Starlight Mesa HOA
Present – Greg Goeckner (GG), John Andraos (JA), Derrick Pan (DP), Sylvia Paz (SP), Alex Benderskii (AB)
Also – David Cho (DC), Armond Kotikian (AK), Claus Boettger (CB), Yurie Cho (YC), Kanthi (K), Arthur Amador (AA), Vahe Igidbashian – Rogelio’s Awnings (VI)
1. Maintenance Report
Culvert repair. SP reported that Jose Toribio had fixed the cracked culverts. Some had small areas of erosion under the culvert. GG asked if we need to do any extra work due to the anticipated heavy rains this winter. SP advised that Jose believes the culverts will handle the anticipated rains.
David Cho (outside Mesa) concerns re downhill erosion. DC introduced himself and his neighbors. Their houses are all on Rupert Lane – at the end of the cul-de-sac – below the Mesa’s Lot 93. DC prepared a book of materials to illustrate their concerns about possible hillside erosion impacting their homes. AA lives at 4948 Rupert and has been there for 20 years. He walks the hiking trail at the bottom of Lot 93 regularly. He is concerned because he has seen significant changes on the hillside. There is less vegetation due to the drought and brush clearance efforts. There is also a lot more runoff and erosion into his lot than there used to be. Soil comes into their back yards and into Rupert street. Revlon Avenue also gets soil from the hillside – several blocks away. It looks to him like there has been a change in the stability of the hillside. The grading of the horse trail has been changed; LA County bulldozes the trail and they have changed the way water runs off it. The south side of the hill is the apex of the trail. The trail slopes down east and west. On the west there is a significant slope. The County bulldozer is pushing soil down to Crown Street. JA observed that this is a problem with all hills; there is no vegetation due to brush clearance efforts. SP said that the Mesa Board was following instructions from the fire departments on brush clearance. AA responded that the fire departments had required the Board to take too much vegetation. JA agreed that this left no protection on the hillsides. SP want to talk to a geologist. DC said that he was hiring a geologist the following week – he was aware of 3 possible firms; 2 have come by his home. Sinai Construction has the best reputation. Wayne Shick, a geotech engineer, works for them. His proposal is reasonable and DC is likely to hire him next week. The Rupert neighbors do not yet have a geological report. It takes 4-6 weeks for such a report. AA commented that a big trench carries water down into their backyards; they have to place sandbags there. The east side of the trail slants out and water runs off it into the yards below. There is now a ravine into the trail. GG examined the Starlight Mesa tract map and pointed out that the County appeared to have an easement on the lower part of Lot 93 where the trail is. We need to get in touch with them about the grading of that trail. AA said we need experts on hillsides to assess the situation; immediate actions need to be taken to mitigate the risk and long term solutions are needed too. SP said the HOA Board is supposed to have a walkthrough with the head engineer of the County FD, but it had been postponed due to the recent brushfires. It will be scheduled next week. GG said the Mesa Board also has contacted a geotechnical engineer to do a walkthrough of the hillside. JA observed that he had poured concrete on the back of his house which cracked and an engineer told him the hillside is unstable. There is no vegetation to keep it stable. SP said the Board could add vegetation to these hillsides but there is no time for plants to develop deep roots this year before the rains. The city of LCF can spray seeds with “glue” to hold the hillsides. AA suggested jute nets on the hillside and said a professional assessment was key. The hillside on Lot 93 used to irrigated. A big pipe on the hillside has been abandoned and is loose; it has been pulled down across the trail. SP noted there originally were flowers on the hillside. GG observed that the community had been fixing one problem and creating another; brush clearance has been a major issue for years. We need to find a balance between brush clearance for fire protection and erosion control. DP suggested that the Board should get the advice of experts and then come up with both a ST and a LT plan. GG agreed that the Board would talk to the experts and figure out a solution. K noted that the county came recently with their bulldozer and made the problem worse. They had talked to Rudy Valenzuela of the County Parks. GG observed that the County departments need to work together on this problem. AA asked what would happen if it starts raining tomorrow? We could have a major storm any day. DC said the hillside needs to be fixed. YC agreed that the soil is very soft. DC said the contractor had suggested a debris fence and drainage system. JA wants a reputable company to make recommendations. DC has sent a letter to the city; he wants them to coordinate action. He can’t get landslide insurance due to the slope. It will take time to do this in an orderly fashion. We need a contingency plan in the interim. The key area is a one-acre space; we should try to cover it with jute netting. GG commented that the County easement is 25’ wide at the bottom of Lot 93. YC said too much vegetation had been taken out and the hillside no longer stable. SP said the only geological report the Board has is for the end of Starlight Mesa Lane. GG suggested setting a conference call in ~2 weeks. DC will talk to the City. JA suggested getting a quote to put up a fence and for the jute mesh. DC said the July rain was a wakeup call. AB suggested we might need to build culverts on this section of the hill. JA suggested getting a quote for drip irrigation for the hillside. DC, YC, AA and K then departed. SP noted that she had spoken to Joe Bergen about prior erosion issues on Lot 93. AB observed that Lot 93 can be a nuisance; there is no fence around it and local kids dig holes in the ground. SP suggested that the fence that is broken in several parts could be rebuilt to help with falling debris. JA suggested putting in drought resistant planting on all of the community hillsides.
Hillside debris. SP reported that it would cost $150 to clean up the debris on the hillside below Cardi Coate’s house. DP will talk to him about having to pay to clean up the debris.
Jack Gunther request to remove dead tree. SP reported that she had talked to Jose, who confirmed that the tree is dead and needs to be removed. The Board unanimously approved the request.
Canary Pines – replanting program, arborist for dying trees. GG advised that Chari Gilmore had asked about the dying trees in the putting green park. SP said she had looked at them with Jose; the trees are still alive. She will continue to watch them. We plan to replant trees in the spring.
Kotikian request to replace fences. AK showed the Board pictures of his existing fence. The replacement fence will be the same size and location. The color will be changed from white to brown. Both fences are all metal. The Board unanimously approved the request.
Change pool keys. AB will look into it.
Grace Kim request to build pergola in back yard. GG advised that he had not received details of this proposal. The proposal was deferred.
Porter request to repaint house. GG advised that the Porters want to repaint their house, with essentially the same color as the current house color and white trim. The Board unanimously approved the request.
Claus Boettger roof proposal. CB reviewed his plan to replace the roof on his house. The existing roof is cement tile. Part of the old roof is 15 years old and some is older. He added a room on his house ~15 years ago and matched the old cement tile then. He wants to replace the roof with a standing seam metal roof. There are no similar roofs in the Mesa. The product is new. He proposed to use a brown color. It will be same color as his existing roof. He understands that the Mesa prohibits asphalt shingles. This metal roof is high quality. Cement tiles are very heavy. His roofline is variable – some of it is very shallow. A standing seam metal roof is best for that type of shallow roof. It limits leakage and is fireproof. He has a southern exposure and is concerned about the risk from El Nino rains – this type of roof is good for rain. JA said that he had looked at that type of roof when he remodeled his house; he was told by the HOA Board at the time that he had to conform with the existing roof styles in the neighborhood. GG said he was aware of one standing seam roof like this in LCF, near Indianola and Knight Way. Generally though, this type of roof is used in New England or Florida. It is unusual here. The roof policy prohibits asphalt shingles. That policy also refers to “tile” roofs so this roof seems to be outside the policy since it is not a tile roof. The Board does approve steel tile roofs – e.g. Shirley Callahan’s recent new roof. GG will do more research on the roof policy and will ask prior Boards about that policy. After additional discussion, the Board voted unanimously to disapprove the standing seam roof proposal as being inconsistent with the Mesa’s roof policy and inconsistent with existing roofs in the neighborhood. The Board unanimously approved CB’s alternate proposal to use SteelROCK’s PACIFIC SHAKE HD® steel roof tiles in Shadow Wood color.
Gazebo project. JA invited VI to show the Board additional options for the gazebo renovation project. VI advised that we could use the existing gazebo structure or start over. Replacing the entire structure would cost $3500-4000 extra to replace the posts. We also can use the existing posts – they are sturdy and can hold a new top frame. He proposes that we get rid of the existing top. The gazebo is 15’ x 15’. We can paint the existing posts. The new top would be all steel and fabric; there probably was fabric on the original gazebo. SP asked about wind resistance. VI said this would not be a problem. The renovated gazebo would have a steel roof frame with a vent at the top. Replacing the roof would cost $7700 for the steel frame with fabric. Adding new posts would cost an additional $4275. Drapes on the sides would add $1410. Color striping on the top fabric would add $990. The fabric should last – it has a 5 year prorated warranty. We would need to replace the fabric every 5-7 years for $3500-4000. We won’t need a permit if we keep the existing posts. GG suggested the fabric should be in sand color. VI would paint the posts to match. SP said she had looked at another option and talked to the city. We would need 2 permits if we change the gazebo – for the hillside and then for the construction. The permits would cost $600. We would also need a structural engineer and an architect. We could develop a master plan for the area. JA did not want to take the time for a master plan. GG said he preferred to get the gazebo done rather than waiting; the project has dragged too long. The Board unanimously approved VI’s proposal to rebuild the gazebo, using sand color.
Pool project. GG said the pool project needs design work more than the gazebo. JA will bring pool drawings for the Board to review soon. He knows a pool contractor who works on apartment buildings who will get us a proposal in ~a week. JA would like to add a gym at the pool and an outdoor BBQ. SP talked to the Stiticks about being on the pool committee; they will not be able to participate until after January. JA suggested that the Board handle this project along with Glenn Cunningham.
DP reported that the Mesa was in good shape financially. The bank balance as of 7-31 was $45k, with outstanding checks of $14k, leaving a net balance of $31k. We have the funds to renovate the gazebo. The reserve account has $56k. The only neighbor delinquent in dues is the family subject to foreclosure action. He has looked at recent water usage. The HOA has 7 meters. The highest usage has been in the recently replanted hillside areas.
Annual picnic – final plans
GG reported that there were 67 RSVPs so far. JA will order food for 75. AB will go to Costco and get beer and wine and other drinks. DP has already reserved the kids’ jumper and popcorn machine. JA will order tables and chairs from Town & Country - 7 tables and 10 chairs/table. DP reported that Glenn Cunningham will provide a projector; DP will reserve a screen. All Board members will bring tables and coolers as agreed.
Sept. 21, 2015 (later changed to Sept. 28, 2015)