CC&R's...are they working?

Discussion in 'Sun City General Discussions' started by BPearson, May 29, 2018.

  1. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Curious, how many of you know we have Covenants, Condition's and Restrictions (CC&R's) and what they actually say? For that matter, how many of you know the Sun City Home Owners Association (SCHOA) and the Rec Centers of Sun City (RCSC) are two different organizations?

    One of the things that drives me wild is how little so many know about Sun City and how we function. The good news is, most of the regulars on this site are better informed and know at the least the basics. That puts you miles ahead of the masses.

    I won't belabor my frustrations from last years anger over a vendor on the SCHOA list. Suffice to say i was livid. That said, we never quit the organization, it's just too darn important to not be a member.

    At the end of 2017 several new board members were elected and new officers put in place. I was pleased with those joining the board as it appeared they were going back to their roots...which is first and foremost CC&R enforcement.

    In the past month i was asked to join a small committee to look at our CC&R"s. Rather than make you go looking, here is a link to them. They are fairly simple to read and understand, other than some crossover sections that seem to counteract one another.

    The reality is they have in one form or another existed for near on 50 years. They were amended by community vote in 1998/1999. So we are clear, these are the only things SCHOA has the authority to enforce. There are those in Sun City who want SCHOA to be more aggressive, but the limitations are pretty clear for those reading them.

    For example one writer to the Independent newspaper last week suggested SCHOA should stop the green grass being removed from properties. His claims were wildly ridiculous and all he did was expose the fact he knew nor understood nothing about the community.

    Our first meeting of the CC&R review committee was last week. Good discussion and we felt we were objective enough to understand the enormity of the task to try and rewrite and vote new CC&R's. There are 56 units (geographic designations within Sun City) that would have to pass by majority any new language.

    No one in the room saw that as a viable option. Most of us familiar with the CC&R's feel they are representative of what is and has worked well. There is some confusion that can be cleared up with "clarifications," but those cannot be expanded on to change the intent and content of what is there.

    One only has to look at the recent angst over the garages being erected in Sun City to grasp the confusion. Garages are legal as long as they meet the set-backs; end of story. I get it, some people don't like them; just like people didn't like it when their neighbors started putting up fences.

    Part of the problem is that SCHOA did do some "clarifications" that added to the misunderstandings because they may have gone too far. To help resolve these issues, the committee will work through the summer to try and resolve the questions people have and find ways to reach the community at large.

    I would love to hear any thoughts from those of you reading this or perhaps any questions you might have.
  2. CMartinez

    CMartinez Active Member

    I would like to see "condition of property" clarified. There is a house on the golf course, a corner lot, that has placed raised bed gardens in their front yard. What's worse, they are using lamp shades over the plants to shade them from the sun. If that isn't good enough, they have placed a couch in front of the plants to provide shade from the afternoon sun. Oh, I forgot the chicken wire over the beds and other areas to keep the rabbits away from their plants. When reading the CC&R's, it states " In the event any portion of any lot is so maintained as to present a public or private nuisance, or as to substantially detract from the appearance or quality of the surrounding lots or other areas of the community which are substantially affected thereby or related there to, or in the event any portion of a lot is being used in a manner which violates this Declaration; or in the event any Owner of any lot is failing to perform any of the Owner’s obligations under this Declaration, the Association may make a finding to such effect, specifying the conditions or conditions which exist, and pursuant thereto give notice thereof to the offending Owner that unless the corrective action is taken within thirty (30) days, the Association may cause such action to be taken at said Owner’s cost." I feel this particular section could be rewritten to be a little more clear and direct. I had a neighbor come over and ask if she thought it would be okay to dig up all of her rock in the front yard, place irrigation lines, and use her entire yard as a farm. I recommended she speak with SCHOA. She thought because I had been on the board, I would know the answer so she could get started right away. So many folks don't realize there is a separation between the two.
  3. Cynthia

    Cynthia Well-Known Member

    Funny, not funny. Guess they needed to find use for that old couch.
    CMartinez likes this.
  4. CMartinez

    CMartinez Active Member

    Makes me wonder if they even know there are CC&R's to abide by. It was sold by a non Sun City Realtor. So now we have the Clampets living up the block.
  5. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    I am a huge fan of language that is not ambiguous, most often clear and concise makes the most sense. In the case of the section on "condition of property" I think it is better left open for interpretation. Simple to me, basic community standards are fairly easily defined. Your neighbor is one of those that could and should be held accountable for their bad choices.
  6. Cynthia

    Cynthia Well-Known Member

    No indoor furniture outdoors is a good rule I’ve seen in some cities. I have heard complaints about front yard farms before. People should be able to grow food if they are allowed to grow plants but food gardens can get messy if not well maintained...the ground ends up as just dirt.
  7. Adam560

    Adam560 New Member

    Have you reported the address of this property to SCHOA at 974-4718 ? Their friendly Compliance Officer will be glad to visit the offending property and explain to them all about the CC&R's and how they apply to all single family homes in Sun City. SCHOA can't address violations unless they are made aware of them.
  8. CMartinez

    CMartinez Active Member

    I did turn it in via the web last night. I feel bad when I do things such as turn someone in, but rather then complain, I need to be active about what is going on in my neighborhood. Thank You and welcome Adam560
  9. Adam560

    Adam560 New Member

    You never have to feel bad about reporting a CC&R violation to SCHOA. As I mentioned previously, compliance officers will contact the offending party and explain to them what needs to be corrected. We all work together to keep Sun City attractive and maintain all our property values.

    (No one is ever deported or hauled away in handcuffs for having a messy yard)
  10. CMartinez

    CMartinez Active Member

    (No one is ever deported or hauled away in handcuffs for having a messy yard)

    Nice to hear, I wouldn't want to see someone hanging onto their couch in the front yard, screaming for dear life, as they are being hauled off to the clink. LOL

    Back to Topic: I would also like to see all of the addendums listed with all of the clarifications rolled into a nice, clean, readable document. While the clarifications are great to view as to why and when issues were amended, I also believe it would be great to have the latest and greatest clarifications incorporated into the one document.
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
  11. Cynthia

    Cynthia Well-Known Member

    I'm confused about this statement made by SCHOA in the Independent. "We have no authority to enforce any laws; we are limited to the CC& Rs only." Does that mean they can't enforce anything, they can only report it to county officials as against the CC& Rs and the officials will enforce it? Or can they enforce the CC&Rs? If so, what type of action are they legally allowed for enforcement?
  12. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Sorry for the delay, went to the board meeting today. Here's the deal; the CC&R's were written long ago and filed with the county. When you buy a property, you buy the obligations that are part and parcel of the deed restrictions. SCHOA has been the enforcing agency, but until 1998/1999 most often counted on the county to address the concerns (though not always). When they passed revised CC&R's they helped sell them by saying the county would no longer fill that role, SCHOA would. (Ben Roloff has the newspaper files from those days and i have read them through, quite fascinating).

    The odd thing was, while it sounded good, SCHOA wasn't equipped to handle the flood of problems that came after they were passed. By the time we were elected to the board there were some 75+ cases sitting on the executive directors desk. They did a great job of letting people know they were in violation, but they did virtually nothing to compel violators who refused to comply by going after them in court. It caused residents to hate SCHOA and write non-stop nasty letters to the editor.

    The first magazine i wrote for SCHOA was simply headed Compliance Matters! No magic too it, we were going to aggressively go after those who were in whatever cost. We hammered those pending cases with litigation and damned when people saw we were serious, they cleaned up their properties. One guy refused and by the time we were done he owed SCHOA over $18,000. SCHOA cannot fine people, but they can charge for the administrative fees, legal costs up to and including going to court, and then charge yearly interest if they don't pay. There's no better stimulation than people knowing you are for real.

    The bigger problem has come over the years as board members have tried to add to the existing CC&R's via "clarifications." Our attorneys have told us forever you cannot change the content or intent. Unfortunately that hasn't stopped some boards to try and enhance them to be more definitive. It's one of the reasons there is so much angst today. Over the next several months the committee will try and flush out what is in the existing CC&R's on file at the county and what the board arbitrarily added to make them work better; at least in their mind.

    We will solicit input from the community, but in reality the basis for any working document is what is legally enforceable in a court of law. The thing everyone should understand is what we are working with was created by residents who gave up their retirement to make Sun City a better place to live. Way too easy for those sitting at home writing scathing articles to the newspaper when in fact they have no clue what they are talking about. Hopefully we can end up with an outcome that helps educate the masses about what SCHOA does and how they do it.
    CMartinez and Cynthia like this.
  13. Cynthia

    Cynthia Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the clarification, BP.
  14. Adam560

    Adam560 New Member

    Thanks Bill. I knew you would jump in and do the heavy lifting on this topic.
  15. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    No heavy lifting on my end A560, just hope i'm not overstepping my bounds by trying to help people understand the challenges we all face moving forward. SCHOA overall does a great job and most folks have no idea how many complaints they resolve each month; it is staggering. What they can't do is enforce something that doesn't exist. The classic example is the garage battle. They are legal as long as it meets the setback requirements and is located in the "rear-half of said lot." The bigger problem came in 2011 when the board resolution expanded on the CC&R's with a clarification regarding garages that may or may not be legal.

    While some board members have downplayed the fight we went through in 2007/2008 to keep this from happening, we were willing to go through the ugly to try and preserve the integrity of the CC&R's. Not trying to be argumentative here, because no board members were trying to do anything sinister. The reality is what we have in our documents is what SCHOA can and does's as simple as that.

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