Homeowners Association Newsletter October 2023
It’s Fall 2023 and we are welcoming back family, friends and neighbors to our wonderful desert community. It’s always good to see friends and catch up with one another!
Our committees have been busy this summer and we are excited about our plans for the future of our community. In addition to required inspections and challenges presented by our aging infrastructure, we must also address financial challenges that include skyrocketing costs for insurance, utility, and maintenance services.
As we lean into these challenges the Board and its committees want to keep our HOA members fully informed. Our upcoming Town Hall (see below) will give owners detailed plans to fully understand each project and provide an opportunity to ask questions.
I am confident that we will handle these challenges head on and with a spirit of community. Mostly, it is a time for everyone to enjoy our fabulous Fall weather and awesome Winter Season.
Deirdrie Dede Wade, President RG HOA
Mark Your Calendars! Riviera Gardens Town Hall to be Held Dec. 9, 2023
The Riviera Gardens Board of Directors invites all HOA members to a special town hall meeting to be
held Saturday, Dec. 9, from 9:30am to 11:30am at the Mizell Center, located at 480 South Sunrise Way in Palm Springs. The town hall will focus on two high-priority projects: an update on the California State- mandated structural inspection of our elevated surfaces, such as second-story walkways and balconies; and the replacement/upgrade of our original main electrical panels for each building on the property. Subject matter experts will give a brief technical overview of the projects, current status and related costs.
The Board will also take this opportunity to inform owners of our rising insurance costs and recent payment practices. Finally, the Board will present our updated reserve study, developed by Riviera Gardens’ newly hired reserve analyst, and present its proposal for a future special assessment to help address growing Riviera Gardens costs.
The Board strongly encourages all owners to make every effort to attend this important forum to educate themselves about these critical projects. Each topic will include a Q&A session. The town hall will be made available via Zoom for those who cannot attend in person. More details are forthcoming.
Board Announces New Pool Heating Schedule
At the September 28 meeting the Board presented the results of the Pool Survey and adapted “Plan B”, which had the greatest number of votes at 47% of responding homeowners. This option will allow pools #1 and #3 to be heated in odd-numbered years and pools #2 and #4 to be heated in even-numbered years to a swimmable 85 degrees during the fall to spring season. This change is due to rising utility prices and will result in approximate cost savings to our community of $29,600 in odd-numbered years and $28,500 in even-numbered years.
The Board will revisit this arrangement with homeowner input at the end of the season to determine the actual savings realized, what worked, and what didn’t
Compliance Notices Forthcoming
The Architectural and Compliance Committee will be reviewing property violations noted in their walk- about earlier this year. Notices were not sent out as planned in May, but homeowners can now expect a notice if your property has violations as of December 5. Examples of violations include personal property extending into common areas, potted plants or other items hung or placed on balcony railings or stairwell landings, and decorations attached to the outside common walls of the building.
Leasing Your Condo
Please be familiar with the regulations regarding leasing of your Riviera Gardens property. Units cannot be leased for periods of less than 30 days. The number of tenants is limited to two people per bedroom, plus two. All leases must be in writing.
PPM, our property management company should be informed at least one week in advance of your intent to lease/rent. Include information on the length of the lease, the number of occupants, name and phone number of the tenants and automobile information. When the tenants move in, PPM must be provided with a signed statement from the tenants that they have read and will comply with the CC&R’s and Rules and Regulations. The homeowner is responsible for the conduct of their tenant(s). The cost of repair for any damage to the common area caused by tenant(s) will be assessed to the homeowner.
Planning and Implementation Committee Report
The Committee, through the Board, contracted for the mandated Elevated Surfaces Inspection required by law SB326. The contract was awarded to CL Sigler& Associates which will begin the inspections in October. The process includes drilling holes in the walls of the balconies, stairwells and second floor walkways of all our buildings into which flexible camera scopes will be inserted to allow the engineers to see the condition of the subsurface structures. This inspection is to identify any damaged or failing structure needing repair or
Octoberfest at Pool #3 on Friday, October 20 at 3:00 PM
Join fellow residents at this casual fall gathering. Bring your own brew and a shareable German or fall-themed snack to share with others. These gatherings are a great way to get to know your neighbors and enjoy our great outdoors as moderate temperatures return to the area.
You are reminded to use plastic steins, paper or plastic serving dishes only. See you at the pool!
replacement and to determine the overall condition of our complex’s elevated surfaces. The inspection holes will then be capped so that in future years, no drilling would be required to inspect the substructures again. The Inspection Report is to certify our compliance.
The second major activity is the Replacement of all Main Electrical Panels. A Request for Proposal was sent to 5 companies asking for bids on performing the work necessary to remove and replace all panels and existing wiring and conduits between building and servicing transformer. This project will likely begin early in 2024 and could take 2 years as work would require the power to be shut down to one building at a time while the existing panels are removed and replaced. The existing service wiring will be excavated, removed and replaced by larger wiring and conduits. Southern Cal Edison and the City of Palm Springs will inspect to ensure everything is done to code and then the wires can be connected and the power restored. Replacing of landscaping and sidewalks or pavement will be required once the trenches have been refilled. This complex project will positively impact every homeowner and your consideration, patience and cooperation are
valued during the implementation.
Security of Gate Access is being reviewed as part of the comprehensive security of our complex. The committee is working on a “needs and wants assessment” to determine exactly what we as an HOA should have to achieve the most effective security. Every homeowner’s concerns are of interest to us, so that all relevant input can be used.
We look forward to seeing you at the December 9 RG HOA Town Hall meeting and welcome your ideas and input. You may contact this committee via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 253 350-1503. Committee Members: Paul Roggenkamp, Jim Busch, Scott Fleming, Mark Esterl
Landscaping Committee Update
Despite the heat, hurricane and wind our property is in great shape following the summer and we have received many comments on how good it looks. We appreciate how hard our gardeners are working and they deserve a round of applause. Thank you Pro Landscapers!
Now that Fall is here we are excited to get started on several beautification projects for Riviera Gardens. The Landscape
Committee will be focused on overseeing the scalping and overseeding of our lawns in mid to late October and the planting of flowers in our pool and spa areas in early November. Committee Co-chairs Julie Harris and Mike Tull
Architectural & Compliance Committee Report
The new Architectural & Compliance Committee (A&CC) currently consists of four members: Ric Barnes- Chair, Lorna Schanzenbach, Daniel Broggel, and Kip Joda with Jim Busch as Board Liaison. Initial tasks include the following priorities:
Reviewing key documents that guide our community, including Rules and Regulations, CC&R’s and bylaws, with the purpose of identifying inconsistencies, providing clarification, and improving listing of contents. All recommended changes will be forwarded to the board for consideration and approval.
Researching and assembling a catalogue of approved products like windows, sliding doors, patio screening, flooring materials, water heaters, etc. and revamping the Architectural Variance form so that homeowners will know what portions of a remodel request require a permit from the city, contractor license identification, insurance guarantees and an inspection after work is completed.
Researching management of short-term and long-term rentals policies, engaging the board and owners of rentals in the process.
Walking the property monthly with PPM and Board representation to survey the general well being of the buildings and physical infrastructure, and to request work orders. Items could include missing or unattached downspouts; cracked, loose or missing stucco, broken sidewalks, drainage issues, etc. The Committee may also be tasked with following up on past homeowner violations or informing the board of new violations.
Be Aware of these Common HOA Myths
Governing documents are boilerplate. Most HOA homebuyers read their purchase contract but ignore the CC&Rs, bylaws, and rules. Those documents are binding whether or not they are reviewed, so avoid
surprises and read them.
It’s my balcony/patio. Condominium association balconies are usually an exclusive use common area. Owners have the exclusive right to use it, but the HOA still controls how it is used and maintained because exclusive use areas are still common area, and therefore under association jurisdiction.
Better to ask forgiveness than permission. Many homeowners feel they acquire leverage by making changes to their property without first asking the HOA for permission. Since architectural conformity and structural safety are major HOA concerns, this often creates legal controversies and avoidable conflict. Be a good neighbour and seek permission first.
The manager works for me. Managers (and all other association service providers) work for the association. Individual members do not direct association vendors – the board does that, normally through management.
Discussions regarding the appointment of officers and board or committee vacancies are “personnel” decisions. While personnel decisions are reserved for closed board discussion under Civil Code 4935, volunteers are not “personnel”. Only persons receiving pay checks from the HOA are employees and therefore “personnel”.
The president is the boss. The board, not the president, is the decider in associations. HOA presidents have much less power than for-profit corporate presidents. Healthy associations understand this and govern with
boards led (not controlled) by their presidents.
Good boards don’t increase assessments. Boards must budget for reasonably anticipated expenses. The goal is not a zero increase, but an accurate budget. Budgets should track reality, and the reality is that expenses rise over time. Boards that “hold the line” often skimp on maintenance and fail to deposit money into the reserve fund.
Submitted by Scott Fleming, from “Avoid These HOA Myths” by Kelly G. Richardson, Esq., CCAL of Richardson/Ober LLP. For additional information visit Avoid These HOA Myths (roattorneys.com)
HOA Insights: Common Sense for Common Areas Podcast Series
Another Homeowners Association resource for board members and communities can be found at www.hoainsights.org where you can listen to relevant podcasts regarding HOA management and issues. This is an excellent resource to understand the complexities of maintaining a healthy homeowners association. The podcast site deals with questions and answers you may have regarding the 2024 Reserve Study for Riviera Gardens.
Palm Desert Free October Concerts in the Parks Series
Offered on stage at the Palm Desert Civic Center Park amphitheater from 6 to 7:30 p.m. every Thursday in October, these concerts are designed for audiences of all ages and tastes. The next three concerts are:
October 12, The Mighty Untouchables. Part dance party and part concert experience with Top 40 dance, Motown, disco, classic rock, jazz, pop hits, and more.
October 19, Leanna and Miguel, a vocalist and her conga sensation husband, will deliver a show that’s a mix of jazz, Latin, pop, and soft rock.
October 26, 80s Ladies, From rock to dance, new wave to Top 40 hits, they’ll keep the energy pumping with music, costumes and choreography from the bygone 80’s era.
Bring your own blankets and lawn chairs and enjoy refreshments from local food trucks. Civic Center Park is located on the northeast corner of San Pablo Avenue and Fred Waring Drive. For more information on the concert series, please call Palm Desert Visitor Services at 760-568-1441.
November Free Events in and Around Palm Springs
November 4, Kewet, the Cahuilla word for fiesta, features activities including bird singers and dancers; demonstrations of basket weaving, beading and gourd rattle making; traditional games, food, and a Native American market. The event, hosted in partnership with the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, the City of Palm Springs, and the Palm Springs unified school district will take place at Palm Springs High School.
November 11, Palm Springs annual Veterans Day Parade, 3:30 pm. The parade begins at Ramon Road and Palm Canyon Drive and heads northbound on Palm Canyon Drive to Alejo Road. It lasts for approximately one hour and concludes with a patriotic concert featuring the 300th Army Reserve Band and fireworks finale.
November 18, McCormick’s Palm Springs Exotic Car Auction, held outdoors on the grounds of the Palm Springs Convention Center features over 500 classic and exotic cars. Admission for the public is free on Friday, November 18, with 180 cars crossing the block and offering the opportunity to preview the weekend’s auction.
For additional information on these and other events go to www.visitgreaterpalmsprings.com.
Share the News!
The Riviera Gardens HOA newsletter is distributed electronically via email. Twenty-five additional printed copies are also placed throughout the community at the mailbox locations. Committee chairs and community members are reminded that submissions for the December newsletter (200 to 250 words maximum) are due by November 30 to Donna Asbury at email@example.com.
Hike for the 23rd Anniversary of the Santa Rosa San Jacinto National Monument
On October 24 celebrate the Monument’s 23rd anniversary with a special hike on the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail and learn about some of the resources unique to the Monument. The moderate 5-mile hike through desert wash, led by the Monument Manager, begins at 8:30 am and concludes at 1:00 pm. Participation is free but space is limited, and reservations are required. For more information contact the Visitor Center at 760-862-9984 or view the Friends of the Desert Mountains website at Hike for the 23rd Anniversary of the SRSJM National Monument — Friends of the Desert Mountains