This is a very brief summary of the Ottersen case. See the documents and photos below for more detailed information.

According to Mr Ottersen, Chris Hanson, a Surfside HOA board member, who was also the Chairman and Trustee to the architectural committee, wanted to buy some wood from Mr. Ottersen. Ottersen did not want to sell it to him. Mr. Hanson became angry. Later, when he thought Ottersen was not home, Hanson trespassed on his property and took photos and measurements of a variety of items on Ottersen’s property. Hanson then filed four false complaints about Ottersen’s property. I am not sure how this got past the architectural committee. There seems to be no doubt that Hanson trespassed based on the pictures shown at the Board Meeting.

According to Ottersen, Surfside HOA wrote him several nasty letters threatening to fine him if he did not remove the issues from his property. The complaint claimed that his 17 year old fishing platform was actually a dock, the deer fence around is garden was Hogwire, his greenhouse was over 10′ tall, and his deck was over 30″ tall. Of course all these were false.

Ottersen had learned that Board Member Johansen had spoken up for others who had false complaints filed against them and Johansen had experienced false complaints against himself. Ottersen asked Johansen to view the issues on his property and Board Member Johansen agreed that it did not seem that he had any actual violations. Johansen and others had already discussed some of these issues with an attorney, and at this point that attorney was already familiar with all the governing documents of Surfside. Ottersen is legally blind and hard of hearing, so Johansen helped him communicate with the attorney, and helped Ottersen write an appeal to the Surfside Board.

The Board dismissed the complaints against Ottersen. Ottersen asked the Surfside Board to refund his attorney’s fees and give him a letter stating that his property as it was met the covenants. The Board refused. The Board had also dropped the complaints against Johansen but also refused to reimburse him for his attorney’s fees. Johansen and Ottersen filed a small claims suit against Surfside and won. Surfside paid.

Shortly after, Surfside filed an appeal to the small claims suit and then later filed a lawsuit against Ottersen (and Johansen) again attempting to force Ottersen (and Johansen) to follow the non-existance covenants.

Before going to court, Surfside HOA dropped the appeal and lawsuits leaving Ottersen and Johansen with attorney’s fees just under $5000 for the appeal and just under $5000 for the lawsuit . Ottersen and Johansen again requested the Board to reimburse them for the attorney’s fees. The Board refused. Ottersen and Johansen filed in small claims again, for the attorney’s fees for the appeal. The court again awarded Ottersen and Johansen the fees. Surfside reimbursed Ottersen and Johansen.

Although Ottersen came out of the situation without financial loss, and was required to make no changes to his property, his battle with the HOA lasted for several years and caused him much stress, this damaging his personal life.

I believe this is very unethical behavior by both the Architectural Committee and the Surfside Board.

This is a very brief summary of the Ottersen case. See the documents for more detailed information. My goal is to always be truthful in my reporting, if anyone has proof of anything contrary to the information below, please present it and I will make corrections.

According to Mr Ottersen, Chris Hanson, a Surfside HOA board member, who was also the Chairman and Trustee to the architectural committee, wanted to buy some wood from Mr. Ottersen. Ottersen did not want to sell it to him. Mr. Hanson became angry. Later, when he thought Ottersen was not home, Hanson trespassed on his property and took photos and measurements of a variety of items on Ottersen’s property. Hanson then filed four false complaints about Ottersen’s property. I am not sure how this got past the architectural committee.

According to Ottersen, Surfside HOA wrote him several nasty letters threatening to fine him if he did not remove the issues from his property. The complaint claimed that his 17 year old fishing platform was actually a dock, the deer fence around is garden was Hogwire, his greenhouse was over 10′ tall, and his deck was over 30″ tall. Of course all these were false.

Ottersen had learned that Board Member Johansen had spoken up for others who had false complaints filed against them and Johansen had experienced false complaints against himself. Ottersen asked Johansen to view the issues on his property and Board Member Johansen agreed that it did not seem that he had any actual violations. Johansen and others had already discussed some of these issues with an attorney, and at this point that attorney was already familiar with all the governing documents of Surfside. Ottersen is legally blind and hard of hearing, so Johansen helped him communicate with the attorney, and helped Ottersen write an appeal to the Surfside Board.

The Board dismissed the complaints against Ottersen. Ottersen asked the Surfside Board to refund his attorney’s fees and give him a letter stating that his property as it was met the covenants. The Board refused. The Board had also dropped the complaints against Johansen but also refused to reimburse him for his attorney’s fees. Johansen and Ottersen filed a small claims suit against Surfside and won. Surfside paid.

Shortly after, Surfside filed an appeal to the small claims suit and then later filed a lawsuit against Ottersen (and Johansen) again attempting to force Ottersen (and Johansen) to follow the non-existance covenants.

Before going to court, Surfside HOA dropped the appeal and lawsuits leaving Ottersen and Johansen with attorney’s fees just under $5000 for the appeal and just under $5000 for the lawsuit . Ottersen and Johansen again requested the Board to reimburse them for the attorney’s fees. The Board refused. Ottersen and Johansen filed in small claims again, for the attorney’s fees for the appeal. The court again awarded Ottersen and Johansen the fees. Surfside reimbursed Ottersen and Johansen.

Although Ottersen came out of the situation without financial loss, and was required to make no changes to his property, his battle with the HOA lasted for several years and caused him much stress, this damaging his personal life.

I believe this is very unethical behavior by both the Architectural Committee and the Surfside Board. The Surfside Board members who filed the lawsuit were; Jim Clancy, Scott Winegar, Gary Williams, and Jim Flood. In my opinion, after seeing what these people have done, I would not recommend them for any position where they have authority over others and would not recommend them for re-election to the Surfside HOA board.

Below is a picture of Ottersen’s Deer Fence. This is clearly not Hog Wire, it is standard garden fencing as stated on the package it was purchased in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Definition of hog wire

  1.   barbed wire having 4-pointed barbs and weighing about 400 pounds per mile
  2.   heavy woven fencing with the meshes smaller at the bottom and usually with the bottommost wire barbed

Below is a picture of Otttersen’s fishing platform. Clearly not a dock. Please note the similar fishing platform directly across the lake. There was no complaint filed by Chris Hanson,the Architectural Committee or Surfside HOA against the similar fishing platform across the lake.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below is a picture of Ottersen’s Shed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ottersen built his shed on his deck. According to County Code, decks under 30″ are considered landscaping and do not require a permit. They are like a driveway. The HOA at first claimed that the height of the shed included to the bottom of the landscaping. They later agreed this didn’t make sense.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

115 inches.
10 ft would be 120 inches

The Deck. Due to erosion one section of the edge of the deck had become slightly more than 30″ above the eroded dirt. Most of the deck was less than 6″ above the ground. Ottersen filled the dirt back in but the Architectural Committee lead by Chris Hanson didn’t want to accept that and claimed it was not acceptable because it was filled in after the complaint was filed and insisted that Ottersen had to remove the deck instead of replacing the dirt under the deck. This along with the other complaints and fines were later dropped after attorneys, lawsuits, and threatening letters that lasted for years.

Ottersen complaints dropped the first time. Below is a copy of the email from Surfside to the Ottersens stating that the complaints were dropped after receiving Ottersens appeal letter written with the help of his attorney. After dropping the complaints, they filed the lawsuit against Ottersen.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Corma Ottersen (Ottersen Email Address Blocked Out)
Date: Sun, Sep 10, 2017 at 10:50 AM
Subject: Fwd: Complaint #4637
To: Patrick Johansen <Patrick@pk80.com>

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Laura Frazier <laura@surfsideonline.org>
Date: Fri, Dec 2, 2016 at 2:57 PM
Subject: Complaint #4637
To: (Ottersen Email Address Blocked Out)

Good afternoon,

This complaint has been dismissed and all fines have been removed.

Very truly yours,
Laura Frazier
Business Manager
Surfside Homeowners Association
31402 H Street
Ocean Park, WA 98640
(360) 665-4171
(360) 665-6785 fax
laura@surfsideonline.org
www.surfsideonline.org

Source: https://hoa-review.com/directory-hoa/surfside-hoa-ocean-park-wa/ottersen-case/

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