Thanks to Roy Landon for Board Service

Roy Landon and Dennis Smith recently sold their unit, so Roy resigned from the HOA board, which he served on for many years, including more than nine years as treasurer. The board was fortunate to have Roy’s experience in accounting and finance. Roy helped stabilize and grow the Reserve Fund to deal with future community needs. He was actively involved with roofing, painting and repaving projects and updating the HOA Rules and Regulations, contributing to the value of all of our homes.

The board sent out a call for nominations to fill the vacancy for a term ending in February 2023. Hopefully, more than one homeowner volunteers, ensuring we can maintain a full five-member board in the event of future vacancies. 

President’s report sums up “eventful year”

The Feb. 20 annual meeting was by necessity the first held by videoconference. Only about ten homeowners attended in addition to the five board members, so we hope those who missed the meeting will read this recap.

Enough homeowners returned ballots by mail to ensure a quorum of 41 votes. Two routine motions were approved without opposition and the three incumbent candidates were overwhelmingly re-elected to the three open board seats: Greg Reid, Roy Landon and Steven Wolfe. The board officer positions remain unchanged.

Board President Carl Toland, who has a year remaining in his term, gave a report looking back at “an eventful year.” He said the board, the management company and our contractors had been diligent in maintaining our property values. “Projects and actions that flaunt our rules, regulations and Bylaws are given notification in a timely manner.”

Three owners who replaced rooftop HVAC units recently set a good example of following the rules — notifying the management company, submitting the Architectural Variance forms found on our website, and working with the HOA’s roofers. We recognize homeowners feel less time pressure regarding air-conditioning when it is 70 degrees outside as opposed to 120 degrees, but the process is necessary to protect fragile roof tiles.

Seven owners of two-bedroom units obtained HOA permission this past year to install desertscape in front of their units. The HOA removed the lawn and in-ground trash bins, and the owners paid for the materials and landscaping work. We thank them for this cost sharing, which saves on lawn irrigation and mowing. 

Toland praised the completion in April of the repainting project and the work of landscaper Ismael Ramirez in relocating sprinklers away from the buildings, pruning shrubs and trees, and facilitating two tree-trimming projects by other contractors. Timely palm tree trimming kept blossoms out of the pools this summer, and aggressive trimming of jacaranda and pine trees helped ensure we lost no large limbs during recent windstorms that wreaked havoc elsewhere in the area.

Several units went on the market recently and sold quickly at record high prices. “This is good and bad news because we hate to see our friends move away,” Toland said. “Please make it a point to welcome our new community members as much as social distancing will allow.” Looking ahead, he said he hoped a bingo get-together canceled in April because of COVID can take place this year, probably in the fall.

In the homeowners’ comment portion of the annual meeting, topics discussed included whether we could increase hedges to deter intruders or use video surveillance. The board agreed to consider these suggestions.

The treasurer’s report was emailed to all homeowners on the HOA Board mailing list.

A reminder about pet rules

The Association is sympathetic to those residents who desire to have and enjoy pets. At the same time certain rules are necessary to ensure that pets maintained on the property do not impose a nuisance or burden on other residents and guests. Unit owners may keep no more than two small domestic animals in their unit. The term “small domestic animal” is defined as a dog, a cat, hamster, gerbil, and bird of a type that is normally kept in a home. Unit owners may not keep any other animals in their units without the prior written authorization of the Board.

No pets are allowed on the grass areas or flower beds. Pets may be walked within the community but must be leashed at all times and must remain on the pavement. Pet owners will be responsible for any damage done to the property for failure to follow the rule. You must clean up after your pet. This has become a problem on the desert landscape along Caliente and La Verne.

If any pet creates a nuisance to other residents by barking or any other activity, the Board may PERMANENTLY disallow the occupancy of the pet on the Association property.

Outreach committee wants help and suggestions

The HOA Board has a committee looking at ways to better welcome new owners and residents to the community and to reach out to them (and everyone!) with information to improve our living experience at Canyon South 1.
 
Phase 1 of our effort will develop a Frequently Asked Questions resource for the new owners’ welcome packet and the website. The second phase will be to reach out by phone or email to offer new owners a personal welcome and information about settling into the community. We all know our many rules can seem intimidating, and we’d like to eliminate the unpleasant experience of a new owner unknowingly violating a regulation.
 
We are collecting ideas for the information you’d like to see us include in our FAQs. Email suggestions to questions@canyonsouth1.com or use this web form. You can use the same email address or web form to volunteer to join or help the committee.  

Annual Meeting 2018: President’s Report

The annual meeting was held on February 10, 2018. Reports from the Board and good discussion from the residents helped outline events planned for the upcoming months. This newsletter highlights the remarks made at the meeting.

Election Results: The Director of Elections, Carolyn McDonald ably assisted by David Lamski, announced that the necessary quorum had voted. Two board members were elected: Carl Toland and write-in candidate Dennis Turrone.

President’s Remarks: During the past summer, signage was replaced in each cul de sac entrance. These new signs will be augmented, as requested by residents, to include the range of house numbers in each and, where necessary, additional lighting. Two major projects will be scheduled in the coming months. A protective slurry coat will be applied to the asphalt which was installed 4 years ago. The other major project will be preventive work to the flat portions of our roofs. The roofs will be cleaned, patched where necessary, and resprayed with a sun/uv protective coat. This is required every 10 years or so, and it protects the foam from deteriorating. Residents will be advised when the work is scheduled for their area.

Both of these projects are part of our regular maintenance schedule. Funding comes from our Reserve Account. Both projects are major expenditures amounting to approximately $125,000. The Board will continue to manage the Reserve Account to ensure its adequacy and will, of course, notify residents if additional contributions are necessary in the future.

—Chuck Mendenhall

Annual Report 2018: Dog owners’ proposal

Several months ago the Board was asked by a group of residents to begin a discussion about allowing a designated off-leash exercise area for dogs. At the annual meeting dog owners presented the idea for discussion. They proposed a fenced-in, gated, landscaped area along the back wall behind the west pool. The cost of the project would be borne by interested dog owners and any others who wish to contribute.  No HOA dollars would be committed to the project. Proponents have an estimated budget of $3,000 and they currently have pledges of over $1,000. Supporters of the project stated that over 30% of residents own dogs. Many of them are full-time residents. Dogs suffer, particularly in the summer, because of HOA rules requiring that dogs walk on the hard surfaces (on leash) only.

Questions raised during the meeting related to liability, insurance, nuisance, municipal requirements, and process.  The Board president said that these questions needed to be answered and more discussion would be had. For instance, what hours would it be open, who could access the facility, what about unattended dogs, barking, enforcement procedures, etc? The Board will continue to consider the proposal and accept additional information and comments at future meetings. Ultimately, a vote of residents will be required before the Board would take any action.

Annual Report 2018: Lighting and Security

We have changed companies and are now working with Grayco Electric to improve our lighting in the complex.
During the year, we added new high intensity lightbulbs in all of the cul de sacs. The board has also approved money for new lights on the olive trees which will be installed in the near future.

We always have your safety in mind. We recommend that you keep doors and gates locked and your front light on in the evenings. If you have any questions or you see any dark areas, please let me know. I can be reached at (203) 461-5617.

—Michael Pagliaro 

Annual Report 2018: Landscaping and Pools

We’ve learned lessons from having lived with our desertscape for four years. We’ve learned that while saving water, the removal of lawns raises the ambient temperature around our homes and plants. In at least three cases, our landscape contractor Ismael has had to install multiple rings of soaker hoses around suffering citrus trees that had been in the lawn but now have surrounding desertscape. Pyracantha hedges also have suffered until additional water supplies were brought to them.

This past summer was so hot that more shade screens had to be built just to keep plants alive. We are used to shading such as the Sago Palms, but this past summer we had to drape burlap over the Mexican fencepost cacti to protect them on the south and west exposures. Next month, our landscapers will begin an aggressive treatment of all the agave in our complex. The stress of heat has made them more susceptible to boring-type worms and we have lost several this past year.  We will use both liquid and granular poisons to control these pests.

During the ungodly hot part of the summer, Ismael and an expanded crew spread ten tons of fresh decomposed granite on the thin spots over the entire desertscape area. If you’ve been near the east pool recently, you probably noticed that the landscaping has been updated. New bougainvillea and lantana were planted as well as a new pyracantha hedge around the pool to hide the pool equipment. Some cobblestone mulch was installed along with annual geraniums.

Pools and Spas:

We got a break this year from pool and spa tile and plaster renovation, but some of our supporting pool and spa equipment needed replacement. The east spa got a new filter, new pump and new heater this past summer. The center spa also got a new pump for a total cost of almost $7,000. The main entry handrails of all pools and spas have been covered with blue insulating sleeves. No longer do we have to drape a towel over the rail or risk burning our hands.

The center pool is, for February and March, being heated to the standard temperature of 84 degrees. All spas are always programmed at 101 degrees.

—Carl Toland

Landscaping plans set for fall 2017

From the HOA board’s landscape subcommittee:

September and the end of summer is at hand, at least calendar-wise, and our snowbirds are setting their sights on getting back to the desert for “the season.” Our landscape maintenance personnel are also making plans that might interest our year-round residents as well as part-timers.

During September, each week will see a dialing back of irrigation to as little as two minutes per application (Monday thru Saturday). The decrease will help the Bermuda grass go dormant, so some increased browning-out will be apparent. In concert with water reduction will be a mowing schedule that removes an additional 1/2 inch or so of the lawn thickness each week. By the end of September, we will be ready for an easy scalping of the lawn areas in preparation for over-seeding in early October.

The water that we have saved in September will be used to germinate and nourish the annual ryegrass that will be sown during early October.

Our bottle brush trees have grown unfettered for two years now so the time has come to prune them to prevent storm damage this winter. These are weak and brittle trees full of sucker-growth resulting from having been “poodled” during their early years of growth. Our landscaper rescued them from the poodle shape but the damage had been done. The bottle brush pruning will start at the east pool and move west from there.

Our citrus trees will be pruned in November and the old fruit removed long before then.

— Carl Toland