Starlight Mesa

Homeowners Association

Board Meeting

4-21-15, 7:30

SP House



Board present – Greg Goeckner (GG), Sylvia Paz (SP), Alex Benderskii (AB)

Board not present – John Andraos (JA), Derrick Pan (DP)

Also present – Glenn Cunningham (GC), Edward Hwu (EH), Albert and Farah Chang (AFC), Regina Hsu (RH), Jim Mulligan (JM), Benjamin Paz (BP)


Renovation Requests


JM request re artificial grass:  JM advised that he has been talking to many companies about samples and prices for artificial grass installation.  The good quality grass is more expensive.  The installation can include sprinkler systems to hose down the area if dogs, etc. use it.  SP noted that she had heard that there is a problem with the heat from artificial grass.  JM agreed that artificial grass does heat up; this is mostly an issue with football fields.  JM only wants to install artificial grass in small areas in the front and side of his house. 


GG reviewed community responses to an e-mail survey about drought resistant planting and artificial grass.  All neighbors who responded were in favor of drought tolerant planting; most were in favor of artificial grass, though some had concerns about appearance, heating and water drainage.  AB advised that his family had installed artificial grass in their backyard (~700 square feet) last fall and had not had issues with it so far.  GG advised that backyard installations were not an HOA issue.  SP asked if the HOA should look into installing artificial grass in all of the parking strips?  GC responded that the city might own those strips but that the HOA maintains them.  JM commented that all parking strips and front yard installations should be consistent in color.  EH asked whether the Board was considering installing artificial grass in the community parks; GG responded that the Board was not considering changing the parks at this time.


The Board unanimously agreed that they were generally in favor of allowing neighbors to install drought tolerant landscaping and noted that the views of the community were moving in favor of artificial grass and that those proposals would be approved on a case-by-case basis.  Artificial grass installations should be consistent colors and quality throughout the neighborhood. 


JM will discuss his proposal with his neighbors.  GC suggested that the Board select a range of acceptable colors for artificial grass installations.  JM suggested that the Board also select several trusted vendors and get them to present samples.  JM does not have a specific timeline for his project.  He will bring in a specific proposal at the next meeting and the Board can use that proposal to start developing an overall policy on artificial grass installations.


Water conservation policies:  GG raised the question about community response to calls to limit our water usage.  SP will talk to Jose Toribio about cutting back on the sprinklers in our parks.  The watering on the hillsides should go down soon in the normal course, after a couple of weeks of watering the new plantings.


Goeckner/Schumacher Driveway and front landscaping renovation:  GG advised that they planned to replace their driveway, which was badly cracked due to a leaking pipe under the driveway.  The replacement will be a concrete driveway similar to the existing driveway, but slightly wider to allow easy access to their garage.  They also plan to replace their front lawn with drought tolerant plants. SP advised that they also plan to replace their lawn.  The Board (GG and SP, respectively, abstaining) approved these proposals.


Chang/Hsu fence move proposals:  FC reviewed their proposal to move the back fence for 239 Starlight Crest into the common maintenance area around the putting green park and provided a written proposal showing the proposed new fence location.  AC noted that their property line goes to the sidewalk, but that they do not want to move their fence back that far.  They would not include the pine trees or the lamppost in the newly fenced in area.


RH reviewed their proposal, which is similar to the Chang proposal.  Their property line is at the picnic table area.  They want to extend their fence almost to the property line. 


GG noted that there was a long history related to this issue in the community.  The Bergen fence move had been quite controversial.  The HOA Boards historically have refused to approve fence moves of this type.  He noted that the Gerbrachts and Kims also had made similar proposals and the Board had declined those requests and had even had to send them cease and desist letters when they started construction without Board approval.  He felt that the issue should be decided at the upcoming community meeting.  GC advised that, for the Bergen fence, the Board had assumed the new fence placement would be where the old fence was and objected when they saw the finished fence.  SP noted that the material used for the Bergens’ fence also was controversial.  GC agreed that it was good to have a detailed proposal for such fence moves, showing the location and materials for the proposed new fence. 


GG advised that the Board planned to circulate discussion papers prior to the CC&R revision meeting, including on the fence move proposals.  The concern on the other side is the impact on the parks and the country club feel of the neighborhood.  He also noted that as new people move into the neighborhood, it would be important to respond to these proposals consistently.  Some residents feel strongly about preserving the parks.


GC commented that the neighborhood has changed since it was built and that people should be able to move their fences to their property lines.  He suggested that the Board survey the community about their views on this and give alternatives.


EH asked about other areas of common maintenance in the community.  GG noted that all front yards and hillsides are common maintenance areas.  The issue has been very controversial for the last several years, especially related to the park adjacent common maintenance areas.  The Board agreed to defer acting on these fence move proposals pending the community meeting.




AB advised that he had purchased 6 new umbrellas for the pool area from Costco at $120 each. SP suggested that neighbors should be encouraged to close up the umbrellas after parties and when they are not in use.  GC said that they should also be encouraged to put away the pool furniture after parties.


SP reported that reaction to the initial dog waste station was very positive.  AB will purchase two more, as a cost of  ~$200 each, for the children’s park and the putting green park; the Board unanimously approved this proposal.


AB reviewed his search for “permanent" trashcans. Costco has heavy-duty plastic trashcans with lids on sale for $30 each.  Metal trashcans are $400 each or more.  He suggested buying eight of the heavy-duty plastic trashcans for the parks.  Around the pool, these can be installed in pairs, with one labeled for “recycling.”  These should keep animals out and stand up to the wind better than the existing plastic trashcans.   The Board unanimously approved $300 total to purchase these new trashcans.


SP reported that Jose Toribio has finished the hillside weeding and planting around the pool/tennis court hillsides for this year.  He will clean up the other side of the hill in May.  He will thin the honeysuckle later. 


SP reported that the fire department said they want us to start the hillside brush clearance project in May this year.  She will find out how extensive the brush clearance requirements are for this year.  GG noted that the JPL/Hahamonga park hillside brush clearance had already been completed – earlier than last year. 


AB reported that there was a leak in the sprinklers in the children’s park.  Someone tampered with the sprinkler control and this flooded the street.  Jose repaired the control.


SP asked about tree trimming.  AB advised that Jose does this once a year; we need to give him directions.  SP will come up with list. 


Treasurer’s Report


In DP’s absence, GG reviewed a written Treasurer’s report from DP:  3/31/15 operating cash balance was $34,172. Pending checks not cleared = $12,582. Resulting available cash balance of $21,591 as of today.  April is 2nd half of collection period; we anticipate ~$19k of dues collections.  With projected expenses, anticipated cash balance at end of April should be ~$40k.  Reserve account is at $52,158.  Delinquencies are still being watched closely.  Annual audit completed; we have a clean audit.




GG reviewed the concerns expressed by HJ Kim about whether the community liability insurance coverage would cover the common maintenance area on his property adjacent to the pool and tennis court park.  The Board unanimously agreed that the community liability insurance should cover any liability claims for injuries to people or damage to property in the common maintenance areas on individual lots related to or arising from the HOA’s maintenance (or failure to properly maintain) those common maintenance areas or from the use of those areas by community members other than the homeowner. 


Moves in and out of the neighborhood:


GG reviewed several changes in the neighborhood.  He will circulate an updated directory.


Neighborhood security – recent burglaries, etc.:


GG noted that there were two recent burglaries in or near the neighborhood.  The neighbors have suggested more security patrols, security cameras, etc.  GC advised that the Board had tried to have neighborhood watch meetings a couple of years ago but could not get enough participation.  AB will look into installing a new neighborhood watch sign at the community entrance.  GC also had a deputy sheriff come to speak at a meeting several years ago; we can contact him for help.  GG advised that a new security camera is being developed that would be activated by motion sensors and would not need external wiring; as soon as these are available, the Board should consider installing them at the entrances to the community and in the common areas.


Final preparations for community meeting re CCRs and Bylaws:


GG reminded the Board and members present that the CC&R revision meeting was scheduled for La Canada Presbyterian Church on May 3 at 3 p.m.  AB will bring water.  SP will bring coffee.


Next meeting

May 27 or 28

7:30 p.m.

SP house