Welcome to the High Desert Residential Owners Association     Albuquerque, New Mexico


May Day. It was a windy day on the first day of the month, with wind gusts rocking the city.

Have you recently taken a beautiful photo of High Desert?  Want to share it on the website? We're always eager to run High Desert photos taken by residents.  Submit your photo (in jpeg form at 72 dots per inch) to eenews@comcast.net and we'll do our best to post it here.

Community. It's not just where you live, it's how you interact.  Here at High Desert, we believe communication is the number one way to build our community: communication between neighbors, among homeowners and with management. 

This website is designed to keep every High Desert resident informed and up-to-date on the vital issues that affect us as homeowners. Here, you'll find quick access to our governing documents, policies and procedures,  calendars of upcoming community meetings, copies of our latest newsletter, links to community news and the e-mail addresses of your officers and directors. 

We hope this information will provide High Desert homeowners with what they need to know...and when they need to know it. 

For the latest news, scroll down. For more information on High Desert, see the menu items to the left, or the 
Notices and Reminders page or see Community News.

Photo Contest Now Open
By Peggy Wright, Communications Committee Member
Shutterbugs!  Grab your cameras!  It’s time to update our website with your beautiful pictures.  We are looking for residents to submit their favorite pictures depicting High Desert living.  Pictures of wildlife, wildflowers, hiking, landscapes, fun in the park, walking with your pet and other creative photos will be considered.  Winning photos will be featured on our High Desert website under the  “Outdoors” menu tab.

The Communications Committee encourages you to capture the natural beauty of our community and share your great shots with others.  Submit your photos for a chance to win a gift certificate to El Patron. Committee members will select the winning entries in July.  The photo contest will run through Friday, June 24, 2016.

Submit your entries to Rebecca Murphy, Apache Plume editor, at eenews@comcast.net. All photo entries must be submitted in .jpeg format (72-100 d/p/i) and become the property of the High Desert Residential Owners Association. No copyright pictures or ‘used with permission’ entries will be accepted.

The Communications Committee greatly appreciates your efforts to showcase High Desert.

Voting Members Elect Four Directors to High Desert Board at Annual Meeting on April 28
Board of Directors


2016-2017 Board of Directors.  (Left to right: ) Brett Rayman, Dr. Janet Brierley, Dr. Jim Cole, II, David Bentley, Jr., Nancy Winger, Clay Wright, and Tom Murdock.  Brett Rayman was newly elected at the Annual Meeting for a one-year term.  Re-elected to two-year terms were David J. Bentley, Jr., Dr. Janet Brierley and Tom Murdock.

Voting Members acted unanimously at their Annual Meeting April 28 to elect four homeowners to the High Desert Board of Directors.  Brett Rayman was elected to a one-year term and is a new member of the Board.  Re-elected to two-year terms were David J. Bentley, Jr., Dr. Janet Brierley and Tom Murdock.  All four homeowners were named to the official slate of nominees presented to the Voting Members by the Nominating Committee under the chairmanship of Nancy Winger.  No nominees were introduced from the floor during the meeting. 

The Annual Meeting was well-attended by Voting Members with about 60 homeowners on hand.   As required by the High Desert by-laws, the meeting was conducted by Tom Murdock, president of the 2015-2016 Board.  He began the meeting by addressing concerns over the reorganization of the New Construction Committee (NCC).  The Board acted in March to appoint new NCC members under the chairmanship of Brett Rayman who was also elected to the Board at the Annual Meeting.  The Board amended the NCC Policy in April to allow a member of the Board of the Directors to serve on the NCC. 

Prior to the election at the meeting, Voting Members heard brief presentations from the four homeowners running for office.  Brett Rayman, the only homeowner who had not previously served on the board, told Voting Members that he has lived in Sunset Village for two years and served as a Voting Member during that time.  He served 22 years with the Marine Corps and holds a MA degree in business management from Central Michigan University.  Brett lived in Florida where he held a number of positions with homeowner associations there.
Financial Oversight Group
Dr. Jim Cole, II, 2015-2016 Treasurer for the Board of Directors, spoke to Voting Members about the High Desert Financial Oversight Group (FOG) which was formed 22 months ago to explore ways to reduce costs to the association. The group has no authority to make decisions but can make recommendations to the Board. Jim said the five-member group would like to add two members.  It meets on the second Thursday of each month at 1 p.m. at the HOMACO property management office on Montgomery. Any homeowner interested in serving on the committee should contact Christopher Lopez at Highdesertmanager@hoamco.com.
2016-17 Budget Review
Dr. Cole also reviewed the 3rd quarterly association financials noting that the reserves were healthy and the association is “well positioned to meet its financial requirements and obligations.”
Dr. Cole next reviewed the association’s upcoming 2016-17 budget which begins in July.  The Board approved that budget at its last meeting but the Voting Members may act to “not approve” the budget if they wish. There was no motion to not approve the budget.
Security Issues
Dr. Janet Brierley, Board member and Crime Prevention Liaison, and Director David Bentley, Jr. spoke to Voting Members about security issues.  A review of patrol practices was recently made, she said, and G4S officers are now required to patrol at just 5 miles per hour with the windows down, radios off and frequent changes of their route.  An additional $10,000 was added to the patrol salary.  Dr. Brierley emphasized that homeowners must activate and maintain their alarm systems, communicate with their neighbors and start neighborhood watch programs. 
A discussion about installation of security cameras followed.  One Voting Member said her neighbors definitely want to see cameras installed at the High Desert entrances at Academy and Spain. Other Voting Members wanted cameras at each village entrance.  Dr. Brierley said her research shows that photos captured through a windshield from video cameras often are not useable by police. Thieves also frequently use vehicles with stolen plates, making the car untraceable.  Monitoring the footage could increase expenses as well, she noted.   She asked Voting Members to talk to their neighbors and find out what they think about the present level of security in High Desert.  “Ask them about cameras and about increasing patrols,” she said.  “Ask them what they might be prepared to pay.”  Currently the yearly base assessment of $684 calls for $118, or 17 percent, to go toward security costs.  She said she would put together some figures of possible security measures and distribute them to Voting Members.

​The newly elected Board met on Sunday, May 1 to elect new officers.  They remain the same as the year prior: Tom Murdock, President; David Bentley, Jr., Vice President; Clay Wright, Secretary; Dr. James R. Cole II, Treasurer.


Association Honors More than 60 Volunteers at Annual Event


More than 60 High Desert volunteers gathered for a special buffet in their honor at El Patron Restaurant Cantina Saturday, April 16.  The event, organized by Nancy Winger, Board Director, was held in conjunction with National Volunteer Week and recognized all High Desert homeowners who have volunteered their time for the community over the past year. Those invited included Voting Members, Alternate Voting Members, committee members, and participants in special projects.

​"Gathering together our volunteers and recognizing them has become an annual social event," said Nancy. "Turnout at Saturday's event was excellent and everyone seemed to have a great time."

​The buffet included a full array of Mexican foods with individual flower cupcakes for dessert.  The windy, chilly weather outside--with falling snow in High Desert--lent a cozy atmosphere to the gathering.  "This has been a lot of fun," said one Voting Member afterward. "It's always nice to get a pat on the back."

​To see more photos of the event, click here.


Work Begins on Wilderness Cañon Development with Removal of Surface Boulders

Excavators began removing boulders on the site of the new 19-home High Desert village of Wilderness Cañon in late March. The large surface boulders will be given to the city for various flood control projects and will be removed by the city.  After the boulders are removed, Scott Patrick Homes, developers of the project, will begin grading the site and installing storm drains, utilities and roads over the next several months.

Infrastructure work is expected to be complete by September, according to a spokesman for Scott Patrick Homes, followed by construction of a model home.  The company is hoping to sell all 19 lots within the next two to three years, depending on the vitality of the real estate market.  Most of the lots will require custom designed floorplans due to the variable sizes and shapes of the lots. Sales literature will become available over the next several months.

Christopher Lopez, High Desert’s property manager with HOAMCO, is sending regular email notices to homeowners living near the construction.  Dust control during the windy spring months has been a concern expressed by some residents.  City ordinances are in place that regulate how contractors deal with dust.  Water trucks will be used by the contractors to soak areas and keep the dust to a minimum, he said.  The city also has a ‘High Wind Event’ rule that states if sustained wind speeds exceed a certain threshold, the city will announce a temporary cease order on all grading work until winds die down.

High Desert Place will be narrowed to a single lane for about a week as storm drains and utilities are installed this spring. Flag persons will be stationed at both ends of the street to control traffic during that time. Christopher said he will notify all neighbors in the area in advance.

The proposed village calls for 19 houses on roughly four acres directly south of Wilderness Compound, with the entrance off the southern end of High Desert Place. The village will be developed by companies associated with Scott Schiabor from Scott Patrick Homes and Mesa Verde Development Corporation along with Panorama Homes owned by John Lowe.  Of the 19 homes to be built within the Wilderness Cañon village, 11 must be single story based on the specific lot the house will be built upon.  Eight lots are allowed to have two-story homes, but some of those might end up being single story, depending on a buyer’s preference. The village’s streets will be private (i.e., not an Albuquerque public street) and the village will be similar to other gated villages in the Association with a gate will installed at the entry. 

Questions about the project can be directed to Christopher Lopez at (505) 314-5862 or via email at: highdesertmanager@hoamco.com. 

Click here to view a map of the proposed village.

New Homeowners Welcomed to High Desert at Semi-Annual Wine and Cheese Party

Photo:  High Desert newcomers (left to right:)  Margaret Gordon, Judy Hansen and Moslema Sharif.

The High Desert Welcome Committee drew 40 homeowners, new and not-so-new, at its semi-annual Wine and Cheese party Friday night, April 8.  The party was held at the home of John and Maddy Shelton, chairmen of the Welcome Committee, in The Highlands. New residents who have moved into High Desert recently were invited along with members of the Welcome Committee, the HOAMCO property  management team and members of the Board of Directors. Tom Murdock, Board president, welcomed the new homeowners and invited them to become involved in the association by volunteering as a Voting Member, a committee member or helping on various projects in the community.  "Remember," he said, "it takes more than 100 volunteers to make High Desert work."

​Among the newcomers at the party were Judy and Neal Hansen who moved into their home in Solterra two months ago after relocating from Seattle where they had lived for more than 40 years.  "We love it here," she said.  She and her husband relocated to Albuquerque when Judy took a position as Executive Director for Organizational Development and Learning at Presbyterian Healthcare.

​Moslema Sharif and her husband Mohammad Hossan moved into their home in the Trillium early this year after moving to Albuquerque from Dallas.  She has a position at Sandia National Laboratories.

Margaret and Ken Gordon are new residents of Pinon Point.  She is also an employee of Sandia National Laboratories where she is a chemist.  She and her husband moved to New Mexico from Wisconsin last November.  "We love the views and the way we can go out the door for a run and be right on the trails," she said. 


Barking Dogs Disturb the Peace of High Desert Neighborhoods....Please Take Responsibility for Your Pet
Pets are a part of life here in High Desert. For some homeowners, a pet is as much a member of the family as any human. For others, pets are an important tool in deterring crime. Owning a pet carries serious responsibility. Maintaining their health and wellness is one example. Cleaning up after them is another important obligation.One very important aspect of owning a pet is ensuring that they exist harmoniously within our community. Allowing a pet to bark incessantly destroys the tranquility we work so hard to achieve in our community. Sound carries. One barking dog can disturb literally dozens of households. 
City law is clear on the topic:
 § 9-2-3-7 Animals Disturbing the Peace.
No person shall allow an animal in his possession or control to persistently or continuously bark, howl or make noise common to its species, or otherwise to disturb the peace and quiet of the inhabitants of the city or keep or maintain an animal in a manner which produces noxious or offensive odors or otherwise endangers the health and welfare of the inhabitants of the city. 
('74 Code, § 6-2-6G) (Ord. 40-1987; Am. Ord. 71-1989; Am. Ord. 33-1992)
Pet owners can keep the peace and avoid hefty fines by taking measures to control their pets. Those affected by barking dogs have options as well. Concerned homeowners can visit the City of Albuquerque website and fill out a complaint form. Click on the link to file a complaint:  http://www.cabq.gov/pets/programs-services/animal-noise-complaint/ 
The city will want a written log and/or a statement with dates and times of disturbances. Animal Control may then investigate. An Animal Control officer will want to know if you are willing to file criminal charges against your neighbor. The officer will also want to know if you have exhausted all means of dealing with the problem, such as talking with your neighbor or contacting the city's Alternative Dispute Resolution office for help through a mediation process. If there is sufficient evidence, charges may be filed and you may need to testify in a criminal trial. It is not a quick process. It can be several months before a trial date is even set.
The High Desert ROA and G4S security patrol cannot investigate or file complaints on behalf of residents. The city indicates that it must be done by the affected resident. 

Board Adopts New Enforcement Policy
trailA new enforcement policy adopted by the High Desert Board of Directors in January includes stiffer fines and penalties for violations to the rules and regulations of the community.

Homeowners who ignore violation letters, neglect to pay their association dues, rent their houses without notifying the association, or fail to comply with New Construction Committee directives will be subject to a series of escalating penalties. These fines will increase with time and then lead to the following: a property lien; a legal suit and trial with attendant costs, fees, and post-judgment enforcement; possession and sale of the homeowner’s non-exempt property by the Bernalillo County Sheriff; writs of garnishment of bank accounts et al.; and eventual foreclosure.

The Board of Directors contracted with an Albuquerque lawyer last fall for a trial period to address the escalating problems with homeowners who are delinquent in paying fines and assessments. Using this service has already resulted in successful collection of approximately $25,000 owed to the HDROA. His work is paid through inclusion in the legal procedures noted above.

For example, a homeowner who does not pay the association’s assessment in a timely manner will now face a series of actions beginning with a fine of $100 for the first quarter of delinquency followed by fines of $200 for subsequent quarters. Accruing interest will also be added. The homeowner will have the option of a hearing before the Board of Directors. Failure to reach an agreement at this hearing will lead to a property lien, intervention by the attorney, and a legal suit.

Speaking for the Board of Directors, Vice President Dave Bentley noted that a small number of homeowners in High Desert have simply ignored paying their assessments. "This is totally unfair to those many residents who do pay their assessments on time," he said. "Our enforcement policies did not have sufficient teeth in them to provide the necessary incentive for every resident to comply. As a result, residents who did pay their assessments were subsidizing the costs of all the features and advantages associated with living in High Desert for those people who did not pay."

The newly adopted enforcement policy has four sections: Assessment Delinquency Policy, Non-Monetary Violation of Governing Documents Policy, Rental Agreement Violation Policy, and New Construction Committee Directive Violations Policy.

For non-monetary violations, no fine occurs until 10 days after the third notice when the fine will be $100. The fines for continued noncompliance will then increase to $250 after 10 more days and increase to $500 after an additional 10 days.

Residents can view the new policy on the Policies page (or click here to see the Enforcement Policy). The new policy replaces the previous Enforcement Policy, New Construction Committee Enforcement Policy, and the Billing & Delinquency Policy. The 11-page pdf document is fully searchable.

"This new policy provides for a hearing where the homeowner can appear before the Board of Directors to discuss any problem," said Dave. "Our Board of Directors understands that circumstances happen, and we are available to work with residents who experience such situations. We do, however, have a responsibility to ensure enforcement of all the rules and regulations that apply to living in High Desert. Adoption of the new policy and the engagement of an attorney who specializes in this area provide a fair and expeditious process for such enforcement. Please refer to the document on the website for specific information."

New Rental Policy in Effect

Are you already renting your High Desert house to tenants, or plan to rent it soon? If so, you are now required to notify the association and provide tenant names and contact information— and you may not rent your property for less than six months at a time. Short term rentals, such as those done on vacation rental online sites, are now prohibited in High Desert. Information on tenants must be provided to the association. Continued failure to comply will result in a series of escalating fines, possible court action, liens and even foreclosure.

The new High Desert Rental Policy was approved by the Board of Directors December 15, 2015 after Voting Members acted last autumn to amend the Use Restrictions of the CC&Rs. The amendment added a new subsection prohibiting rentals of less than six months unless approved in advance by the Board. The new Rental Policy spells out the procedure for renting homes in a four-page document that includes a "Tenant Information Sheet" to be completed by the homeowner with contact information on all tenants.

Failure to comply with the new policy will result in a $200 fine after 10 days following the second notice, and a $500 fine 10 days after the third notice, along with a series of actions outlined in the new Enforcement Policy adopted in January. The Rental Policy can be viewed as a pdf on the Policies page. All homeowners were recently notified of the new policy by mail.

For More News...
Click on the Community News page for other news stories pertaining to High Desert.


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