By Rusty Bradshaw
The Sun City Home Owners Association CC&R Review Committee will work through the summer in preparation for making recommendations about potential changes.
The group met June 22 to review for a full meeting room of residents the committee’s working parameters and to begin gathering input. The committee will meet twice more before the SCHOA board reconvenes in September. The first is 10:30 a.m. Friday, July 27 and the second 10:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 24. Both will be conducted in the meeting room at the SCHOA office, 10401 W. Coggins Drive.
“Our plan is to have some recommendations ready for the SCHOA board during its September meeting,” said Jim Hunter, SCHOA board president and CC&R Review Committee chairman.
While committee members have gathered a number of alternatives for change and questions to put to legal counsel, Mr. Hunter said the committee wants to continue to hear from residents.
“Come to the meetings or contact one of us with your suggestions or questions,” he said.
There is also a survey on the SCHOA website, www.suncityhoa.org, for residents to provide input.
The committee is using the existing Sun City CC&Rs, without the clarifications added over the years, as the base document for its considerations.
“We agreed that the clarifications are problematic,” Mr. Hunter said. “We have three different sections in conflict just over the detached buildings issue.”
He said the committee as a whole believes the clarifications should be eliminated or folded into the CC&R document after making them all consistent. The committee also agreed there should be no further clarifications added.
“While they are under review, SCHOA will enforce the CC&Rs as they now stand,” Mr. Hunter said.
Mr. Hunter said the SCHOA online survey showed some encouraging trends. Of the first 75 completed, there were three with a negative tone regarding the CC&Rs and the review process, he explained. There were also 11 residents who believe the CC&Rs need no changes, just more enforcement. Fourteen responses dealt with detached structure issues and four were strictly condominium issues.
“I think those results are encouraging,” said Bill Pearson, committee member.
Sun City’s CC&R cover single-family dwellings. But the vast majority of the 386 condo associations have CC&Rs that are almost identical to Sun City’s, according to Jerry Walczak, Sun City Condo Owners Association vice president and SCHOA CC&R Review Committee member.
“There are some that have some rules specific to their association, but for the most part their CC&Rs have the same basic regulations that are in the Sun City document,” he explained.
Tom Wilson, SCHOA compliance manager, said he has wanted changes in the CC&Rs for 10 years. He added residents generally have an unrealistic expectation of CC&R compliance by SCHOA.
“If a problem isn’t fixed in two days, they think we don’t care,” Mr. Wilson said. “But initially we have to give them 30 days to resolve the issue and if it’s not done after a third letter, that is when we start assessments.”
Mr. Walczak said one area of potential change for the Sun City CC&Rs is expanding the explanation on enforcement.
“The COA lists all phases of enforcement, but SCHOA only has one section on liens,” he said.
Residents at the June 22 meeting offered a number of suggestions. Several were concerned about renters.
Caroline Harvey wondered if it were possible to require landlords to have a landscaper attend to their property monthly. She also suggested adding stipulations to the CC&Rs regulating how detached buildings should look and be maintained.
Lyle Sams believes there should be regulations for wood fences requiring the smooth side to face the neighbors’ yards. However, he also pointed out Sun City West officials discourage wood fences because of the deterioration due to the heat.
Lloyd Maple, who is a SCHOA board member but not on the CC&R committee, suggested reviving the architectural committee. The group would review all architectural changes on properties to make sure they conform to community standards.
“We don’t want to be too restrictive, like some of the communities around us, but there should be some control,” he said.