Starlight Mesa Homeowners Association
Board Meeting Minutes
3-25-15, 7:30 p.m.
Present – Greg Goeckner (GG), Alex Benderskii (AB), Derrick Pan (DP)
Not Present – John Andraos (JA), Sylvia Paz (SP)
Also Present – Karen Levin (KL), Edward Hwu (EH), Maggie Lin (ML)
Levin house painting request: KL described their plans to repaint their house. The front is brick and tile. They plan to repaint the sides and rear of the house with a cream color similar to the existing color. They will paint the trim white and the garage door will be the same color as it is currently. The Board unanimously approved the proposal.
Hwu request to rebuild fence: EH described their plans to replace their back fence. They had a proposal from Western Fence to replace the wood fence with a vinyl fence and brought samples of the materials. KL suggested that they consider wood impregnated with glass (TimberSIL), which is fire resistant. EH said they plan to place the new fence in the same location as the existing fence. They have a pool so need a taller fence for safety. GG noted that the community seemed generally critical of vinyl fences. The Bergen/Penner fence is vinyl, as is the gardeners’ shed. KL confirmed that many neighbors had been critical of those fences. GG suggested that EH and ML consider wood, wrought iron or cement block and wrought iron like the original community fences. DP will suggest other sources for conforming fences. The Board approved replacement of the rear fence on the Hwu property provided that it is built in the same location as the existing fence and is made of wood, wrought iron or cement block and wrought iron. EH will advise the Board of their final decision.
Gerbracht and Kim fence issue: GG noted the HOA’s policy on fines, as articulated in the April 2010 Board minutes:
After discussion, the Board concluded that Article X of the CC&Rs required uniform enforcement. It was moved, seconded and approved that a minimum fine of $100 for a minor infraction of Article X, Section 2 of the CC&Rs, and a minimum fine of $300 for a major infraction of said rules, be imposed on Mesa residents. Article X, Section 2 of the CC&Rs requires Board approval for any exterior change to a house. Fines would be imposed when the Board becomes aware of the violation. The Board does not want to function as the Article X police.
The Board does not want to nor does it recommend that future Boards become intruding. It takes note of the history of Article X requests in the Mesa and the rarity for a request not to be approved. The occasional disapproval usually requires only a minor change in the plans to make it acceptable. When significant changes to size and structure are requested, neighboring residents' viewpoints on the project may be solicited by the Board. This is not to imply that neighboring property owners have veto or any other approval authority over the project.
In a related matter, it has been called to the Board’s attention that Michael Davis and Mary Freeman, at 5213 Diamond Point Road, installed solar panels on their roof without requesting Board approval, in accordance with Article X, Section 2 of the Starlight Mesa CC&Rs. Even though this alteration to the exterior of their home occurred several years ago, it came to this Board's attention only recently during the January 2010 Board meeting within a discussion of a different property owner’s application for approval of a renovation project under Article X. The Board discussed the need for equitable treatment of all residents and approved that the Davis' be fined $300.
GG raised the question whether fines should be imposed on the Gerbracht and Kim families as a result of their failure to comply with the Board’s directions by commencing construction on fences in the common maintenance area adjoining the pool area despite the Board’s repeated denial of their requests for approval of those fence proposals. The Board noted that the Gerbrachts and the Kims ceased construction of these fences only after receiving cease and desist letters from the HOA’s counsel. After discussion, the Board determined not to issue fines at this time but reserved the right to do so later based on any further actions in violation of Article X of the CC&Rs.
AB reported that he had installed the trial dog waste station in the pool area. He raised the need to buy new umbrellas for the pool - several were missing or broken. All of the umbrellas are about the same age so it makes sense to replace them all now. We need 7 total at a cost of ~$100/each. DP asked whether it would be worthwhile to get better quality umbrellas that would last longer. GG agreed that all of the umbrellas should be replaced now. The Board approved a budget of up to $1500 to replace all of the umbrellas. AB will make the purchase. AB also reported that Jose Toribio replaced the sprinkler above the path to the pool.
GG summarized a report from SP as follows: SP gave stickers (sent by Waste Management) to Jose and two of the trash bins in the gardener’s shed are ready to be used for green waste. Jose will fertilize front lawns on March 31st. Jose trimmed back the trees over the pool house and palms in the pool area. The hillside project this year around the pool and tennis courts will be twice the size of the area done last year. The area is also much steeper, so plants will need wire mesh to hold them in place. The irrigation system will be completed, finishing the project started years ago; more sprinkler lines are needed because the area is large. So far Jose’s crew has dug out all the pampas grass, sumac, and unwanted weeds, sprayed to kill the rest of the wild grass and completed mulching the area. Oleanders in the area will be kept and he will plant the rest of the hillside area with native plants (with wire mesh). Honeysuckle will be planted in this area; Jose recommends it as not expensive and drought resistant and the fire department and arboretum concur. The Board approved use of honeysuckle for planting in this area and the completion of the hillside planting with native drought-resistant plants.
DP reported that at the end of February the bank balance was $41k, with $25k in outstanding checks, for a net balance of about $16k. March is a collections month and he expects ~$36k in the bank by the end of the month. The reserve account now has $51k and should have ~$62k at the end of the year. One family continues to be several years delinquent in their dues payments (and are subject to foreclosure litigation) and three other families are several months delinquent – reminders have been sent to those families. The annual audit of the HOA’s books needs to be conducted. We will use the same CPA as in the past and the cost will be approximately $1300 again. The Board approved proceeding with the audit.
Scope of HOA Insurance Coverage
The Board discussed the scope of liability insurance coverage provided by the Association and whether it clearly covers incidents on “common maintenance area” land on individual lots. DP has spoken to our insurance broker and will set a call for the Board to discuss the issue with the broker.
Planning for Community Meeting to Review Draft CCRs and Bylaws
The Board agreed to set a target date of May 2 or 3 for the meeting to discuss the proposed revised CC&Rs and Bylaws.
Next Meeting Date
April 21, 2015