vigorous forestry education and management program; forestry and fire prevention people agree that Bear Valley has the best forest management program of any subdivision on Ebbetts Pass, in the spirit of Harry Schimke, one of the founders of Bear Valley and a renowned forester. In the windstorms of 2011-12, Bear Valley had the least structure damage from windfalls of any area from here to Angels Camp, thanks to our having healthier trees. BVRI continues to operate a volunteer inspection program to monitor fire clearance and CC&R compliance.
The dues are used to support important community activities like the Bear Valley Music Festival, the New Year's fireworks, or the Bruce Orvis commemorative plaque in the Lodge. The dues pay for the BVRI website,www.bvri.org, a source of information on the community. BVRI enforces the CC&R's and design standards, protecting us from eyesores and other inappropriate activities.
Considering that Bruce Orvis elected not to make membership in BVRI mandatory, it is gratifying to note that a majority of the homeowners have historically opted to pay the annual dues voluntarily, supporting the activities of BVRI. Use of the beaches, eligibility for the Lodge Pool, and receipt of all the newsletters are attractive enough that we get memberships from people outside the New Subdivision - condo owners or property owners from other nearby subdivisions.
Whether you are a member or not, all property owners in the New Subdivision are eligible to vote in an election to amend the CC&R's. These happen rarely, maybe every ten years or so. They're expensive, and the BVRI Board tries to resort to a CC&R election only when necessary.
You can see a lot of this on the website. The CC&R's and Design Standards can be found there. News bulletins and meeting notices are there. There are links to many pertinent Bear Valley websites, and information on various Bear Valley subjects. You can view the minutes of several years' worth of Board and General meetings and get an idea of the scope of our activities. We hope that, after looking it all over, you will decide that it's worth joining.
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