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HOA Question Openband Primer

Discussion in 'Broadlands Community Issues' started by cogs, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. cogs

    cogs Well-Known Member

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    Moved to Broadlands last month. Am happy with everything, --great schools, great neighborhood, great neighbors (I am sure) . I could not understand just one thing. The mandatory communications package.

    I have to pay $18/month for the phone which can be used only for local calls. If I dare call my previous neighbors in Maryland, I costs me three times more than hand it costs me to call me sister half way across the world in India. Hmm....

    And the television.... a bunch of nickle channels which no one watches.

    Internet access is not bad, except I gotta supply my own wireless router.

    I found myself scratching my head, $155/month for all this? What was HOA board thinking before signing this contract?

    Now that I know we are in deep legal troubles can anyone give a primer on the whole openband issue.

    When was this contract signed? Why will it expire?
     
  2. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

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    The quick version is...

    Developer (van Metre) decides a smart connected home would be a sell point. VM was the sole developer in the southern half of the neighborhood. VM also bought out the original overall developer of broadlands. As they setup the southern part of the neighborhood VM was in sole control of the hoa as the developer.

    VM signs up openband to build out this smart neighborhood and provide ongoing services. But the kicker is, openband is a company setup by mc dean and VM. It's a buddy buddy deal from the start and VM sets up the contract in a way that gives absolute power to openband for an obscene amount of time. Three 25 yr periods for which openband, not the community has the right to exercise or not.

    VM gives openband exclusive access, mandates all homes must participate and mandates the community pays even if a homeowner doesn't. They setup the southern walk hoa entity to facilitate collecting and paying these mandatory fees.

    In short, VM gave everything to openband... And guarantees them a customer base that can not leave, nor not pay, for 75 years. Great way to stuff your own pockets eh?

    Basically it's a setup the developer did with an obscene contract that leaves the homeowners with zero power or recourse. Which is why there are lawsuits now to try to break the lockdown.
     
  3. cogs

    cogs Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Steve for the informative post.

    Not sure if you can answer these questions. I welcome any to chime in.

    Is VM also a party in this litigation?

    $450k legal fees thus far about to abour 1500 hours @300/hr. How many court dates thus far? Where does the litigation stand?




     
  4. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

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    For those types of questions you should engage your swhoa directly. They have a closed Facebook group as well. Send lilpea on this site a private message and I'm sure she'll get you pointed in the right direction to get linked up
     
  5. wolf685cln

    wolf685cln New Member

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    You can get that info from the SWHOA directly ... Their contact info is on main BHOA site. They will not publish here due to ongoing litigation and unsecured/public nature of the site ... Cliff notes are that OpenBand lost their federal case against Landsdowne, and SW is teaming with LOTP in the appeals case . FCC has commented that OB's practice isn't legal and the ruling is expected to be upheld leading to OB downfall. Looking good at the moment... Should be over soon and this headache will go away. Will be nice to put this begin us once and for all... Too much negativity as of late .
     
  6. twohokies

    twohokies New Member

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    Isn't there also an entity wholly owned by VM that receives a portion of the monthly fees? 8-10% or something like that?
     
  7. cogs

    cogs Well-Known Member

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    Thx. I will be getting in touch with SWHOA.

    Found this on web. It states, SW lost the exclusivity cause case similar to that of Landsdowne in February.
    http://www.leesburgtoday.com/news/article_8c094dbe-c11e-11e1-b41c-001a4bcf887a.html

    Can someone explain this exclusivity clause in the OB contract? Does this clause apply to me as a home owner? ie: Can I subscribe to Comcast or FIOS on my own while paying my HOA fees as required?

    How many homes in SW are served by Openband?


     
  8. twohokies

    twohokies New Member

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    You can't get Comcast or Fios since currently OpenBand has exclusive easements and so the other providers can't lay their wiring. Only other option is satellite but you still have to pay OpenBand via the HOA (thereby receiving basic cable, internet & local phone). We got to the point with our tv add-on's that we were paying OB almost as much as DirecTV so cut off all the extras and now have a dish. We still have OB coming in on 2 tvs since we're paying for the basic cable anyways.

    All the homes in SW are served by OB and all the homes in SW are required to pay the HOA for the basic service provided by OB. It's up to you whether you decide to subscribe to the extras and pay OB directly.
     
  9. 4thand26

    4thand26 New Member

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    I'm glad that Van Metre is finally being mentioned in these Openband discussions. They've gotten a free pass (from a PR standpoint) through all of the OB meetings and legal proceedings.

    We should all be reminded that while Openband is the thief, Van Metre is the driver of the getaway car.While we suffer with inferior offerings and unwatchable HDTV, Van Metre quietly collects their kickback from our HOA dues and premium services. The Van Metre website says that since it's founding 55 years ago, it has "earned the trust and respect of our fellow citizens...".

    I urge all of my fellow Openband hostages to boycott Van Metre charities and tell your
    friends and family looking to buy a new home to buy from a developer that has earned the trust and respect of its fellow citizens.

    Not sure if they are party to the lawsuit, but we can at least hit them where it hurts. They are still building town houses all around us. Time for them to feel a little heat from the community.

    Letters to editor, Yelp reviews, real estate blogs....get the idea?

    Not a sermon, just MHO
     
  10. cogs

    cogs Well-Known Member

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    Double edged sword.

    By popularizing this OpenBand disaster we can certainly create a PR problem for Van Metre, but that also hurts us directly in housing prices. If I had known this problem when I was in the market to purchase a home, I certainly would have avoided this area completely.

    Not an easy decision.

    Does the HOA has the right not to accept any new units constructed by VM, if the units come with Openband infrastructure?
    I am given to understand that VM will be handing over the management of the new townhomes to the HOA in 2013.

     
  11. beahmer

    beahmer Member

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    No new sections are built with Openbandit.
     
  12. wolf685cln

    wolf685cln New Member

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    Plus, there is a new law in place that prevent these types I contracts from being inked in the first place. One of the wins thus far...
     
  13. T8erman

    T8erman Well-Known Member

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    A win for others, not for SW.
     
  14. cogs

    cogs Well-Known Member

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    Does that mean, there would not be any 25 year contracts + options in the new units?
     
  15. wolf685cln

    wolf685cln New Member

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    Still, it was nice to see it take effect ..
     
  16. vacliff

    vacliff "You shouldn't say that."

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    Steve-
    The only correction I would make here is to change "Van Metre" to "Broadlands Associates". At the time Openband came in, the Developer, Broadlands Associates, was 50% Terrabrook and 50% Van Metre. Terrabrook was the half in charge of land development. They entered into the agreement with Openband and all the documents are signed by Terrabrook employees, not Van Metre.
    Van Metre eventually bought out Terrabrook's interest in Broadlands and eventually become the sole home builder in SouthernWalk, but this wasn't until well after the Openband agreement was set up.
     
  17. wolf685cln

    wolf685cln New Member

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    Correct me if I am wrong but I believe VM receives, in perpetuity, 8 percent of base revenue and 12 percen of any premium service revenue from OB - so their halo isn't perfectly straight in this.

    Thanks for the clarification, I hadn't realized here was a joint venture there.
     
  18. vacliff

    vacliff "You shouldn't say that."

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    Broadlands Associates does, which is now solely Van Metre, so you are correct.
     
  19. Sasquatch519

    Sasquatch519 Member

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    I believe the new law for the state of Virginia states that a developer-controlled HOA is no longer allowed to sign a community up for any type of agreement that lasts longer than 5 years. Resident-controlled HOAs could still elect to engage in longer term deals if they so choose.
     
  20. Capricorn1964

    Capricorn1964 Active Member

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    Yup, that's correct and thanks to SWHOA and Erika for lobbying Virginia State Senate to get his law on the books! Now, what we are going through will never happen to another HOA after this. I appreciate the work that you and the current board is doing.

    You guys are doing a fantastic job and we are SO close to the end!



     

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