AOAO Annual Meeting of the Homeowners:
Wednesday, March 4, 2020
Alohilani Hotel, Stingray Room
Registration starts at 5:30 pm
Annual Meeting starts at 6 pm
Upcoming Pest Control:
March 30, 2020)
Building Department Inspection:
Foster Tower passed the Building Department's inspection on 1/11/2020
2020 Bicycle Registrations are due
It’s time to renew your registration for stored bicycles in the 4th floor garage bicycle room. The current fee is $10/bicycle for the calendar year. Thank you!
Upcoming Major Building Projects
SealMasters Hawaii completed its very extensive exterior building survey. A SealMasters foreman visually inspected every single “drop.” (A “drop” is an exterior stack of apartments.) Contractors typically only inspect one or two drops to formulate a budget, but if the chosen drop is not a good representation of the building’s condition, the homeowner association may end up facing very unpleasant surprises – and change orders! -- mid-way through the repairs. We already suspected that there were areas of the building with significant spall damage, so it was important to us to get a clear understanding of the building’s condition. Although, we have not received the comprehensive report from SealMasters, their management has mentioned a number of areas of concern:
The worst problems are attributed to windows and post pockets. Some of the windows show failed caulking, broken hinges, frames that don’t square up, etc. Even more troubling are failing windows that are not original to the building, but were installed later. The windows are appurtenant to each individual unit, and they are the homeowners’ responsibility. Replacing windows is a responsibility and should not be taken lightly. The Board of Directors requires that homeowners ask for permission before replacing windows, which includes securing building permits. When the windows are uniform and comply with building codes, the building’s value is maintained. Conversely, when an assortment of window styles are installed in subpar manner, the building’s value and structural integrity suffer.
Incorrectly installed post pockets pose similar danger: if a homeowner removes a lanai railing and the post pockets are not sealed correctly, the area will take on water, rusting and expanding the rebar in the concrete, which -- in turn -- will force the concrete to break off. Removal of guard rails requires permitting, and permitting provides a “checks-and-balances” system that helps us maintain safety and integrity.
SealMasters also pointed out the large number of window A/C units that were installed improperly, many without being caulked in from the outside. As a result, rain water (and dripping condensation from higher A/Cs) can and has entered the building envelope, damaging the concrete.
Curtains and shades may have to be drawn to ensure privacy of the residents, as crews work from bosun chairs and rigs.
Depending on upcoming consultant surveys, some (or most) windows may have to be replaced, making this project more complicated for our residents.
Unfortunately, these projects cannot be delayed or ignored. Since Foster Tower is a condominium project, not a hotel or resort complex, we do not have the luxury of doing the work in phases and only working on empty floors or wings. Hotels are able to coordinate the work ahead of time and they will not book visitors for the wings that are under construction. We cannot follow their model, so it will be that much more important to plan ahead and factor in the inconvenience.
If you are renting your unit to vacationers, please make sure to pay close attention to future updates. We will announce the schedule of work as soon as a tentative schedule is formulated. We are hoping that our projects will be completed simultaneously with the church renovations next door, to get two noisy and dusty projects out of the way at once.
Once we have a tentative schedule, owners may want to consider notifying their prospective renters about the inconveniences of these projects. There are several things that owners can do to mitigate the circumstances:
Clearly disclosing these upcoming projects will ensure that long-term tenants and vacationers will not be caught off guard.
While no one appreciates noisy and dusty work, visitors often respond positively to incentives, such as discounted rental rates, as long as the issues are clearly disclosed up front. Most visitors are quick to acknowledge that they spend most of their time outdoors, taking in Waikiki’s – and Oahu’s – natural beauty.
Please check with your H06 insurance agent to see if you are adequately insured for lost income, in the event that the unit cannot be rented out at full rates.
You may decide to take advantage of the situation and renovate your own unit at this time. If you are planning renovations, it would be most beneficial to coincide with the downtime presented by the building renovations.
Of course, the AOAO will do everything in its power to contract with experts who will keep the interest of the owners and residents in mind by doing their best to make the process as painless and expeditious as possible. We are keenly aware of the consequences of this work and we ask for your cooperation to make it a win-win situation for everyone.
Individual Surfboard Storage
Residents are welcome to store their surfboards in their parking stalls. This may be the only option currently available to many surfers, since Foster Tower’s House Rules do not allow surfboards in the elevators. There are a few points to keep in mind:
Surf boards must be stored in racks approved by the AOAO. The parking stalls are ‘limited common elements,’ which means that the use of each parking stall is assigned exclusively to one unit for parking their vehicles. It is also implied that others may have to walk through another unit’s stall to get to their stall. For this reason, it is imperative to consider the safety of everyone. We must pay close attention to storing surfboards securely.
We highly recommend tying down all surfboards and paddle boards. We have witnessed several boards sliding off the racks. We have also witnessed a numbers of strange weather phenomena, where bursts of gusty winds would sweep through the garage and driveway. This is a safety issue that must be addressed.
Please make sure that your parking stall is clean, paying particular attention to oil spills. Oil puddles are incredibly dangerous, especially in a garage where others are expected to carry surfboards, making it difficult to retain balance on oily concrete.
The AOAO cannot insure the personal property of others. In the event of damages, it will be imperative for the homeowner to rely on their own automobile insurance and H06 policy to cover both loss to their own vehicles or liability caused by their own unsecured stored items becoming loose.
The hurricane season runs from May 1 through November 30 in Hawaii. There is no better time than now to assess your apartment’s needs.
If you haven’t already done so, it is best to formulate a formal emergency plan.
Stock up on the supplies recommended by agencies such as the Red Cross.
Check with your H06 condo insurance agent to make sure you have adequate coverage in the unlikely event of rainwater entering your unit and damaging your contents.
Make sure that all of your windows close properly and the glazing and caulking are watertight. Although, the original windows are now over 50 years old and most hardware stores no longer stock parts, there are still some vendors around who can make repairs to your existing windows and lanai doors. Robert Mathias has done a lot of work for owners in the building and is very familiar with the window configurations. If you feel that your windows may not be able to protect your unit (and the ones below yours) in the event of major rain storms, contact Robert at 864-2202. The AOAO does not endorse any particular contractor or warrant their work, so homeowners must do their due diligence to find the best contractor and solution for their needs.
It is best to tie down all furniture on your lanai. Recently, we encountered a slew of flying pieces of furniture. We are very fortunate that no one was caught in the path of these items.
Please make sure to follow the building’s announcements in the elevators. In the event of a major storm or hurricane, the building will likely be without power. During the last hurricane, the island of Kauai was without electrical power for 6 weeks. The loss of electricity affects condominiums more than single family homes. We will not have working elevators, and worse, we will not be able to boost cold water to the higher floors and the building will not have hot water at all. The pool would have to be closed off due to inadequate sanitation. Our garage gate and sliding doors would need to remain open 24/7. At times of disasters, individual responsibility and cooperation will be paramount. But let’s hope that the next hurricane season will be uneventful and we will be fortunate enough not to have to test out our resources.
Storage in Parking Stalls
As a friendly reminder, we are asking our residents to only store their bicycles, motorcycles, moped and scooters in their parking stalls. Surfboards, boogie boards and paddle boards should be stored in the racks above the parking stalls. We have also received numerous complaints regarding residents storing their scooters or paddle boards across stalls, encroaching onto their neighbor’s stalls. Please make sure that no stored items go beyond the boundaries of your stall. Overhead surfboards should not reach beyond the stall boundaries, and leashes should be securely tucked in the racks. Dangling leashes are a nuisance to our neighbors. Thank you for your cooperation.
You got mail!
Our USPS delivery person asked us to remind everyone to please check their mail frequently. He is often forced to return mail to the senders, because the boxes are full. Similarly, he noted that parcels are often left unchecked for long periods of time in the parcel lockers. We have only 7 parcel lockers for the entire building, and when a few residents fail to clear the lockers, others’ packages must be taken back to the post office, and those residents must go to the post office in person to retrieve their packages. USPS handles federal mail, so the delivery person cannot leave those packages with our staff. The staff can only accept packages from private carriers (FedEx, UPS, DHL).
In recent Board Meetings, several owners voiced concerns over items stored in individual parking stalls. Foster Tower’s House Rules allow for bicycles, scooters, mopeds and motor cycles to be stored in the stall that belongs to the owner of these vehicles.
Unfortunately, there are a number of stalls that have other items stored, making the garage unsightly to our residents. Also, these stored personal items can become dangerous when airborne by high winds. We are in the middle of what is projected to be an unusually active hurricane season. Consequently, the Board of Directors decided to focus on this issue.
Please remove all items stored in the garage that the House Rules don’t allow for. Our property manager will be back next Wednesday to inspect the common areas. We hope to have no need to issue House Rule Violations when we walk the garage next week. Your cooperation in making Foster Tower the best place to live is always appreciated.