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Subject: Going from non-gated to gated community?
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(North Carolina)


11/21/2005 6:22 AM  
Hello! Does anyone have any experience installing security gates in a previously ungated community. This is a hot-button issue for our neighborhood, so I'd like to be prepared to discuss pros and cons of becoming gated.

Specifically, I'm interested in the following:

1) Do gates increase property values?
2) How do emergency personnel feel about gates? Does it affect response time?
3) Have you seen a reduction in crime?
4) What additional related costs could we expect?

Any information would be greatly appreciated. We're in Charlotte, NC



11/21/2005 3:21 PM  
When you gate your community, you become private property and cut off many public advantages such as county road paving and maintenance, etc. Home owners also become responsible for liability if the roads or sidewalks cause injury or vehicle damages. All repairs to street lamps or anything become the homeowner responsibility. Your association dues would have to go up to cover expenses or each home owner would be accessed each time something occurs. Security gates do not deter crime--only guarded gates do.
Consider this carefully as you may be creating a monster. Been there, done that. Best wishes.


11/22/2005 3:44 PM  
1) Do gates increase property values? Our property values didn't go up because of our gates. As a matter of fact our houses go for less than the ones outside of these gates. The gates are more of a problem than any help.
2) How do emergency personnel feel about gates? Does it affect response time? We have had incidences where emergency vehicles couldn't get in because they didn't have the gate code.
3) Have you seen a reduction in crime? We have had an increase in crime because people think those living in gated communities have more valuables than those that don't.
4) What additional related costs could we expect? We spend thousands of dollars a year on gate repairs.

Unless you have 24 hour gate guards, don't bother. The gates that have gate code boxes don't prevent anyone from getting in. Unauthorized people follow other cars in and everyone in town has the gate codes.



12/04/2005 10:41 AM  
Presently residing in a condo community that is not gated, and in the first week of living here, I had all 4 of my tires slashed by vandals, I know of instances of vehicles being stolen, and broken into, not to mention being keyed (including that of my own).

Many are against gated communities for various reasons, and those may well be warranted, yet in the research I've done regarding Gated Communities, it is not that it will increase the property values, but is more likely to reflect a communities desire to protect existing values.

Gated Communities do offer a bit more security to the residents, but they will not prevent crime, more like that of a deterrant. You will notice that many apartment complexes are going gated. There is a reason, it's not to increase the value of the property, but rather to protect it.

Gates tend to reflect to the neighboring areas a mixed bag of opinions. I for one am in favor of such, if the community I'm in would have been gated, there would have been a 80% decrease in the possibility of it happening. We also suffer from the inhabitants of a local "watering hole", with the community not being gated it affords those that shouldn't be driving a place to sleep it off, in our parking lots.

There have been numerous vehicles abandoned, and learned at a later date, that they were indeed stolen, but seem to magically appear in our parking lots. Best place to abandone a stolen car, is in an open community parking lot, and usually (unless you have someone who makes it a point to really track the vehicles within the community), these go undetected for weeks or more.

Gates also serve to reduce unwanted vehicle traffic, and we have a lot of that, hell the theives drive through the lots first looking for the part or parts they need and then return at a later time to appropriate the items they want. Really equates to nothing more then a used part directory and are most inviting.

We have many older retired individuals in our community, and as with any group of people, they are resistant to change, some more so then others.

I say to get a sheet of paper and start knocking on doors, talk to them, and let them (the owners) decide, (stats show that renters are usually against a gated community).

Good Luck, I'll be watching the thread to see how it turns out, I'd like to get this placed gated as well...



12/06/2005 6:01 AM  
We are in the same boat. Trying to decide. To Gate or not to Gate - THAT is the question!
We've had several instances of burglary of items in garages when the doors were left open. A few homeless men will now and then rummage through our dumpster. Nice fellow, looking foe aluminum cans to take to recycle center. But, most don't like anyone rummaging etc.. One fellow takes a dip in our pool now and them to "clean up". No one's ever been hurt and no cars or homes have been burglarized. But car burglaries are up in our neighborhood and a few armed robberies across the street from us.
From what I have read - it has no effect on crime. The first year it dips down because you deter those that are looking for a quick "steal". The gate is too much hassle. But then after year one it goes back up because you now attract a more professional thief who thinks "those with gates have nice things that break" so to speak and thus the gate attracts them.
I do believe it increases property value but not by much. Probably the cost of the gate per unit. i.e. $500 to $1,000. I've never heard a buyer say she does not want to live in a gated community but I have heard the reverse.
I asked the local police and they suggested cameras. A gate with cameras does the trick to deter. No cameras, then don't waste the $$$ on a gate. So we are installing an 8 camera system that takes 1 picture each second and stores it for 30 days on a PC hard drive. The police like this because now you have proof of tresspassing and an ID for suspects for them to follow up on as leads when and if a crime occurs. They love being able to catch the bad guys.


12/06/2005 7:34 AM  
I am the HOA VP of an "upscale" gated communit in Chandler, AZ. Association fees are significantly higher in a gated community to cover the costs for:
1. Street lighting electric.
2. Reserve fund to pay for future road resurfacing and restripping. The estimate to seal and restripe our community roads is $30K and needs to be done every 5 - 7 years.
3. Monthly gate expenses for phone, electric (residents use a remote to open gates, visitors can call residents from the entry phone or punch in the residents security code.
4. Repairs to gate vandalism, for some reason, gates are targeted by vandals, this has been up to $2,000/month.
5. Reserve funds for future gate maintenance such as repainting.
Additionally, per the State of Arizona, the city police can not repond to any type of traffic violations, with the exception of DUA or vehicle accidents. We have an extreme problem with speeders in our community and we're unable to enforce speed controls since it would require a calibrated radar gun to "prove" the driver's speed. We may have to install speed bumps at a cost of $3K - $5K each.
6. Being gated has not decreased our crime, in fact, it may increase the crime rate since thieves may think that a gated community has "better stuff" in their homes.
7. Adding gates does not increase security - for example, at the right speed, another vehicle can follow another vehicle in through the open entry gate.
8. Expense to residents to purchase gate remotes ($45 each).
9. Our gates open automatically for emergency vehicles (and remain open for approximately 30 minutes after emergency vehicle entry.
10. I don't think the gate has increased our property values, in fact, a lot of residents don't want to live in a gated community due to the higher association fees (nearly double an ungated community).
11. Some residents think that the gate provides additional security so they aren't as careful about security their homes (i.e. leaving garage doors open). Gates provide a "FALSE" sense of security.


01/13/2006 6:44 PM  
I currently serve on the board of the HOA for a townhome community in Houston, TX. We have no gates, but we do have a guard house at the only entrance/exit on the site. It is manned 24/7/365 and accounts for 35% of our annual budgeted expenses.
At our last annual meeting (12/05), a number of residents shared stories about driving or walking onto the poroperty without ever being noticed by the guard. Either the guard was not there (restroom break or some other distraction), or the guard was there and was looking in another direction, or the guard was there was was nodding off at 2 in the morning.
We are beginning to research what we can do to augment our security. Among those items we will be considering will be obvious things like the addition of security gates and the use of technology (cameras, remote monitoring security services, and perhaps other things of which we are as yet unaware).
Our hope is that we will be able to increase our actual security while decreasing our costs. We will see where our research leads us.
I've found the comments that I have read helpful, and hope that mine will be as well as I report in on what we find and, possibly, what we do in this area of concern
(North Carolina)


01/16/2006 6:03 AM  
I have been in a community that did this and for no good end result. It all sounds rather nifty, but it accomplishes almost nothing other than to frustrate people, raise costs significantly, and give everyone a false sense of security. I say almost nothing good because it did reduce the amount of cut-through traffic.

Unless you plan to barbware the rest of your community, a security gate isn't going to keep a homeless guy out or stop him from rummaging in the trash next to your house, though I do believe there are probably some legal remedies that you would have available under trespass law. Check with your police department.

Count on the fact that teens will mess with your gate and of course this isn't covered by warranty. People will share their codes with their friends, and those will share it with everyone. Let the gate get damaged one night and not work, and then watch the fur fly as people cannot get in. And of course when you gate something up, it's a sure sign to criminals that you have something worth locking up.


02/27/2006 8:24 AM  
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02/28/2006 6:40 PM  
What a mind muddling experience that article was. I'm just glad I didn't have to sit through the speech itself!


03/01/2006 4:23 AM  
Sometimes gated communities can't have school buses come thru and/or police. Check on that as well. If our assn. would do ANYTHING for security, and they are going to have to soon, surveillance cameras would be the best, I believe. Unfortunately, so far, the children of directors are into the most vandalism, and they do not want them videotaped. Can you imagine!


08/04/2006 3:02 PM  
An update on the issue of transitioning from a non-gated to a gated community....

In the process of interviewing homeowners about this recently, one experienced home owner added a very valid point of consideration to the discussion.

This homeowner owns homes in our community, and resides in a nearby community that has security gates. The security gates at the main entrance are guarded. The security gates at other entrances are not guarded.

Even though this homeowner personally favors the gates at his residence, he cautioned us to be very careful about putting them in our community. Why? Because our community has only one main entrance/exit with no alternative paths to enter or exit the community.

"Gates fail," he said. "Failures due to power outages can be handled with battery back-up units. But failures due to mechanical issues (jams, stresses, someone hitting or vandalizing the gate) can take hours or even days to fix."

"When the gates at the entrance/exit I normally use fail - and they do - I am able to enter or exit through one of the other 4 gates on the property. If that were to happen at [our community], I would either be stuck outside, wanting in, or, stuck inside wanting out."

He strongly encouraged us to consider to only put in security gates if, at the same time, we created an alternative entrance/exit to have as a back-up.

I thought this was a very good to consider and wanted to share it with all communities that are thinking about putting in gates.


08/04/2006 3:44 PM  
This is completely off topic but it may be helpful to those of you who may no be aware of it.
As you can see, the type font on HOATalk is not large and is therefore difficult for some of us to read very well. If you hold down the Ctrl key and punch the plus key (to the left of the Backspace key)twice, it will enlarge the typefont dramatically. Jackj


08/04/2006 3:57 PM  
We are now considering the installation of gates at our complex so I geatly appreciate the comments on this topic. Since we have a single entry/exit with no alternate I especially appreciate your comments JimM2


08/04/2006 4:02 PM  
The suggestion made about the gates is valid, so I'll share with you our experience with our gates.

I live in a gated community with only one entrance. We have had no problem that I'm aware of.

Gates are expensive to maintain, but they do keep out a lot of extra traffic.

True gates fail, but for me, that is not enough reason to not have gates. The reason to have gates is for privacy, to keep out extra traffic. Keeping out a lot of extra traffic will reduce wear and tear on your asphalt.

As a security system, it is just a small deterrent because it could be slower for burglars to exit the community, and a little more difficult for them to case the area. Many gated communities will not use the word security for their gates. They prefer the term "privacy gates."

We have only one entry/exit, but there are two gates, one for entrance and one for exit. If one gate fails shut, the other can be used.

These gates were installed close to 20 years ago, and as far as I know we have had no complaints.

I would recommend that two or three people in the community have a key to the control box so that one of them can come over and lock the gate open until it can be repaired. And of course the community needs to know who has the key. If you have a MC, then they can call for service, and also call the people who have the key to lock the gate open until the service people arrive.


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