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Categories: Association Living, GovernancePublished On: April 17th, 2024

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Living in a homeowners association can be complicated. Many homeowners are confused about the general operational setup of their neighborhood. Why do the assessments seem to keep going up? What does my money even pay for? Who actually calls the shots

Living in an HOA might be confusing, but when you get down to brass tacks, all decisions made within the community are powered by you, the homeowners. The board of directors is a great example, but they aren’t the only ones with power. One very powerful way Homeowners can influence how their neighborhood runs is through HOA Committees.

5 HOA Committees All Utah Communities Should Have

What is an HOA Committee?

Similar to HOA boards of directors, HOA committees are groups of volunteers within the community, and they accomplish specific tasks for the board. Some community governing documents have required committees, but for the most part, committees are created based on interest or need, and are appointed by the board.

HOA Committees can be Executive (made up of only board members) or Standing (a committee focused on an ongoing need, such as architectural control). However, some HOA committees are what are known as “Special” or “Ad hoc.” These are created for a one-time resolution and are disbanded once the concern has been addressed. 

While every HOA has different needs, these five committees can benefit every Utah HOA:

1. Architectural Control Committee

Sometimes called the Architectural Review Committee, or ARC, this Standing Committee is responsible for reviewing and approving (or denying) requests for architectural modifications to a property. These requests can range from the fairly mundane like updating window treatments, to something more extravagant like installing a gazebo. The ACC’s goal is to ensure architectural standards set forth in the governing documents are upheld within the community. This is to preserve the aesthetic appeal and property values of the neighborhood, and to guarantee fair enforcement of rules when architectural requests are made. 

2. Landscaping Committee

The Landscaping Committee is relatively straightforward–they work to maintain and enhance community green spaces. Smaller communities may not need a landscaping committee, but any HOA with a lot of community green spaces, such as gardens, planters, or golf courses, could benefit greatly with one. 

Unlike a request-based committee like the ACC/ARC, the landscaping committee offers suggestions and recommends improvements to the board. Their goal is to find sustainable, attractive landscapes that help create a pleasant living environment for residents and contribute to the overall curb appeal of the neighborhood.

3. Social or Events Committee

The Social Committee, or Events Committee, is responsible for organizing and coordinating recreational community events. Their focus is promoting a sense of community and belonging among residents. Activities planned by the Social committee fall outside of the functional events that occur throughout the year, such as the Annual Budget Meeting or any of the routine meetings that occur throughout the year. 

Instead, events organized by this group are specifically hosted to foster positivity and transparency among neighbors and build a stronger sense of community and camaraderie, with a broader goal of creating a vibrant community culture that enhances the overall quality of life for homeowners.

4. Welcome Committee

The Welcome Committee is another obvious one–they welcome new homeowners to the community! But they do more than send a greeting card. This group plays a crucial role in ensuring new residents feel both welcomed and informed. A welcome packet from this committee should include a friendly “Hello!” as well as information about HOA rules and regulations and amenities, as well as neighborhood resources. In smaller communities, these responsibilities may get rolled into the Social or Events Committee purview, or fall directly onto the board. 

5. Budget Committee

Last but not least is the Budget Committee. This Ad Hoc Committee is appointed once a year to help the Board oversee the financial planning and management of the HOA. Responsibilities include supporting the Board in preparing the annual budget and reviewing financial reports. Chaired by the Board Treasurer, the Budget Committee focuses on planning for the fiscal health and financial sustainability of the HOA. The committee also supports the Board in the presentation of the annual budget at the Annual Membership Meeting. The committee plays a key role in educating homeowners (in an easy to understand way) on the financial status and health of the community, as well as future budget goals and planning. 

Though these tasks are vital to operational success in the community, this committee isn’t strictly required. Many communities will delegate these responsibilities to their management company, who will work directly with the board in much the same capacity (though often with significantly more financial knowledge and expertise!).

How to Get Involved

Participating in an HOA committee is a valuable and noble contribution to your community’s success. For many HOAs, these committees are already in place, and often actively looking for new members to join their ranks. So talking to your board about upcoming committee vacancies at your next meeting is a great start.

If your community doesn’t have one (or any) of these committees and you’d like to change that, you can! Starting an HOA committee will take some help from your board (they will need to draft a Committee Charter), require consultation of the governing documents to ensure requirements have been met, and there are enough interested homeowners to make up the committee. It can be tedious (but when isn’t bureaucratic paperwork tedious?), but the process is direct and provides a much-needed service to your HOA. 

Find Your HOA Committee Strategy

HOA committees are essential components of the operating matrix that keeps your Utah HOA running smoothly. They lighten the load on the board of directors, offer leadership opportunities to interested homeowners, and encourage community involvement from your neighbors. 

If your Utah HOA needs help strategizing the best committees to help guide the decisions being made, contact us today. HOA Strategies specializes in working with board members to tactically enhance their community living.