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ISSUE ONE 2022
NEW ELECTION LAWS FOR HOAs
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Patty Kurzet email@example.com The Echo Journal is published quarterly by the Executive Council of Homeowners (Echo). The views of authors expressed in the articles herein do not necessarily reflect the views of Echo. We assume no responsibility for the statements and opinions advanced by the contributors to the magazine. It is released with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. Acceptance of advertising does not constitute any endorsement or recommendation, expressed or implied, of the advertiser or any goods or services offered. We reserve the right to reject any advertising copy or image.
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For more information visit www.echo-ca.org ECHO journal | ISSUE ONE 2022
New Election Law BY SANDRA L. GOTTLIEB, ESQ., CCAL
Balcony Inspections: What to Expect BY ANDY BRADVICA
BY DEREK MOBRAATEN
The Self-Managed Association: Thoughtful Project Preplanning Ensures Project Success
BY JOHN CLIGNY, AMS, PCAM, CCAM-HR
The Art of Aging Gracefully
BY MARY ANNE SAYLER
ISSUE ONE 2022 | ECHO journal
CEO’s Message: At the Heart of Community BY DAVID ZEPPONI, ECHO CEO
We Want Your Feedback – Member Survey Echo Board Members’ Club News Welcome to Our New Professional Service Providers
Legislation Tracker 2021-2022
Coastal Resource Panel Builds Ties to Protect Seaside HOAs
Echo Professional Services Panel Meeting Dates
2022 Statute Book is Available Now!
April 19 Community Conversations Online Event: Government Policies Affecting HOA Home Values
April 28 Community Conversations Online Event: Environmentally Friendly Landscaping
ECHO journal | ISSUE ONE 2022
Raison d’Etre – The Reason for
What a beautiful phrase, raison d’etre (reason for being). every board member should consider and collectively agr
The phrase engenders humanity. The words roll from one’ At the Heart of Community
stark business senses and adds the element of humanity In such extreme cases, execution community value obviously For many years, I was taught that the purpose of Strategic a board: planning, and evaluation; m plummets, and the board is held accountable. As community management is to maintain or increase management. The business realities should be board members, it is essential to understand thereflective o property values. I never felt good about that . . . it just relationship of metrics to the outcome (the of individuals in expected the community. didn’t seem right that a financial outcomecommon should be values
community vision) over the short and long run. the primary objective of community management. In Communities are imperfect – because they are made of hum fact, it seems more appropriate that property value The community vision is the standard by which humans retention and growth are dependent on arelating. well-run Humans using. Human living. Basically, success is ultimately gauged, and therefore it lies and happy community, not the reverse. If I’m right being human, communities sometimes forget that man at the heart of community decision making by and Echo is right, HOA management should focus establish norms for a and successful community. management the board. Once established,In a sense, on how to build and maintain better communities. projects, andis services can be planned community. Itsprograms, purpose to establish order and ele Property values should be used as one ofthe the many and deployed. Metrics are designed and monitored measures of HOA management success. progress and pace by establishing norms and constrain to ensure the intended purpose of the activity is to benefit all. managed properly and is successful. If the metrics Measures (or metrics) of success can be a doubleare designed properly and achieved, then the project edged sword, since they can motivate decisions It seems apparent that board leadership understan is successful. A successful project shouldmust advance the for success, exacerbate community challenges or community vision and theasatisfaction those who owners in order to orchestrate sense ofofcommunity and lead to catastrophic failure. Setting metrics that care about the community – including homeowners protect community values. The purpose of a board, the result in a wrong or unintended outcomeand can prove and real estate agents. People want to live in a devastating to a community and to homeowner build community based on common for the good successful community with friendlyvalues neighbors, value. For example, boards on occasion have been smiling faces, well-maintained grounds, and, yes, known to keep assessments as low as possible. In timeincreased It takes to orchestrate a community. It takes time to k property values. fact, many board members are quite proud of this, time to listen to the voices and build a vision reflective o and rightfully so – unless it results in a balcony failure, By focusing on property values, management and you willmay be inadvertently more effective as a board member and sa or water intrusion resulting in a foundation collapse. fail to build a community that
your reason people for being the board. want on to call home. Success will be found by
grounding the purpose of management in the vision
ECHO is committed to helping homeowner boardstheand res for the community and not solely on maximizing return on–investment. ing and advocacy this is our “raison d’etre”.
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ECHO CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER 6
ISSUE ONE 2022 | ECHO journal
David Zepponi Executive Director
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ECHO journal | ISSUE ONE 2022
ISSUE ONE 2022 | ECHO journal
NEW ELECTION LAWS
By Sandra L. Gottlieb, Esq., CCAL
n October 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom approved the following three bills affecting homeowner association elections: SB 392, SB 432, and AB 502. These bills made some improvements to the HOA election laws that were passed in 2019, but then they complicated others. First, SB 392 made one simple improvement regarding election material retention. The prior law required retention until the election cannot be contested, which left many people wondering, when is that? And the new law that became effective January 1, 2022, made it simple by requiring retention of election materials for one year after the election date. As a reminder, California Civil Code § 5200 (c) defines “association election materials” as returned ballots, signed voter envelopes, the voter list of names, parcel numbers, and voters to whom ballots were to be sent, proxies, and the candidate registration list. Signed voter envelopes may be inspected but may not be copied. Continued on page 10
ECHO journal | ISSUE ONE 2022
New Election Laws Continued from page 9
Next, SB 432 cleaned up a discrepancy that the 2019 law had left between the Davis-Stirling Act and the Corporations Code, both of which apply to most community associations. Corporations Code Section 7511(c) was amended by extending the maximum time for associations to hold the recall/removal and new board member election vote from 90 to 150 days from the date of receipt of the petition. This will allow associations to comply with both Civil Code Section 5115, which requires associations to send a general notice 90 days before an election, and the Corporations Code, which requires the recall/removal to occur within 90 days of the receipt of the petition. According to the old law, in order to comply with both statutes, associations would have been required to send the notice on the day they received the petition. Last but not least, AB 502 expanded the vote by acclamation rights to all California community associations. The process makes the election timeline 120 days, plus the time needed to prepare and send ballots in between the nomination deadline and ballot mailing. However, the timeline does not include any time for revising election rules. If an association needs to revise its election rules, it will need to add
As always, if a community association needs guidance as to how to ensure election rules are completely up to date or requires assistance with an election, a community association attorney should be consulted. 10
ISSUE ONE 2022 | ECHO journal
another 30-60 days to go through the rule revision process, including a board meeting to review the current election rules and make changes, a 28-day member comment period, and a board meeting to review comments, approve rules, and issue notices to members of the rule change. In no event, however, can election rules be written or amended within 90 days of an election of the board. Even if a community association has a contrary provision in its governing documents, it may hold a vote by acclamation if it has done all of the following: • Held a full election of the board by secret ballot within the prior three years; • Provided individual notice of the election and procedures for nominating candidates at least 90 days before the deadline for submitting nominees; • Sent a reminder notice between 7 and 30 days before the deadline for submitting nominees, as described in the statute; • Provided a receipt within 7 business days of receipt of nominations to the person who made the nomination; • Provided the nominee with confirmation of the nomination, including whether the nominee is qualified or not, and notified the nominee of the appeal process; • Required the association to permit all candidates to run if nominated, except for nominees disqualified from running, as described in the statute; and • The number of candidates does not exceed the number of vacancies being filled by the election. If the association meets all the requirements, then the board may post a board meeting agenda no later than four days before a board meeting to vote by acclamation. The agenda must list the qualified candidate names that will be elected. Of note: although the law is silent on the true intent of the new law, it is believed to be to avoid the expense of sending ballots when an election is uncontested. For this reason, after the nomination deadline, the board can call the meeting to vote by acclamation without sending out ballots. The new law also clarifies that associations may maintain term limits. This means that if an association previously removed them because term limits were considered a board member qualification that was not allowed under the 2019 laws, the association would need to revise their election rules again
to include the term limits. This would require the association to go through the 28-day member comment period before adopting new term limits. Associations with bylaws or CC&Rs that prohibit voting by acclamation should add a statement to their election rules clarifying that the California Civil Code has made those clauses obsolete. This change, so long as it is only to comply with the civil code, does not require the association to go through the 28-day member comment period. AB 502 also clarified some confusion in other areas of the election law by requiring assistants to the inspectors of election to meet the same thirdparty definition, and by requiring the candidate list to include the address of the candidate [be mindful of the Safe at Home law that allows persons who claim they are a victim of domestic violence to use an address provided by the secretary of state rather than the actual address of the candidate]. The bill also requires the candidate to comply with, not just enter into, payment plans for money due to the association, it clarifies that requirements for the nomination procedure notice and the general notice of an election only apply to board elections and
recalls, and it aligns the corporations code with the civil code. These changes to the election law became effective January 1, 2022. If an association has a history of a lack of interest in serving on the board, it should get started early to enable the use of voting by acclamation. As always, if a community association needs guidance as to how to ensure election rules are completely up to date or requires assistance with an election, a community association attorney should be consulted. Sandra L. Gottlieb, Esq., CCAL is a founding partner at SwedelsonGottlieb, Community Association Attorneys, which limits its practice to representing community associations throughout California. She and the firm can handle any matter your association may face. To learn more, visit www.lawforhoas.com.
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ECHO journal | ISSUE ONE 2022
BALCONY INSPECTIONS: What to Expect
ISSUE ONE 2022 | ECHO journal
BY ANDY BRADVICA
Exterior Elevated Elements (EEEs) include decks, balconies, stairways and landings, walkways, and any railings.
enate Bill 326 (Davis-Stirling Act Civil Code §5551) went into effect January 1, 2020, requiring condominium associations to have an inspection by a licensed architect or structural engineer of exterior elevated elements (EEEs) that are “supported in whole or in substantial part by wood or wood-based products” with a walking surface more than six feet above ground level. The inspections are required every nine (9) years, and for existing associations, the first inspection must be completed before January 1, 2025 (within the next three (3) years). A full reading of the law and its definitions can be found at www.davis-stirling.com/HOME/Statutes/Civil-Code-5551. This article focuses on the scheduling and performance of the inspection and what an association should expect. Two key aspects of the law are a “visual inspection” of the load-bearing components and the inspection of a “statistically significant sample” of the EEEs. EEEs include decks, balconies, stairways and landings, walkways, and any railings. Load-bearing components consist of the balcony framing, joists, beams, ledger boards, posts, etc. If it is unknown whether an association requires these inspections, consult an association attorney and/or an SB 326 inspection company. Continued on page 14
ECHO journal | ISSUE ONE 2022
Balcony Inspections: What to Expect Continued from page 13
The law defines a visual inspection as an “inspection through the least intrusive method necessary to inspect load-bearing components, including visual observation only or visual observation in conjunction with, for example, the use of moisture meters, borescopes, or infrared technology.” The main takeaway is the “least intrusive method,” meaning the intent is to have the balcony inspection performed without the removal of an extensive amount of exterior cladding (e.g., stucco, siding), or what is typically referred to as destructive testing.
Statistically Significant Sample
The law defines statistically significant sample as “a sufficient number of units inspected to provide 95 percent confidence that the results from the sample are reflective of the whole, with a margin of error of no greater than plus or minus 5 percent.” Determining the number of balconies that need to be inspected based on this criterion is a mathematically defined formula. The sample size calculator at the following link can be used to determine that number: www.calculator.net/sample-size-calculator.html.
Scheduling the Inspection
The first step in scheduling the inspection is determining how many of the balconies need to be inspected. This part is relatively easy, particularly if all the balconies are of the same configuration and size. For example, if a community has fifty (50) balconies that are all the same, 50 is entered as the population size in the sample size calculator, and the result is a sample size of forty-five (45); therefore, 45 balconies would need to be inspected. A population of less than 50 balconies likely requires the inspection of every balcony. Looking at the previous example, if the 50 balconies include twenty (20) that are large and thirty (30) that are Juliet (small) balconies, 14
ISSUE ONE 2022 | ECHO journal
entering 20 as the population in the calculator determines a sample size of 20, in other words all the large balconies. A population of 30 results in a sample size of twenty-eight (28), so of the 50 total balconies, forty-eight (48) would need to be inspected. In this case, the time required to inspect the remaining two balconies is relatively minimal, and the community should consider inspecting every balcony. For larger associations with hundreds of balconies, the sampling calculation results in a significantly reduced percentage of balconies requiring inspection. For a population of two hundred (200), the sample size is one hundred thirty-two (132). For a population of 300, the sample size is 169. Unless all the balconies are to be inspected, once the sample number to be inspected is determined, a random selection of balconies will be made. This is done by creating a numbered list of all the balconies and using a random number generator to select the ones to be inspected. Then an inspection schedule is generated, and inspection dates are agreed upon between the inspector and the association, allowing enough time to notify the owners. Notification of the owners is a critical part of the inspection process, since access through the interior of the units may be required to inspect the balconies.
A balcony inspection is scheduled; what should be expected? If the balcony framing is exposed (see photo A) the inspection will consist of a visual
inspection of the framing, including joists, beams, posts, the railing, the deck surface, and any intersection with the building walls, with possible use of a moisture meter. No building materials need to be removed to perform the visual inspection. If the balcony framing is covered with stucco, plywood, or drywall (see photo B) then some material at the underside of the balcony will need to be removed to be able to inspect the framing. The least intrusive method is to have small holes drilled through the underside of the balcony to allow the insertion of a borescope camera to visually inspect the framing. Typically, holes can be drilled every three (3) to four (4) feet, but an inspector may need to inspect every joist bay (the space between two joists). The number and location of holes is at the discretion of the inspector. Because the holes created are small, they can be easily sealed with patching material or sealant and painted to match the existing surface. Inspection companies may include the drilling and patching of the holes as part of their proposal or may provide a separate proposal from a contractor to be included with their inspection proposal. If an association has preferred contractors or maintenance personnel, the inspection company can coordinate with them to complete the inspections. Access to the balconies is critical. Most secondfloor balconies and many third-floor balconies can be accessed from the exterior with ladders, mitigating the need for interior access. Fourth floor and higher balconies will require the use of a lift or access through the interior of the units, adding to the time and expense of the inspection. If possible, access from the exterior is the preferred method for these inspections. It should be noted that it is often necessary to access a patio or balcony below the one to be inspected, so when notifying owners, those of both the unit with a balcony to be inspected and the unit below should be included. Unit owners do not need to remove items from their balconies for the inspections, but if there are many objects (e.g., pots, fountains, boxes) on the balcony, then an effort should be made to rearrange or remove some items to allow easier access to the balcony surface. Typically, the inspection of each balcony takes ten (10) to twenty (20) minutes. If interior access is needed, the inspector should
provide a window of time for each unit, and the association should assist in making sure access is available for each unit during that time frame. Additional costs could be necessary if the inspector must return at a later date due to lack of access. Once the inspection is completed, if it is determined that there is an immediate safety threat, the inspector should inform the association immediately. Per the law, the local code enforcement agency must be informed as well. The final step in the process includes preparation of a report identifying the building components, the current condition, the expected future performance, and recommendations for repairs or replacement. The report will be signed or stamped by the architect or structural engineer. Once the report is delivered to the association, it is the association’s responsibility to determine the best course of action regarding any recommended repairs or maintenance requirements.
Andy Bradvica is a founding partner of B2R Consulting Group with offices in San Diego, Orange, and Roseville, California. He is a licensed architect and focuses on providing balcony inspections and reports as defined by SB 326. He also performs forensic analysis, building inspections, building condition assessments and reports, SB800 inspections, and construction defect investigations. To learn more, visit www.b2rconsultinggroup.com. ECHO journal | ISSUE ONE 2022
Untangling HOAs BY DEREK MOBRAATEN
he history of homeowner associations (HOAs) goes back to the 1960s when approval was received from local governments to build communities that could be completely selfsufficient. In other words, these communities would be maintained and governed not by tax dollars from cities and municipalities, but rather by assessments paid by the homeowners of the community. The ideal presupposed board would be educated enough to manage an association. Each HOA would need a board of directors that would, in most cases, volunteer their time, often unwillingly, to serve on the board and make expert management decisions. Fast-forward to today: HOAs are here to stay, and in fact, the industry is growing! With such growth, the demand for boards to acquire a vast knowledge of building maintenance, corporate finances, insurance and risk management, political and people skills, etc., is only getting more challenging. HOA boards are exposed to ever-increasing risk, both personal and community risk. The ability to wear all these hats well is an additional requirement. It goes without saying that every board member needs tools in their tool belt. These tools are
ISSUE ONE 2022 | ECHO journal
Derek Mobraaten is the author of “So You Bought a Condo”, an easy-to-read guide on working for an HOA and making the HOA work for you. Derek grew up in the Bay Area and was raised learning about HOAs. He owns and operates Hudson Management Company with his wife, Kaley, and has written several articles for the Echo Journal. To learn more, visit www.hudsonmgmt.com.
the professional service providers and the advice given by them. It is up to the board to know when to seek expert counsel. When a board or board member decides not to take the recommendation of an expert or a professional, the board or board member accepts this risk of liability. Many boards seek to lower assessments and take on projects themselves to save money. This is like self-representation in a courtroom – highly risky. Board members won’t be remembered for keeping assessments low and using less expensive, or even unlicensed, vendors. They will be remembered for maintaining good property values and the building envelope of the HOA. Not every homeowner will understand this, but eventually most do. Gone are the days of self-managed HOAs that can skate by with assessment collection, scant board meetings, and a $100 line item in the annual budget for legal expenses. HOAs are complex, and state legislatures are only making things more complicated with frequent changes to HOA law and how a board is allowed to do business. In this increasingly complicated world, it is important for boards to ask for help and listen to the professionals and experts in the myriad fields required to run a well-managed HOA community.
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• Governing Document Interpretation • Governing Document Revisions • CC&R and Rules Enforcement ECHO journal | ISSUE ONE 2022
THE SELF-MANAGED HOA
Thoughtful Project Preplanning Ensures Project Success
or the most part, boards of directors are optimistic about their odds of success in accomplishing their goals and objectives in the first quarter of a new year. With one or two board meetings under their belt, chances are that the board has outlined some projects for 2022. Before getting too deep into potential projects, let’s back up the bus and consider the importance of careful, thoughtful, and deliberate project preplanning. Taking the time and effort to preplan can ensure that 2022 projects are successful and meet project objectives. Proj·ect – Definition: “an individual or collaborative enterprise that is carefully planned to achieve a particular aim.” The Project Management Institute defines a project as “any temporary endeavor with a definite beginning and end.” For homeowner associations, projects can take many forms. Boards most often consider “capital” projects, better known as common area maintenance, repair, and replacement projects funded by the association’s reserve account. Examples are roofing and building envelope repairs such as dry rot and painting. However, a capital project may also include governing document revisions and common area improvements and enhancements that are not included in the association’s reserve study. These could be things like adding security equipment or renovating common area landscape. A final category of projects includes evaluations and searches for new service providers, such as community association management companies or landscape maintenance companies. All of these fit the definition of a “project,” and both require and deserve careful and thoughtful project preplanning.
ISSUE ONE 2022 | ECHO journal
Project preplanning basics. A critical error that most homeowner association boards make when considering a project is to jump right to the development of the request for bid (RFB), quote (RFQ), or proposal (RFP). Before committing the time and energy to create a meaningful RFB, RFQ, or RFP, take a step back and consider these project preplanning basics: What is the aim or objective of the project? Project aims or objectives can be straightforward, such as “to replace the common area roofing on all the residential
BY JOHN CLIGNY, AMS, PCAM, CCAM-HR
buildings and the community room” or “to repaint the exterior trim, fascia, and siding on all residential buildings,” or they can be more abstract, such as “to amend the association’s bylaws to conform to the new California state statutes regarding member meetings and voting and election laws” or “to add video surveillance and monitoring equipment at the common area mailbox kiosks and bicycle racks” or “to remove water-intensive lawns and plants and replace them with drought-tolerant plants and ground cover.” The project aim or objective is a general statement of project intent and does not include project specifics, the scope of work, or project specifications. What is the project’s funding mechanism, or, more plainly, where is the money coming from to pay for the project? In the case of a roofing or painting project, the funding mechanism most likely is the association’s reserve account. For projects that are not included in the association’s reserve study, such as a governing document revision, adding video surveillance equipment, landscape renovations, or installing electric vehicle charging stations, the board will need to determine where the money will come from to pay for the project. In many cases, this is more complicated than it seems. California common interest law and an association’s governing documents set forth certain requirements for funding capital projects not listed in the reserve study, and boards will need to consult their attorneys and CPAs before moving ahead with project planning to identify funding sources and legal requirements.
Once the project’s funding mechanism is determined, the next question is, is it reasonable and adequate to meet the aims and objectives of the project? In other words, is the project feasible? Given the association’s financial resources, can the project be completed successfully? This is a critical step in project preplanning and success.
Using the roof replacement project as an example, the funding mechanism was determined to be the reserve account. However, the million dollars in the reserve fund may not seem reasonable or adequate today, because the estimate was made 30 years ago and remains unchanged. Now is the time to consider other funding sources and options before completing the RFP and having to delay, postpone, or defer the project because of concerns about adequate funding. Plan ahead and project shortfalls can be mitigated by using assessment increases, special assessments, bank loans, or completing the project in phases. If projects are outside of the reserve study or operating budget, the funding can be much more challenging and likely will require a separate action of the board to complete, and in many cases capital enhancement or improvement projects will need to be approved by a vote of the membership. What are the potential risks associated with the project? Identifying potential risks during the preplanning phase is essential to successful project planning, management, and execution. This task is best accomplished with the project team and a whiteboard. All potential project risks should be considered. For instance, back to the roofing project example: project risks to consider include how change orders will be handled, where workers will park their cars, where workers will eat lunch, and whether or not workers will have access to the community room bathrooms. How will management of roofing debris in the common area be handled? What about flat tires of residents due to roofing nails? What if the special assessment or bank loan isn’t approved? What will the protocol be for worker or resident construction-site accidents, and does the association have workers’ compensation to cover them? Can any of the potential risks be covered by insurance? Not only is an analysis of project risks important, but the project team needs to address and consider how these risks can be managed and mitigated so that in the event something happens, the board or project team is ready and able to resolve conflicts, keep the project moving ahead, and ensure community support and harmony.
Continued on page 20
ECHO journal | ISSUE ONE 2022
The Self-Managed HOA Continued from page 19
Identifying the project team. A project has been defined as “an individual or collaborative enterprise that is carefully planned to achieve a particular aim,” and as “any temporary endeavor with a definite beginning and end.” The project team can be as small as a single individual or it may include many individuals, depending on the size, scope, and complexity of the project. In many cases, the community manager or management company staff may be adequate to oversee the project; in the case of the reroofing project, the board may consider a project team that includes an engineer, a construction manager, an attorney, an on-site project supervisor, a resident communication liaison, and a project finance auditor. Of particular importance is determining who will approve change orders and how they will be approved to ensure that the project stays on schedule. In some cases, appointing an executive committee of the board may be appropriate to expedite decision making. A wise person once said, “Failure to plan is
I HAVE I HAVE OUTSTANDING OUTSTANDING RATES RATES ANDHOA HOA AND COVERAGES. COVERAGES.
planning to fail.” Project preplanning is good governance and demonstrates effective and proactive leadership by the association’s board of directors. As residential communities age and environmental sustainability becomes commonplace, boards will be challenged by both reserve account and capital improvement project considerations. Careful, thoughtful, and deliberate project preplanning is the key to completing a successful project. John Cligny, AMS, PCAM, CCAM-HR, is a veteran portfolio manager and community association management executive. As co-founder of Association Consulting Group, John is a trusted advisor primarily focused on educating and advising community association board members on effective governance to promote a positive public opinion of homeowner associations and community management. John is a frequent speaker and panelist on a wide range of community association topics and issues. To learn more, visit www.myassociationadvisor.com.
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ISSUE ONE 2022 | ECHO journal
Echo Board Members’ Club News by Miguel Sanchez, Chair The March meeting of the Echo Board Members’ Club was another insightful and educational success! Approximately fifty Club members attended and broke into three small chat room groups to discuss and share their best practices and challenges on the topic of keeping current and compliant with existing homeowner association (HOA) laws, and how to deal with the neverending new ones. During the meeting, board members were able to express their frustrations about the onslaught of regulations and laws and discuss how to stay compliant and ensure that HOA governing documents reflect the legal mandates. The Club members shared practical and actionable insights addressing the frustration with laws and their implementation strategies, and ways other HOAs have dealt with the many issues facing the management of an HOA. The Club members were open and supportive in their comments and grounded in a special “board member to board member” way. Here is a small sample of big takeaways from the discussions: Whose responsibility is it to know and implement the laws? Who in the community is responsible for knowing about new laws? Whose job is it to make sure the association is compliant with the law? • Club members generally agreed that, ultimately, the board is fully responsible for knowing the law and making sure the association is compliant. It was suggested that others might be enlisted to help. It is critical that all board members understand their duties, since they are on the hook for making sure the association is knowledgeable about all new HOA legislation and is either compliant or in the process of being compliant. • It was noted that homeowners need to be involved in the process. Education, awareness, and engagement can help homeowners understand the HOA legislation that will impact them directly. As registered voters, homeowners can also reach out to their legislative representatives to express their needs and concerns about new and existing HOA laws. • Boards can seek assistance from their trusted service providers to keep them informed, knowledgeable, and compliant with the law. Receiving legal counsel is an obvious resource for HOAs, but other professional service providers can be very helpful in regard to complying with laws and regulations and staying abreast of legal changes. Useful and helpful resources can include the association’s insurance provider, accountants, building contractors, and community management teams. How does one stay informed and knowledgeable? What resources and best practices are out there? • It was clear that Club members use a wide range of resources to obtain a variety of information. The sources varied in their depth of information,
readability, and timeliness according to members’ specific needs, so each community needs to find what works best for them. • Good resources include Echo newsletters and seminars, newsletters from HOA law firms, and setting up Google alerts to stay informed on an automated and regular basis. • Many Club members expressed disappointment in their management firm or manager for not keeping them informed of legal changes. The hot tip shared by some was to incorporate a requirement in the professional services contract that their management company or manager keep the board members abreast of legal compliance concerns, and advise them of new laws that would impact the community. • A few members said they had established an HOA Legal Compliance Committee whose duties were to monitor pending legislation, evaluate community impact, and routinely inform the board and homeowners. Committees can also coordinate efforts to engage political representatives to provide input on any pending legislation. How does the HOA implement new laws? When do the governing documents or rules get updated? • Club members immediately identified that new laws could come from several sources (federal, state, county, or city), and even though they may not involve a change in the governing documents of an association, the association may still be required to be compliant. Two examples are California Senate Bill 326 (balcony inspections) and individual city “No Smoking” ordinances. • In cases where governing documents may be impacted, board members should engage legal counsel and develop a plan for amending the documents. Many Club members expressed their concern with the need to constantly update the governing documents and the accompanying hassle and cost. A suggested hot tip was to set up an “update governing documents” line item in the reserve study to ensure a timetable for completion and the funds to do the work properly. • Many expressed that when they are informed about upcoming laws, they can accurately plan for obtaining legal counsel and updating governing documents. Often, however, board members express frustration with community apathy and lack of homeowner involvement. Homeowners are more likely to positively react to changes to governing documents and board decisions to remain compliant when they understand what the new law(s) is and how it impacts the community and them personally.
SEE YOU AT THE NEXT CLUB MEETING! April 12, 2022 | 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm TOPIC: Maintenance: Common Area, Landscaping & Buildings ECHO journal | ISSUE ONE 2022
WELCOME TO OUR
New Professional Service Providers
Aquatech Consultancy, Inc. (ACI) is a multi-service building enclosure consulting firm founded in 1997. We assist our clients by investigating and resolving water intrusion problems or developing and implementing better designs to reduce such occurrences. ACI has professionals with expertise in construction, architecture, and engineering of waterproofing systems. We offer site evaluation and testing for third party warranty inspections, QA/QC site observations and testing, deck and balcony inspections (SB721 and SB326), and façade maintenance inspections. ACI is an AAMA Accredited Field Test Agency for window testing. Aquatech provides litigation support in the areas of estimating, construction defects, building enclosure failures, and contract claims. Our consultants have participated as expert witnesses in mediations, arbitrations, and trials. We look forward to working with you and answering any questions you have. Eduardo E. Carranza, PE President and Principal firstname.lastname@example.org (415) 884-2121 x102 noleak.com
Do you feel technology is too much, too daunting, or too expensive to implement? Do you need simple tools to save time and money, and effectively support your communities? At Bimini Corp, our mission is to provide simple technology solutions for specific Association challenges. Our goal is to reduce costs and increase efficiency to manage your Association’s needs. No complex implementations or tech teams to deploy – just simple and effective solutions. Bimini Solutions empower Associations and Managers to reduce operational costs and increase control with lightweight, easy to use technology. Solutions include: • docLine, an association document management and delivery system that puts YOU in control of your documents for on-demand escrow services. • HELM, a simple system to quickly comply with SB 392 for owner opt-in preferences and control of electronic or paper-based notifications.
• KEEL makes posting election rules quick and easy per statute requirements. • PROP, a service scheduling solution streamlining vendor time-to-action for homeowner requests. • And coming soon, Signal Flag, a simple mobile solution to log association violations and manage inspection responses. Bimini was founded by a certified association manager with decades of experience, who simply wanted to make it easier for Associations and Managers to gain control of challenging issues within their communities and meet state compliance requirements. Managing Associations can be less complex and time consuming. With Bimini, you can keep it smart and keep it simple. Please contact us for a free consultation and see how your association can benefit with a Bimini solution. Sonja Bachus - CEO email@example.com (530) 205-6912 biminicorp.com
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Check Out Our Professional Service Provider Online Directory! Quick and easy access to more than 200 industry providers who support HOAs and Echo. Visit www.echo-ca.org and click on Professional Directory 22
ISSUE ONE 2022 | ECHO journal
Pacific InterWest Apartment Inspection Services (PIWAIS) provides complete inspection and consulting services for apartment and condo owners to comply with the requirements of California Senate Bills 721 (SB721) and 326 (SB326). PIWAIS draws on the extensive experience of architects, inspectors, consultants, and industry experts to assist property owners in navigating through the extensive logistical and procedural challenges of SB721 and SB326 to complete the inspection, reporting, and repair processes efficiently and effectively. The Pacific InterWest Apartment Inspection program is designed to offer both the minimum inspection requirements and a complete package of services including repair design, repair inspections, and even annual inspections to extend the serviceable life of every element. PIWAIS can be a small component in an already established capital repair program or the entire infrastructure to manage small and large portfolios for compliance with SB721 and SB326. Zac Zimmerman Sales & Marketing Representative firstname.lastname@example.org (925) 864-8125 pacificinterwest.com
THE ULTIMATE COATINGS COMPANY was originally founded in 2005 on the premise that the future of architectural paints and roof coatings was now at hand with our acrylic paint inventions, state-of-the-art, THERMO-SEAL®, our highly solar-reflective (infrared heat-reflective) finish paint, and our ECO-THERM® ELASTOMERIC, a highly, solar-reflective, cool roof coating and cool wall, waterproofing system. These cooling exterior products were ahead of their time. As a manufacturer, selling direct to contractors and end users, we slowly have demonstrated their effectiveness as one of the earliest adopters to offer “energy efficient” coatings. Our products have become increasingly more meaningful as planetary climate change and global warming accelerate. We offer these paint solutions for homeowner associations and community association building owners to reduce interior temperatures and air-conditioning usage while lasting substantially longer than regular paints and coatings. We continue to offer custom batch production of these energy efficient products at competitive prices vs standard premium paints by big brand name manufacturers. We became Wall Rating Program Directory Founding Member in 2022 for the new Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC) directory. We’re part of making history for the cool wall paints and coatings category as this solar, heat-reflective paint technology gets greater acceptance based on the publicizing of the real science and laboratory tests showing
their heat-reflection. We’re looking forward to be able to help ECHO member HOAs and Community Associations achieve excellent repainting outcomes and cooling advantages that extend maintenance repaint cycles, beat the heat and save money from air conditioning use reduction. Michael Biel V.P. of Sales email@example.com (800) 226-9180 ultimatecoatings.net
You’re not alone. Join Echo’s exclusive Board Members’ Club. • Meet other board members • Share ideas and information • Learn peer-to-peer
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ECHO journal | ISSUE ONE 2022
The Echo Legislation Tracker: California State Legislative Session 2021–2022
For more information on HOA Advocacy, visit the Echo website: www.echo-ca.org/article/hoa-advocacy/
The second half of the 2021–2022 California legislative session reconvened on January 3, 2022. After a few years of significant changes to law that materially impacted how common interest developments are operated, this year has started relatively calmly. The last day for bills to be introduced in either house was February 18, 2022. The session concludes, sine die, November 30, 2022. Echo hopes legislators slow the amount and impact of new legislation. The past few years have resulted in a whirlwind of changes to laws governing HOAs and hampered the ability of well-functioning association boards to manage their business. The legislature is becoming more 24
ISSUE ONE 2022 | ECHO journal
prescriptive, attempting to fix the problems of a few with broadstroke legislation affecting a very diverse set of common interest developments. Last year, for example, the legislature took away the ability of boards to invest in financial vehicles that could help them keep up with inflation. AB-1101 (Irwin), now law, (Chaptered 270), is a landmark bill that was designed to protect the investment principal of HOA homeowners. It does this by requiring investments (reserves) to be placed in federally insured financial instruments such as certificates of deposit. These investment vehicles, in real terms, likely will result in loss of buying power, since the earned interest
rate is usually below the inflation rate. In some communities this makes sense, but for communities that understand investing, a valuable tool to manage funds has been taken from HOA boards. Echo will continue to work for the entire community of HOAs, including those of every size and shape, for boards and homeowners alike. Echo will support the independence of boards to manage their business with limited governmental interference, respectful and supportive of its homeowners and residents. By doing this, Echo advances its mission to build better HOA communities through education and advocacy.
ASSEMBLY BILLS AB-1410 (RODRIGUEZ) – OPPOSE UNLESS AMENDED SUBJECT: Free speech and mandatory fiduciary ethics and harassment prevention, use of metadata STATUS: In Senate, Read first time. To Com. On RLS (rules) for assignment (2/1/2022) POSITION: Oppose unless amended The bill clarifies existing freedom of speech rights. It speaks to the importance of education of HOA board directors, and makes harassment prevention and fiduciary ethics mandatory for all board directors. Further, it requires photographic metadata
to be included in any enforcement activity that uses photographic evidence. The presumption is that the photographic evidence is not useable unless the metadata is supplied. The bill goes too far. Regarding social media and other online speech, the language does not allow boards to limit comments that could be “fake” and used to disrupt community harmony. We appreciate that the bill shows an understanding of the need for an educated board of directors, which speaks loudly to the Echo mission. However, we are concerned about making education mandatory for the approximately 750,000 board members in California. This requirement likely will drive away prospective board members from service, which is an acute issue for many HOAs. Finally, the bill requires the release of photographic metadata before enforcement action. Given the technological aptitude of the membership and the varied sophistication of equipment used to document violations, we feel this mandatory requirement for metadata is not practical and will delay important enforcement responsibilities of the board. We oppose this language, and it should be stricken from the bill. For these reasons, Echo opposes AB-1410 unless amended.
with respect to common interest development living or for social, political, or educational purposes. Requires fiduciary ethics and harassment prevention training of board director and full-time employees. AB-1755 (LEVINE) – WATCH SUBJECT: Homeowner wildfire insurance, home hardening and grant funds Status: Referred to Asm Committee on Insurance (2/10/22) POSITION: Review. This appears to be good legislation. We will investigate expanding it to common interest developments. Hardening of CIDs makes sense. The bill will be reviewed by the Echo Legislative Committee and the Echo member Legislative Advisors. SUMMARY: On and after January 1, 2025, an admitted insurer licensed to issue homeowners’ insurance policies shall issue a policy to a homeowner who has hardened their home against fire, regardless of the home’s location. The insurer shall make conforming changes to its internet website and print materials
on or before July 1, 2025. The Wildfire Protection Grant Program is hereby created to help homeowners pay for costs associated with wildfire mitigation improvements.
SENATE BILLS SB-869 (LEYVA, DODD) – WATCH SUBJECT: Mobile home parks manager training STATUS: Joint Rules 55 Suspended (2/7/2022) POSITION: Review. Many mobile home parks are common interest developments and fall under the Davis-Stirling Act. This legislation would require significant manager training for mobile home park managers. The costs of the program, including the increased cost of compensation for a trained manager, as well as the ability to recruit managers, make this legislation difficult. The implications could be extensive; we are reviewing. SUMMARY: (a) The Legislature finds and declares that the quality of services provided to homeowners within manufactured Continued on page 26
SUMMARY: It is the intent of the Legislature to ensure that members and residents of common interest developments have the ability to exercise their rights under law to peacefully assemble and freely communicate with one another and with others ECHO journal | ISSUE ONE 2022
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ISSUE ONE 2022 | ECHO journal
Continued from page 25
homes, mobile home parks, special occupancy parks, and recreational parks by on-site management depends on the adequate training of management, particularly with respect to addressing common complaints from homeowners relating to the Mobile Home Residency Law and the Recreational Vehicle Park Occupancy Law. (b) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this act to ensure that the management of mobile home parks, special occupancy parks, and recreational vehicle parks have the knowledge, proficiency, and skills needed to carry out the duties of their jobs.
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OTHER BILLS UNDER CONSIDERATION The following bills are under review: AB-916 (addition of bedrooms), AB-682 (building density), AB-1674 (ADUs), AB-1710 (LED lighting pollution), AB1738 (EV charging stations), and SB-897 (ADU/JADU). More on these bills in future issues of the Echo Journal, Echo Insight, or at www.echo-ca.org.
Coastal Resource Panel Builds Ties to Protect Seaside HOAs
cho’s Coastal Resource Panel held its first panel meeting on March 16, 2022, and added several new members, including HOA attorneys and coastal HOA residents, to address the California Coastal Commission’s (CCC) growing regulatory efforts that threaten property rights and property values. At the panel meeting, a representative from Smart Coast California presented an outline of the work the realtor-sponsored advocacy organization is doing that is in sync with Echo’s efforts. The two organizations are pursuing strategic cooperation on California Coastal Commission issues and are working to ensure that communities are represented in the conversations. Concern has been voiced about recent policy “guidelines” that are directly impacting HOAs, including a proposal for the CCC to ban shoreline protection for coastal bluff and beach homes, and the forced taking of private property
through policy fiat in a “managed retreat” strategy without compensating homeowners, even if they are not threatened by sea-rise. Understanding and then educating homeowners about these complex issues is the aim of Echo. As mentioned last month, because of these and other CCC actions, some individual property owners and HOAs have been forced to abandon some of their homes or shoreline protection measures, or to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to provide mitigation pursuant to CCC demands. Echo’s Coastal Resource Panel was created to educate, inform, and alert coastal HOAs, homeowners, and government officials on concerns about the actions of the California Coastal Commission and to activate coastal HOA support to understand the impacts of implementation of the CCC policy guidelines on private property and property values. Echo is delighted
to collaborate with Smart Coast California as a resource for information and open discussion. They will help Echo stay abreast of local and statewide issues related to coastal policy and help us identify when action is needed. On September 10, 2022, Echo will be hosting an online educational seminar entitled The Coastline, Environment, and Impacts of Global Warming on HOA Communities, featuring scientific findings, policy implications, and positive solutions for coastal communities. We will develop the program over the summer; stay tuned for more on this landmark educational webinar. For those wanting a special experience with the experts, Smart Coast California will be holding an in-person policy conference on May 19-20, 2022, at The Westin Long Beach. To learn more about the event, please visit the Smart Coast Policy Summit website: https://bit.ly/3D8wjVv. Echo invites you to stay informed about coastal issues by signing up to be on its Coastal Resource Panel. We are always looking for interested individuals and volunteers to participate locally and to serve on the panel.
Jeff Raimundo is a member of Pajaro Dunes North Association and volunteers as the Echo Coastal Resource Panel chair. His email address is email@example.com.
Click here to stay informed or to get involved! Or visit https://bit.ly/3t9iVNy
ECHO journal | ISSUE ONE 2022
THE ART OF
Aging Gracefully B Y M A R Y A N N E S AY L E R
ISSUE ONE 2022 | ECHO journal
When a property is carefully
and managed, it will be maintained and rejuvenated in ways that will continually
and motivate current and future owners.
It can be challenging for an aging condominium development to compete with recently constructed facilities. Current and prospective owners (as well as renters) not only expect the grounds and common areas to be well maintained, but they also want amenities that reflect their values and meet their needs. A development needs occasional renovation and upgrades to look its best and retain its value. Owners and managers can implement a range of improvements that will help their development age gracefully.
ESTABLISH A MASTER PLAN Before making changes, consider the objectives, budget, and timeline for renovation. Each of the following functional and aesthetic upgrades can represent a significant investment in time and resources. Not all owners or managers have the skills, interest, or budget to tackle them all, prioritize the work, or manage the renovation process. Establishing a master plan with the help of a professional designer or consultant can be useful in those circumstances. A master plan ensures that all changes enhance the development and that the end result looks cohesive and attractive. A professional designer will be able to estimate costs and work within a given budget, help evaluate the impact of each project component (to set priorities), and
schedule phases that work well with factors such as budget, availability of contractors, and impact of change. The designer may also assist with implementation if needed. While there is a fee associated with a designer’s services, it generally saves an owner or manager a significant amount of time and prevents costly mistakes.
EXTERIOR PAINT All multifamily properties will inevitably need exterior painting. This is one of the most costeffective ways to upgrade a property, as the right exterior paint color can increase a property’s curb appeal and value. However, even the most experienced property owners and managers may fail to consider color options that would enhance buildings and give them a fresh look. Or worse, they may select colors that date the property or detract from its appearance. Because the visual impact of the exterior color determines the appeal of the development, paint color is the most crucial decision affecting the value of a property. Consulting with a design professional is worth considering for repainting of multifamily properties. Owners, boards, and committees tend to either make a choice based on personal preference, get mired in the infinite options, or take the “safe” approach by painting with the same colors as before. A professional considers many factors and their impact on color choices. Continued on page 30 ECHO journal | ISSUE ONE 2022
The Art of Aging Gracefully Continued from page 29
CONSIDERATIONS • “Given” colors that can’t be changed by paint (roof, awnings if they are not to be replaced, paving, brick, stone, etc.) • Architectural elements and whether to highlight or de-emphasize them (trim, balconies, railings, pop-outs, etc.) • Location importance (front doors, main entries, recreation areas, lobbies, etc.) • Material (stucco, wood siding, shingles, etc.) • Sun exposure and direction • Nearby vegetation • Relationship to neighboring structures A successful color program is intended to minimize flaws in the appearance of the development and emphasize the best architectural features. Once the color palette is selected, it should be reflected in all other elements of the development, such as signage, entry monuments, outdoor furnishings, interior colors in common areas, and even in marketing material, whether printed or online. The community will then take on a planned, cohesive appearance. This helps a development refresh its appeal, retain residents and attract new ones, and flourish in resale value. With exterior painting, the results will only be as good as the preparation. HOAs must take care to work with a reputable painting contractor, select a suitable grade of paint for each project component, and include the correction of all structural deficiencies in the contractor’s scope of work. A reputable painter will ensure that dry rot is repaired, stucco is patched, loose paint is removed, trim is caulked, stains are primed, doors and windows are protected, and all surfaces are pressure washed prior to painting.
LIGHTING Lighting is one of the most underappreciated aspects of multifamily developments. Too little lighting in parking areas, paths, entries, and hallways can be uninviting and introduce safety concerns. Lights that are too bright can make a development look harsh and commercial rather than homey and inviting. Additionally, the electricity needed to properly light a community can be a significant cost factor. Another consideration is the style of lighting 30
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fixtures, which has a huge impact on the overall aesthetics of the development. An HOA should consider transitioning to LED lighting for all common areas (parking, outdoor paths and landscaping, lobbies and hallways, and unit entry lights). LED bulbs last, on average, 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs and use 75 percent less electricity. This can reduce maintenance time and save significantly on a development’s electric bill. HOAs that transition to LED lighting may qualify for substantial rebate programs. (Utility providers, such as PG&E, often have a business tools section on their website with rebate details.) Most types of existing light fixtures can use LED bulbs, or HOAs can install new fixtures with longerlasting LED modules. There is a wide variety of long-lasting LED light fixture styles. Working with a designer on a lighting upgrade plan allows for custom designs that ensure the lights will do the most to enhance the aesthetics of the development. When selecting new fixtures, the HOA should consider both style and scale (size). The fixture style should reflect the building’s style, whether linear, ornate, contemporary, or traditional. The scale should relate to the space where the fixture is located; commercially available lobby and outdoor post lights are often too small for a large space. Visually, a fixture should provide a sense of balance and proportion, and functionally it should provide the desired light spread and intensity. Whether or not light fixtures are changed to more efficient LED modules, the HOA should select the correct brightness and color for each application. Light output is measured in lumens. The higher the number, the brighter the light. Bulbs range from 450 to 2600 lumens. The number of bulbs and their distance from the lighted surface affect how bright the bulb must be. (For example, an overhead path light needs bulbs with a higher lumen value than a ground-level path light.) Light bulb color is referred to as “temperature” and is measured in degrees Kelvin. Bulbs are available from 2,000 to 7,000 Kelvin. Lower numbers on the scale are considered “warmer” and look more golden, and higher numbers are “cooler” or bluer and look more like daylight. Exterior lights normally have a higher color temperature (whiter) than interior lighting, which is normally warmer or golden.
SIGNAGE Nothing is more frustrating to a prospective resident or guest than not being able to find the development or the desired unit within it. It can be unsafe for emergency responders when they can’t quickly locate a person in need of services. The signs should be attractive and have a coordinated and unified appearance. The designer can achieve a cohesive feel by keeping the color plan and fonts consistent across all community signs. The entry monument should be eye-catching, welcoming, and easily visible as people approach the development. It should state the name and address of the development and incorporate a brand element in the design. This establishes a branded identity for the community. The entry monument should be illuminated, either with spotlights or from within. Way-finding signs, whether displayed as a map or unit number blocks, direct people to specific areas, such as visitor parking, the office, amenities like pools or workout facilities, and of course to the numbered buildings and units themselves. The signs should be appropriately sized and placed where they are not visually obstructed by plants or vehicle parking. A good designer will assist the HOA in determining which signs and building numbers need to be illuminated and how they should be illuminated.
Unit numbers deserve particular attention, as they make an impression on visitors to the development. Ideally, the unit number style reflects the style of the complex and adds a residential feel. Numbers should be made easily visible from a distance, by their size and their color contrast with the background.
COMMON AREAS Common areas include lobbies, hallways, swimming pools, clubhouses, workout facilities, laundry rooms, and any other shared amenities. While each area offers renovation opportunities for a development to distinguish itself from the competition and help keep and attract residents and investors, this section of the article will focus on several of the common challenges and pitfalls to avoid. Maintenance is one of the biggest factors to consider when selecting finishes for common spaces. Flooring is one thing that can be time-consuming to keep clean if an inappropriate type or color is selected. The best flooring options for multifamily use are commercial-grade carpet or luxury vinyl tile (LVT). Both are high-wear and stain resistant, can withstand commercial cleaners, and are available at several price points to accommodate a broad Continued on page 32 ECHO journal | ISSUE ONE 2022
Art in common areas is an inexpensive way to add color to the space, but it is susceptible to loss or damage. Framed art can be hung using security mounts, which prevent the art from being removed without a special tool. Non-glare acrylic is a safe and affordable substitute for glass.
The Art of Aging Gracefully Continued from page 31
range of budgets. (Generally speaking, the more the material costs, the longer it will last.) For commercial flooring, visual options are nearly unlimited; LVT is available in a wide range of woodlook planks, stone tiles, textile-like textures, and many other options and color schemes. There is a nearly infinite variety of commercial carpet available, with some options for customization of color and pattern. When selecting flooring, consider how often the HOA can expect to replace it, any requirements such as slip resistance or sound absorption, and what style best enhances the architecture and space of the building and open space. Carpet with darker colors and bold patterns helps to hide wear in heavy-use areas like in front of elevators. Furniture should be selected to withstand its intended use and life span. In most multifamily developments, this means high use and even abuse. Finishes should be durable, with commercial-grade upholstery that’s cleanable with bleach. Commercialgrade lounge furniture is now available with USB charging ports. These are particularly useful where common space is Wi-Fi enabled and where people spend time together and use their phones and computers. Since wired furniture must be plugged into an outlet, the cords should be covered or hidden for safety. Soft seating with removable cushions or pillows should be avoided. 32
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At a minimum, lawns, plants, shrubs, and trees should be well maintained and not overgrown. Vegetation near driving intersections should be cut back to ensure that views are not obscured and that all signage is visible. As budget and resources allow, the HOA should consider the many ways the grounds and landscaping can be designed to benefit residents and visitors as well as improve the bottom line. Good landscape design is part form and part function. The design should enhance the overall look and aesthetics of the buildings and serve a functional purpose. First, the architectural style of the building should be considered. Does it lend itself to minimalist plantings, formal gardens, or something else? Are there mature trees that shade the area, or is it sunny? Is water conservation an objective? These factors can help set a general direction for plant selection. Traffic can be directed by highlighting entrance points with plants and trees. A front entrance can take on a dramatic air with careful color and texture choices. Paths and walkways lined with shrubs or trees, or even brick or stone wall features, can add an artistic flair. An elegant neighborhood feel can be accentuated with driveways lined with trees and shrubs. Is there space outside for socializing? Landscape design can either encourage people to stay outside or keep them moving along efficiently. If socializing is encouraged, then benches, tables and chairs, and low walls will create a more attractive outdoor space, which will add to the overall value of residential units. What about inside the common area amenities? A few carefully selected indoor plants can make a lobby or other common area come alive and feel more like home, and self-watering containers will minimize maintenance.
Over time, the landscaping is art that grows and matures. It is important functionally, aesthetically, and financially as a long-term community asset. A well-managed and maintained outdoor space creates enormous value for the community. It is therefore critical that the landscaping withstands the test of time and ages gracefully. This is especially true when considering the placement and scale of trees and shrubs that will be much larger in maturity. It is important to understand the investment needed to protect and maintain these long-lasting community assets. Working with a professional landscape designer will help the community ensure that appropriate selections are made based on the environmental conditions, the desired aesthetic, and the maintenance required.
AGING GRACEFULLY When a property is carefully designed and managed, it will be maintained and rejuvenated in ways that will continually attract, impress, and motivate current and future owners. Such intelligent efforts will be enjoyed and appreciated for many years as the community ages gracefully. Mary Anne Sayler is the owner and principal designer for Sayler Design, which provides space planning and design expertise, color consulting, and lighting upgrade services to multifamily complexes and businesses throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. For more than 35 years, Sayler Design has enhanced the functionality, appeal, and value of multifamily properties through timeless design. To learn more, visit www.saylerdesign.com.
ECHO PROFESSIONAL SERVICES PANEL (PSP) Echo’s Oldest Running Resource Panel Starts Up Again! The Echo Maintenance Resource Panel has restarted after a two-year hiatus caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The first in-person panel meeting was held on March 2, 2022, at its new location at Heritage Bank of Commerce in San Jose. The panel is open to Echo professional service provider members and meets quarterly, in-person for lunch, learning, and industry networking. One of the first orders of business for Chair Cassidy Rajkovich of Brook Construction Services was to change the name of the panel to the Echo Professional Services Panel. In addition, Chair Rajkovich recognized Daisy Ortiz of IQV Construction & Roofing as the new vice chair. Topics for future discussions were identified and dates were set for future meetings. Please note the following meeting dates: June 1, 2022 September 7, 2022 December 7, 2022 (The Holiday Gathering) Under renewed direction, the panel is looking to grow. Echo members who are professional service providers serving the HOA industry are encouraged to join. Please contact Patty Kurzet at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about becoming a member of the panel.
ECHO journal | ISSUE ONE 2022
Echo Resource Panels Restart Soon! Are you ready to meet in person? Echo is restarting its in-person Resource Panels in 2022 after the forced hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The following Resource Panels will be back very soon: • Central Coast (Santa Cruz/Monterey) - May 18, 2022, from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm. Location TBD • North Bay (Novato) – Stay tuned for date and location • Wine Country (Rohnert Park) - Stay tuned for date and location These Resource Panel meetings are intended for Echo’s HOA board members and engaged homeowners to come together and learn about important topics presented by industry experts and to share experiences and issues. Professional Service Provider members are highly encouraged to participate in these events to be seen as a resource to the Echo HOA boards and homeowners.
More information to come! For current events check the Insight e-newsletter or www.echo-ca.org.
2022 STATUTE BOOK IS HERE! The 2022 Statute Book is now available in an expanded version to include the annotated Davis-Stirling Act and other laws and case citations governing California community associations. This comprehensive reference provides the legal framework for HOA board members, homeowners, and professionals in an easy-to-use coil bound format.
Digital: $10 Member/$20 Nonmember Printed: $30 Member/$45 Nonmember Contact email@example.com for your digital or printed copy today!
ISSUE ONE 2022 | ECHO journal
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