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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
At this time, we have seen only two months of spending in the operating budget of the current fiscal year, and we are on target with the budget. Thus, I am hopeful that our expenditures during the next 10 months will be in line with our full-year budget.
One of the larger annual expenditures in the operating budget is for earthquake insurance. Some good news this year is that this premium did not increase. However, on the opposite side of the ledger, we are hearing some public discussion about a sharp rise in the cost of water and other utilities, all of which may impact our budget, but it is too early to make any predictions.
Canyon South 1 HOA also has a budget for long term asset replacements called the reserve fund. Dollars are set aside each month for items such as asphalt, stucco, painting, pools and equipment, roof repair, and other related infrastructure items. Each month $7,624 or approximately 27% of your monthly homeowner maintenance fees are contributed to this reserve. The concept behind this reserve fund, is to make possible major improvements without special assessments. This year for example, the east pool and spa were completely resurfaced. Each year the Board of Directors conducts a review, with the assistance of a reserve specialist, to determine the adequacy of the fund. A summary of the study is then included with the annual packet of HOA materials distributed to homeowners every June.
The November 2016 newsletter is in the mail to residents, but here is a news preview for our website visitors:
A sad note to report. Connie Buckley, our property manager at PPM passed away after a brief illness. We will miss her cheerful help and assistance. Our condolences go out to her family and friends.
PPM has assigned David Schuknecht as our new property manager, so the contact forms on this website now connect to him.
The communications committee has collected email addresses for almost all owners and will send a group email later this year to test the accuracy of the list so it can be used for notifications. Meanwhile you can update yours with us anytime by clicking here. Please direct any questions to Roseanne Kumins, the HOA treasurer.
Our long time postman, Jerry, will be retiring December 1st. If you wish to say thanks and wish him well, there are only a few days left to make contact.
Neighborhood security is again called to our attention. A bicycle was stolen, in the middle of the day, from a Canyon South 1 garage.
The central pool spa heater stopped working after many years of service, and is being replaced. The east and west spas are heated.
The annual roof/gutter cleaning will be done in late November. When the exact dates are scheduled with our contractor, Castro Roofing, the dates will be posted here and at mailboxes. Also, ongoing work will be done on stucco, painting touch up, fascia and trim improvements, and failing window trims and sills. Work on these projects will be organized in quadrants and will progress over the winter months. When work is scheduled at, or near your address, notices will be posted. All of this work is to the exterior of the buildings, so no entry to the house is necessary.
The Board established a Communications Working Group this spring composed of Rosanne Kumins, Bob Ericksen, Howard Goldberg, Roy Landon, Michael Pagliaro and Dennis Turrone.
We have two main issues: setting up a more user-friendly website and getting information to our members via email. As you can see, the new website is up and running, and will contain HOA rules and regulations, our current and future budget, newsletters, minutes and more to come. We were lucky to have Howard Goldberg, who works with digital content, take on the project.
We currently have email addresses for 50 members of our community. However, we aren’t certain which are current and which are owners and renters. We would like to be able to reach all homeowners by email so we can get current information out in a timely manner; for instance news of break-ins can be communicated as well as notices of Board meetings, gardening issues, pool issues, etc.
We would appreciate if you would send your email address to treasurer Rosanne Kumins and community manager David Schuknecht by using the contact form on this website. Obviously this will be used only for Canyon South #1 communications and will not be shared with anyone else.
Formal communications will continue to be by mail from PPM, but other information can be by email. It is hoped that there will be a savings on postage as well.
If you have comments or questions, please let Rosanne or any other member of the group know.
A work group, chaired by Board member David Burgess, has held an initial meeting to review HOA rules and regulations regarding vehicle parking.
Misunderstanding about current rules and limited parking combine to create disagreements and controversy within our community.
Current HOA rules allow for one vehicle inside the homeowner’s garage and one additional vehicle in the public area. Current rules do not designate individual parking spots per household, though common sense would suggest that the parking area would be adjacent to the homeowner property. Currently, there are no dedicated parking places within our complex thus no one can say “this is my parking place.” This had led to some confusion and conflict.
Initial suggestions presented to the work group include: creating a dedicated parking space for each homeowner; and creating dedicated space for guests only. The work group is looking for additional options and creative ways to address this important parking issue. Your thoughts and comments are welcome.
For those who were not here to experience last summer’s heat and humidity, it was a bad one.
Our desertscape had just been installed last year as summer arrived. Plants in the desertscape did pretty well, but we have lost some pyracantha hedge plants due to lack of irrigation quantity. When our landscaper realized that there was too little irrigation to the pyracantha hedges and one large pine tree, he got busy adding emitter hose to both sides of the hedges. Five Red Yucca were planted in the exterior desertscape where ocotillo of the original planting did not take root and live. The five pyracantha were used to fill in hedges where plants died over the hot summer. One entire L-shaped hedge was replaced this fall as the existing one was old and declining.
Sagging Patio Ceilings
Over the years, Canyon South 1 has had a history of repairing sagging patio ceilings. Our investigation this past fall, determined that one unit had priority for repair. A trusted contractor was consulted for a cheaper and less invasive solution to this repair — plus two board members put their best engineering thinking to work. Their suggestions were not followed — for the better we’re sure. This repair went well, looks very good and is affordable, so other patio ceilings will be repaired in this manner at a rate of one or two a year on priority units.
Pool and Spa Heating Schedule
We return to our normal pool heating this next season, beginning in October when the Center Pool will be heated first for two months. December and January will see the East and West pools heated, then back to the Center pool for February and March, finishing with the East and West pools for April and May.
Spas at all pools will continue to be heated year-round.
Pool and Spa Re-plastering and Lighting
The East Pool and Spa are our only remaining pools to be re-plastered in this cycle and they are planned for updating this fall. New tile, plaster and auto-fill devices will be installed, probably September and October.
Rammell Construction was awarded the bid to re-plaster the Center pool. Work began on Sept. 10, 2015, and they finished the startup for that pool as of Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015. Other items of construction remained to be done, but the pool was open for use. There was a 3-week delay in construction while waiting for the Health Department inspection.
About 3 years ago, Canyon South 1 installed seven new LED pool and spa lights as they were supposed to be longer-lived and use less electricity. These fixtures began failing about a year and a half after installation and thus far four have failed. Two of our contractors, JSR Pools and Horizon Electric lobbied the supplier/manufacturer of these fixtures so that we have been able to replace them for only the labor to install. In the future we will take better care to manage these fixtures during pool and spa re-plastering.
In keeping with state and local water agencies’ rules and recommendations and bowing to the general consensus in the Valley, CS1 Board decided to forgo the normal overseeding with annual ryegrass this fall. Therefore we went through the winter season complying with the irrigation schedule of Mon-Wed-Fri only and only during nighttime hours, morning and night. The Bermuda grass did its biological thing and went dormant – no one died because of it! Without the competition from the annual ryegrass, various weed species acquired a strong foothold in the dormant Bermuda. This required us to apply pre-emergence and post-emergence weed killer to combat these weeds.
Palm pruning is on schedule to begin during the first two weeks of June this late spring, 2016.