Presidents Message: Posted Rule Changes for 28-day Comment

Kim Fuller

Good morning residents,

The Board has posted some proposed rule changes for review on the website. I will attempt to answer some of the questions regarding the proposed rules. If you still have questions be sure to let me know.

Proposed Rules and Regulations for Event/Political Signs and Flags: 

Rules and Regulations Section 2.8.4 Event/Political Signs and Flags: Residents are permitted to simultaneously display up to three (3) event/political signs and flags on their Lot. The signs cannot be identical or substantially similar to any other event/political sign placed on the same Lot. Event/political signs may be displayed no more than thirty (30) consecutive days before the event or election and must be removed the day after the event or election. Political flags count as signs and are defined for these guidelines as signs. Event/Political signs may only be displayed in the front yard. US flags are exempt from these guidelines and may be displayed all year round. US flags may not be larger than 15 sq ft. At no time shall such signs violate applicable law.

The proposed rules for the display of signs and flags were created to clarify the guidelines for all event/political signs since the current rules are not explicit.

The following information was gathered from a survey of almost 1,000 homes:

  1. How long before an election should political signs be allowed to be displayed?
    • 30 Days – 86%
    • 45 Days – 7%
    • 60 Days – 4%
    • No Limit – 2%
  1. How many signs should be allowed on one property?
    • 1 sign – 29%
    • 2 signs – 26%
    • 3 signs – 33%
    • 4 signs – 4%
    • 5 signs – 2%
    • Unlimited – 5%
  1. How many signs per candidate should be displayed?
    • 1 sign – 77%
    • Doesn’t Matter – 23%

After review of the survey information the Board decided on the proposed language listed above for Section 2.8.4 of the Rules and Regulations.

Proposed Design Rules Party Walls:

The proposed Party Wall rule for the Design Rule addition is because CC&R Section 7.6.7 states: “In the event of a dispute between Owners with respect to the construction, repair or rebuilding of a Party Wall or with respect to any other matter in connection therewith, then upon written request of one of such Owners addressed to the Association, the matter shall be submitted to arbitration under such rules as may from time to time be adopted by the Association”.

A Party Wall according to CC&R Section 1.40 is defined: “Party Wall" means a wall or fence situated on a boundary line separating two or more Lots or a Lot and any portion of the Common Area”.

So, the HOA must establish a process of arbitration for a dispute between two homeowners regarding the Party Wall between two homes. The Board is proposing the following process to be efficient and cost effective:

Design Rules Section 4.30.6: Article 7, Section 7.6 of the CC&Rs, details maintenance and repair responsibilities with respect to Party Walls. Pursuant to Section 7.6.7 of the CC&Rs, in the event of a dispute, that cannot be resolved between Owners, regarding the construction, repair, or rebuilding of a Party Wall or regarding any other matter in connection therewith, SCSHCA shall be the arbiter of the dispute. In order to determine the cause of the damage or deterioration of the Party Wall or to provide other necessary information as determined by SCSHCA, SCSHCA may retain a masonry expert or structural engineer. The cost of said expert shall be the joint expense of the Owners involved in the dispute unless fault related to the damage or deterioration is assigned to an Owner by the expert, in which case the Owner responsible for the damage or deterioration shall pay the cost of the expert’s report. If, in the expert’s opinion, the fault related to the damage or deterioration can be apportioned among the Owners involved in the dispute, the costs of the expert’s report will be apportioned the same between these Owners. The SCSHCA’s Covenants Committee shall first hear the dispute in compliance with SCSHCA’s Enforcement Procedures. Each Owner has a right to appeal the Covenants Committee’s decision to the Board of SCSHCA, as does the Board of SCSHCA in its own discretion. 

Does the HOA have to be the arbiter in such a dispute? No. The HOA is only required to establish the arbitration process.

Why is the HOA choosing to act as arbiter? This is proposed in an effort save residents time and money. If the process were to require professional third-party Arbitration, it is estimated to cost between $2,000 to $5,000 per resident. By using our existing Covenants Committee process the cost will be Zero for such a hearing. The only cost will be that of the engineering report to determine what caused the Party Wall damage.

What if the dispute is for a Party Wall between a resident and the HOA property? The proposed new process does not apply. CC&R Section 7.6.5 applies to walls between a resident and the HOA. In a case between a resident and the HOA, if a wall needs to be replaced the HOA must replace the wall at their own expense. The exception is if the resident caused the damage to the wall the resident would have to repair it. For example: A worker for the resident, in putting in a backyard pool, accidently drives a mini-tractor through the wall. In this case the resident would be responsible for repairing the damage.

Is the Arbitration process binding on the two residents? No. Residents could still hire attorneys and take whatever Civil action they deemed necessary, but the HOA will have fulfilled its obligation under the CC&R’s.

Proposed Rules and Regulations for Definition of Guests:

The new guest rule is being proposed because the CC&R’s do not describe guests 55 years old and above. The CC&R’s Section 8.1.1 only describe that residents may have guests under the age of 55. As a result, there is an argument that residents may not have guests over 55 because the CC&R’s state you may only have guests under 55. There is also the argument that non-residents over 55 could have free access to the facilities because there is no language denying them access. There is also no language to state who is responsible for such guests, nor how long they may stay. There is also no language requiring long term guests over 55 to register as a Qualified Permanent Resident. Without language in the CC&R’s describing guests over 55 we need to make the rules to describe and qualify this group of people. The following language is being proposed:

Rules and Regulations Section 2.4.1. Definition of Guest: Individuals regardless of age, who stay with residents of SCSHCA for 60 total days and nights or less in a calendar year, are Guests. The 60-day threshold only applies to Guests staying overnight at Residences. A Guest may stay in a Residence without a Host Resident, i.e., a Qualifying Resident or a Qualified Permanent Resident, physically present.

Individuals who stay in a Residence within SCSHCA for more than 60 total days and nights in a calendar year are no longer Guests, and must vacate the Residence or must qualify to reside in the community pursuant to Section 8.1.1 of the CC&Rs. Such individuals shall submit to the Association’s age verification process and if required in the Board’s sole discretion, provide proof of primary occupancy in the Residence that is satisfactory to the Board, or immediately quit occupancy of a Residence within the community. A vendor of a resident is a commercial invitee and not a Guest.

Is it necessary to pass a CC&R to resolve this issue? No. The addition of the new rule will resolve this issue.

Can my guest stay in my house when I am not present in the home? Yes.

Can a Caregiver stay longer than 60 days/nights? Yes. Caregivers may stay as long as is necessary.

Can my family stay longer than 60 days/nights when they are caring for me because of a medical rehab condition? Yes. In this case there are exemptions also for family members taking care of residents so they may stay as long as is necessary.

Does a guest that visits me during the day count for the 60 day/night limit? No. Guests that do not stay overnight may come everyday and there is no limit on that type of visit. You may have a friend visit everyday of the year if they are only visiting during the day. The 60 day/night limit only applies to the guests that stay overnight.

What happens after the guest stays with me for 60 days/nights and is not a caregiver or a family member taking care of me for a medical reason? After 60 days/nights the guest will need to apply to the Board to be a Qualified Permanent Resident or else leave the community.

Proposed Rules and Regulations for Tennis & Pickleball Courts Operating Hours:

4.16.2 Tennis and Pickle Ball Courts – Generally: (a) Although hours of operation are subject to change, the tennis and pickle ball courts are open daily during the following times.

  • November 1 – April 30: 8:00 am – 8:30 pm daily.
  • May 1 – October 31: 7:00 am – 8:30 pm daily.

Hopefully, I have answered your questions and concerns about the proposed new rule changes and additions, if not, please let me know.

Thank you and take care.

Kim Fuller