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Subject: Problems with Electronic Gates
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Author Messages
LaurenD
(Arizona)

Posts:4


01/26/2007 10:27 AM  
Hello all!

Currently living in an HOA neighborhood in Scottsdale, Arizona guarded by an electronic gate.

I am concerned about the mass distribution of the gate codes compromising neighborhood security. We currently have a dial up box but it is rarely used by visitors, I see visitors punching in our neighborhood codes all the time. What is the point of living in a gated community if everyone has a code to get in?

Are any other communities out there facing the same challenge? I would be interested to know what other AZ communities are doing to maintain gate code integrity and traffic flow at the gates.

Thanks in advance for the info!
BradP
(Kansas)

Posts:2640


01/26/2007 11:38 AM  
Lauren:

I don't live in a gated community, but that is the exact reason I am so against a coded electronic lock. To have an effective electronic lock you need to have something tangible to get in like a card or key fob.

In your situation without changing hardware you may want to look at a mandatory code change for everyone every 3-4 months. It won't solve the problem, but it will slow it down.
RonaldW
(South Carolina)

Posts:901


01/26/2007 11:59 AM  
Posted By BradP on 01/26/2007 11:38 AM

Lauren:

I don't live in a gated community, but that is the exact reason I am so against a coded electronic lock. To have an effective electronic lock you need to have something tangible to get in like a card or key fob.

In your situation without changing hardware you may want to look at a mandatory code change for everyone every 3-4 months. It won't solve the problem, but it will slow it down.


We had a simmilar problem with students and teachers sharing network passwords when I worked in a high school. I made them change their passwords every 90 days but it didn't really help. People are like that.

Look into cards, key fobes, bar coded window decals, etc.


Ron
SC
WilliamT
(Arizona)

Posts:489


01/26/2007 12:29 PM  
Posted By LaurenD on 01/26/2007 10:27 AM

Hello all!

Currently living in an HOA neighborhood in Scottsdale, Arizona guarded by an electronic gate.

I am concerned about the mass distribution of the gate codes compromising neighborhood security. We currently have a dial up box but it is rarely used by visitors, I see visitors punching in our neighborhood codes all the time. What is the point of living in a gated community if everyone has a code to get in?

Are any other communities out there facing the same challenge? I would be interested to know what other AZ communities are doing to maintain gate code integrity and traffic flow at the gates.

Thanks in advance for the info!


Lauren,

First of all you must begin to think of the gates as "privacy" gates. While we would like to think of then as security gates, they are not. The privacy gates serve to decrease the traffic in your community.

In the past two years, we have had two cars stolen, and two broken into. All the cars were in driveways. Both stolen cars were recovered. One was stolen by a landscape company employee who knew the code. The other one climebed over a fence to get into the area and steal a car from a driveway.

Anyone who really wants to get in can get in. They will usually wait until someone enters, then tailgate in.

All of the vendors in your community including UPS, etc., will have the code.

The only way to reduce the spread of codes is to have every resident be consciensious about not giving it out. We constantly have residents stick a sign on the gate with the gate code, when they're having a party. We remove the signs, and now we plan to issue violation letters and fines for that.

When someone other than a family member comes to visit, ask the homeowners to tell the person(s) to call them from the gate intercom and they will buzz them in.

There can be a special code for UPS, FedEx and the other daily delivery companies.

There can be a separate code for house keepers, landscapers, etc.

Those codes can be changed every few months.

Talk to the company who maintains your gates and intercoms to see what they recommend.

We have the same problem in Gilbert. We plan to talk to our gate company to see how we can institute a workable code change program.

MaureenM1
(PA)

Posts:235


04/14/2012 5:10 AM  
We are a "gated community" however, the builder and developer NEVER had the gates operational for over 6 years. Our private road development has been used a a thorofare for all those years and it is getting worse. The new board has met with the developer and he is agreeing to pay 1/2 of restoring the gates becuase he said that the gates worked with our President (builder) was present at the gates and they worked. Our builder who owns several properties and rents them and still has two to sell kept the gates open so it would be easier for him to continue the building and showing the homes as well as it is easier for him not to deal with his renters with codes, etc. Having said that...

The board wants to close one of the gates and make it a one entrance in and out. We are only three streets, 40 homes and it would be like living on a cul de sac. I am the presient on the board and my question is...

can the board unilaterally make this decision on a vote of the board? or would we need to get a vote of the residents? We are of course meeting with our attorney and the township but wanted some feedback from the hoa group.

thanks.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:9246


04/14/2012 7:53 AM  
Posted By MaureenM1 on 04/14/2012 5:10 AM

can the board unilaterally make this decision on a vote of the board? or would we need to get a vote of the residents? We are of course meeting with our attorney and the township but wanted some feedback from the hoa group.





The answer to your question will be based on what authority your governing documents give you.

Typically, the Board has final say on anything that is common property or a common element.
Normally, it's best to include the membership when making a decision that you know will cause issues. This can be by a vote or by a poll.

Remember, what one board decides, a future board can change.

JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:4101


04/14/2012 9:56 AM  
I would assume if the roads are private, then gates would not be an issue. They are your roads. Now if the roads are public that might be a different issue.

Could not a gate system record the code that opened it thus have a record of use? Like no reason for the UPS code to be used at 2am.


MaureenM1
(PA)

Posts:235


04/29/2012 12:29 PM  
John,

The roads are private. The township is holding the developers security until the gates are made operational and approved by the board. The developer fabricated his own gates out of large iron beams(which are now rusted) and they are very heavy. I am meeting on our property with two electronic gates companies tomorrow.

The board is divided on what to do about the gates. Some want both gates operational and others want to close the back gate permanently and beautify the front entrance and not have gates at all. Some of the board members feel that maintenance on the gates will be a huge expense, however, we won't know that until we get other estimates. Right now the only estimate we have is from the developer's fence company/friend!!!

As President I have stated to the Board at our last board meeting that we should survey the residents and go from there. I checked our bylaws/CCR's and read under "Conveyance or Encumbrance of Common Elements) which states 80 percent of the Association must vote and agree to such action. I am not sure if this applies to the gates and if it falls under a different section of the bylaws but I didn't come across anything. any advice would be appreciated.

Regardless, we are going to poll the homeowners as it should be their decision, however, if I could find something in the bylaws to show the board that we cannot make this decision ourselves would be helpful.

thanks,
Maureen
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:4101


04/29/2012 1:29 PM  
Maureen

Thanks for answering.

We had a discussion on here about electronic gates. Many seem to think they lull people in a false sense of security thinking they have security, which electronic gates do not provide.

If some say it is security, please dispute that. Sooner or later everyone will have the code thus they offer little to no security. You would be better off with a sign that says Private Roads, No Admittance and nothing more.

MaureenM1
(PA)

Posts:235


04/29/2012 2:12 PM  
Yes, I saw that discussion. The Board is not thinking security as much as stopping people in the surrounding houses from using our development as a thorofare. They speed through the development and one of these days there is going to be an accident. We have a few children that ride bikes, etc. There are no trespassing signs up at each entrance and people who do not live in the development continue to ride through so they can get from one end of town to the other.

All roads leading to our development say (no access) because our development was built on land that was originally not an outlet, however, townspeople soon figured out that could use our development to drive to the other side. The residents in the homes outside both of our gates are not happy because these people go past their homes. That is why the Board wants to close the back gates.This has been going on for over six years.

Closing the back gates will stop the traffic flow, however it will also make the residents who live in development commute longer because you can cut about 5 miles off your commute using the back exit vs. the front exit. The major highway is closer using the back gate.

Regardless of what is decided I feel that the homeowners should be surveyed and the majority rules. I don't feel comfortable making this decision for the homeowners as the Board actions will affect homeowners in different ways.

I am thinking about consulting with our board attorney on this. I appreciate your response.
LawrenceC1
(Georgia)

Posts:480


04/29/2012 4:10 PM  
Posted By LaurenD on 01/26/2007 10:27 AM
I would be interested to know what other AZ communities are doing to maintain gate code integrity and traffic flow at the gates.


I'm not sure about Arizona, but when I was working at a company in New Jersey I used my cell phone to open the gate to the facility. They added my cell phone to a database of approved numbers. When I got to the gate, I dialed the phone number of the gate, and it opened if it verified my caller-id. People could be added or removed from the list easily, and there was no problem with unauthorized people learning the access code.

Maybe this is something your community could look at. I don't know the name of the technology vendor or I would post it here for you, but I'm sure a little digging would find it.
SamV2
(California)

Posts:7


04/09/2014 1:38 PM  
Uncontrolled distribution of codes makes the gate useless. Where I live residents have remote controls and the phone box that visitors can call the home owners to be buzzed in by the residents' home phone or cell phone. The problem is some residents still demand the gate codes to give to friend/relatives. We have given the mail man, UPS, FEDEX, LANDSCAPERS etc... remote controls because the gate codes were given to non-residents(friends/relatives) in the past. Are we in violation by not giving them the gate codes? HOA management kept getting angry phone calls to demand gate codes, one pregnant lady said it's inconvenient for her friends to get in when they come to take her to the hospital...etc.(?)...What? She came the board's meeting in fitting form so I don't see why she can't just buzz her friends in from her house phone/cell phone, right? By the way, we've been using house phone or cell phone only, not both. One home owner suggested using both lines, is it expensive? Is it doable? Our community only has 17 houses, a lot of complaining but no one wants to accept responsibility and step up before. Now these complainers wants to join the board just to get the code. The current board wants to quit, but afraid the newcomers will turn the place upside down. Please help, need advise ASAP, meeting's tomorrow. Thanks.
SamV2
(California)

Posts:7


04/09/2014 1:44 PM  
Sorry, forgot to add that not even the board members have or are using gate codes because we want to be fair.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:9246


04/09/2014 3:09 PM  
Sam,

Welcome to the forum. Typically it's best to start a new thread than to reactivate an old thread. This is because laws and technology change and what was good advice two years ago, may be bad advice today.

With your meeting being tomorrow, there is no real way to be prepared to provide an answer beyond "the board will look into this." The main thing to do is to listen. Summarize the issue into 3-5 key points that the Board and the visiting members can agree on. Then tell them that the Board will contact venders and see what options are available and a report should be ready for the next meeting. You may even want to invite one of the members to serve on a committee to look into options available and help make the report to the Board.


A lot of the questions you are asking can be answered by the contractor who maintains or sells the gates.
RwT
(Florida)

Posts:152


04/09/2014 3:11 PM  
Posted By SamV2 on 04/09/2014 1:38 PM
Uncontrolled distribution of codes makes the gate useless. Where I live residents have remote controls and the phone box that visitors can call the home owners to be buzzed in by the residents' home phone or cell phone. The problem is some residents still demand the gate codes to give to friend/relatives. We have given the mail man, UPS, FEDEX, LANDSCAPERS etc... remote controls because the gate codes were given to non-residents(friends/relatives) in the past. Are we in violation by not giving them the gate codes? HOA management kept getting angry phone calls to demand gate codes, one pregnant lady said it's inconvenient for her friends to get in when they come to take her to the hospital...etc.(?)...What? She came the board's meeting in fitting form so I don't see why she can't just buzz her friends in from her house phone/cell phone, right? By the way, we've been using house phone or cell phone only, not both. One home owner suggested using both lines, is it expensive? Is it doable? Our community only has 17 houses, a lot of complaining but no one wants to accept responsibility and step up before. Now these complainers wants to join the board just to get the code. The current board wants to quit, but afraid the newcomers will turn the place upside down. Please help, need advise ASAP, meeting's tomorrow. Thanks.




Sam,

Been a 'lurker' here for awhile but your question has prompted me to respond.

You need to research Davis-Sterling with regard to withholding codes.
In my state it would not be a violation if other means are available.

Do you have 'control' of the system programming. We do and we change the code 4 times per year. The homeowners are notified with the quarterly newsletter. Seems to be a good compromise for us.

As far as two lines, don't think that will solve anything... it's been a while but if I recall the problem with cellphone numbers is that the area code of the mobile # may not be the same as your local land-line. Thus tolls or other fees come into play.

Good luck!


* Non-Lawyer spokesperson.
RwT
(Florida)

Posts:152


04/09/2014 3:11 PM  
Ooops Tim, I just piled on!

* Non-Lawyer spokesperson.
CarolR11


Posts:0


04/09/2014 3:39 PM  
amV, you asked: "Are we in violation by not giving them the gate codes?" Are you asking if you're violating some kind of state law?

I don't know, so do try davis-stirling.com (note correct spelling) and see if something on their Main Index makes sense.

Meantime, cuz you're short on time, Tim's suggestions look good.
SamV2
(California)

Posts:7


04/10/2014 9:51 AM  
Thanks Tim, RwT, and Carol!!! Thank god I found this site, very helpful. And for future reference, how do I start a new topic for myself?
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:9246


04/10/2014 4:20 PM  
By clicking on the "add new topic" just above the blue banner with the list of topics.

Wish it was larger (making it easier to see) but that is where it is.
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Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > Problems with Electronic Gates



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