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Subject: Can’t We Just Let It Be!
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RichA3
(Arizona)

Posts:32


07/16/2018 7:43 AM  

Let the buyer beware is good advice. I am not sure though it would have made any difference in my case.
In particular, if I had been aware of the power of individual condo owners associations before I made the decision to purchase a home in one. I purchased a patio home in Sun City, AZ. One of the things that attracted me to this original Del Webb “fun city” was the mature landscaping. The lush front yard lawns and the beautiful well-trimmed & maintained orange trees in the front of my home. I was not aware at that time of what I believe is a spreading cancer in this community...namely desert landscaping. COAs deciding to tear up the grass, the trees, & essentially return this oasis to a desert...also called desertification. As I understand it, it was a move to save $ and H2O. But for folks, like me, who call this our only home year round, they are saving $ at my expense, I believe. I have since learned more about the so-called urban heat island (UHI) effect. Please consider this... “Asphalt streets, alleys, driveways and dark roofs, collectively called hardscaping, cause “heat islands.” Perhaps lesser known is that so-called desert landscaping (aka Xeriscape) collects and reflects heat too and does not in any way sequester carbon from the atmosphere. Our lawns are not reflecting blazing hot sun back at the house all day! Lawns also absorb rainfall, and any polluting runoff from the driveway near the house. Our decorative orange trees are not just wonderful sanctuaries for birds, but provide shade & filter the air.”
Snowbirds escape the blazing hot summers while either not running their A/C while they are gone or raising the thermostat setting to reduce their electric bill. I do not have that option as a Sun Bird. In fact with desert landscaping I would have to run my A/C even harder because of this UHI effect.
I say stop ruining our Sun City oasis by pushing more hardscape like Xeriscape. Instead plant more shade trees & even increase ground-cover vegetation, including lawns. Dallas is planting trees to shade neighborhoods and filter the air & Phoenix is working to expand its own shade canopy.
I say give up golf courses enjoyed by the elite or at least require those courses to use recycled or reclaimed H2O (like some courses in Florida have done). That would save considerbly more of our precious fresh water.
AugustinD


Posts:1222


07/16/2018 8:05 AM  
I have been watching this in southwestern states. I think many HOAs and condos have surrendered to the cost of water in the southwest and altered their original plan from refreshing green lawns to xericscaping. By comparison to grass, xericscaping does not look good to me and typically worsens over the years. Fixing the appearance of old xericscaping means hauling out the old gravel (with all its nutritious dirt for weeds) and replacing with new landscape weed resistant cloth and new gravel. I grant the cost of maintaining good grass is expensive. Unfortunately I think the only practical solution is to get to a less hot part of the country. Pros: More comfortable temperatures and nicer landscaping.Cons: Pay more. These new development cookie cutter homes all over Arizona, Nevada, and much of eastern California say are affordable because few want to live in air conditioning for six+ months of the years. So one pays more for a nicer climate. I am back to wanting no HOA or a HOA with minimal amenities and obligations. E.g. no swimming pool, no HOA/condo golf course for me, and few roads and parks that are the HOA's responsibility. On the other hand, I remind myself of the advice of a former neighbor: Whatever location one picks will always have drawbacks of one kind or another. I try to keep from having the "Goldilocks syndrome."
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:814


07/16/2018 8:20 AM  
Interesting take, Rich .... however, what you are describing is the long predicted result of the decades of building and landscaping to create an Eden where the water for an Eden isn’t available.

Most in the West believe water will become more scarce, rather than less.

To the HOA aspect - was this something that required a vote to change?
RichA3
(Arizona)

Posts:32


07/16/2018 10:02 AM  
No doubt you are right George,water is becoming more scarce. If we accept that reality no one should live in arid regions where we are dependent on other states, other rivers, etc.
But more & more people are coming to the valley, while in fact Sun City's population is dropping. Why should we in SC then carry (or conserve) the "water" for others?! Especially the luxury of having many grassy, water-consuming golf courses?! The Valley has more golf courses than anywhere in the USA. We should also then give up that huge wonderful grassy outdoor amphitheater; any & all turf grass used in outdoor lawn bowling, etc. The elite, the rich, will always have the $ to get into or out of just about anything they want. But the Del Webb community was built to accommodate lower middle class folks like me...folks who cannot afford the golf memberships and having two places to call home.
Heat Chickens (aka snowbirds/snowflakes), I believe, should not be able to serve on condo Boards of Management. They are not here when most of the bad stuff occurs...A/C failures, monsoon rains, winds, and dust. It is then almost always us hearty year-round Sun Birds that are left to do the heavy lifting. Why do you think that as a Secretary of a little COA I had to jump in & handle storm damage just last week...reason absent snowbird Chairman & Vice Chairman.
Furthermore, snowbirds should not be allowed to participate in association business, should not even be allowed to vote...for they are absent more than Obama was when he "served" in the Illinois senate. (:-)
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:814


07/16/2018 3:36 PM  
RichA3,

I’m speechless re your rant, so, I’m out.
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:4166


07/16/2018 11:48 PM  
Well ... You do have the “Freedom to Choose” whether or not to purchase in an HOA which potentially manages the landscaping and pays the water vs an HOA whereby you can choose to plant grass and pay for water. Most State Statutes due to water issues potentially have laws whereby an HOA cannot deny xeriscape. However, many do not deny an owner to plant other landscaping options. Again ... it comes down to “Freedom of Choice” and your own personal choices.
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:4166


07/16/2018 11:51 PM  
Also, as for your snowbird scenario ... they do own the property and will be a cold day down below before can be denied their votes or to serve on a BOD.
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:4166


07/16/2018 11:55 PM  
If your community does not like “Snow Birds” serving ... then they can exercise their “Freedom of Choice” to not elect those individuals onto the BOD. People tend to rant about needing in our Country “term limits” ... LOL ... We have term limits via our elections!!! If have served for X amount of time ... do not elect again, so they are term limited.
RichA3
(Arizona)

Posts:32


07/17/2018 7:34 AM  
I am just envious of the folks who can afford to be heat chickens. I despise rich elitists making it harder for me to just get by. If I could afford to be a snowflake I would immediately join their ranks. In joining their elite ranks though I hope I would be very sensitive to their needs and their situation. Requiring Sun Birds to live with hot rocks & sand in their front yards is simply cruel & heartless!
TimM11


Posts:218


07/17/2018 9:39 AM  
If you don't want to live in desert conditions, it's best not to choose to live in a desert.
RichA3
(Arizona)

Posts:32


07/17/2018 1:24 PM  
Sorry friend...I did not choose to live in the desert...I chose to live in a beautiful, lush oasis in the desert. Please do not take it away from me.
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:4166


07/17/2018 11:08 PM  
Posted By RichA3 on 07/17/2018 7:34 AM
I am just envious of the folks who can afford to be heat chickens. I despise rich elitists making it harder for me to just get by. If I could afford to be a snowflake I would immediately join their ranks. In joining their elite ranks though I hope I would be very sensitive to their needs and their situation. Requiring Sun Birds to live with hot rocks & sand in their front yards is simply cruel & heartless!


Understand and why I am very picky now on choosing an HOA. My new HOA pretty much is only for the irrigation water as I live in an area where irrigation water is prevailent. You unfortunately live in an area where watering is a HUGE expense and possibly the HOA is having an issue with raising the dues to cover this expense and now choosing to Xeroscape to avoid in future. OR, if there has been water shortage in your area and there potentially has been lawns dying ... this is the method to avoid in future

If you want green lawns with grass and irrigation ... move to my area
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