1) What is the New Discovery Homeowner’s Association
The NDHA is a community-run, non-profit organization responsible for the maintenance of green spaces in the community of Discovery Ridge. The NDHA is administered by residents of Discovery Ridge who volunteer their time and talents for the betterment of the community.
The NDHA maintains the roundabout waterfall feature, the extensive pathways and open spaces within Discovery Ridge, as well as the trees, grass, and shrub beds that fill the road medians. The pathways of Griffith Woods and its designated parking lot are maintained by The City of Calgary.
The NDHA is a separate organization from the Discovery Ridge Community Association (DRCA). The DRCA is also a volunteer based group of residents with many responsibilities including the planning of sports facilities, the community newsletter, and various social events. The two associations work together to ensure that community concerns are managed efficiently and effectively.
2) What does the NDHA do?
The NDHA does the following:
- Maintains the public access manicured greenspaces in the community, as well as the road medians and boulevards. This includes turf mowing and trimming, shrub bed & tree well maintenance, weeding and mulch application.
- Conducts snow clearing from all public access walkways in the community, except those under the responsibility of The City of Calgary or adjacent to private property.
- Installs, maintains, and operates the Holiday Light display each winter.
- Maintains and operates the irrigation system and waterfall at the entrance to the community.
- Is responsible for maintaining and replenishing the dog waste bag dispensers.
- Maintains the condition of the trash bins in the parks and along the walkways, as well as the park benches (the City is responsible for pick-up and disposal of trash from the bins).
- Is responsible for tree maintenance on NDHA-owned lands, located in Phase 1 & 2 only.
- Is responsible for providing the foliage in the seasonal planters near the roundabout.
- Manages the collection of membership fees, the upkeep of the membership database and the execution and management of contracts pertaining to the required work in the community and for the Association. We also manage all communication and website needs of the membership.
- The NDHA does not operate or manage the Recreation Facilities, nor any community events. Please contact the DRCA (Discovery Ridge Community Association) for this. See FAQ #1.
3) Who Created the NDHA?
The NDHA was established by United Communities, the developer of Discovery Ridge. It was incorporated under Part 9 of the Companies Act of the Province of Alberta as a non-profit corporation with its Memorandum of Association duly filed with the Registrar General on February 18, 2000. In June 2006, the NDHA was turned over to the residents of Discovery Ridge. A Board of Directors was formed by residents of Discovery Ridge who stepped forward to volunteer their time and talents to administer and carry out the NDHA’s mandate of maintaining the green spaces of the community.
4) What is the difference between the NDHA (the HOA) and the DRCA (the Community Association)?
|DRCA (Community Association)||NDHA (Homeowners’ Association)|
|Relies on your $25 annual membership||Relies on your $325 fee / year|
|The DRCA is a volunteer run, non-profit organization. The annual fee is optional but essential. High membership promotes a more effective “voice” with the City and Province on traffic (including Ring Road), safety & security and other issues.||The NDHA is a volunteer run non-profit organization responsible for maintaining green spaces in Discovery Ridge. The annual fee is legally required and secured by an Encumbrance registered on your property title.|
|The DRCA improves the community through various Committees:
Recreation Facility: Construction of the Recreation building, ice rink and tennis courts as well as the seasonal maintenance of each. Further development plans under review.
Fundraising: Casino and other events.
Ring Road / Traffic: Working with the City and the Province to improve the performance, design, interface treatment and safety of roads within, abutting and beyond our community.
Communications: Ridge Review newsletter, Facebook, website, and member only e-communications
Events: Stampede Breakfast, Family Events and Community Clean Ups amongst others
Safety and Security: Collaborating with residents, police and the fire department to combat crime, vandalism and fire threats within the community and Griffith Woods
|The NDHA fulfills its commitment to the homeowners of Discovery Ridge with:
– Green space maintenance
– Boulevard/median plantings
– Shrub bed plantings and maintenance
– Winter pathway snow clearing
– Winter lights
– Seasonal planters
– Dog waste dispensers
– Park bench maintenance
– Trash bin maintenance
– Waterfall operations
– Membership accounting and enquiry systems
– Membership communication and NDHA news
– Maintenance of NDHA website
|Access www.discoveryridge.com for payment options||Access www.ndha.ca for payment options|
5) What is the Operational Area of the NDHA?
- The NDHA operates only on the manicured public access lands within the boundary of Discovery Ridge, per the map below (boundary lines approximate).
- Landscape maintenance is carried out according to the 2007 Landscape Management Agreement (LMA) with The City of Calgary. Areas deemed “natural spaces” are under the care of The City of Calgary Parks and/or Urban Forestry department.
- The NDHA is not responsible for landscape maintenance on condo association lands, commercial lands, nor “The Pointe at Discovery Ridge” lands (formerly the “Chessor” property) within the community of Discovery Ridge.
- Griffith Woods Park is maintained by The City of Calgary, not the NDHA.
6) NDHA-Owned Lands – where are they?
- The NDHA holds title to 17 pieces of land in the community, all located within Phase 1 & 2 of Discovery Ridge (areas to the right and left of the roundabout).
- The map below shows the location of NDHA-owned properties. The remaining greenspaces in these phases belong to The City of Calgary.
- All amenities, including the trees, pathways and pathway termination fences on NDHA-owned lands are the sole responsibility of NDHA. Any concerns pertaining to these specific spaces should be directed to the NDHA, not the City’s 311 service.
7) How often does the NDHA Board meet? Can I attend these meetings?
The meetings are held once a month except December and August and are open to all NDHA members in good standing. However, participation in portions of a meeting may be limited when matters of a confidential nature are discussed. If you are interested in attending a meeting, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to determine the date of the next meeting.
8) Who is on the Board of Directors?
The members of the Board of Directors are residents who volunteer their time. The current Board members as of 13 September 2023 are:
- Shaune Pasay – President
- Millard Matthews – Vice President
- Denise Cruickshank – Treasurer
- Janell McDonald – Secretary
- Caroll-Ann Bainbridge – Communication
- Michelle Conway – Membership
- Kevin King – Projects
- Adrian Doughty – Director
- Jim Fox – Director
9) Does the NDHA have an annual general meeting?
The Articles of Association require the NDHA to hold an Annual General Meeting once a year, not more than 16 months apart. Notice of the Annual General Meeting, which is typically held in the first week of June, is mailed or emailed to each member of the Association.
10) Does the NDHA receive money from the City of Calgary?
Along with other community groups that have taken on responsibility for green space maintenance, the NDHA receives a rebate from the City of Calgary. The rebate is approximately $30,000 per year.
11) How does the NDHA pay for maintenance of the green spaces in Discovery Ridge?
The registered homeowners of residential properties in Discovery Ridge are required to pay an annual fee (or ‘rent charge’) which has been secured by the registration of the NDHA’s Encumbrance on title of each property. The collection of the annual fee is used to maintain the green spaces within Discovery Ridge at a level that is superior to the standards that would have been provided for by The City of Calgary through the assessment and collection of property taxes.
12) What is the annual fee?
The annual Association fee (or ‘rent charge’) is assessed to residential properties in Discovery Ridge and is currently set at $325.
13) What period does the annual fee cover?
The annual fee is assessed for the period of January 1 to December 31 and is due by June 29 of the year in which the fee has been assessed.
14) Why was the fee raised from $150 to $325
The original annual fee of $150, as is documented in the NDHA Encumbrance, was set by the Developer when it formed the NDHA in 2000. In 2006, the Developer initiated the process of turning over management of the NDHA to the residents. A committee of volunteers from the community negotiated the turnover.
In performing their due diligence, the residents’ committee determined that, based on the NDHA’s responsibilities and the Developer’s previous expenses, the annual cost of landscape maintenance was much greater than $150 per residence. They estimated instead that the cost was $300 per residence.
At the NDHA’s Annual General Meeting in June 2006, the residents’ committee presented the results of their research and negotiations. Following the requirements in the NDHA’s Articles of Association, and Article 4 of the Encumbrance on title of each property, a special resolution was approved by the membership to raise the fee to $300 per year. The resident’s committee also forecast that no further increases would be required for 10 years.
Over the years, the Board of Directors was extremely prudent in their vendor contract negotiations while maintaining the aesthetic and horticultural standards that resident’s value and expect. The $300 fee proved to be an exceptionally good estimate of the cost of caring for green spaces within Discovery Ridge. The $300 fee exceeded the 10-year forecast by 3 years, meaning there were no HOA fee increases for 13 consecutive years.
Inflationary costs are inevitable after 13 years, so a small increase was implemented in 2019, raising the fee from $300 to $307 per year. This was done per the terms of Article 3 of the Encumbrance on title of each property and did not require a vote by the membership.
A record inflation rate of 7.2% for Calgary occurred during 2022, with economic forecasts indicating continued inflationary pressure for several years into the future. Considering these realities, under the authority provided in Article 3 of the Encumbrance, the NDHA Board of Directors made the decision to implement a small increase of $18 (5.87%) for 2023. The annual rent charge is now $325.
15) What is being done to collect unpaid fees?
The NDHA has established a strict policy for collecting unpaid fees. Homeowners who have not paid their fees are sent a statement listing the amounts owing, including interest and administrative charges if any. The interest rate charged on outstanding balances is 18% per annum in compliance with the terms of the NDHA’s Encumbrance. If payment for outstanding fees is not received, the account will be turned over to the NDHA’s lawyer for collection.
All legal costs incurred by the NDHA to recover the outstanding balances become the responsibility of the homeowner. Failure to pay outstanding balances and legal costs may ultimately lead to foreclosure proceedings being commenced in respect of the homeowner’s property.
Only a small minority of homeowners have accounts that are in arrears. Updates on the progress in collecting unpaid fees will be reported at the AGM.
16) Is the annual fee the same for all residences?
Yes, the annual fee is the same for each residence. This reflects the fact that the common green space areas within Discovery Ridge can be enjoyed equally by all residents.
17) How is the NDHA budget established?
The NDHA Treasurer develops an annual budget for approval by the Board of Directors. The budget includes funding for items such as contract landscape maintenance, shrub replacement, landscaping upgrades and rejuvenation, irrigation, electricity, seasonal lighting, snow clearing, insurance, homeowner communication costs, audit and legal fees, as well as other administrative costs.
Landscape maintenance costs are the largest item in the budget. The current landscaping contract is with ULS Maintenance and Landscaping Inc.
18) Who determines the landscaping needs in Discovery Ridge?
The Board works with our landscaping contractor (ULS) to determine the landscaping needs of the community. Any work needed to be done is prioritized and approved by the Board of Directors. The objective is to maintain and, where feasible, improve the high quality opportunities for recreation and leisure that our green spaces provide.
We want to hear from members of the community. Your comments and ideas are always appreciated. Please contact the NDHA at general@NDHA.ca.
19) Who is responsible for maintaining Griffith Woods?
- Griffith Woods Park (and the associated parking lot) is owned and managed by The City of Calgary. The NDHA does not provide services of any kind in this park.
- The Park is open from 5 am – 11 pm daily.
- Fires/Firepits are not allowed.
- Call 311 for any questions or concerns about the park.
- Call 911 to report an active fire or dangerous/illegal activity.
- Use this link for further information: https://www.calgary.ca/csps/parks/locations/sw-parks/griffith-woods.html
20) Trees – who maintains them?
- The NDHA maintains very few trees in the community. These include:
- Trees located on NDHA-owned lands,
- Trees within the median and boulevard inside the Transportation Utility Corridor (TUC/ring road) boundary at our community entrance.
- Contact the NDHA for tree-related issues only in these locations.
- All other trees are the responsibility of The City of Calgary.
- Call 311 for tree-related issues (broken, need pruning, dead/dying) in all areas of Discovery Ridge other than those noted above.
- The City of Calgary has a wonderful website for all thing related to both public and private trees, including Bylaws, planned tree work, a map to show whether a tree is a City tree or privately-owned one, how to submit a request for service, planting programs, tree care tips, etc. Click on: www.calgary.ca/trees
21) The Pond below Discovery Vista Point (“Griffith Pond”) – Who manages it? Is it a Stormwater Pond?
- This pond is not a stormwater pond. It is a “perennial lake” fed by a natural source of water.
- The pond flows into the Elbow River, and as such is to be treated as a delicate waterbody. All applicable restrictions regarding use apply.
- The NDHA does not manage the pond or the vegetation bordering it.
- Call 311 for any concerns or questions about this pond.
22) Snow removal – Who What When Where?
- Homeowners, condo associations and commercial property managers are responsible for clearing snow and ice from public sidewalks directly adjacent to their property. Snow must be removed to bare pavement within 24 hours of the end of a snowfall event. Here is link to The City of Calgary Snow Removal Bylaw:
- All other snow clearing responsibility in the community is divided between The City of Calgary and the NDHA.
- The City of Calgary does not use the same snow removal schedule as the NDHA. The City will remove snow within 24 hours of the end of a snow event. The NDHA requires our contractor to remove snow to bare pavement within 24 hours of the start of a snowfall event, and once every 24 hours thereafter until the snow stops.
- The red lines in the image below indicate the specific sidewalks and pathways cleared by the NDHA.
- Call 311 to report uncleared sidewalks or ice management issues in all areas EXCEPT those that are the responsibility of the NDHA.
23) How do I access my account to Pay My Fee and/or Update My Homeowner Profile?
The NDHA uses an online Homeowners’ Association Management system called aMember Pro for its Membership Database and Fee Payment. From the comfort of your home, this gives you “anytime” access, through our website, to your personal NDHA account.
- Go to ndha.ca, then click on the “Account Login” tab. This takes you to the Homeowners’ Account Portal.
- The Homeowners’ Account Portal allows you to:
- View invoices and pay your annual fees. Any outstanding credits are applied to your current invoice, and any invoices with balances still owing are also viewable.
- Pay online by credit card all pending and outstanding invoices (exception: outstanding invoices that are in collection process with the NDHA lawyer)
- Manage and update as necessary your “Homeowner’s Profile” with your email address, phone, and billing mailing address.
- View important NDHA communications.
- Register to attend the Annual General Meeting.
- To familiarize yourself with the system, please take a moment to log into your account. To access your account:
- Go to the Homeowners Account Portal ( https://ndha.ca/portal).
- Use the password provided to you on your NDHA invoice (or you may use the “Forgot Password” option to reset your account password using your registered email address).
- Check your email and click the link to set your new password and access your account.
- *Note: Your online payment cannot be accepted if the email address field is left blank. Please ensure you have updated your Homeowner’s Profile to include your email address, before making a payment.
- For those who own more than one property, aMember Pro requires a unique email address for each property.
- If no email address is on file, or if the duplicate email was removed during the migration from our previous system to aMember Pro, a paper invoice was mailed to the billing address on file for that property.
- Your NDHA Fee is due 29 June each calendar year.
- If you have any issues logging in, or have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us by emailing: NDHAmembership@ndha.ca
24) Fences – what are the rules?
- Note: If you are not familiar with land and/or real estate law, we suggest you get legal advice and help when dealing with your property, the registered instruments on title and any changes to the building or land that you intend to carry out. The following information does not represent legal advice but is general information only, for our members:
- Homeowners must do their due diligence and research what is allowed under the City’s bylaws, and more significantly, what is allowed as it pertains to any restrictive covenants, easements or other instruments registered against your property title. Work done without this research could result in a legal challenge, fines and/or removal of your installation. It is YOU, not your contractor, who will ultimately be held responsible.
- All homes in Discovery Ridge were built under a specific set of Architectural Guidelines set out by the developer. These guidelines were meant to guarantee a specific quality standard and “look” for the community when it was being built, and to ensure a beautiful living environment and long-term property value. It is why most of us bought here. Homeowners in condo associations will have specific condo association bylaws to follow that may be additional to what non-condo owners must adhere to.
- It is important to note that the developer in Discovery Ridge registered a Restrictive Covenant specific to fencing on the title of virtually all properties in the community. Rules are extremely strict, are additional to city bylaws and are enforceable through the courts. Avoid expensive mistakes – be sure you are following ALL the rules that apply to your property. Property Titles and details of all Instruments registered against it can be provided for a fee at a local Registries office or on the Alberta Land Titles “Spin2” website.
- Generally, these Restrictive Covenants require property owners to maintain the same style and height of the original fence that the developer built. If you have a 4-foot black chain link fence, you can only replace it with a 4-foot black chain link fence. If you have a masonry fence, you can only replace it with the same height, color, and style of the original masonry fence.
- Constructing a fence inside your fence is highly discouraged. It disrupts the intended landscape continuity and views in the community and especially for your neighbors. Additionally, if your fence not of the type required by your Restrictive Covenant, you may open yourself to a legal challenge at any time from the multiple property owners also listed on your Restrictive Covenant.
- Property owners are responsible for all maintenance and upkeep of the fences that border their property, no matter what style. This includes both sides of the fence where it is not shared with a neighbor.
25) What is a Utility/Road Right-of-Way (ROW)? Where is it Located on my Property?
- The City of Calgary is responsible for managing access to municipal rights-of-way in Calgary. When utility work is required in a community, crews can apply for the permits required to access the right-of-way to install infrastructure, both above and below ground. All properties contain a road right-of-way, but only some properties have a utility right-of-way on them. Call 311 for any enquiries about a ROW. Use this link for the most up-to-date ROW information: https://www.calgary.ca/cs/iis/right-of-way.html
- To look up where the right-of-way is located on your property, use The City of Calgary’s myProperty map link: https://maps.calgary.ca/myProperty/
- White dotted lines indicate a utility right-of-way on your property. If you only see a light grey line, there is a road right-of-way, but no utility right-of-way.
- As a homeowner, you are responsible to maintain this space. Here are some important things to keep in mind:
- Trees are not permitted to be planted in a utility right-of-way, but flowers or shrubs can be planted at the discretion of the homeowner. It is important to note that while the City or utility provider is responsible for restoring any lawn damage caused by construction, they are not responsible for replacing flowers or shrubs that have been planted in a utility right-of-way.
- Before digging holes anywhere in your yard (for fences, plants, or trees), please contact Alberta One-Call to mark the location of shallow utilities.
- As the homeowner, make sure any work being done does not go against the requirements and restrictions that are registered against the property.
26) Recreation Vehicle (RV)/Trailer Parking – What are the Rules?
- General Information:
- Parking a utility trailer or RV of any kind on or around your property is subject to The City of Calgary bylaws and Parking Authority rules.
- Detached trailers cannot be parked on city streets at any time.
- RV’s and attached trailers can be parked on the street immediately adjacent to your home for maximum of 36 hours. It cannot return to that location within 48 hours thereafter.
- It is illegal to park your RV anywhere in the community other than adjacent to your property.
- RV’s, boats, and trailers can be parked in a private front driveway for maximum 36 hours. Parked RV’s, boats and trailers cannot protrude over a sidewalk or roadway, obstruct access to a neighbor’s driveway or garage, or block the view of intersections, crosswalks, playgrounds, or signs.
- Complaints for infractions on private property can be made to 311.
- Complaints for infractions on public property (on the street) can be made to the Calgary Parking Authority.
- Parking a utility trailer or RV of any kind on or around your property is subject to The City of Calgary bylaws and Parking Authority rules.
27) How can I help the NDHA?
The NDHA is currently managed by community volunteers. The work of these volunteers, your neighbours, saves the association more than $100,000 per year – money that would otherwise be paid to a professional management company. That’s the equivalent of NDHA fees for 325+ homes! These savings are why we can take on the landscape project work unique to Discovery Ridge; upgrades and maintenance that have made our community one of the most striking in the city.
Your help is needed. If you would like to volunteer or have comments or questions, call, email, or write to us at email@example.com.