The Weekly Vista
Here are a few facts regarding the ban on white fences in Bella Vista. Owning a white fence is not a crime. People who like white fences are the good guys and people who want them down are the bad guys.
Our State Representative Hope Duke is doing her best to represent those of us who like white fences, but she has only been on the job for two weeks. Cooper Communities, Inc. (CCI) is a corporation that uses the Architectural Control Committee (ACC) to enforce their regulations regarding code enforcement for homeowners. As of Jan. 1, 2022 the ACC declared that white fences would no longer be allowed in Bella Vista. In an email to me Senior Vice President Neff Basore said that CCI had nothing to do with that decision. Yet, he is on the ACC board along with John Cooper III; Borem Cooper; Director of the POA Water Department Mike Tagart; CCI employee Theresa Neal and ACC Director Buddy Vernetti. None of these are elected by the membership.
The Bella Vista Patriots asked Arkansas Attorney Rutledge, “Does the ACC have the authority to sell permits, issue fines and charge fees” and she said that there are so few laws that govern nonprofit organizations that she could not form an opinion. She did recommend taking the question to civil court. So, we filed our question in the Benton County Circuit Court and Judge Scott echoed the same thing as Attorney Rutledge that he did not have a State Statute that he could hang his hat on. So, he dismissed the case and stuck me with $1,500 in attorney fees just for asking the question. Our next option was to go to our State Legislature and try to draft some legislation that would address laws regarding nonprofit corporations.
The Patriots have drafted two bills and hope that Representative Duke will present them to the Legislature for passage. One states that because we are forced to give monthly dues for membership, we would like for the ACC to reciprocate by submitting to the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The second proposed bill establishes that ACC does not have the authority to sell permits, issue fines or