Minutes of February 26, 2013 Board Meeting,

8:00 p.m. at the home of Trang Tran


Board Members Present: Glenn Cunningham, Chari Gilmore, <redacted> (arrived late), Karen Levin, and Trang Tran

Homeowner Attendees:  Joe and Ann Bergen

·         Trang wanted to clarify for the record that despite the fact that she is a lawyer by trade, she does not act in any legal capacity for the Board or Starlight Mesa Homeowner’s Association.  The Board readily agreed with her statement.

·         The Board addressed a response letter from the Bergen’s legal representative requesting 1) the Board withdraw its letter of November 13, 2012 demanding the movement of the Bergen’s fence on the North exposure, adjacent to the pool path, to a location “no more than half-way between the original fence line and [the] back property line” and 2) requesting the Bergens be allowed to landscape and maintain what is claimed to be a small portion of SMHOA property located between the pool path and the Bergen’s fence line. 

There was much debate over the issue including claims of imprecise language and varying interpretations in the original fence request and Board approval; and the extent of the Board’s knowledge of all rules and regulations outlined in the Sterling Act for HOA management. 

Ultimately, a motion to dismiss the Board’s demand to move the fence was approved in a vote of 3-2 (3 approved, 2 abstained).  The issue of the Bergen’s request to landscape and maintain SMHOA common property in return for waiving a claimed encroachment of the pool pathway on Bergen property was not voted on as the Board requires further investigation, a site visit, and outside legal counsel in order to render a decision and gather info to put into a formal response.  The Board advised the Bergens they would contact them for a mutually agreed date for a site visit and would endeavor to gather the needed facts to address the request at the March meeting.    The Board decided to seek legal advice regarding this proposal.

Furthermore, the Board agreed to draw up more detailed guidelines for the submission and approval of exterior changes to homes and properties that will hopefully help avoid such confusion and issues in the future.

·         Glenn Cunningham reviewed nearly nine years (2/9/04 to 1/31/13) of electronically archived SMHOA Board of Governors and Annual Meeting minutes to determine whether there were any patterns to decisions regarding fences that could be interpreted as a de facto fence policy for the Mesa.  He determined none of the few fence references in the minutes seem to establish a trend or policy.  The Board unanimously voted the Mesa does not have a de facto fence policy.

·         The Board received notice from a homeowner on February 6, 2013 regarding a letter from The Gas Company that was sent to some neighbors advising them of the proposed installation of a 26 foot concrete pole across from 185 Starlight Crest Drive to support a network of smart gas meters.  The Board worked with the City of La Canada to determine the Gas Company has the right to install such a pole on any public rightaway land which is measured 30’ from the center of the street.  The Board agreed to attempt to influence the Gas Company on a least objectionable location for the pole.  Chari was tasked with reaching out to a Gas Company contact to set up a meeting.

·        Finance Report

·         <redacted> is scheduled to meeting with Cardinal Management on Thursday, February 28 to finalize the 2011 audit.

·         <redacted> once again advised Cardinal to add Glenn and Karen to their monthly distribution of the financial report.  Copies were emailed to Glenn and Karen during the Board meeting so they could review the January financials.

·        Maintenance

·      The “putting green” park behind the houses on Starlight Crest Drive is once again open to people and pets.  The sod has taken root, been fertilized and the new grass looks great!

·       As outlined in the 2012 hillside planted proposal, the planting has been completed on the hill above the pool and tennis court.  In addition, mulch has been added to that hillside, as well as the one behind the houses on the west side of Starlane.  Further mulching installation and maintenance is TBD based on the availability of budgeted funds.

·         Additional activity in February includes:

·        Watering status: Only two zones are active in the Putting Green; all others are disabled.  Watering scheduled will be reduced to three days in March now that the grass is established

·         Tree trimming around the Children’s Playground and along Starlight Crest from JPL gate and down along Starlight Mesa Lane will finish in February.

·         Crape Myrtles around Playground trimmed

·         Removed a dead acacia plant on the hillside across from 253 Starlane.

·         Plans for March

·         Inspect the culvert system for possible necessary maintenance

·        Install tennis court backboard

·         Inspect pool furniture to determine if repairs are necessary

·         Trim oleanders along Starlane, along pool walkway and at top of stairway

·        Resident Concerns

·         A resident raised concerns about mulching the branches from the pine tree trimming due to the reported flammability of the pine needles.  Karen Levin volunteered to investigate the issue.

·         Mesa Business Between the January and February Meetings

·         Mesa Crest Water granted SMHOA approval not to reduce its water consumption during the Feb 21-28 issue for reduction because of the need to water the new park sod daily.

·         Next Meeting:  March meeting will be held on Thursday, March 21 at 8pm at the home of Karen Levin.

Chari Gilmore:  SMHOA, Secretary