By Bill Pearson
My congratulations to whoever authored the commentary entitled “PCA bill designed to protect Sun City,” Sun City Independent, March 6, 2019.
They did a marvelous job painting a picture of our incredible way of life in Sun City and the historic role we played in Arizona’s development. Where I lost all respect for the piece was when the innuendo, hyperbole and outright falsehoods seeped into the article telling us of the dangers of Title 33.
Let’s start with the good stuff. Sun City is a very special place. We are unique. We are a community built by the people who lived here and for the people who ultimately move here. We are self-governed, we have been since the Del E Webb Corporation left in 1978. Even while they were with us, they were nurturing and shaping us into a community that would endure all the trials and tribulations once they left.
We were the first age restricted community in the country that promoted “a new active way of life.” We are the model that has been poked, prodded and probed for more than 50 years. Every age restricted community that came after us wanted to emulate our success. We were, are and continue to be that good.
With that said, my frustrations over the commentary regarding how we will be changed evermore by having to follow the Planned Communities Act (Title 33) is absolute nonsense. We do not need to be “protected” from it, we need to be “protected” from people making up stories about its impact on us.
We will not lose our age restricted status because of falling under it. The Sun City Home Owners Association is responsible for the yearly accounting and monitoring of those living here. People already can buy at any age, we purchased our home when we were 51. We couldn’t live here until we turned 55. That stays the same under Title 33.
Children or younger people who inherit their parents home cannot immediately move into the community. The assertion that they can under Title 33 is simply not true. It is being said and written to scare you into supporting the bill Kevin Payne is sponsoring. It is fear mongering in its worse form.
There are valid discussions to be had over Title 10 (which the Recreation Centers of Sun City now functions under) and Title 33. There are some additional costs under Title 33, but no one from the RCSC has been able or willing to say how much. There are obligations to allow proxies that we do not currently have. There would need be a rewrite on language in the bylaws, but the management/board does that frequently. One could argue that the RCSC isn’t an HOA, but then Title 33 is called the Planned Communities Act, not the Home Owners Associations Act.
The most dramatic changes will be in how the RCSC, its board and management, has to function. All meetings will be held in an open forum (other than those covered under law). They will not be able to have private discussions among themselves to predetermine how they should vote. If the do that, they could be sued. Essentially, it makes a more open and transparent organization. Do we really need to be “protected” from that?
The 380-plus condo associations in Sun City all operate under Title 33. It hasn’t ruined them, and in most cases, made them more functional. Everything they do has to meet the statutes or they are held accountable for failing to do so. Pretty simple, at least in my mind.
Let me just close by saying, whether Sun City is governed by Title 10 or Title 33, Sun City will remain a spectacular place to live. Our history and those who came before us built it to insure we survive almost anything. There is one aspect we all need to improve on: We need do a better job of taking ownership. We need to pay attention, get involved and be a part of the process of self-governance.
That is the defining difference between us and the thousands of other age restricted communities that were built after us.
Editor’s Note: Bill Pearson previously served on both the RCSC and SCHOA boards of directors.