The early settlers of our community of Arden on the Severn came together in the creation of the Arden Civic Association (now Arden Community Association), and thankfully had the insight to take action to secure the future of our precious private beach properties. As a result of their actions, we continue to enjoy this treasure in our special place of a community decades later and we plan to secure this amenity for decades to come through the continued dedicated group of volunteers devoted to this mission.
hOW we BEGAN
Originally, Arden beaches, boat ramps, and docks did not belong to Arden on the Severn but rather owned and operated by a profit-driven corporation known as Beach Shores, Inc./Sunrise Beach, Inc. and a mandatory $22 annual lot assessment is imposed on all Sunrise Beach lot owners through deeded-covenant. Due to inflation and other demands on that corporation's time, beach management and property security had been seriously degrading over several years. Specifically, the following problems areas prompted further action:
Lack of enforcement of existing beach rules.
Lack of control of those using the facilities, particularly in regard to non lot owners. This problem exists not only during the day but even more severely at night.
Unnecessary traffic (frequently reckless) through the community by non lot owners to use these facilities.
The poor physical condition of the access steps at Beach 5, Beach 2, and the Boat Park in Section 2. Repairs of these steps had been promised for years to no avail.
The poor physical condition of the piers.
The poor physical condition of the boat ramps.
Lack of erosion correction and control at Beaches 2 and 4.
Because of these concerns, a Beach Buying Committee was created by the Arden Civic Association (ACA), now known as the Arden Community Association, with the goal of purchasing the organization and its beach and park properties and facilities, while establishing a community based and operated non-profit maintenance corporation that would stand completely separate from the ACA or any other community organization. It would be influenced by those property owners pledged funds to initiate the purchase. In return, those who pledged would be granted shares in the corporation with voting power in recognition of their support.
In January of 1973, the ACA Beach Buying Committee began approaching owners of Beach Shores, Inc./Sunrise Beach, Inc. about the possibility of selling the corporation to the community. The Beach Buying Committee members included: Chairman, Clete Schreffler; Dick Russell; Howard Stanley; Jerry Tolodzieki; Larry Vogel; Earl Parsons, and Don Yeskey. The Committee determined advantages of the community owning these beach properties as follows:
Community can determine priorities and assign action to be taken.
Community can direct controls on non lot owners and enforcement of beach rules.
Timely maintenance could be realized by ownership commitment.
Enforcing the non-owner restrictions would minimize or eliminate the unnecessary "reckless" traffic.
Increase the longevity of beach properties by eliminating the profit margin required with outside ownership.
On the flip-side, disadvantages were also recognized as follows:
A lot of hard work for volunteers.
Lack of participation or cooperation can make things more difficult for others.
The possibility of inter-community factions trying to gain control.
The potential desire to be over-zealous and too strict with rules and enforcement.
Lack of capable, willing leadership necessary for such an undertaking.
It was determined that the advantages out-weighed the disadvantages, and in June of 1973, a firm offer to sell was made by Mr. Charles Atas of Beach Shores, Inc./Sunrise Beach, Inc. The original asking price for this purchase was $130,000. The ACA Beach Buying Committee in turn made recommendations to the ACA membership to appoint a fact-finding committee to conduct legal, financial, and management, investigations and develop recommendations and proposals from that investigation, and ultimately implement or dissolve the purchase of the organization and its beaches/parks according to the response of the community. In May 1974, the ACA Beach Buying Committee completed its legal, financial, and management investigations and presented its recommendations and proposal to the community. Response by the community was in favor of purchasing Beach Shores, Inc./Sunrise Beach, Inc. The ACA Beach Buying Committee then proceeded with plans to solicit funds from lot owners in Arden and begin negotiations with Beach Shores, Inc./Sunrise Beach, Inc. Some of the volunteer solicitors that went door-to-door throughout Arden included: Charlie Riley; Joseph Buckholtz; Dave Hulteng; Ron Martin; John Bauman; William Gardner; Reginald Hartman; Richard Cline; and James Rainwater.
Against the initial purchase price of $130,000 the ACA Beach Buying Committee conducted its feasibility studies, presented results to property owners and initiated a share purchasing program. After negotiations with Beach Shores, Inc./Sunrise Beach, Inc., a realistic and workable arrangement was reached. A purchase price of $60,000 was agreed upon for the purchase of the organization and all beach and associated park properties, along with the deeded right to the collection of the $22 annual assessment. The effective date of sale was December 31, 1975.
On April 19, 1976 with the overwhelming approval of those "Ardenites" attending the ACA meeting, the ACA Beach Buying Committee proceeded with the process of purchasing the organization and associated beaches and recreational areas previously identified. Through the tireless efforts of the ACA Beach Buying Committee and property owner pledges and donations, Arden Beaches, Inc. (ABI) was created and the beach/park properties were purchased effective January 1, 1976 with a settlement date of April 29, 1976. The interim appointed Board of Directors began working on getting the corporation up and running, opening the beaches for the season, and attending to some much needed repairs to the properties. The first official meeting of the ABI Board and shareholders was held on August 9, 1976 at 8pm at the Odenton Volunteer Fire Department on Rt. 175, Odenton. Shareholders were encouraged to attend as some important items were on the agenda to include adoption of the Corporate Constitution and By-Laws, and election of the Corporate Directors. The first Board of Directors included: Don Yeskey, Chairman; Howard Stanley, Vice Chairman; Archie Davis, Treasurer; MaryAnn Brumbelow, Secretary; Joe Serio; Harry Yost; Lynn Whitall; Dick Francis; John Bauman; Rich Cline; and Don Haines (ACA Rep).
The deed-mandated annual lot assessment contract makes all lot owners "members" of ABI through payment of such fees. Membership, however, does not mean shareholder. In order to serve on the Board of Directors or vote on ABI business, you must be a shareholder and current in payment of mandatory annual lot assessments. Become a SHAREHOLDER and participate in ABI business.