The Birth of Arden Beaches
Many Arden residents are unaware of the fact that our community is the home of two very important, yet separately operated organizations, the Arden Community Association, Inc. (formerly known as the Arden Civic Association) and Arden Beaches, Inc. (formerly known as Sunrise Beach, Inc. and Beach Shores, Inc.). Below you learn the intrical part that ACA played in acquiring and establishing our private beaches.
ACA & The Birth of Arden Beaches
The ACA reported in 1973 that for a number of years, the community had been concerned about the conditions in the area of the beaches and other recreational properties being maintained by Sunrise Beach, Inc. from the annual $22 fee assessed in the deed of each lot in the community. The beaches, boat ramps, and docks within Arden at this time did not belong to the community but rather owned and operated by a profit-making corporation known as Sunrise Beach, Inc. to whom lot owners are bound to pay an annual $22 fee per lot. Due to inflation and other demands on that corporation’s time in the early 1970s, beach maintenance and control had been seriously degrading over the past several years. With the intent of providing a more responsive and enduring maintenance corporation, the Arden Beach Buying Committee was formed under the Arden Civic Association with a goal to purchase the beach properties and facilities, and establish a community-based and operated non-profit maintenance corporation that would stand completely separate from the Civic Association or any other community organization. It would be owned by those properties owners who are willing to provide the funds necessary to execute the purchase. Against an initial purchase price of $130,000, the committee conducted its feasibility studies, presented its results to property owners, and initiated a share purchasing program. Negotiations were completed with Sunrise Beach, Inc. and a realistic and workable arrangement was reached for a price of $60,000 for the purchase of all beach associated properties and the rights to collection of the $22 annual fee with an effective date of sale of December 21, 1975. If Arden is to remain a truly “beach” community, its beaches must be properly maintained and controlled.
Some of the problem areas that prompted this proposal included lack of enforcement of existing beach rules; lack of control of those using the beaches, specifically non-lot owners; unnecessary traffic through the community by non-lot owners using the beaches; poor physical condition of the access steps at beaches 5 and 2 promised to be fixed for years, and the boat park in Section 2; poor physical condition of the piers and ramps; and lack of erosion correction and control at beaches 2 and 4.
Advantages and disadvantages were discussed. Advantages being described as being community owned, we could assign priorities on actions to be taken; direct controls on non-lot owners and enforcement of beach rules; be closer to the problems and more anxious to correct them, more timely maintenance would be performed; eliminate undesirable through traffic by enforcing non-owner restrictions; set and change beach rules; and provide greater longevity and attractive beach facilities. Disadvantages discussed were concerns regarding the work required being a lot for volunteers; lack of participation/cooperation making it more difficult for those that do volunteer; potential desire to be over-zealous and too strict with rules/enforcement; and lack of capable, willing leadership which is necessary for such an undertaking. The committee felt the advantages outweighed the disadvantages and decided to move forward with the purchase. The asking price to purchase the beach areas, boat launching areas, some lots adjacent to boat anchorage areas, and some park areas was $130,000.
A fact-finding committee was appointed by ACA to conduct an orderly search for answers related to the feasibility of purchasing the corporation. In May 1974, upon the completion of legal, financial, and management investigations, the committee presented a recommendation and proposal to the community. The community response to this presentation resulted in a large proportionate desire for the community to purchase Sunrise Beach, Inc. The Beach Buying Committee proceeded with plans for soliciting funds from the lot owners of Arden and to take up bargaining with Sunrise Beach, Inc.
In order to inform all lot owners of the proposed purchase, an intent letter was sent dated January 17, 1975 to every lot owner being part of Sunrise Beach, Inc. with an encouraging response for the purchase. Of the 973 lots reflected by the mailing list, only 741 letters were sent due to eliminating duplication; 47% replied and of those received, 67% were in favor of the purchase and 22% were not with 4% undecided and the remainder returned undeliverable.
It was noted that organization of the newly purchased corporation would be of great importance in order to achieve the goals of improved service. A firm structure would be decided by those who contribute to make that final decision; however, a proposed charter and by-laws were recommended for approval by the contributors. The proposed charger and by-laws is based on what appears to be the prevailing desires within the community and would be the guidelines under which the corporation would operate until the corporate body would decide otherwise.
At the time Arden was subdivided, restrictions were placed on parcels which are generally referred to as beach facilities which would prohibit the building of homes on these properties to ensure that these properties will remain for recreational use.
Discussions were held with key people from another community with a similar situation which revealed that this approach was similar to what they had already done with much success reassuring that Arden ownership of Arden beaches is a valid solution to current beach association problems. To do nothing may well result in beaches becoming public.
The ACA Beach Buying Committee members who compiled the information outlined in this historic recollection were Clete Schreffler (Chairman), Earl Parsons, Howard Stanley, Don Yeskey, Jeffy Tolodziecki, Larry Vogel, and Dick Russell.
With the overwhelming approval of those Ardenites attending the regular ACA meeting on April 19, 1976, the Beach Buying Committee is moving forward with the purchase of the beaches and recreational areas for a purchase price of $60,000. Contributions collected and deposited as of April 13, 1976 totaled $58,950.66 noting outstanding pledges of $3,000. With the outstanding pledges and settlement costs, a shortage of $3,861.10 was predicted. Additional contributions were solicited to cover the shortfall. The solicitors working to seek contributions for this purchase were: Charlie Riley, Joseph Buckholtz, Dave Hultang, Ron Martin, John Bauman, William Gardner, Reginald Hartman, and Richard Cline. After additional contribution collection efforts were made, an updated settlement date was announced of April 29, 1976.
ABI (Arden Beaches, Inc.) oversees Arden Beaches, Ramps, Picnic Areas and a few other common properties. ABI also manages and finances the Arden Beaches, Inc. website. ABI collects Arden on the Severn's mandated annual dues. ABI issues annual Beach Passes, Vehicle Permits and Ramp Permits to qualified households. ABI has its own Board of Directors.
Want to See More?
Check out a few more ACA Beach Buying Committee & Early ABI documents
Sunrise Beach, Inc. Beach Procedures & Operations
ABI First Board of Governors
ACA Special Fund
Arden Beaches, Inc.
August 9, 1976