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The Orchards @ Anderson Heights Homeowners' Blog

The Official blog of The Orchards @ Anderson Heights – made by homeowners, for homeowners

Attempted break-in

Since my previous attempt at a post wasn’t published, probably due to my irate tone and use of some colorful metaphors, I’m going to try again in the hopes that I can convey my point a little more accurately, in a way that can get my point across.

Yesterday morning, two people tried to break into my house. I was at work, but my family member s that were home said that a man and a woman beat on the door and screamed nonsensically for the better part of five minutes. When no one answered, or came to the door, they then proceeded to bang on the garage door for another few minutes. My wife, kids, and dogs were all freaking out, and were about three seconds from pushing the panic button on our alarm, when the two crazies finally pulled the plug and split.

What’s going on in this neighborhood as far as security? I read the last eight or ten posts on here, and over half of them had to do with security issues. Drunk neighbors that want to fight, cars plowing through the park, dogs crapping in peoples yards, car break-ins, burglaries, vandalism. It’s a joke.

I want to know what our homeowners association is going to do about it. You’d think with the fortune they’re raking in from the dues people pay every month, that we wouldn’t have to worry about getting accosted in our own homes and neighborhood. I see kids getting stoned in the park in broad daylight, and hanging out up there at all hours of the night. Seriously? Is this the best we can do? I might as well go live in the war zone.

This makes me irate, and shows me that the priorities of our leadership is badly misplaced. I know I’m not the only one that feels like this. So what’s the scoop? Has anyone else had issues with people beating on their doors, and acting like lunatics?

Please don’t delete my comments again. If you truly want this to be an open forum where people can solve problems, there needs to be facts and discussion.

11 Responses to “Attempted break-in”

  1. webmaster says:

    Hello (I didn’t catch your name…),

    Your previous post was held in moderation in the queue – I apologize for not sifting through the messages yesterday. There’s been a lot of spam lately and I usually check every other day or so.

    I just wanted to let you know that! :) I will respond to your other comments when I have a some time to compose my comments.

    Chris Perkins
    President, Orchards BoD

  2. Melissa says:

    First off, I’m sorry. I think your other post went up too. They don’t post automatically and require someone to approve them. I got a notification on both of them within minutes of each other.

    Second, having served on our HOA board in the past, I can assure you that they have anything other than a “fortune.” The HOA has a responsibility to the residents to ensure that we have solid reserves to cover any kind of future projects. For example, if we needed massive roadwork needed, we are on the hook. Because it’s a gated community, these aren’t city streets. By having a reserve fund, they are working to preclude sending individual homeowners bills for projects that are done.

    Also, there’s a sadly high percentage of your neighbors who do not pay their monthly dues. And because of the high number of homes in foreclosure, you can pretty much assume those homes stopped paying their assessments a long time ago.

    Full financial statements were mailed out a while ago before the annual meeting. I think they’re also available on the recap post for the annual meeting. If you take a look at those, you’ll see that we don’t have a fortune amassed. The money is used to cover everything inside the gates – lights, the park, the pool, the gates, etc.

    As far as people beating on your door, I can’t say it’s happened to us. My guess (or maybe hope) is that they had the wrong house.

  3. Robert says:

    The HOA can provide whatever services the homeowners are willing to pay for. That being said, the HOA’s purpose is not to provide for the safety of it’s residents. The HOA’s main purpose, technically speaking, is to enforce the CC&Rs that every homeowner agreed to follow when they bought their home. In layman’s terms, the HOA’s principle function is to maintain the HOAs property (park, pool, steets etc.) and provide for any functions the membership desires and pays for.

    Uniformed security is very expensive. Several years ago we priced it for 24X7 patrols and the fees due by each homeowner were almost $400/mo. The current assessments cover the barebones with very little to spare.

    Many of your comments have very little to do with the HOA, in fact none of them do. Sadly we live in a world where stupid people do stupid things, some parents have no control of their children and generally, people just don’t care about their neighbors.

    When I was on the board we tried for years to encourage people to form neighborhood watches or get involved in the community. We struggled just to get enough people to show up just to conduct business.

    I would encourage you to run for an open board seat as you may have ideas that no one has considered. The only advice I can provide about some of the things you have witnessed, is to do something! What’s that saying, evil prevails when good men do nothing.

    I am very happy that your family was safe. I hate to hear that those types of things are going on in the community.

  4. Red Skull says:

    I saw the financials, and the reserves looked sufficient to me to put a uniformed security guard on patrol.

    @ Robert:

    I’m not really sure how my comments have nothing to do with the HOA. With crime and mayhem obviously running rampant in our neighborhood, and the board being the people with the financial resources to combat that (if they so choose to spend them that way) I’d say the two go hand-in-hand.

    Furthermore, to say the HOA’s purpose is ‘not to provide for the security of it’s residents’, is completely ridiculous, and asinine. If that’s truly your stance, and you think that someone cutting the grass in the park, or building speed bumps on the road, or cleaning the pool is more important than making our neighborhood safe, then resign your seat. Safety is first and foremost; go door to door and ask if you don’t believe me.

    @ Melissa:

    If it’s so easy not to pay dues every month, than nobody would. A lien on your home, until your back dues are paid in the event of a sale, is motivation enough that obviously the people with their act together know to pay. Maybe the HOA should hire a collection agency to get people to cough up what they agreed to when they bought their home. Just a thought. I think it’s crappy that the rest of us suffer for the ignorance of a few irresponsible people.

  5. webmaster says:

    Hello (…still haven’t caught your name…),

    I would like to refer you to another section of the website. On this page, you can clearly see that the Homeowners’ Association of the Orchards at Anderson Heights takes no responsibility in providing security for anyone. Nowhere in the bylaws, CC&Rs does it say that the Association must provide security. In my opinion, if those documents did declare that security was a responsibility of the Association the dues will be much higher than they are today.

    I would also like to refer you to another previous post I made about the survey results on the topic of Safety and Security. There are four images in the post – the first and second images go together as the worded responses are the “other” comments for the pie chart… and the third and fourth images are connected as well.

    Out of the 45 responses, 44.4% would not pay more assessments for additional security. Also out of the 45 responses, only 3 respondants said they do not feel safe in the community.

    As for using the funds in the reserves… Our HOA hired a third-party company to review our community and determine what needs to be done in regards to major upgrades, repairs and upkeep. The roads, for instance, will need to be replaced soon – there are two streets in the neighborhood that were laid down before any others and will be first for re-paving. That will probably happend within the next 2 to 3 years (max). That will most likely use up all or most of what’s in the reserves now because they are long roads! :)

    With the lack of interest in paying for security and because the association assumes no responsibility of protecting the people who live within, it’s just not plausable to get uniformed security for patrols. In fact, we tried that about a year ago and the results ended up not being worth the money spent during the trial run. Now this does not mean that this can’t change. If it’s the sentiment of the community to get some patrols going then we can (and will) do it! Like Robert said, the HOA can provide any services the homeowners are willing to pay for.

    Starting a Neighborhood Watch on your block is something you can do. Please refer to another post I made back in March 2011 about How To Start a NW. The posts outlines 10 things to get a NW program started on your block!

    Here’s an interesting article on how NW’s and HOA’s can work together: http://www.usaonwatch.org/resource/publication.aspx?PublicationId=46

    Finally, when we were dealing with The High Co$t of Vandalism last year , I posted that just four months into 2012 that over $13,000 in damage had been done to the community through various acts of vandalism. This year in 2013 (as of Oct.) we are less than 1/2 of that! I encourage you to read through the comments and check out what Travis said about how much uniformed security would cost.

    The Board is always open to suggestions and wants to know what you think. Thanks for posting.

    Chris Perkins
    President, Orchards BoD

  6. melissa says:

    The board does use means to find liens but all of that takes time. Those also cost money. In the last few years the board has done a lot to get that money back but it’s not a flip of a switch thing.

    Also again look at the numbers. Around the clock security just isn’t financially feasible.

  7. webmaster says:

    Melissa is correct – our Management Company has been working with a collection agency and being very aggressive in collecting past due assessments.

  8. Melissa says:

    From the tone of your comments, it really doesn’t seem like you’ve ever been to a meeting. If you have strong feelings about the community, offer to head up a committee. Ask the board what you can do to help. The best way to turn this community into what you want it to be is to step up. Don’t just point at others and ask them how they’re going to fix the problems – offer to help find a solution. I don’t think you realize how much time the people who volunteer for the board spend on issues you never even know about it.

    And as someone who lobbied hard for those speeedbumps, if you think those were about anything other than safety, you’re wrong. Many of these streets had turned into racetracks. That is actually a very good example of the board seeing an opportunity to improve safety for everyone here and taking the steps necessary to fund the project.

    As for the “cleaning the pool” comment, that pool is something that every homeowner bought into when they bought their house here. It requires a great deal of maintenance and upkeep to keep it safe for residents and guests.

    So if you want to create change, be part of the solution.

  9. Sherry says:

    Several of my neighbors have had their cars broken into. One neighbor had 3 men trap her and her baby in their own drive way. My iMac box with keypad and Mose was stolen out of my car. (I took my Mac to the Apple Store and they do not take the keyboard and mouse.) Also this Sunday my sons wallet and my car charger were stolen. My neighbors have put up cameras and it’s a black Ford Escape as well as a black Chevy pick up. They are on camera attempting to enter cars and residences at 2am. Most ppl are home at 2am so obviously they do not care that they are entering homes with ppl in them. In the last 2 weeks they have been seen in the area between 2am and 5:30am. I’m wondering how they are getting into our gated community. Also instead of mowing the grass they should fix the equipment at the park. That’s safety of our children at risk!!! I just ordered a home security system and cameras because obviously this neighborhood is not safe and shouldn’t be advertised as such.

  10. Red Skull says:

    @ Sherry:

    Sorry you’ve been ripped off so frequently. Here’s a few helpful suggestions:

    1) If you have a garage, put the car inside. A pain in the butt I realize, but it’s ten times more secure.

    2) A dog outside the front at night. They bark like hell when people are amiss, and will alert you that you’re being victimized.

    3) A 12 gauge. If you saw off the barrel nice and short, it usually wipes people out in one shot.

    Good luck. Hope you get a handle on the problem.

  11. Sherry Grouell says:

    We have a massive dog, 95lbs of pure muscle to be exact, but we would never keep him out at night! He’s spoiled like that. As far as the gun we have a few registered ones on top of the security system we had to installed. Thanks for the advice.

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