Skippers Cove Beach Club, Inc
This information will remain a permanent feature to the website and provides historical detail that you will need during your tenure as a home owner in Skippers Cove.
Many of you are new to Skippers Cove and many of you are new to participating within Skippers Cove Beach Club. All of you see the beauty of Skippers Cove and some contend that their dues money pays for this level of upkeep. Those people are, unfortunately, wrong. Dues would go up at least $30,000 per year if we had to pay for the labor these volunteers do for free.
Let me start by saying that Skipper’s Cove is the ONLY DEED Restricted community in all of Waretown and the surrounding towns. Other sections of town, such as Greenbrier, Holiday Beach and the now defunct Pebble Beach are sections of town that had or still have their own club. However, their club bylaws do not relate in any way to the deed to their home. Greenbrier has the traditional Home Owners Association that charges monthly fees. If Greenbrier were to fail and go chapter 7 then the homeowners title would not be impacted but the homeowners would lose the services that are currently paid through their dues. Their clubhouse could be turned into a condo or health club and there is nothing any home owner over there could do to stop it. Those homes are not deed restricted.
Short History of Skippers Cove:
Skippers Cove was originally farmland. Investors from Suburban Gas Company, along with Senator Anton, saw that the land could be developed into 237 home sites. Approvals were obtained and planning maps were drawn in the late 1950s by Fellows and Reed Civil Engineers. These maps were approved by Township planners in June of 1960 and by the Township in July of 1960.
The name of the community changed several times within the first few years. It was known as Skippers Cove, Inc, Skippers Cove Civic Association, Inc, Skippers Cove Yacht Club, Inc and eventually became the Skippers Cove Beach Club, Inc in 1962.
The early years were full of turmoil. The developers (Bernard (builder) and Escolla sp? (project manager) sold the initial properties using sales pitches that stated the property owners would share ownership rights to the Beach, Beach Club, Marina and other common properties. At some point the developers realized that the Beach consisted of five Bayfront properties that they could develop separately and sell individually so they reneged on their promise to the home site buyers.
A team of home owners consisting of Vic Krygowski, Robert McTaggart, Joe Portale, and Tom Foley organized a legal defense and filed the first of two lawsuits.
Vic Krygowski had acquired a signed sales contract that included the promise of this land to the home buyers. This lawsuit went to court and the developers lost. The beach, club house, common properties and marina site were forever to be a part of the buyer’s property as controlled by the Deed Restrictions. This land was also known as common properties.
Six deed restrictions were agreed to and all further sales had to include them as a part of the title. The 10 homes that had already been sold eagerly had their deeds amended to include the restrictions because it was those restrictions that gave them rights to the common properties. One of the restrictions was ‘mandatory membership in the Skippers Cove Beach Club, Inc. That is the single deed restriction that secures your rights to the common properties.
100% of the 237 homes sold in Skippers Cove has this deed restriction within their current deed or as a part of what they call ‘Chain of Title’
The 2nd lawsuit that was filed years later was filed against the Skippers Cove Beach Club, Inc over the bylaws which stated that the membership dues were mandatory. This lawsuit was filed by 12 individuals and they lost their case in court. Ironically, Vic Krygowski was involved in that suit too. The lawsuit originated over a dispute caused by the then president Marylou Cassell. She hadn’t changed the bylaws. All she did was start enforcing the part related to mandatory dues and she did that to pay for the new roof needed on the clubhouse. It was a brilliant move by Marylou Cassell that has likely saved Skippers Cove
1962: The CLUBHOUSE, although promised to be built by the developers, was not yet built. Since Skippers Cove, Inc lost its lawsuit the developers were unable to sell the five Bayfront lots and were required to preserve that land for home owner’s use. But what about the clubhouse?
The clubhouse was actually built by a group of volunteers. It was just an unlocked, open floored, very small building were people could hang out. There was no bar and a very small kitchen. It had an A-framed roof. My father and other volunteers were the people who physically built the clubhouse
Since it was never locked it was a great place for us ‘kids’ to hang out. But the needs changed over the years and the building was modified several times to meet those needs. Most recently, the Hip-Style roof was added right over the top of the A-Frame (thanks to Marylou’s efforts)
The inaugural organizational meeting of what we now know as the Skippers Cove Beach Club, Inc occurred on July 14, 1962. They created the first bylaws which have since been amended 10 times. The last three amendments (2001, 2005 and 2011) were initiated by me as your president. The 2001 amendment was required by the Department of Community Affairs as a result of an agreement between myself and Helen Marie Jozwiak (resident) over several items identified as non-compliant with State Law. She was right and I worked with the State and the bylaws amendment committee to make those changes. That was my welcome to the SCBC, Inc as president. This started withing two weeks of being elected. Ironically, Vic Krygowski was involved in that as well, as was Rita Sweeney and Karen Bills.
There were ten bylaws amendments over the years. The most notable of them were: 1) protection from any investment group from acquiring the common properties in the event the SCBC, Inc dissolved financially. That amendment required a 2/3 majority. It received 99.3 % majority vote. The membership approved the current ART X known as ‘DISSOLUTION AND LIQUIDATION’. At that time, three investors were trying to force the sale of the common properties. Ironically, all three of them lived in Skippers Cove. Their attempts failed and Skippers Cove was protected.
A part of that amendment, along with the 1968 amendment, resulted in what we now call the ‘CLOSED LOOP: status of Skippers Cove Beach Club, Inc. By closed loop, we mean that the membership (who have owned here for 2 years or longer) would share in the proceeds of any dissolution or liquidation. No outside group, including the general public, charities, township or township affiliates could take any assets or money from the sale of any assets. It would all be divided among the homeowners. This closed loop status was carefully evaluated by the State of NJ on several occasions during my tenure as president including the most recent review requested by the new Mens Club.
Art X of the bylaws is legally protecting the club against reorganizing as a CHARTITY and subsequently applying for a gambling permit. That is an important protection for two reasons. 1) it significantly impacts our Club License to sell alcohol and 2) it protects the membership from losing their ownership rights to outside organizations as was attempted in 1990 by three investors.
It is a one-way street designed for your protection. The membership has the right to avoid large assessments by voting to turn over the common properties to Township. That requires a 2/3 approval by formal vote of the entire membership. But Township does not have the right to take our common properties from us except during a tax sale situation.
You may have noticed that the SCBC, Inc alcohol license (ABC) only allows us to sell alcohol to members and their guests. And it restricts anyone from consuming alcohol brought onto the premises from any source outside of the SCBC, Inc during times when the facility is open. That is because we do not possess a license to sell alcohol. We possess a Club License that comes with certain restrictions and privileges. A current alcohol license would cost well over $500,000 even if one were available.
Our current Club license meets our needs without the expense. Our annual fees are under $300 and that includes State and Township. But we must comply with the restrictions.
Legalized Games of Chance (50/50s, raffles, etc) are forbidden by the State without a permit. Permits are only issued to Corporations formed as Charities. So, the SCBC, Inc does not qualify. Even if we were a Charity then the permit could only be issued on a per-event basis for a fee. That fee gets steep when you consider it must be added into the cost of the event. There was a time when we used to ‘borrow’ the authority from other charities in town and piggy back on their license. The State, however, saw that and put a stop to it.
It is VERY important to realize that the Men’s Club, Skipperettes, and Beachcombers Senior Citizens are all approved affiliates (satellite organizations) that fall under the Skippers Cove Beach Club, Inc and are under the control of the SCBC, Inc. They are not corporations. They have no tax status and file no tax return. Their Profit and Loss is reported as part of an event report to the SCBC, Inc. Their income and expenses are included in the SCBC, Inc income tax return. Some people believe this is new and have complained. They are 100% wrong. I’ve been president for 17 years and we have always done it this way. In fact, our required documentation used to be far sticker under the 1st VP Marian Stillman. You might be interested in viewing an event report from those years.
The most recent bylaws amendment added three homes to the footprint of Skippers Cove to bring the total number of homes to 240. The manner in which that was handled was that you were first polled by survey to see if you were in favor of pursuing a bylaws change. Surprisingly, 100% of you voted to approve and proceed. So, we rewrote the bylaws, read them aloud at three separate General Meetings, conducted a formal vote as per the bylaws, and mailed a copy of the new bylaws to each home. That bylaw amended was approved by 98.7% of the membership. The final step was to obtain written proof that those three homeowners put the six deed restrictions in their deed. All three provided copies of the title which included the restrictions. In short, all 240 homes in Skippers Cove are deed restricted.
This 2011 bylaw amendment also included late fees and penalties for anyone failing to pay their dues. They were approved and almost everyone has been fully compliant.
There are about 12 to 15 homes that have organized and some are trying to go directly to the State claiming they should be given the status of CHARITY so they can apply for a gambling permit. I have spoken to the State in recent weeks and we have corresponded. They are aware that these organizations are not corporations. They are affiliates under the SCBC, Inc
My position is that these groups were approved by the membership to use the facility as an affiliate. The expense and insurance costs are absorbed by the membership as part of the dues for the approved use. If one of these affiliates were to branch off and become a legal Corporation, then their status becomes a self-interest outside group for which they are required to report income to the state and federal as a corporation. They would need their own insurance and would need to rent the facility when their use is pre-approved per event. Damage, legal compliance and wear and tear costs fall upon them just as it would any other renter.
This would require a formal vote of the entire membership resulting, if approved by 2/3 of the entire membership, in a bylaws amendment.
Due to our club license, alcohol sales and the requirement for usage is limited to members and their guests, I will not proceed without 1) your permission to proceed, 2) written notification from the Department of Community Affairs that the status of the SCBC, Inc will not be effected by the elimination of up to two of these affiliates and 3) approval from the ABC. This approval must include written permission to sell alcohol and conduct the ‘approved’ games of chance. If this ever proceeds we will hire the advice of an attorney and proceed carefully. Because of the risk to the membership, I strongly oppose 1) any bylaws change that afects Art X in any way and 2) allowing any of our affiliates to incorporate separately and still use the SCBC, Inc facility as though they remained an affiliate.
A part of this group has now gone directly to the State of NJ Dept of Community Affairs as though they were independent of the SCBC, Inc. This does not really concern me because the State does not get involved with the bylaws. They only apply the law. Bylaw changes start with the Board of Directors and, if approved, go through a very lengthy and costly bylaws amendment process as described within the current bylaws. It is my belief that this group has been rejected by the State so they are now looking at the Beachcombers Senior Affiliate because they are of the belief that the Beachcombers were previously approved for a gambling permit. It is not true but they must first go down that road before they learn. And that is ok. It amazes me that they even think they have some right to the Beachcombers Affiliate status. I wish them good luck.
As you may recall, in 2011, I asked the membership to approve a bylaws change that addressed the Beachcombers as an independent nonprofit affiliate of the SCBC, Inc. Our intent was to get around the CLOSED LOOP status and attempt to show that the Beachcombers shared with Charities and could then apply for a gambling permit. The bylaws were partially written but the State responded that the Beachcombers were not a corporation and would not be granted charity status. Their ruling caused us to cease the Beachcombers bylaws creation.
In a week or so, you will receive an informal survey vote. The results of this vote will direct our actions. If the majority of the membership thinks we should amend the SCBC, Inc bylaws to allow an OPEN LOOP rather than the current CLOSED LOOP, then that is the direction we will take. I always proceed with the wishes of the majority.
It would then go out to a formal vote after the committee has rewritten that part and the BOD has approved the amended wording. The membership would then get the right to vote. If you open the loop than you lose your right granted under the current dissolution and liquidation section. You would also be opening a door that could be exploited by investors. So think about it before you vote. We will proceed in the direction of the wishes of the majority. The survey results will be published.
So now you know what is currently at issue and you will get a chance to express your opinion.
You may also email me directly for a further explanation on any issue.
In summary, unlike the Waretown Fire Co, Waretown First Aid Sq and the WAA, the SCBC. INC is not a charity. We are a not-for-profit corporation. Our CLOSED LOOP bylaws protect us in the event of dissolution or liquidation. Unfortunately, it also prevents us from getting a gambling permit. Our affiliates fall under the same rules. They are not separate in any way. If you vote to modify ART X of our bylaws, then you OPEN the LOOP and lose your asset protection in the event of dissolution or liquidation. I am also very concerned about the ABC laws concerning alcohol and gambling. I am only one vote but I strongly oppose a bylaws amendment. As always, I will do what the majority wants. There is one vote per household in both the survey vote and any potential formal vote that may follow.
So vote with your heart now that you know the facts. This is your beach club.