Community News- January 2021

Hello 2021! It is time to look ahead and plan for another great Sylvan summer. It won’t be long before we can again retreat into the safety of our special community: sandy beaches, swims in Lake Michigan, long-time friends, colorful sunrises and some of the most spectacular sunsets on Earth. The 2021 summer season will be similar to last year with more social distancing, mask requirements, and an emphasis on outdoor activities. So, we are in the midst planning for a second Covid-safe summer at Sylvan.

To ensure that the rights and opportunities of SBRC shareholders are equal and fair, the Board maintains an up-to-date copy of SBRC Bylaws, Policies & Rules (see Shareholder Resources page) on this website for reference for all shareholders and associates. It is available at any time of day or night. 

An up-to-date directory (see Shareholder Resources page) of all SBRC members is also a part of this online handbook of bylaws, policies and rules.. 

As this document is so readily available with a few keystrokes and a password, the Board ceased printing and distributing copies of this fluid document in 2018. The Board recommends that you reacquaint yourself, and all those who stay on Sylvan Beach for any period of time, with the rules and policies. The rules were reviewed and updated in the fall of 2020, as mentioned in the Fall Newsletter. You may wish to print a paper copy for your cottage guests to review during their stay. General Rules & Policy found on the Shareholder Resources page of this website.

Activities Update

Last summer was full of reimagined traditions and new ways to gather safely. In an effort to gain everyone’s community activity thoughts about 2021 and beyond, let Julie Hawksworth, our Activities Chair, know about your hopes and desires through the survey attached to the latest SBRC Newsletter. It is the intention of the Activities Chair to publish a 2021 calendar by late March on the SBRC website.

Grounds Update

Our Grounds Chair, Earl Johnson, has been researching multiple solutions for reengaging with a recycling program at Sylvan Beach again in 2021. As you may know, the closest recycling center is in Grand Rapids, as the local location was closed in 2019. Our current trash collection vendor is being contacted to ascertain what the additional cost would be to the community for recycling service to be included in 2021.

Septic System Rule Update

Please be aware of the newest update (1/2021) to the SBRC Rules: Septic system/cesspool inspection and maintenance are the responsibility of the leaseholder. The EPA recommends a septic system be pumped every 3 to 5 years depending on household usage and tank size. At minimum, SBRC requires leaseholders to have their septic systems inspected every 3 years, and pumped when necessary before June 30th or after Labor Day. Leaseholds will be asked to prove responsible maintenance if a septic system fails. Failure due to a lack of maintenance may result in a fine to be levied by the SBRC Board. A reputable septic business’ information can be found on the SBRC website.

Shoreline Survey Update

The overwhelming response (90%) and endorsement was for Scenario #1, maintaining our current shoreline policy with the suggested Bylaw improvements, with an average endorsement of 75.6 out of 100. 

Unfortunately many respondents did not address Scenario #2 accurately and the endorsement number is not valid.  What is accurate are the raw numbers. 44% of the respondents indicated that the Association should be involved with “Permitting” and an additional 20% indicated some form of Association support above “Permitting” but not specifically listing “Permitting. On the other side, 37% wanted NO Association Support.  

Due to the number of written comments supporting “permitting” for Scenario #2, the Board will be reviewing all options regarding Association involvement with the permitting process. All metrics and survey summaries can be found on this website. (see Shareholder Resources page) 

Your board would like to thank the Shoreline Committee for their extensive time and support of this important initiative; Charlie Deupree, Committee Chair, Jen Day, Brooks Applegate, Steve Denison, Kristen Anderson, Kirt Holder, and Molly Gillhespy. 

Charlie Deupree, Jen Day and Brooks Applegate have agreed to continue to support the Board in an advisory role to establish a current, clear shoreline policy along with any necessary bylaw improvements. The next step is to consult with the SBRC attorney to determine bylaw and policy amendments that reflect the survey results. 

Open discussion of land and shoreline policy improvements and Bylaw changes will be held at the next Town Hall meeting on Saturday, May 29th, 2021. Proper notice of such changes will be sent ahead of this Memorial Day weekend meeting in accordance with our current Bylaws. Final changes will be ratified through a shareholder vote at the annual meetin