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Well . . . We have a new year before us. A new budget is in place and as I learned in three different legislative updates / seminars, there are law revisions and new laws that add to those already in place regarding HOAs and their responsibilities, limitations and rules with which to function. Many of the changes affect our HOA only slightly, if at all. However, there are a few we will be working with having to do with solar water heating / power installations, water use restrictions due to the ongoing drought and fruit tree maintenance associated with vermin they potentially may attract.

Homeowners with fruit trees are required to harvest fruit when ripe to reduce there potential to attract rats in areas where rats have been a problem (That includes Montage). Water conservation is an increasing focus and so there have been legislative actions associated with natural turf and landscape conversions to drought tolerant landscapes including regulating the use of synthetic turf including regulations associated with synthetic turf characteristics such as turf color, composition, materials and installation technique.

Changes in regulations related to the design, location and appearance of solar panels will make it increasingly more difficult to maintain the architectural integrity and cleaning styling and appearance of Montage homes and will require more thoughtful planning and cooperation of homeowners.

These changes may necessitate the Board consulting experts in design and engineering fields to review variance requests and plans for these types of major landscape and solar changes. The Board will be reviewing our current guidelines in all areas to assure compliance with current legislation. Distribution of these amended guidelines will be posted to our website and distributed to all homeowners as they are revised.

Comments / Complaints / Misinformation
These last few months have seem to have presented more derogatory comments, complaints and mis-information targeted at the Board than at anytime I can remember. Unfortunately there have been instances where inaccurate, negative and hurtful information has been circulated regarding the responsibilities and work of the HOA Board and myself. I think everyone can understand that, intended or not, the spread of this type of erroneous information and imprecise accusations can be damaging to the reputation of Montage and the cohesion of our neighborhood.

As a Board we are charged with operating the HOA in a business-like manner, according HOA policies and bylaws. The Board are not experts, not realtors, escrow agents, property managers and but rather regular people and volunteers attempting to work for the general welfare and mutual good of all. I think anyone who has been a member of a public serving organization probably understands that it is not always easy or possible to please all of the people all of the time.

For example when homes are sold . . . the Board doesn’t necessarily receive that information any sooner than any other resident. We are not responsible for remote keys, HOA documents, gate codes, utility connections and etc. Previous owners, representing realtors, property management and escrow companies each play a role and have these responsibilities. Both the Board and I will continue to do our best to help inform and facilitate where possible, but this is not purpose of the Board.

We strive to be responsive and available to every resident and endeavor to gently remind residents of guidelines we all have agreed to live by virtue of our ownership in Montage. Board members have taken an oath of ethics, and as you can probably imagine, spend many hours working behind the scenes doing the tasks required of us by law; by the responsibility to our positions on the Board and committees; and, participating within external organizations that enhance our understanding and skill to more effectively carry out the work of the Montage HOA Board.

I feel confident in assuring you that the current Board is comprised of self-less and service oriented individuals whose only interest is in protecting your investment. They do not assume they know everything there is to know about HOA management, but they are open to learning. Remember . . . They/We are volunteers and receive no compensation nor special privileges nor reimbursement for the work they do.

If you are unclear or uncertain about HOA matters . . . if you hear something egregious or perhaps unbalanced or counter to your recent understanding or good reasoning…. please check with myself or another Boardmember to see if what you heard is correct, accurate or true.