requently Asked Questions & answers

There are a number of repeat (or frequently asked) questions of ABI. Below is a list of those questions and answers for your convenience.

Q1:     What authority does ABI have to change the Bylaws?

A1:     ABI is the organization by which the bylaws were established by shareholder vote. The ABI Board of Governors serves as the facilitator of said bylaws and any amendments thereof through shareholder vote. Refer to ARTICLE X – AMENDMENTS for additional information.

Q2:     What authority does ABI have to change the covenant?

A2:     ABI does not have the authority to change the covenant of which they are the successor of.

Q3:     Can ABI raise the deed-mandated lot assessment amount?

A3:     ABI cannot raise the deed-mandated $22/lot assessment outlined in Covenant #5 of the 1950s and subsequent related deeds.

Q4:     Can ABI implement additional fees?

A4:     Yes. ABI (as the owner of the private beach and park properties, and funds collected) has the authority to implement rules and regulations regarding the use and maintenance of said properties. These regulations may include additional fees related to the use of said properties as ABI is required to maintain and operate these properties in a condition that is safe for use. User fees were implemented in 1988 for vehicle and ramp passes and in 2018 for beach passes to supplement inadequate lot assessment funding. Refer to ABI Bylaws, ARTICLE VIII, SECTION 8 which states, "The Board of Governors shall be responsible for the financial management of the Corporation. Services provided by the Corporation shall be funded essentially from the twenty-two ($22.00) dollars annual per lot fee collected from lot owners for each lot owned and established user fees as set forth by the Board and approved by the shareholders. Inflation shall be acknowledged; and, if possible, a reserve fund for the future shall be established and considered by the Board when determining user fees. The right to collect the annual per lot fee is described in the covenant attached to each property deed." 

Additional reference can be found in the ABI RULES & REGULATIONS.

Q5:     How much input will Arden residents have in future increases?

A5:     The need for future increases has not been determined. Any future increases proposed would require a majority shareholder vote approval.

Q6:     Is there a cap for inflation in the future?

A6:     There is no cap for inflation in the future. Any future increases proposed due to inflation would require a majority shareholder vote approval.

Q7:     Can ABI raise the fees whenever they feel the need?

A7:     No. Fee increases must be presented to shareholders for vote.

Q8:     Can ABI spend funds collected from fees however they wish?

A8:     No. ABI prepares an annual budget for presentation to shareholders for approval. By exception, Bylaws permit the ABI Board of Governors to vote for unbudgeted expenditures of up to $3,000 by majority Board vote.

Q9:     Can ABI restrict my use of ABI-owned beach and park properties?

A9:     Yes. In accordance with deed covenant #5, see highlights below:

o   Privileges for use are not assignable, except by written approval of ABI.

o   Owners shall have no rights to dictate or require maintenance of such, or have any rights therein other than the reasonable use thereof, in accordance with rules and regulations of ABI.

o   ABI has the power to deprive any persons, the use of beaches, temporarily or permanently, for infraction of such rules and regulations without impairing the lot owner’s obligation to pay the deed-mandated lot assessment.


1950s COVENANT #5

"5.  All of the residential lots shown upon the sub-division Plat of Sunrise Beach hereinbefore referred to, shall be subject to an annual charge of Twenty Two Dollars ($22.00) per lot, payable on the first day of January of each year hereafter which shall be paid to Grantor, which shall be collection agent for a maintenance corporation to be designated by Grantor, which maintenance corporation shall be the owner of said charge, for the use and maintenance of the beaches shown on said plat of Sunrise Beach, which privileges for use are not assignable except by written approval of the Grantor, its or their successors or assigns. It is expressly agreed that said charge shall constitute a lien or encumbrance on the land with respect to which said charge is made, and by virtue of title to any of the land included in said tract, the owner or owners from the time of acquiring title thereto, shall be held to have covenanted and agreed to pay Grantors, its or their successors or assigns aforesaid, all charged provided for in this paragraph.

The maintenance corporation to be designated b the Grantor shall maintain the beaches in its own discretion, or as it shall by contract with the Grantor herein, and Grantees shall have no rights to dictate or require maintenance of such beaches or have any rights therein other than reasonable use thereof, in accordance with the rules and regulations of such maintenance corporation. Grantees for themselves, their heirs and assigns, covenant to use said beaches only in accordance with the rules and regulations which may from time to time be promulgated with reference thereto, and vests Grantor or the maintenance corporation to be designated by Grantor, its or their successors or assigns, with the power to deprive any persons, including Grantees, members of their families, their heirs and assigns, of the use of such beaches, temporarily or permanently, for infraction of such rules and regulations, without impairing the aforesaid obligation to pay such charges, or the lien therefor."

Q10:  What do I get for paying only the deed-mandated lot assessment?

A10:  By paying the deed-mandated lot assessment each calendar year, the annual obligation is met and respective property lien is avoided.

Q11:  What is the annual access user fee for?

A11:  The access user fee was implemented in 2018 to the already established User Fees implemented by shareholder vote and bylaw amendment in 1988. User Fees supplement the underfunding of the 1950s deed-mandated annual lot assessment for maintenance and operations of Arden’s private beach and park properties. Refer to ABI Bylaws, Article XIII, Section 1 - User Fees which states, "It is recognized that maintenance of and improvements to Corporation property must be funded by revenue exceeding the annual twenty-two ($22.00) dollar per lot basic maintenance fee provided for in the Deeds. Therefore, a mandatory user fee (recognized inflation) and optional amenity fee schedule will be presented to the membership for consideration, revision and approval. Such fees will take effect beginning the year after adoption, and will remain in effect for two (2) years unless otherwise stipulated by shareholder vote. The fee structure will be reviewed each two (2) years and any proposed changes will be presented at the annual membership meeting for review, revision, and approval." 

The annual access user fee funding supports maintenance and operations of ABI beach and park properties through both the operating and capital budgets.

Q12:  If I only pay the deed-mandated lot assessment, can I walk on the beach or piers?

A12:  No. Privileges for use are granted in writing (in the form of beach passes) by ABI in accordance with its rules and regulations. Regulations regarding the issuance of beach passes require payment of the annual access user fee (implemented in 2018 by shareholder vote). Refer to ABI RULES & REGULATIONS for additional information.

Q13:  When I pay the annual deed-mandated lot assessment and the annual access user fee, will I automatically receive beach passes?

A13:  No. Beach and Amenity Passes must be ordered to provide the ABI Registrar with specific beach pass assignment needs (owners/dependents) (non-owners/non-owner dependents), as well as optional amenity needs and related fees. Refer to the ABI Website ORDER MY STUFF.

Q14:  If I don’t use the beach, do I have to pay the annual access user fee?

A14:  No. You are only obligated to pay the deed-mandated annual lot assessments. However, regardless of use of these properties, the benefit of use remains which supports the value of your property. All owners are highly encouraged to invest in these valuable amenities that provide the same benefit to all owners. All lot owners are highly encouraged to support these properties that benefit your own. Your support helps to ensure the preservation of these properties here in Arden for generations.

Q15:  If I don’t pay the annual access user fee, can ABI place a lien on my property?

A15:  No. Only non-payment of the deed-mandated annual lot assessment is subject to property lien.

Q16:  How do I order my beach and amenity passes?

A16:  Beach and Amenity Passes can be ordered online or forms can be downloaded and printed for completion and returned to ABI for processing through the Registrar. Refer to the ABI Website ORDER MY STUFF.

Q17:  Who do I contact if I have a question about fees and/or passes?

A17:  The ABI Registrar will answer questions about fees and/or passes via Registrar Email.

Q18:  How often does ABI meet?

A18:  ABI meets the 2nd Monday of every month. Refer to the ABI Website for meeting dates and virtual meeting link details.

Q19:  What is the best way to express my concerns to ABI?

A19:  There are several ways to express your concerns to ABI.

o   The best way is to attend a monthly meeting and ask your questions during the Q&A portion of the meeting. Your questions will be answered as best on the spot but may need follow-up communication to enable ABI to provide you with accurate and thorough information.

o   ABI Board Section Beach Representatives can be emailed directly through the ABI Website to express your ideas and questions about a specific beach property.

o   Use the CONTACT US form through the ABI website for general questions/concerns regarding rules and regulations, or any other administrative related topics.

Q20:  Am I a member of ABI?

A20:  All ABI fee-paying residents of Arden on the Severn who have the benefit of access to ABI beach and park properties are members of the organization. There are two types of members: 1) Member, and 2) Shareholder Member. Only eligible lot owners by deed are eligible to purchase shares. Non-Owners fall under the general Member status. All members (users of ABI properties) are subject to ABI Bylaws, Rules and Regulations.

Q21:  How do I know if I am a shareholder member?

A21:  The current Shareholder Report by address can be found on the ABI Website. Refer to the ABI Shareholders on the ABI Website for details.

Q22:  What is the benefit of shareholder membership?

A22:  Being a Shareholder Member in Good Standing (current in payment of deed-mandated annual lot assessments) provides the opportunity to volunteer service on the ABI Board of Governors, participate in the ABI annual meeting, and vote on ABI business matters to include bylaw amendments and annual budgets.

Q23:  Did I pay the deed-mandated annual lot assessments and the regulation-required annual access user fee?

A23:  All payments processed are issued a receipt via the email on record with ABI. Be sure ABI has accurate email information. Be sure to accept email from ABI’s Quickbooks platform, as well as all ABI emails with the ardenbeachesinc.com extension. Check your SPAM if you have permitted these emails and are not receiving them. Be sure to identify these emails as NOT SPAM. Check your banking/financial statements for record of payment. If you have done these things and still require assistance, contact the ABI REGISTRAR for confirmation.

Q24:  Can I obtain beach and amenity passes for my adult children who no longer live in Arden but use my address as a primary address for mail and vehicle registration/insurance?

A24:  No. Adult children must be Arden residents. The only exception is for a full-time college student staying on campus and returning home for school breaks.

Q25:  How can I pay ABI invoices?

A25:  Payments can be made using the following methods:

o   Online directly in the Quickbooks email payment link using credit/bank card.

o   Check made out to ABI can be mailed via USPS to PO Box 365, Crownsville, MD 21032

o   Check made out to ABI and dropped off (no stamp required) to the Town Hall Dropbox at 1020 Omar Drive

Q26:  How do I request a replacement beach or amenity pass due to loss or damage?

A26:  Complete the REPLACEMENT PASS form through the ABI Website.

Q27:  My adult child lives with me and will be 22 this year. When would the Non-Owner Beach & Amenity Form be required?

A27:  The Non-Owner Beach & Amenity Form is required for all Non-Owner residents over the age of 21, who turn 22 prior to Memorial Day of the current calendar year. Example: If my child turns age twenty-two (22) Jan 1 to Memorial Day, the Non-Owner Form is required. If my child turns age twenty-two (22) after Memorial Day, the Non-Owner Form is not required.

Q28:  I need to update my contact information. How do I do this?

A28:  Use the CONTACT US form on the ABI Website to provide updated information.

Q29:  I used to be able to log into my account online to pay my invoice and order/pay for beach and amenity passes. Why can’t I do this anymore?

A29:  In 2023, ABI transferred online business platforms for both cost effectiveness, accuracy, and efficiency. The previous wildapricot database platform was costly, extremely limited, and enabled residents to create multiple accounts and pay for orders prior to verification of credentials creating inaccurate data and inefficient processes which caused processing delays and reporting inaccuracies. The new process deployed in 2023 requires payment of mandatory and regulation-required annual fees prior to the ability to order beach and amenity passes. Annual invoices for mandatory and regulation-required annual fees are issued via email on Nov 1st with a due date of Dec 31st. Beach and Amenity Pass invoices are issued as necessary for separate payment based upon orders submitted.

Q30:  I paid my annual fees and ordered/paid for my beach and amenity passes but have not yet received them. How long does it take to expect receipt?

A30:  If you have received/paid an invoice for your beach and amenity pass order, your passes will be mailed to the address on file within three (3) to five (5) days of payment. If you have not received an invoice for your order, your order may have been incomplete (missing required documentation), or inaccurate (documentation does not match the Arden address). Be sure to check your email for a message from the ABI Registrar.

Q31:  My house sits in the middle of two (2) lots, or I have more than one (1) lot associated with my property but the other lot is not buildable. Why am I being charged for more than one (1) lot?

A31:  Deed-Mandated Annual Lot Assessments are billed based upon deed description and SDAT data.

Q32:  I own a primary residence and other property in Arden. Am I charged the regulation-required annual access user fee for vacant and/or unbuildable lots that I own having their own tax account numbers with the State/Anne Arundel County?

A32:  If you own multiple tax account properties that are vacant or unbuildable in Arden and you also own a primary residence in Arden, you will only be charged the regulation-required annual access user fee on your primary residence. The other lots you own will be combined with the annual billing to your primary residence. All deed-mandated lot assessments will be required per lot.