How Neighborhood Associations in NW LA could be MUCH Better (IMHO)

First, I am completely for neighborhoods unifying in order to get a better lease agreement with the O&G companies. But I’ve seen reports of neighborhood associations that were frankly more of a hindrance than a help.

I’ve read about and talked to people in the DFW area about this subject and we here in NW LA could learn a lot from them. Here are a few:

Homeowners need to formally belong to an alliance. – Think of this as a union of sorts. This alliance should negotiate with strength in numbers, but all bids should be presented to the alliance for approval / denial. For example, Twin Cities is now going to homeowners and saying if you get 80% of your neighbors to sign you get $X. Twin Cities should be dealing with the alliance and not the individual homeowner. But until they hear the phrase “I’m a part of my neighborhood alliance, talk to them”, enough times their practices will not change. Most alliances in the Fort Worth area accept membership either through Homeowners Associations or filling out a simple form saying that you belong to the alliance. Note: An alliance membership does not remove the homeowner’s right to sign with any company they chose.

Alliances need to reach across neighborhoods. – It was encouraging to see this start in South Shreveport with the ShreveCentre Coalition, but it could be done in South Bossier, West Shreveport, DeSoto, etc. The obvious advantage is strength in numbers, but also the leveraging of resources. More on this later.

People need to understand that this takes time. – Some of the neighborhood associations in Texas have been negotiating for 6–12 months. And almost universally, the longer the negotiations have taken, the better the outcome. Chesapeake just released 25 million shares of stock to raise money to lease land. They are not leaving town soon nor are their offers good until a certain date. Patience is a virtue.

People need to participate in the process. – This is easily the most important step. Go to meetings. Volunteer. And read everything. The more everyone is informed on the process, the better decisions they will make. I would guess those of you that read this site regularly are among the more educated on this subject. Help out your neighbors.

Alliances should not profit in the process. – I personally would pay a small fee to help defray costs in the process. Before you gasp think of this: There are lawyers (and even CPAs!) negotiating leases for random groups of people and charging them a percentage of their signing bonus. I’ve heard 4-5% in most cases. If you get $10000 in a signing bonus, you’ve just paid this guy $400-500. Wouldn’t you rather get together in an alliance; everyone contributes $20 and hires your own lawyer? Then you get your entire signing bonus.
(Note: Most associations in the area, including the ShreveCentre Coalition, are completely free.)

I hope this mission statement hasn’t turned you off. It’s just something I felt needed to be said. Hopefully more of you out there have good ideas that will help our neighborhood alliances and ultimately all of us.

Here is a link of an alliance's web site that is north of Fort Worth: http://360nw.info
I'd like to see this kind of thing in NW LA!

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Good advice. Thanks!
The ShreveCenter Coalition sounds like more money then I would like to spend. It is $50 to join, then $100 a year for year 2 and year 3 of your lease with a percentage of your sign on bonus. I live around the corner from Azalea Gardens and am trying to form an alliance within my neighborhood. I'm thinking the neighbors could pull together for negotiations then chip in towards an attorney to look at the lease before we sign it. Please let me know if anyone has any ideas or any interest on this.
Jennifer, thanks for that info about the coalition. Where did you get your info from? I've been unable to find anything about them.
You're right about the neighbors pulling together. I've been going to a So. Hills meeting with my parents (south of Crabapple). They're just sorting things out, but it looks like they're going to do just was you mention, that is pool some money, hire an attorney & negotiate. They've formed a steering committee to work on some of these things.
I have about 5-10 neighbors who would be interested in talking with you about this.
ShreveCentre Coalition article from today's paper
Attending Wednesday's meeting were authorized representatives from associations from across east Shreveport, collectively representing thousands of area homeowners and thousands of acres of land. Those 24 associations were made official members of the coalition. Other recognized associations can join the coalition, as well as unofficial groups of Shreveport property owners who are not members of a chartered association.
Elected president of the organization was Jack McLeod, president of Jackson Square Towne House Homes Association and the Southeast Shreveport Homeowners Alliance. Serving as vice president will be Larry Farley, president of the Captain Shreve Neighborhood Association. Delores Hackler, of Town South Neighborhood Association, was voted the group's secretary.
"The purpose of the coalition is to negotiate the best deal possible for the property owners' gas and mineral leases related to the Haynesville Shale," said McLeod. "The coalition will work without any compensation, and there will be no charge to the individual property owner."
ShreveCentre Coalition is being advised by industry experts, who suggest that there is strength in numbers when negotiating for bonus payments, primary and option lease terms, royalty percentages, and other relevant and necessary lease terms.
The group intends to develop and launch a Web site in the next few weeks to provide detailed instructions on how other groups may join the coalition, answer frequently asked questions, and include other resources. The coalition also has a blog on The Times' Web site, shreveporttimes.com, where individual associations can post updates for their members.
"Over the next few weeks, we are advising all landowners throughout Shreveport not to agree to any mineral lease deal, or sign any document presented by an oil and gas production company," said McLeod. "At this point, the experts have convinced us that it is in everyone's best interests to simply wait."
There is absolutely no reason to give a percentage of your sign on bonus to anyone! Surely there are people in your neighborhood with the wherewithall to get things rolling without giving away one red cent. Remember, you will owe taxes. Save every cent you can to defray the cost of paying your taxes. You will owe the 5 per cent and at least another 30-40 percent to Uncle Sam and his cronies. We are an association in the Blanchard area. We WILL not be using an agent. There are enough finance savy people to do the deal!
Jennifer - the ShreveCentre Coalition is free. Here is a recent article from the Times: ShreveCentre Coalition

The organization you are referring to is the Haynesville Shale Landowner’s Association and it does charge a fee.
Their web site: Haynesville Shale Landowner’s Association
Thank you so much. I will look into it.
That's definitely not the ShreveCentre Coalition. They don't charge any fees. But I don't know if that's HSLA - or your facts on the fees might be just slightly off. It's $50 to join, $25 yrs to continue into years 2 & 3. And I think you can opt for either a flat percentage of your bonus or for a percentage of royalty if they bundle you and negotiate a deal on your behalf. I can see it having its advantages, considering what they offer - especially in neighborhoods that don't have organization - or have poor organization, which is just as bad if you ask me. Sometimes you really do get what you pay for, if you insist on finding it for free.
But I can understand not wanting to give up part of your potential windfall, too. It depends on what your situation is, certainly. And some of these attorney groups are in it for the money only. Don't let them tell you there aren't any other options but them. Beware! It's new game for all of us with high stakes and a very fast learning curve. That's why web sites like these are great. Information is truly power.
Nice post. I live in Azalea Gardens subdivision (included in the ShreveCentre Coalition) and I too think that it is a good idea to form the largest groups possible to benefit everyone involved. My only concern is that if I would not have read in the Times about the Coalition, I would have had no idea that it existed or that I was even in a represented area. We have never received anything stating any of the details on who or what the Coalition is fighting for. I have so many questions about it in general. Am I automatically included? How do I join? Do we meet? Are you going to give up a percentage of bonus to be included? etc. If anyone has these answers or knows how to get them, please post. Thanks.
Thad, see my reply to Jennifer. It sounds like your neighborhood is about in the dark as we are, no info being shared by the HOA board. We'd be glad to get together with you, too.
Hello SBossierGuy, I would like to have your permission to read this post word for word at our 1st meeting next week . It is quite difficult to envolve a large number of people in a single goal and be able to expect cohesion. Not only is it important but I feel it is necesary ! Thanks for this thought provoking post !
Are you referring to the first meeting on the So. Shreveport coalition? If so, my HOA wasn't included in the list I saw in the Times. How do I contact this coalition? A small group of my neighbors & I are looking to join with a group. Thanks in advance.

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