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, home improvement information, links to Village 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 Notices and Reminders page.
Photo: High Desert resident Steve Hamm took this photo while on a walk in the open space at Elena Gallegos, immediately north of High Desert. The photo shows the wildlife viewing blind located just north and east of the parking areas. The blind overlooks a small pond that has water in it year 'round. It's a very nice destination for High Desert residents walking the open space trails.
Snow Removal in High Desert
|By Sarah Hoey |
High Desert Community Manager
Snow removal from streets outside of the gated villages is ultimately the responsibility of the City of Albuquerque (CABQ). If you have a concern about snow removal from streets (except gated villages) you may contact the CABQ mayor's Hotline at 311. The representative should give you a reference number and put the request on their priority list. You can call them back after a period of time to check on the status of your request. In the past they have been very responsive; however, many factors bear on when the city gets to the residential area of High Desert. The amount of snowfall, when the snowfall begins, which areas of the city that may be receiving a greater amount, etc. are all factors in how quickly our streets get cleared. Additionally, residential areas receive a lower priority than major arteries as well as roads providing emergency service access.
The HDROA has entered into a contract for snow removal with Heads Up Landscaping. While the primary purpose is to ensure safety at the entrances and exits of the gated villages, other areas will be plowed and/or treated. When the conditions reach preset levels the removal actions will begin.
The snow removal contract applies to the gated village entrances/exits, the five major intersections involving Cortaderia, Imperata, Spain, Academy, and High Desert, in addition to bridges. They will be made as safe as possible as soon as practical. To reduce the risk of damage to the gates and facilitate snow removal, gates will be held open until the areas around gates can be made safe for normal operation. Any additional removal of snow on streets inside gated villages will be done on a case by case basis.
Residents may contact the G4s Patrol with urgent concerns regarding the snow conditions. The patrol number is 506-5287. If there is no answer, leave a message as there may be numerous simultaneous calls to the patrol.
6th Annual High Desert Studio Tour Is Another Success
The 6th Annual High Desert Studio Tour was another success as dozens of homeowners and visitors toured the homes and studios of High Desert artists and craftsmen November 8. Beautiful autumn weather encouraged participation, with many people walking between homes, following the purple balloons that marked the tour sites. Potters, painters, sculptors, jewelers, fiber artists and even a violin maker were among the 18 artists featured this year.
Homeowners Review New Preliminary Landscape Master Plan
At Open House November 6
It was a full house at the Holiday Park Community Center meeting room Thursday night, Nov. 6. About 40 homeowners were on hand to see new conceptual designs of seven landscape zones in the preliminary Landscape Master Plan and provide the association with feedback.
High Desert Residential Owners Association hired the landscape architect firm of Dekker/Perich/Sabatini (http://www.dpsdesign.org/) to create a Master Plan for Landscaping for the association's common areas. The firm has been working with the Board and the Landscape Committee during the preliminary phases of the work. Thursday's Open House presented the plan and asked for owner feedback.
Ken Romig, a landscape architect with the firm, presented the new designs through a series of slides which included photos of existing landscape in High Desert, proposed drawings of new landscapes and pictures of plants. Another series of large posters positioned around the room highlighted seven common area zones with drawings of new designs and plants. Those zones include: development entrances, streetscapes and medians, village entrances, parks and pocket parks, sculpture gardens, arroyos, open spaces and ponds. The plan does not include High Desert Park which is maintained by the city.
The presentation was the culmination of study and review by the Landscape Committee and the Board of Directors which included an extensive Landscape Assessment of the approximately 240 acres of open and maintained space in High Desert, including 70 acres of developed and irrigated landscape. Landscape maintenance is about half of the total budget for High Desert. The Master Plan is intended to give guidance for keeping a consistent design to the landscape over time.
High Desert was originally developed to tread lightly on the surrounding desert. The original landscape plan is no longer available and there have been inevitable changes as original trees and plants grew, died and were replaced, drought conditions worsened and invasive plants took over areas.
"There has been a landscape style drift over the past 20 years," Tom Murdock, HDROA President, said. "We must have some overriding principles and decide what our plan will be going forward."
During the open discussion, Steve Hamm, High Desert resident, said he was disappointed there was not more of a stated landscape philosophy for High Desert presented as part of the preliminary Master Plan. "We need a set of principles and assumptions," another homeowner added. Ken replied, “That idea takes some real conversation.”
Homeowners suggested included benches along trails and attention to consideration of school bus stops for children. Other concerns included wildfire prevention and how additional grass areas might be designed to prevent spreading fires. Pest and invasive tree species were discussed. Another resident recommended that no new aspens or pinons be planted. “We’ve spent a fortune trying to save those trees from drought and pests,” he said.
"But, we’ve been irrigating this landscape for the past twenty years," Margo Murdock, High Desert homeowner, said. " So the drought conditions should not have affected it."
A member of the Landscape Committee addressed the gathering. “We have all worked for years to get here,” she said. “Believe it or not, we’re very happy that we’re pretty much in touch with everything you are saying. There is not a question that’s been raised here that we haven’t already discussed and considered.”
Ken told the group that the Board and the landscape firm will develop a final preferred options Master Plan probably by the end of the year. “Your feedback here tonight will greatly influence those final plans,” he said. The final plan will include costs for implementation and maintenance estimates. Implementation of the Master Plan will happen in stages over the next few growing seasons.
To view the various designs (as pdfs) presented at the meeting, click here.
Voting Members Elect New Chairperson, Discuss Estate Sales, and Hear Reports at Regular Quarterly Meeting October 23, 2014
Homeowners May Sign Up Now For New Email List To Receive Association Updates & News
The Association has a new way to communicate regularly with homeowners through emails. Residents can sign up on the secure site (and unsubscribe at any time) to receive important Association news and updates.
The Board of Directors chose a free version of the online "MailChimp" service as the provider for the new email list so there is no added cost to the Association. Signing up is a secure, two-step process. Homeowners simply click the link below and are taken to the MailChimp site and asked to type in their email address and full name and select their Village. Once they click to subscribe to the list, they will receive a link in their regular email that confirms their subscription and told to "click to subscribe."
To subscribe to the HDROA email service, click here. A permanent link to the information is also provided in the menu list to the left of the homepage.
Homeowners who have already provided their email address to the Association have been automatically included in the email list. Subscribers can update their information online at any time. No passwords or usernames are required. (Note: any name or address changes made to the email subscription service will only affect the mail list and will not update your permanent information in the official Association ownership records. Owners should contact HOAMCO to update those records.)
The Board of Directors emphasized that the email list will never be shared with any commercial organization or used for any commercial purpose or any non-Association business. Owners may update their preferences or unsubscribe at any time by clicking on the links at the bottom of any email.
Time to replace your roof? New Amendment to Guidelines for Sustainability May Help Clarify Your Options
The New Construction Committee has updated the Guidelines for Sustainability to accommodate new technologies in roofing materials that have come to market for residential properties since the Guidelines were first developed. Click here to go to the revised Guidelines for roof color.
The Modifications Committee is seeing an increase in requests for roof replacement. This is not surprising since many of the homes in High Desert are now more than ten years old. Fred Gorenz, chair of the Modifications Committee (MC), reminds owners that putting on a new roof is an external change to the dwelling that needs prior approval of the Modification Committee. He says, “While an owner may rarely see their own roof, it may be seen daily from homes at higher elevations.”
The Guidelines for Sustainability have restrictions on the materials and color of roofs. Russ Welsch of the New Construction Committee, explains, “Our Guidelines are designed to minimize the visual impact of homes on the natural state of the land around us, including from higher vantage points.”
The color of a roof must meet the Guideline that roofs be non-reflective and, in general, darker in color and hue than the building’s exterior walls. While traditional tar and gravel roofs are common in High Desert, new options today include single-ply membrane and spray foam. Many single-ply membranes are white and some foam roofs are yellow or white; these materials must be modified to change their color to one that meets the Guidelines. Homeowners should consult their contractor about the options for making the roof color compliant.
As Welsch reminds us, “Contractors may not know about our restrictions, so it is important for the High Desert homeowner to discuss the restrictions with their vendor to be sure their proposed roof will meet the Guidelines.”
The Modifications Committee has a “fast-track” process to approve roof replacements that are exactly the same as was previously approved. Proposals to change the roof materials will require full review of the Committee, which meets every month. See the Modification Committee page for more information on submitting a modification request to the Committee.
Welcome Committee Holds Wine & Cheese Party for New Homeowners
The High Desert Welcome Committee held its semi-annual Wine & Cheese party Friday night, September 26, to welcome all new residents to the community. The party was hosted by Maddy and John Shelton, Co-Chairmen of the Committee, at their home in The Highlands. The group enjoyed wine, cheese, crackers and fruit while meeting members of the Board of Directors and the Welcome Committee. Dave Bentley, Vice President of the Board, spoke briefly to the assembled group. He explained how High Desert is governed and encouraged the new residents to volunteer on one of the numerous High Desert committees. Ray Berg, who heads up the park, trail and highway cleanup projects, also spoke to the new homeowners about upcoming events. Thea Berg, a member of the Welcome Committee, talked about the committee's November Studio Tour set for November 8, 2014.
First photo, top left, includes Kathy Mengoni, Dave Bentley, Rick Mengoni and Ray Berg. Kathy and Rick Mengoni are new homeowners in Chamisa Trail. They moved here from Kansas City but received their degrees in pharmacy from UNM in 1980. "We always wanted to come back here," said Kathy. She and her husband both work as pharmacists at two Walgreens in the Northeast Heights. Kathy's parents also live in High Desert and have been residents for 15 years.
Jeff and Shelly Johnston (second photo) are new residents in The Aerie and moved here from Tucson in mid-January. Jeff is originally from Canada and Shelly is a native of San Diego. They chose High Desert because of its low crime rate and easy cycling distance from Jeff's job at CVI Laser Optics.
Linda Lee and Bob Baker (third photo) are building their new house in Wilderness Estates. "We only have the footings in place so far," Linda Lee said, "But I can't wait to move in." Originally from New Hampshire and Massachusetts, the couple lived the last 20 years in Florida. Their daughter moved to New Mexico and Linda Lee and Bob decided to move here, too. "It's just so beautiful," Bob said. "Every day in High Desert is a show. The mountains change all day long."
Christine and Greg Gan, (fourth photo) moved into their home in Desert Mountain from Denver in July. Greg is a physician at UNM Cancer Center and Christine is a scientist.
Lower photo, far right: Maddy and John Shelton are co-chairmen of the Welcome Committee.
High Desert Neighborhood Watch Groups Participate in
'National Night Out Against Crime' August 5
Several Neighborhood Watch groups in High Desert took to the street Tuesday night, August 5th, as they participated in 'National Night Out Against Crime.' Block Captains in Chamisa Trail (photo 1), Canyons (photo 2) and Aerie (photo 3) organized block parties for their groups, bringing neighbors together for food and conversation.
Neighborhood Watch is one of the oldest crime prevention programs in the country, uniting citizens with law enforcement to deter crime and make communities safer. National Night Out is traditionally held the first Tuesday in August. Neighborhood groups (including Neighborhood Watch) are encouraged to turn on their porch lights, hold block parties and meet their neighbors in an effort to discourage crime and encourage a sense of community.
In Chamisa Trail, Diane Goodwin and Barbara Towers are Co-Captains for 24 houses on High Ridge and Sandia Ridge. They organized their Neighborhood Watch group in 2011 with a meeting that included an Albuquerque Police Department officer who discussed ways to prevent crime. The group received two Neighborhood Watch signs for the street. "We meet about three times a year," said Diane. "We have roster of members and we meet for brunch periodically to welcome new people." She said the neighborhood as had no problems with crime since the group was established. "It helps that we all know each other," she said. "We look after each other, especially when people leave on vacation."
Mike Redding has been the Block Captain for the Canyons Neighborhood Watch group for the last 10 years. His group includes all 44 homes in the gated community. "We need more Block Captains here," he said. Canyons homeowner Joan Schueller helped organize the event held in the Canyons cul-de-sac Tuesday night. About 40 residents attended. "This is such a nice neighborhood," she said. "We have luncheons for the ladies once a month, we get together in the evenings to play Bunco, and at Christmas we always have a potluck." Crime has stayed low in the Canyons for past decade, she added.
Another party took place over in The Aerie at the home of David and Anne Wimsatt. Anne is the Block Captain for her Neighborhood Watch group which includes homes throughout the village. She established her group 10 years ago. "We have about 75 homes in this Neighborhood Watch," she said. "The participation is very encouraging."
High Desert homeowners are encouraged by the association to establish Neighborhood Watch groups in their neighborhood. Interested homeowners should contact High Desert homeowner Hugh Barlow, Crime Prevention Liaison, at 550-0916 or firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Landscape Committee Report
|High Desert homeowners can now view the full Landscape Assessment Report here as a pdf. That report was submitted last spring to the Board by the Landscape Committee, led by homeowner Ray Berg. |
The report, including recommendations, was the result of more than a year's effort by the Committee and several dozen High Desert volunteers who surveyed all the common areas and portions of open space within the community.
Billing Information For Residents
|High Desert residents now have several options for paying assessments. Billing information and payment instructions can be found on the Billing Information page. |
Wildlife in High Desert
Do you have any terrific pictures of wildlife in High Desert that you'd like to share? Submit your photos (in jpeg form) to email@example.com and we'll post them on our Wildlife in High Desert page. The top photo was taken in High Desert by Bruce Loughridge. The lizard was seen on a large boulder in Bruce's front yard in Mountain Highlands back in 2007. He said it measured about 10 inches from front to back and his mate was lounging in the shade nearby.
The hummingbird photo below was taken by Steve Hamm in August 2014. These birds are everywhere in High Desert this summer.
Notices & Reminders
To see "Notices and Reminders" for High Desert, click here.