Ahwatukee Board of Management Violations Debate: Why HOAs Plague Baby Boomers in a Retirement Community
I've been living in the retirement area of Ahwatukee, a community in the Southeastern Phoenix area. It has plenty of amenities (none that I actually use, I'm not a joiner).
There is a hidden and highly expensive element of living here in this retiree community, having to be a member of both a retirement HOA and the community's HOA as well as harassment for pruning of plants in the common area.
The community was built (like photo above) along a circle where the walls that were erected by the builder when the community was set down (not by the homeowners) where there is a niche in the wall and a planting (not planted by the homeowner) not planted by the homeowner in the common area.
The common area along the street is maintained by the Board of Management from the enormous fees they collect.
But, for some reason, if there is a palm tree in that niche, the nearby house is considered to be the owner of that piece of land that was cut out of the property upon creation of the lot.
The homeowner has no water drip system to that plant. That plant is outside their privacy wall. This home has never watered that tree, yet it still stands. The plants around it, such as aloe vera and desert bushes are pruned and watered by the community collective under the auspices of Ahwatukee Board of Management. It is from that wellspring the palm remains alive.
The owner of the house I'm staying in got a notice to prune the palm tree in the niche. He has never watered it. He did not even know it was considered his as it's obviously in a niche set aside for the common community area. Upon talking with the last people to handle the property, they had the tree pruned 7 months ago.
Neighbors are evaluating their notices and one is going to great and dangerous lengths to cut down three 40-foot tall palms in his backyard because they can be seen above the wall.
It seems to me that the only solution is to cut down the palm tree and never have to groom it again and get notices. Now, the management has created a situation where one of the palm trees along its parkway will be missing. And then others will take theirs down too. The very palm trees they put in to make the community look nice, they aren't willing to groom themselves. So, shame on them.
If they insist the tree is the homeowner's tree, then he can remove it. He could put in a veggie garden if he wanted, an ugly climbing vine, as this is his property, correct?
HOAs have become the bane of baby boomer's existence. If my neighbor wants to do something hideous to his yard, like grow big weeds, the city can be called up.
The purpose of owning a home is owning a property and rights to aesthetics. If one lives in a condo and pays for common areas to be cleaned up or someone to do their front yard, good for them. But someone who owns a home outright should be allowed to maintain his own property, not common property.
I'm sorry Ahwatukee Board of Management, but you are very wrong on this "niche is homeowner's" policy. The homeowner did not erect a wall around a tree they planted. That tree was part of the common area and it was taken from that property to showcase. That means it's the community's property.
Your logic doesn't work here.
Here's to every baby boomer who is escaping HOA's holds on their life. By the time you've paid off your house, it should be your house.
Below is the tree in question, set back in a niche in the common area, watered by the board of management, on property set aside to be viewed and be part of the common area, not the homeowner's.
The battle isn't over for baby boomers. My dream of living in a small home on a big lot with no HOA remains. That is what I am working toward and I am sorry it won't be in Ahwatukee where I have lived for 24 years of my life.