Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

Following are frequently asked questions and answers related to the Sierra community.  They are organized by topic.  You can also download a PDF version of these FAQs.

SIERRA HOA AND MEMBERSHIP DUES

Q:  Does Sierra have an active HOA?

A:  Yes, the Sierra Country Club (SCC) homeowners association (HOA) is managed by a seven-member board of directors and supported by paid staff including a property manager, secretary-administrator, caretaker, and water system maintenance technician; as well as various contractors who help manage our water system, accounting, and legal needs.

Q:  What are the benefits of being part of the Sierra HOA?

A:  Having an HOA that enforces its covenants and bylaws, and has an active management team, helps protect property values by ensuring:  The appropriate management of the association’s business affairs, the sufficient short and long-term planning and funding of operations and capital expenditures, and the attractive development and maintenance of properties.  HOA members have voting privileges including the election of board members, budget approval, and certain other association-related matters.  Members also enjoy access to association facilities such as the clubhouse, pool, and playground; and participation in community events.

Q:  How do I become an HOA member, or is being part of the HOA optional?

A:  All property owners of the Sierra Country Club plat are automatically members of the HOA, and paying annual dues by all members is mandatory. 

Q:  Why do I need to pay annual dues?

A:  Per SCC covenants and bylaws, all owners of Sierra properties are dues-paying members of the association.  Annual membership dues and any special assessments are charged against all lots in the plat of Sierra for the purpose of financing the operations of the association. 

Q: Where can I find out more about the membership dues including billing and payments?

A:  Refer to the Dues Q&A and other information on the Sierra website Finance page.

 

CLUBHOUSE

Q: When is the clubhouse open and who can use it?

A:  The clubhouse is not staffed except during the pool season.  So, typically it is open to members and their families when the pool is open during the summertime.  Otherwise, the clubhouse is open when meetings or other community events are scheduled.  Email notices will be provided to all members regarding those meetings and events.  For recurring activities such as exercise sessions or card games, see the hours and contact information on the Sierra website Clubhouse page.

Q: Can I rent the clubhouse for private events?

A:  Yes, Sierra members in good standing (no delinquent dues, water, or fines accounts, no unresolved violations) can rent the clubhouse for private events under normal circumstances.  The rental fee is currently $100 per day, and a $100 deposit is required.  The deposit is refundable if the clubhouse was cleaned properly and there was no damage.  A rental agreement form must be completed.  This form and the clubhouse rental procedure can be found on the Sierra website Clubhouse page. It should also be noted that Sierra adheres to all state or other governmental restrictions regarding the availability of the clubhouse for social or other gatherings, so check the website for any notices regarding restrictions. 

Q: Can I rent tables and chairs for events at my home or some other place?

A:  Yes, Sierra allows members in good standing to rent tables and chairs for their private events if being held somewhere besides the clubhouse.  Use of tables and chairs are included in the rental fee when renting the clubhouse.  More information can be found on the Sierra website Clubhouse page.

 

COMMUNICATIONS

Q: Can I sign up for email notifications from Sierra?

A:  Yes!  Please email sierra.mailbox@gmail.com to get added to our email list.  You’ll get notices about meetings, events, water outages, newsletters, and other important information.

Q: Where do I find the current and previous newsletters?

A:  Our newsletters are published quarterly and include important information about what’s going on in Sierra.  The newsletters are distributed by email for those on our email list, and are also posted on the Sierra website on the Newsletter page.

Q: Why do you need my phone and email address, and who can use or see that contact information?

A:  We use your phone and email information for Sierra business only.  We do not share that contact information with anyone else outside the board, staff, and our billing agent.  It’s important we have your phone and email so we can notify you about planned or emergency water outages and other important notices.  Please email sierra.mailbox@gmail.com with any updates to your contact information.

 

COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES

Q: Are there any community activities in which I can participate?

A:  Yes, normally, there are weekly exercise sessions and card games, monthly potlucks, periodic education and training events, and other events like our annual wildfire prevention and clean-up day.  Scheduled events will be publicized via email and posted on the Sierra website Notices page.  Check the Sierra website Clubhouse page for information about the weekly or other recurring activities for members.

Q: Where do I find out more about volunteering for projects or committees?

A:  There are lots of different opportunities to volunteer.  Some of the ongoing Sierra committees include the Emergency Preparedness Committee and Zone Captains, the Emergency Communications (Radio) Committee, Firewise (a nationwide fire prevention program) Committee, the Technology Committee, and the Welcome Committee.  Every year we ask volunteers to help with the annual yard sale, participate in the annual internal financial review, and other projects.  You can email sierra.mailbox@gmail.com to inquire further, or watch for notices about volunteer or other opportunities. 

 

COVENANTS AND POLICIES

Q:  What are the Sierra covenants and policies? 

A:  All new residents are provided a welcome packet that includes the covenants and other resources.  All of the governing documents and key policies are also available on the Sierra website according to topic:

Q:  How do I submit a covenants violation complaint to the board?

A:  You will need to fill out a Covenant Violation Complaint Form and submit it to the Sierra.enforcement@gmail.com email box.  The form and more information about covenants enforcement process can be found on the Sierra website Covenants Enforcement page.   

Q:  What do I do if I receive a violation citation?

A:  The notification you receive will specify what the violation issue is and what actions are required to bring your property into compliance.  The Covenants Enforcement and Fines Policy explains more about the process and the fines for non-compliance.

 

NEW FENCING, OUTBUILDINGS OR OTHER ARCHITECTURAL PROJECTS

Q: Do I need Sierra board approval to do a remodel or build a fence, outbuilding or other structure?

A:  Board approval is required If the remodel involves changing the outside of your dwelling, including the footprint of the dwelling.  Board approval is also needed for architectural projects such as new, replacement, or changes to exterior structures such as fencing or outbuildings.

Q: How do I get board approval for an architectural project?

A:  You will need to submit a Project Completion Agreement Form to the Architecture Director.  The form and details about the process can be found on the Sierra website Architecture page.

Q: How long do I have for completing an architectural project?

A:  Projects are required to be completed within six (6) months of board approval or issuance of a building permit (if required by Island County), whichever is later.  A three-month extension may be granted depending upon circumstances causing delays beyond the owner’s control.

 

NEW OWNERS AND RESIDENTS – WELCOME COMMITTEE

Q: I’m a new resident.  Where do I find out more about the Sierra neighborhood?

A:  All new Sierra members will receive a welcome letter once we receive notice about new owners or residents.  If you live in the Sierra neighborhood, you will also receive a packet of useful community information from our Welcome Committee.  The Sierra website also has a plethora of information about the Sierra community, including a page dedicated to New Residents.

 

POOL

Q: When is the pool open?

A:  The pool is typically open from around Memorial Day through Labor Day each year.  Hours of operation, rules, and other details can be found on the Sierra website Pool page.

Q: Who can use the pool?

A:  All Sierra members in good standing (no delinquent dues, water, or fines accounts, no unresolved violations), and their family members, can use the pool for no charge during the pool season.  This is one of the benefits of being a Sierra member.

Q: Can I bring guests?

A:  Yes, members can bring guests besides their family members to use the pool.  The fee is $2 per guest per day.

Q:  Can I reserve the pool for a private event?

A:  No, the pool must be open for Sierra members; individual members cannot have exclusive use of the pool.

 

WATER CONNECTIONS

Q: How do I get a new water connection so I can build a house on a vacant lot?

A:  The Water Connection Approval process is explained in detail on the Sierra website Architecture page.  Typically, Sierra can allocate up to five (5) new water connections every other year.  Water connections are granted to interested property owners according to a ranking of length of ownership of their lots, and are contingent upon Island County approval. 

Q: Why are the water connections limited?

A:  The Island County Public Health Department, working in conjunction with the Washington Department of Health, is the authority for granting additional water connections for community water systems such as Sierra.  Because we are in a high-risk area for saltwater intrusion into our current wells, one of the county’s considerations for granting new connections is based on an assessment of the impact of increased demand on the aquifer that supplies Sierra’s water.  The board is currently engaged in a project to add new water sources to protect and enhance our ability to provide water for our members.  

 

WATER SYSTEM AND BILLING

Q: Who owns and operates our water system?

A:  Our water system is wholly owned by the Sierra membership.  The Water Director on the Sierra board oversees the water system.  King Water is the primary contractor who helps maintain Sierra’s water system and performs our water billing.

Q: What are the water rates and how often will I be billed?

A:  Water billing takes place quarterly.  The billing structure includes a base rate up to a certain threshold, and then per gallon rates based on usage tiers. The current water rates are posted on the Sierra website Water System and Billing page. 

Q: Can I receive and pay my water bill online?

A:  At this time, King Water performs our billing, and there is no option for paperless statements or for online payments.  However, you can use your own bank’s online bill-pay system for sending payments.  Payments must be made out to Sierra Country Club, and sent to PO box 915, Coupeville, WA 98239.

Q: How do I find out about water outages?

A:  For planned outages due to required maintenance and repair on the water system, notices will be provided to Sierra residents by mail, email, and our automated calling system.  For emergency outages, we will send notices out by phone and email.  To receive the email and phone notices or reminders, please be sure we have your correct contact information.  You can contact the Sierra mailbox at sierra.mailbox@gmail.com with any contact updates.