SCHOA wants to know how you feel about...

Discussion in 'Sun City General Discussions' started by BPearson, Jun 15, 2018.

  1. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    The Sun City Home Owners Association (SCHOA, which is free standing from the RCSC) is looking for your thoughts on the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&R's). For those of you unfamiliar with them, they are a part of your deed restrictions filed with the county when you buy the property. You can find them here.

    I've written this often, but it's worth repeating: SCHOA is unlike any other Home Owners Association anywhere. Even our counterpart PORA in Sun City West is different. Their enforcement is limited to letter writing and trying to resolve problems internally. Once a home owner in SCW refuses to comply, the Rec Centers of Sun City West (RCSCW) becomes the organization that adjudicates it.

    In Sun City, SCHOA is the end-all-be-all. They deal with every complaint from start to finish. Most people have no idea, but they handle thousands of complaints each year, resolving 90% of them quickly with the most challenging taking longer (up to and including going to court for a judgement).

    While folks rip SCHOA because they don't like something in their neighborhood, the simple fact is SCHOA can only enforce what are in the deed restrictions on file at the county. And in my mind, the beauty of our CC&R's is the simplicity in complying with them. Other communities have bibles on what you can and cannot do. Horrible way to live in my mind.

    Of late, the biggest gripe has been about detached garages. It's been an issue for years and sadly the misunderstanding by some is they can't have them. The CC&R's are clear, they are legal as long as they meet the set-backs and are in the back half of the property. Corner lots are the most easy to configure a detached garage and obviously are the most visible.

    In an effort to address the concerns, SCHOA has formed a committee to study what if anything need be done about the CC&R's. They meet the 4th Friday of every month at 10:30 at SCHOA's offices and they are open to the public.

    In addition, SCHOA is soliciting comments from community members. They just posted an on-line survey and you can find the link to it here. Take a moment and let them know what you think. When owners get involved, it is how the community works best.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2018
  2. Emily Litella

    Emily Litella Well-Known Member

    I received the email and it's on the to-do list this weekend.

    I had no idea until the past couple of years here how overworked the Compliance Department is. I do think that they try to work with people to find reasonable solutions.
  3. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Had coffee with the president of SCHOA yesterday and i asked him to email me the latest figures on compliance closures. Once he does i will post them. They are staggering.

    It is so crazy to read the letters to the editor where people say SCHOA does nothing. I especially appreciate they are returning to their roots and focusing on compliance, all the other stuff is secondary to maintaining the community standards.
  4. Emily Litella

    Emily Litella Well-Known Member

    Well I've submitted my two cents. Hope it helps.
  5. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Good on you emily, hopefully others will do the same. I was able to read the comments to date (being on the committee) and was pleasantly surprised by them. Cleanly people are interested, though there is a need for SCHOA to do a better job of reaching owners with more understandable information. What i have always found is there is an ongoing education process of how self-governance works and what each organization does. Assuming people who move here know, is just not realistic.
  6. CMartinez

    CMartinez Active Member

    I answered the SCHOA email with the same items I had mentioned before; please clear up the addendums and all of the other clutter in the language, and make them clear, concise, and to the point. When one goes to read what is the real way to address things, it is so confusing to read all of the addendums, to the point the original intent seems to be lost. Received a nice reply from James Hunter, agreeing with the need to clean up some of the verbiage. Thank You James for the reply.
  7. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    This thread fell of the front page and rather than start a new one, i will revisit it here. We had our July open meeting yesterday for the CC&R review committee. As could be suspected, the attendance wasn't great, but those who were there made for an interesting meeting; perhaps our best thus far. This was the third open session, and along with the hundred plus email comments (as an aside, board president answered each and every one of them), we have gotten a fairly good handle on what the community is saying/asking for.

    It should be interesting to note, the single most repeated is the CC&R's are fine, just do a better job of enforcement. I think it is safe to say, most of us involved in the process, love the simplicity of them. Where there is a problem is in the clarity. They could have been written better in 1998/1999, and to add to the confusion, over the years (2007 and again in 2011), boards added what are called clarifications or board resolutions. In some cases, those additions may have gone too far.

    It left those in compliance trying to enforce something that may or may not even be enforceable. When calls complaints came in, residents could read one section and argue with an absolute sense they were right, but that was only if they didn't read another section that was in complete deference. The best example is where one clause says "no detached structures," while another clearly says garages are legal if they meet the setbacks. Then compound it with board resolutions that were never passed by the community and never filed with the state and what you get is the perfect storm.

    Yesterday, one of the attendees asked what the mission/goal of the committee was? Good, question because it opened the door to be brutally honest with those in the room. We talked bluntly about why this committee was formed. The situation that SCHOA is functioning under just isn't all that good. They have a legal right and an obligation to enforce the CC&R's. That said, they can't enforce something that may or may not be legally enforceable. By the end of this process, the goal is to come out with something that is abundantly clear to all. Whether it be to rewrite and pass something new, or to adopt language from the old that spells everything out for all to understand will depend a lot on the community.

    The August meeting of the committee is suspended. Our next open session will be on Sept 28 at 10:30 at SCHOA. And to better reach people, we will be holding a Town Hall meeting at Fairway social halls on Oct 10. Those details will be forthcoming.
  8. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Truly amazing what is going on at SCHOA these days. It's always a little nerve racking when someone leaves an organization, but the simple reality is it happens every day and the outcomes are always as simple as life goes on. People step up and fill the void, others are hired and it either runs better, worse or the same. That old adage that no one is irreplaceable has been proven true over and over again. As we speak, SCHOA is looking at any number of ways to improve outreach and enhance communication.

    Throw into the mix more folks getting involved in the development and promotion and it becomes all good. Ultimately, the efforts by the board and the CC&R review committee and 2018/2019 could prove to be one of SCHOA's finest moments.
  9. Emily Litella

    Emily Litella Well-Known Member

    SCHOA will be fine. I like that they're going back to their roots. I appreciate the changes and all their effort. I think our yearly renewal is coming up and we will renew.
  10. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    There was an article in the Independent this week about SCHOA and the Community Fund parting ways. The Community Fund was a separate organization that merged with the United way years back. They still maintained a presence in Sun City by helping people with financial assistance, but when the guy that headed it, Jim Green, got sick they asked SCHOA to take them over.

    I never understood the arrangement, not that having money to give out was a bad thing, but there is an organization in Sun City far better equipped than SCHOA to do that. The Sun City Community Network (CAN) does all kinds of low income qualification services and they just seemed a far better fit to me. SCHOA's mission is different. Hopefully the Community Fund and CAN will connect as it makes far more sense to me.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2018
  11. Emily Litella

    Emily Litella Well-Known Member

    I have to say I agree. The CAN folks are wonderful. I predict that many more Sun City seniors are going to require their assistance in the future.

    I'm a little confused about something. The RAMP and CIP programs through SCHOA are separate from the Community Fund, correct?
  12. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    They are separate E. They were both put in place back when we were rebuilding SCHOA as an assist to help owners conform to the CC&R's. They have evolved since their inception and have become a valuable to tool for SCHOA and a true benefit to the community.

    The Community Fund is simply cash for those who need it, and that was one of the problems for SCHOA. They don't have the resources in place like CAN does for the financial screening that should be done when handing out money.
  13. Emily Litella

    Emily Litella Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the explanation.
  14. Cynthia

    Cynthia Well-Known Member

    RAMP and CIP are new alphas for me. I looked at the website under Community Services and SCHOA’s site, but nada.
  15. CMartinez

    CMartinez Active Member

    The CIP (Community Intervention Program) is designed to ensure homes in Sun City that may be vacant for whatever the reason are also kept in good repair. The vacancy may be due to a foreclosure, or a property may be vacant for an unknown reason. Regardless of the reason, SCHOA is committed to cleaning these properties for the wellbeing of the entire community. Residents and businesses support the CIP as they support the RAMP through donations and helping with the actual cleaning. Both programs are valuable protecting Sun City’s property values, its appearance as well as assisting residents who may be in need. The Residents’ Assistance and Maintenance Program (RAMP) was created and is supported through donations made by residents who wish to lend a hand to their neighbors and, at the same time, protect property values. Assistance isn’t only monetary, neighbors also volunteer to assist by coming together and cleaning a property. Yes, Sun City is called the “City of Volunteers” and yes, folks “step up” to help their neighbors. This program is also supported by community donations and residents and businesses personally taking their time to clean a property.
    Emily Litella likes this.
  16. aggie

    aggie Active Member

    You're right Cynthia, SCHOA obviously needs to better explain these programs on their website. The only place they're mentioned is on the drop down item "Member Benefits" with no link to a detailed description of the programs. There is also no place on the membership/renewal of membership form for donations to these two important programs.

    One main difference between the RAMP and CIP programs is that the work done through the CIP is billed to the property owner and a lien placed on the property for repayment.
    Emily Litella likes this.
  17. Emily Litella

    Emily Litella Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Carole and aggie. I didn't realize the CIP was billed to the property owner and a lien was placed.

    We always give to RAMP and CIP when we pay that HUGE yearly membership fee of $20. But yes, you have to specifically tell the admin at the desk that the additional funds go to RAMP and CIP.
  18. Cynthia

    Cynthia Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the explanations. Now that you explain it I remember I had heard something about them. RAMP sounds like such a helpful program...good to know it exists. As far as CHIP goes, I would imagine they try to contact the owner first?
  19. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Yup, they give them lots of lead time to clean up their property. The problem comes from the number of vacant homes, often times left to family who for some reason just sit on them and do nothing. Begs the question why? In the end, the goal is to get the property cleaned up so it doesn't drag the rest of the neighborhood down. When we started the program, we used to put signs up on telling people it was cleaned up by SCHOA. So few people understand the importance of shameless self-promotion.

    In fact, both of these programs make the Sun City home owners association wholly different from most others. When we rebuilt we wanted a "softer side" added to help those who couldn't afford the clean-up on their property. The two programs gave us the best of both worlds. The sad fact is, what SCHOA does has been lost as the organization focused more on promoting vendors than in advocating for their core mission. Most residents have no clue how many violations they resolve per month and even less info on how many times they utilize RAMP and CHIP.

    Thanks for the info CM, the more we talk about it, the better residents appreciate Sun City. Like my good friend Ben pointed out; wouldn't it be better if we received email blasts from SCHOA giving us this kind of information rather than on the next seminar on where they could learn to sell their old jewelry? Think about it eh?
    Emily Litella likes this.
  20. Cynthia

    Cynthia Well-Known Member

    You lost me here. They do what?

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