Sunday, November 2, 2008

End of the Year Association Update

I hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful summer around our lakes.

Thanks to you, LAHA has had a terrific resurgence this year with
nearly 80 members, a successful social event at Bayside in August, and
considerable progress with a Walled Lake volunteer group on addressing
that lake's growing invasive weed problem. Please check out our
website,, for the latest updates on how that
iniative is progressing.

For a quick start to 2009, we will have our first association meeting
in January to begin mapping out our calendar for the year. Among the
items we will be addressing: illegal mooring, 2 social events during
the season (vs. 1 this year), and ideas for an even more successful
membership drive for 2010. Please let us know now if you have any
interest in assisting with any of those upcoming initiatives.

In the meantime, enjoy the holidays and keep your emails, comments,
photos and ideas coming. We will send you an email in early January
with meeting details.

Best wishes,
Greg Iszler
LAHA President

Petition Drive Update

Thank you to all who helped make the petition drive such a success. After many hours (and weekends) of volunteer work in the last 60 days, signed petitions were presented to the Walled Lake and Novi City Councils the week of October 20th. We were able to capture signatures from more than 55% of lakefront property owners in both Walled Lake and Novi (exceeding the 51% requested). The City Attorney of Novi (a shared resource with Walled Lake) is currently validating the signatures in preparation for the cities' passage of the Lake Improvement Board resolution. Within the next few weeks, a meeting of the cities, representatives from LAHA (Dave Hultgren and Greg Iszler), and representatives from Oakland County will be held to review details of the Lake Improvement Board process. According to Cindy Uglow, Novi Community Coordinator, this is the first step prior to official City Council review in an upcoming council meeting. Letters were sent out to council members and city officials in Novi and Walled Lake last week. We will continue to press the cities to keep this initiative moving forward toward resolution prior to the end of this year. Once again, we couldn't have accomplished this without the help of a number of energized association members. You should feel very proud of the results we have so far achieved. We will keep you posted on the progress.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Volunteers Hit the Streets to Gather Signatures

Over the next few weeks, a number of volunteers will be going out to property owners with deeded access to Walled Lake to gather signatures for the Lake Board petition. Nearly 30 volunteers came out this evening at Bayside to help move this initiative forward.

We are eager to achieve our 51% goal for each city council as quickly as possible to maximize the chance that we could begin addressing the weed problem already next spring.

As you meet with the volunteers or pick up the information left at your door, please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions or clarification you may need. Refer back to this website frequently for the latest information on the petition drive.

If you'd like, feel free to sign and complete the petition on your own HERE. Simply drop it in the mail (LAHA, P.O. Box 12, Walled Lake, MI 48390) or call 313-303-8669 to have it picked up. We will contact your neighborhood captain and let them know that you have already contributed.

Thank you in advance for your support during this important effort.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Call For Petition Drive Volunteers

We are calling for all interested volunteers to join us this coming Tuesday, August 26th at 7:30pm in the back room at Bayside to kick off our Lake Board petition drive.The City Councils of Novi and Walled Lake have approved the petition drafts that we submitted, and have cleared the way for the gathering of signatures. At the meeting, we will be passing out petition forms, mapping volunteer areas, and handing out FAQ sheets and a copy of the final resolution.

We will also be answering any questions you may have (or think you may receive) as we make the push for signatures. We have 300-400 signatures needed so the more volunteers that show up, the easier each of our assignments will be. Thank you in advance for your valuable time and support on this effort.

Please RSVP to .

Friday, August 22, 2008

Successful Bayside Party - Membership Grows Past 75

Thank you to everyone who helped make the LAHA Meet and Greet on Wednesday evening, August 20th, such a huge success. Nearly 60 people came out to Bayside (including several by boat) for a wonderful evening on the deck overlooking Walled Lake. In addition, membership has gone from 46 or so last month to 76 today. We are looking forward to more exciting events later this year for our growing family of members.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Lake Board Letter to Walled Lake Mayor William Roberts

Monday, August 18, 2008
To: William Roberts
Subject: Walled Lake Petition Drive

Thank you for hearing the request of the Lakes Area Homeowners Association at the last City Council meeting. We greatly appreciate the Council's consideration and support regarding the health and vitality of Walled Lake.

Based on the Council's encouragement at the meeting, we will proceed with the petition for resolution, as submitted, and begin collecting signatures of Walled Lake residents with lakefront property and those with backlot deeded access on Walled Lake to achieve the 51% approval that the Council required to approve a Lake Board. In parallel, we will be gathering signatures in Novi to meet that City Council’s requirements for Lake Board resolution. (Last week, we presented to the Novi City Council and were given the go-ahead on the petition - also as submitted - by Clay Pearson on Thursday.) If you have any questions or require any further details as we embark on this process, please contact me directly at 313-303-8669 or via this email address.

Together with the City of Walled Lake, we look forward to doing whatever we can to protect the appeal and value of this very special regional asset.

Greg Iszler
LAHA President

Lake Board Letter to Novi Mayor David Landry

Monday, August 18, 2008
To: Landry, David
Subject: Walled Lake Petition Drive

Thank you for hearing the request of the Lakes Area Homeowners Association at last week's City Council meeting. We greatly appreciate the Council's consideration and support regarding the health and vitality, in this particular case, of Walled Lake.

Based on my conversation with Clay Pearson, we will proceed with the petition for resolution, as submitted, and begin collecting signatures of Novi lakefront homeowners on Walled Lake to achieve the 51% approval that the Council required to approve a Lake Board. In parallel, we will be gathering signatures in Walled Lake to meet that City Council's requirements for Lake Board resolution. If you have any questions or require any further details as we embark on this process, please contact me directly at 313-303-8669 or via this email address.

Importantly, I also wanted to re-emphasize our association's commitment to both Walled Lake and Shawood Lake. The consultants that our volunteers contacted strongly recommended that the lake issues for Walled Lake and Shawood Lake be handled independently for three primary reasons: the dual-city involvement for Walled Lake, the different life stage for each lake, and the unique bio-environments (and treatment approach) for each lake. As I mentioned in the City Council meeting (and as we have reinforced in both our association meetings and on our website), we are eager to assist Shawood Lake in exploring similar remedies, if needed. The timing difference has simply been the result of active volunteerism. LAHA enjoys a particularly active volunteer group of 8-12 Walled Lake residents who have invested considerable time and resources pushing this initiative forward. We continue to encourage such participation from Shawood Lake residents but unfortunately have received little membership interest or volunteer participation from that area of late. We hope that the interest expressed during the City Council meeting suggests more active involvement ahead. All LAHA officers are eager to provide them the same guidance and support as we have with Walled Lake's group of volunteers.

With the City of Novi, we look forward to doing whatever we can to protect the appeal and value of these very special lake environments.

Greg Iszler
LAHA President

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Lake Board Petition Presented to the Novi and Walled Lake City Councils

On Monday, August 4 at the Walled Lake City Council meeting and on Monday, August 11 at the Novi City Council meeting, LAHA representatives submitted petition drafts for the establishment of a Lake Board for Walled Lake. Both Councils encouraged LAHA to proceed with the petitions, as presented. (Copies of the petitions and a draft of the Resolution may be found in the "Find a Particular Subject" section links at the top left of the association website.)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Social Event On Wednesday, August 20th at Bayside

Bayside was kind enough to offer up their waterfront deck for a private LAHA party. (The association is picking up the appetizers.)

Walk, drive, or boat in to Bayside Sports Bar and Grille on Wednesday, August 20, for a casual "Meet and Greet" with your fellow members and lakefront neighbors.

Members (who RSVP before Wednesday, August 13) will enjoy free appetizers lakeside (a cash bar will also be available). Lakefront neighbors who are not members (and members unable to RSVP by August 13th) will be admitted for $10 each. Or consider joining LAHA today for $25 and every adult member of your household gets in free (see the link on the left side of the website for information on how to join).

Based on those who expressed interest in the event at the last quarterly meeting, we expect a good turnout, so please call/email your RSVP in early. The event is less than 2 weeks away from the date of this posting.

And, as we continue to try to build up our incomplete database of email addresses, please actively pass the word along to your friends and neighbors on the lake. We would love to have them there. Refer them to the website for all the details.

DATE: Wednesday, August 20, 2008
TIME: 7pm – 9pm
LOCATION: Bayside Sports Grille, on the deck, 142 E. Walled Lake Dr., Walled Lake, MI

RSVP BY AUGUST 13th: Beth Adams, LAHA Secretary, 248-926-8990 or

We look forward to seeing many of you on Wednesday the 20th.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

LAHA Membership Eclipses 50

On the heels of last week's Quarterly Association meeting, we are proud to report the addition of more than a dozen new members, taking us to 52 total members so far this year. We greatly appreciate the rapidly growing interest and support from lakes area residents, and look forward to substantially more participation in the coming months. The stronger we are as an association, the more we will be able to accomplish together. With 1200 possible members, we can easily become the largest homeowners' association in Oakland County, and one of the largest in Michigan. Thank you again for your continued support.

Weed Remediation Update

The LAHA Legislative Committee has been looking into the lake situation.

  • Currently talking with a consulting and engineering company that specializes in these kind of projects
  • Second opinion will also be gathered in the next 4-6 weeks

Consultant recommended that the Walled Lake and Shawood Lake initiatives be put on separate but equal paths:

  • Walled Lake and Shawood Lake are different bio-scapes: Different stages in their lives, different aquatic plants, different treatments, one city
  • No current volunteers from Shawood Lake for the Legislative Committee or to drive the weed remediation initiative
  • Member residents of Shawood encouraged to volunteer for the committee
  • Volunteers solicited during meeting (no representatives have yet stepped forward)
  • Board reached out to attendees with connections to Shawood Lake residents to encourage more participation
  • LAHA Board desires to get Shawood Lake momentum going as soon as possible, in parallel with the Walled Lake push

Weed Remediation Options for Walled Lake:

  • Environmentally-approved chemical treatment option being reviewed
  • Consists of 3 components: Conditions study, initial treatment, and subsequent annual treatments
  • Cost: approximately $14,000 for the study, $68,000 for Year 1, $23,000 for subsequent years
  • Weed harvesting explored: Annual cost is similar to annual treatment above, the invasive weed in Walled Lake (milfoil) is reported to reseed aggressively when harvested (committee volunteers to confirm this report)
  • Seeding the lake with weed-eating insects suggested as another possible option (committee volunteers to research and report back)
  • Novi weed pick-up: Novi elected to privatize all city services (that’s why there is no garbage pickup); to do weed pick up over the long-term would require another city contract (not budgeted) - As a short-term solution, the City of Novi will revisit the investment required to provide such a service

Framing the issue for Walled Lake:

  • No longer a key stormwater basin for Novi: Primary growth in the last two decades for the City of Novi has occurred south of Walled Lake; considerable drainage improvements have been gained from those new developments easing the reliance on some previous stormwater basins (including Walled Lake); the core density for Novi is now south of the Walled Lake area; Meadowbrook and Village Oaks lake deterioration were creating flooding issues in streets and other neighborhoods – infrastructure damage and potential liability that had to be addressed (dredging of those lakes represented the city’s first investment in those lakes in 20 years)
  • Cities do not own the lakes (the State of Michigan is technically responsible but economically unable to address all of the state’s lake maintenance)
  • Events on the lake: Currently funded, primarily, by a private businessman in the city of Walled Lake; represents a considerable marketing expense that elevates the profile of the city and enhances the value of its properties and businesses (Novi's only event is a parks and rec event - the triathalon)
  • There is no legal obligation for cities to maintain the lake
  • There is no budget available (especially now as city revenues are under even more pressure)
  • Even if LAHA was able to privately finance the treatment, we have no legal grounds to treat the lake

Lake Board again under consideration – the differences:

  • Narrowly scoped mission - sole focus is on invasive, aquatic plants (not mooring, or access, or geese, etc.)
  • Based on “benefit”, measured in units: lakefront owner, lakefront separated by street, backlot, businesses, municipalities would all be assessed a percentage of a unit based on benefit
  • Two ways to set up: 2/3rds approval of all lakefront and backlot owners or City Council resolution (we will be pursuing the latter)

Legally, the long-term oversight of a Lake Board can not be explicitly limited, HOWEVER:

  • Expansion in this case is highly unlikely given the Board composition of a City of Walled Lake representative, a City of Novi representative, Oakland County representation, and a lake property owner representative – all would have to agree
  • In the consultant’s experience, only two Lake Boards in Michigan expanded their scope - out of more than 100 that have been formed (neither case dealt with the additional complexity of dual-city representation)
  • The Board would need to clear public hearings to proceed with an expansion of powers

Informal conversations in mid-July with city officials

  • Willingness to help in any way they can: information and guidance
  • Willingness to take on their fair share of the burden in a Special Assessment District (TBD by the Lake Board) - Study determines/recommends assessments with city data
  • Willingness to provide their support in setting up the Lake Board upon 51% of lakefront and backlot owners signing a petition resolving to the cities to set up the Lake Board

Estimated cost:

  • Assuming 500 homes (conservative)
  • $200 for the first year and study (approximately $17/month during the first year)
  • $100 for subsequent years (approximately $8/month)
  • Actual recommendations on assessments will be determined during the upfront study


  • Petitions submitted for approval
  • Petition drive
  • City Councils pass resolutions to form the Lake Board
  • Lake Board begins to meet; selects an Engineering Firm to conduct the study
  • Testing begins (by September)
  • Study completed (this fall and winter)
  • Assessments determined
  • First treatments begin (Spring ’09 - best case scenario)

LAHA Review of Petition Resolution for the City Councils of Walled Lake and Novi

  • Draft petition resolution shared with attending LAHA members at meeting on July 22nd
  • 95% of attending members voted in support of the Petition resolution
  • Petition resolution to be presented to each City Council during early August City Council meetings

Questions and Further Discussion

  • LAHA is eager to provide as much transparency throughout this process as possible
  • Please forward any questions or concerns to the LAHA officers at the email addresses provided at
  • Use the website to initiate additional conversation among members

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Minutes from the July 22nd Quarterly Association Meeting

LAHA Quarterly Association Meeting
7pm, Tuesday, July 22nd - Walled Lake Community Education Center
48 in attendance

1. Announcement of 2008 Lakes Area Photo Contest. Best photo judging at the end of the year. Winner receives fame and a free one-year membership to LAHA. Send your photos to
2. Neighborhood garage sale suggested for spring 2009, followed by a cook-out. Advertising to be paid for by the Association. A donation lot will be set up with the proceeds going to LAHA. There was enough interest from members to continue researching and flushing out the details.
3. Weed remediation update (See specific blog posting above, dated Wednesday, July 30th)
4. Additional lakes area concerns included illegal boat mooring and individuals renting boat slips. These concerns will be added to the agenda for the next meeting and will be addressed/pursued separately
5. Due to changing the Association’s year end to December, dues that are paid now will be paid through December 2009.
6. Additional membership benefits include discounts from Duncan Disposal and T-Mobile if you are a member of the association. Please contact one of the LAHA officers for details.
7. Duncan Disposal: if you do not stay current with your membership they will stop picking up your trash and this is even if you were a Duncan customer prior to joining the Association.
8. As of this meeting, LAHA has 43 paid members.
9. Current bank balance: $1,313.
10. Social Event at Bayside: The Association is organizing a “Meet and Greet” for the membership. The date is Wednesday, August 20, 2008, at 7pm. It will be at the Bayside Sports Grille. The Association will provide hors d’oeuvres and there will be a cash bar. More details to follow via email and the association website.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Membership Dues Special

To help accelerate the association's momentum, we will be extending all $25 annual memberships (including those who previously paid for 2008) through December of 2009. This is a one-time only extension as we aggressively grow our membership and social and community participation. Please plan on adding your support to our new group of officers, volunteers, and members, as well as to the continuing work of our long-time members. To join, please complete the membership form on the website or, for more information, please contact one of the officers (contact information for each is on our home page). We also encourage you to join us on Tuesday, July 22nd for our next Quarterly Association meeting (open to members and non-members) where you can get a better sense for the direction of the current group and the value your $25 annual membership will deliver. We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at one of our upcoming events.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Minutes from the May 6th Quarterly Association Meeting

LAHA Quarterly Meeting
7pm, May 6 at Hickory Woods School
29 in attendance

1. Introduced the new officers to the association.
2. Referenced the phone calling effort taking place to try to capture email addresses for all lakes area residents. Objective: less expensive and more frequent neighborhood communication.
3. Association officers, based on current financials, made the decision to not attend the Water Quality conference. Conference materials will instead be requested and the association will restore plans to attend with the expected improved 2009 financial position.
4. The longer term Water Quality plan is to bolster association membership. Right now, there are fewer than 50 member households out of nearly 1000 possible around Shawood and Walled Lakes. We have the potential to be one of the largest, if not the largest, homeowners associations for either Novi or Walled Lake. At current participation rates, however, we are far from a unified front in front of city government. We will be pushing hard through 2008 to increase member participation (and with it visibility at City Council meetings). With that additional momentum, we will then hone our association messaging for the city governments and leverage our association influence to protect property values and the quality of the lakes and the neighborhoods.
5. Encouraged all attendees to visit the LAHA website frequently ( and utilize the comment opportunities below each article posted, as well as emailing any of the officers with feedback and agenda items for the upcoming association meetings. (As a point of reference, the initial cost to create and host the site was donated.)
6. Upcoming social event discussed. Association is looking at hosting a social event in June/July for current members and prospective members. A social committee was established and updated information will be provided later this month. Members were also encouraged to solicit other ideas for social events for the year via the officers' email addresses listed on the website. Goal for this year is to do 2 association events.
7. Attendees were encouraged to sign up if they were interested in a LAHA-sponsored boating class. Recruiting other interested friends and family was also encouraged to help hit the class size requirement. Jeff Laz will coordinate and provide updated information.
8. The Legislative Committee is meeting regularly and currently researching the possible positions for LAHA when it comes to ongoing lake weed eradication and lake health maintenance. Committee will report back on progress at the next quarterly meeting. Members attending the meeting encouraged the officers and committee to also look into the short-term solutions being utilized by Wolverine Lake as a stop-gap measure. Mark Adams, LAHA member, was in communication with Novi city leaders and received encouragement that curb-side weed pick up would be a reality this summer. Mark to research details further and communicate them to the association as soon as possible.
9. City Council attendee volunteers were identified and Jeff Laz will be putting out an attendance rotation later this month.
10. Treasurer update: $714.96 is the current balance. (newsletter mailings were running in excess of $300 each). It was also discovered that the IRS had the incorrect organization information on file and now requires the organization to file annually. Nancy Galloway is working to correct and address both issues.
11. 2008 Membership update: 14 paid members prior to the meeting; 5 new member sign-ups at the meeting (vs. 50 total members in 2007)
12. Motions were made and voted on to:
- officially change the name of the association to the current Lakes Area Homeowners Association (vs. the out-of-date Lakes Area Residents Association)
- move the organization to a fiscal calendar year for future accounting simplicity
- install Beth Adams to fill the previously vacant Secretary position

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The New LAHA Website

We hope you find the new website enjoyable and informative. In the future, we will use this site to keep all area residents updated on activities of the association and on new community developments or news. Members will also receive quarterly e-mails with additional information and special discounts from local businesses.

This change was triggered by our desire for more frequent communication with you and the ever-escalating costs of postage. In addition, the site has been structured to encourage all of our members to interact and comment on issues important to them and the area. Issues that too often don't have sufficient time to air in quarterly meetings.

Please spend some time familiarizing yourself with the site. Practice making a comment to a recent blog post. Check out the label tags or other valuable site links. Send us an email telling us what you think. Try out the hyperlinks sprinkled throughout. For the more sophisticated, you can even subscribe to an RSS feed which, I think, notifies you when new content is posted (or something like that).

We are also hoping to gather some of the best lake photos you've taken over the years, feature one new one each month on our home page, and post the rest in the "Around the Lake" online gallery (a link is located on the left side of the home page). Simply email your photos to (include a possible caption, names of those pictured and the photographer, and the date of the photo).

If you have any suggestions on the website or what you would like to see featured, let us know. We look forward to your feedback.

*For our members who still wish to receive hard copy communication from us, we will print out and hand-deliver hard copies of the site content upon request.

Introducing Your New LAHA Officers

April's association meeting will be the first for your new LAHA officers. We are all looking forward to serving the association and aggressively building on the strong foundation that Asa Smith and Paul Olsen have built over the years.

Making the association even more valuable and enjoyable for its members is not going to be possible without your support and participation. We have ambitious plans to not only continue the lake advocacy that has been a long-standing tradition for the association but to also help stimulate an even more enjoyable lifestyle around the lake for all of its residents. We will strive to keep you posted on the latest lake activities, host a handful of association gatherings to help you get to know your lake neighbors a little better, and keep pressing on area quality of life issues that are important to us all.

We can't stress enough how important having an active membership is to our area's success. It helps preserve our home and property values, and the lake lifestyle that we value. Beginning with our April meeting, we will be making a significant push to grow the association's membership to more broadly and actively reflect the residents that we are representing. Part of that push has been to add value to the membership itself. When you join with your $25 annual membership fee, you will not only support the association this year, you will also receive some special added benefits that we've detailed in the membership section of this website.

Please pass the word along to all of your neighbors to attend our meeting later this month. We will present to you some of our plans for the year, and use your feedback and suggestions to shape our association priorities.

If you have any questions in the meantime, please don't hesitate to contact any one of us. We are all looking forward to starting off the year on a high note!

Greg Iszler, President
Jeff Laz, Vice President
Nancy Galloway and Judy Rae, Co-Treasurers

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Sharing Novi's Parks and Rec Strategic Plan

The long-term Novi Parks and Rec Strategic Plan Novi Parks and Rec Strategic Plan showcases the importance of parkspace and outdoor amenities like we have in the Lakes Area. The report also reviews the financial and management challenges that the city faces in keeping such spaces maintained. We need to be very vocal to make sure the Lakes Area remains a priority in future budget decisions.

Join the New Lakes Area Citizen's Police Academy

Classes start March 6. The Novi, Walled Lake, Wixom, Wolverine Lake, and South Lyon Police Departments have created the Lakes Area Citizen’s Police Academy. This Academy is a 30 hour block of instruction designed to give the public a working knowledge of the police department’s personnel and policies. It is a series of classes held once a week for three hours. The class is made up of a cross-section of the five communities. Anyone 18 years and over may enroll – the only requirement is that you must live or work in the cities of Novi, Walled Lake, Wixom, South Lyon or the Village of Wolverine Lake. Click here for more information.