Our community recently had an auto theft and a break-in, both reported to police. Our pool contractor left his pickup unlocked just briefly and returned to find the truck gone. It was recovered but he lost the cash in his wallet. Someone broke a glass slider to enter a condo on Caliente Drive while residents were at dinner, but they apparently returned in time to scare the thief or thieves away. Coincidentally, an electrical problem kept some exterior lights off in the same area that weekend.
Here’s a checklist for securing your home and your vehicles. We have seen garage doors left open overnight. Some garages get hot in the summer, but homeowners can install vents and fans after getting HOA board approval with this form.
Painting and touch-up
The HOA long-term plan for spending reserve funds on maintenance should result in a major repainting of exterior walls and other surfaces within the next couple of years. But if homeowners want to touch up their stucco or trim in the meantime, our landscaping contractor, Ismael, has spare cans of each of the four standard paints and textures we use.
For touching up the metalwork, check any local hardware store for a spray can of Krylon ivory satin finish.
Water pressure too high?
The water pressure coming into our HOA is very high, which is good for irrigation and firefighting, but homeowners often choose to reduce the pressure to guard against water line breaks and costly plumbing problems. Most plumbers can add a pressure reducing valve to your water line (see photo above right).
Coyotes in mating season
Coyotes have been seen in our cul de sacs, and another community on La Verne Way lost a pet to a coyote attack. The males are extra aggressive during mating season, which peaks in late February and early March.
Beginning in October the center pool will be heated to 84 degrees 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 as needed. Spas at all pools will continue to be heated year-round to 102 degrees.
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.
The good news is that our desertscape plants have survived another very hot summer and most seem to be thriving as they are being properly irrigated. The bad news is that some pyracantha hedges on Caliente have died due to inadequate irrigation. Our landscaper will be augmenting the irrigation systems that serve these hedges and will plant new plants in November to replace the dead ones that have been removed.
Fire Ant Infestations
Fire ant infestations have been treated by the landscapers in between vector control applications, the last of which was virtually ineffective. Ant poisons in granular, powder and liquid form have been used but a new powerful insecticide is currently being sprayed and injected into the nests. This treatment kills thousands of ants and appears to kill the winged ants … hopefully the queens also. The granular poison was a good control, but nests just moved a few feet away or came back in a week or so.
Beginning in October the Center Pool was heated for the first two months. December and January will see the East and West pool heated, then back to the Center pool for February and March, finishing with the East and West pool for April and May if needed.
Spas at all pools will continue to be heated year-round.
Scalping and Reseeding
Desert Water Agency reduced its water savings guidelines from 35% in 2015 to 10-to-13% in 2016. Canyon South 1 continued with the Monday-Wednesday-Friday nighttime watering schedule this year and thus the water savings continued from last year. However, when it became apparent that most complexes would over-seed this fall and that Desert Water Agency was going to permit daytime watering for this purpose, your Board voted to scalp and over-seed along with the rest. After the new lawn is established, normal nighttime irrigation on M-W-F will resume.
Annuals and Tree Pruning
Landscape staff is busy planting geraniums and lobelia in the beds near our pools and in one or two other areas. Our valuable Bougainvillea shrubs blend with and form a backdrop for the annuals. We have not “poodled” our Olive trees for two seasons so they could sprout some trunk-shading branches that will help prevent sunburn of the bark in the future. This photo illustrates the kind of pruning that we will do with our Olive trees. The citrus trees will be pruned in November and a contractor will prune the large pine trees and other trees that must be professionally climbed for that purpose.
Architectural Variance Reviews
Owners have been very good in submitting helpful, detailed architectural review requests for the Board’s consideration. These have covered landscape upgrades, patio surface work & installation of windows and air conditioners. Download these forms here.
Pool and Spa Re-plastering
Rammell Construction was again awarded the bid to re-plaster the East Pool and Spa. They drained the pool and spa on September 28th, began demolishing the plaster and tile the next day and finished the plaster and tile on October 13, 2016. There was no delay in construction this year while waiting for the Health Department inspection. New drains were installed to help us further comply with the Virginia Graeme Baker safety codes. Auto-fill devices were installed
on pool and spa and a ‘to-code’ handrail was added at the pool. Other handrails of this kind may need to be installed if code enforcement becomes very strict at our pools and spas.
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 of Directors has hired a handyman to begin work on stucco repair and touch up painting. His name is Greg Monk. Greg’s work and schedule will be directed by the Board.
If work is scheduled at your address, a message will be posted informing you of that date. Sidewalk repair work has begun. Concrete grinding along La Verne Way and Caliente Drive to remove potential tripping areas will be completed in May.
Relocation and landscape of the vandalized mail boxes has been completed. New mailbox keys have been distributed. If you have not received a key, please contact Michael Pagliaro, firstname.lastname@example.org.