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

This photo of a snowy sunset over the Sandias was taken in mid-November following the first snowfall of the season.  Photographer Steve Hamm captured this scene from his house in the Highlands.

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.

High Desert Board Votes To Adopt Amendment to Use Restrictions at Special Meeting
At a special meeting on Saturday, November 21st, the High Desert Board voted unanimously to adopt an amendment to Exhibit “D”, Use Restrictions, of the AMENDED AND RESTATED DECLARATION OF COVENANTS, CONDITIONS, AND RESTRICTIONS FOR HIGH DESERT RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES, recorded  August 18, 2011, to add a new subsection (b)(viii) as follows:

The new rental policy amendment reads as follows:
(Prohibits) Rental of a unit unless it is for a period of six months or greater, and fully complies with the provision of the Rental Policy and Procedures as approved by the Board of Directors.   Rental periods of less than six months must be approved in advance in writing by the Board of Directors.

Amending the Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs) required approval by both Voting Members and the Board. Voting Members, representing 81 percent of homeowners, approved the amendment in November.

The restricted activities of Exhibit D already prohibit operating a timeshare, all garage sales, installation of prohibited antennas, or other objects, raising livestock, obstruction of drainage flow, subdivision of units, parking commercial vehicles, trapping wildlife and destroying vegetation, among others.

The official copy of the amendment will be filed with Bernalillo County in early December. Board members are expected to approve a detailed rental policy document at their December meeting which will then be posted online.  That policy will prohibit any rentals in High Desert of less than six months unless approved by the Board. It will also require all homeowners renting their properties to provide the association with contact numbers and information on the renters. Renters must sign a document agreeing to abide by all community rules and regulations. Once the board adopts the new policy, all homeowners will be notified by mail.  The policy is expected to go into effect February 1, 2016.

Homeowners who continue to rent out their properties for less than 6 months or do not provide management with renter information will be subject to immediate fines.  There are an estimated 25 to 30 rental houses in High Desert, some of which are rented for brief periods on internet vacation sites.

“When High Desert was established in the 1990s, timeshares were explicitly prohibited in the Use Restrictions,” said Tom Murdock, president of the High Desert Board.  “Nobody anticipated internet rental vacation sites, so there were no provisions against renting out your property for a weekend at a time.”  Long-term rentals can cause problems as well, he said. “We don’t know who the renters in High Desert are.  If there is a problem or an emergency, who do we call?  The owner could live five states away and may not contact us for days. We need to know who lives at a specific address and how we can contact them.”

The Board will consider some exceptions to the six month minimum rental rule.  Those exceptions might include rentals for active duty military on temporary assignment, visiting professors, rentals to movie or television production companies, home swaps, or others.

Snow Removal on High Desert Streets...Who Do You Call?
With possible heavy snowfalls this winter, it’s important to know who is responsible for clearing the snow in your neighborhood.

snowy roadsStreets in Un-gated Villages: City’s Responsibility
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 by telephoning 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.

In addition, HDROA has 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.

Gated Villages
The snow removal contract applies to the gated village entrances/exits, the five major intersections involving Cortaderia, Imperata, Spain, Academy, and High Desert, and all road bridges. They will be made as safe as possible, as soon as it is 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.

Urgent Concerns? Call G4S Patrol
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.

Three Positions to Open on HD Board of Directors in April; Nominees Must Submit Statement of Interest by February 12, 2016

By Nancy Winger, Director, HDROA Board of Directors and Chair of the Nominating Committee

I am happy to be chairing this year’s Nominating Committee and plans are being made for the April 2016 High Desert Residential Owners Association Board of Directors election. Opportunities to serve the community are available for High Desert homeowners who are interested in participating in the election process either through serving on the Nominating Committee or applying for a Board of Directors position.

The Nominating Committee:

The Nominating Committee reviews all Board applicants’ Statements of Interest and schedules and conducts in-depth applicant interviews in February. The committee then recommends a slate of nominees that will be presented to the Voting Members at their Annual Meeting on April 21, 2016.

Three to four High Desert homeowners are needed for the Nominating Committee and those interested in serving on the committee need to complete the Statement of Interest form (see links at bottom of this article).  Candidates for the Nominating Committee must submit a SOI by the January 8, 2016 deadline.

The Board of Directors:

The seven-member Board of Directors each serve two-year terms, which are staggered with positions opening every year in April. Current directors whose terms will expire in April 2016 are Tom Murdock, Dave Bentley, and Dr. Janet Brierley. In order to apply for a Board of Director position, there are some general requirements a High Desert homeowner must be in compliance with.

An applicant for a Board Director position:

  • Must have lived in High Desert as a resident for at least six months prior to the election,
  • Shall not have any hearings or appeals before the Board, the New Construction Committee, or Modification Committee, nor any legal actions pending against the Association or Association officers,
  • Shall not be more than 60 days delinquent in the payment of any assessment or other charge due the Association,
  • Shall not have been removed as a Director by the Voting Members or the Board within the prior two years.

The time commitment for a Board Director is also a consideration. The Board meets formally once a month and occasionally in between meetings. Directors’ volunteer time averages between 10-30 hours a month depending on the level of involvement with the Board’s special projects, committee membership, and/or being an elected officer of the Board. The Board elects its own officers annually and shortly after the Voting Members’ April meeting.

Statement of Interest Required

Homeowners who would like to apply for a Board of Directors position or to serve on the Nominating Committee need to complete the Statement of Interest form. Click to download the blank Adobe form or complete the Online Submission or fillable Adobe PDF versions of the form. Whichever format is chosen, Board SOIs must be submitted by the February 12, 2016 deadline and Committee SOIs by the January 8, 2016 deadline.


You Could Win a New iPad Mini:
High Desert Board Encourages E-Statement Participation With Contest
By Dr. Jim Cole ll, HDROA Treasurer

The High Desert Residential Owners Association has the potential to save approximately $5,400 annually if residents convert from paper statements to the newer e-Statement quarterly billing method.

Currently just 300 residents receive their billing electronically. In order to encourage the 1,300 homeowners who currently receive mailed statements to convert to e-Statements, the HDROA Board of Directors is offering an incentive by raffling a new Apple iPad Mini retailing for $400. The winning name will be drawn from the names of all residents who have converted to e-Statement delivery. The drawing will be at the January 19th meeting of the Board of Directors.

To be eligible to win the iPad you must convert from your current paper statements to e-Statements by January 1, 2016. This is easily accomplished by clicking here.  Or, go to the Billing Information page, and then click on the blue graphic at the top of the page, or click on the link shown in the first paragraph. This will also take you to the e-Statement sign-up page.

An e-Statement provides convenient access to 18 months of complete online statements. They reduce risk of fraud and identity theft compared to paper statements that include personal account information. In addition, e-Statements reduce paper costs to the association.

While you’re at it, click on Email Sign-Up to receive emails from the HDROA on important news and updates. This email list is not used for commercial or non-Association business and is not shared with any other organization.

Seventh Annual High Desert Studio Tour Draws Scores of Visitors

Dozens and dozens of visitors followed the purple balloons Saturday, November 7th as they toured High Desert studios featured in the 7th Annual Studio Tour.  Ten High Desert artists and craftsmen opened their homes for the tour with a total of 15 artists displaying their work.  The Studio Tour was organized nearly seven years ago by the High Desert Welcome Committee as a way to introduce High Desert homeowners to their artist neighbors. Homeowner Thea Berg coordinates the Studio Tour each year which allows the public to tour the artists’ studios and view their work. Purple balloons marked the homes open on the tour.

" The wind and cold this year didn't seem to stop visitors from coming by," said Thea. " We had a very good turn-out at our house.  The positive and upbeat attitude of our customers was wonderful and we enjoyed visiting with old and new friends."

Photo, top, left to right:  Visitors Sandy Culler and Joan Eddy (both from 4-Hills) examine jewlery made by Thea Berg, coordinator of the High Desert Studio, at Saturday's event.

Voting Members Hear Reports on Implementation of Landscape Masterplan for High Desert

Voting Members heard reports on implementation of the new Landscape Masterplan at their quarterly meeting October 22.  In 2013, the Dekker/Perich/Sabatini (D/P/S) team of landscape architects and designers were charged by the High Desert Board of Directors with conducting meetings to develop conceptual designs and costs for future landscape construction in the community. The planning process entailed meetings with the board and landscape committee members for more than a year to identify landscape priorities. Last fall, homeowners were invited to a general meeting to review the plans prior to the final write-up of the Masterplan.  In June, Dekker/Perich/Sabatini issued the 65-page document.  In late summer, the Board began authorizing the first projects recommended by the plan which included upgrades to the trails and landscape around the entrances to High Desert at Spain and Academy.

Tom Murdock, president of the High Desert Board of Directors, told Voting Members that work is underway by Heads Up Landscape Contractors to upgrade plants and repair trails around the large silver sculptures representing Blue Grama grass with installation of new benches and trash receptacles.  Two new wildlife drinking areas will be installed as well and the trails will be accessible to the handicapped.  "It's not quite finished," he said.  "But I would encourage you all to stop and take a look at what has been accomplished."  
Other areas of the plan are also under implementation, Tom said.  A priority has been plan-recommended safety items such as pruning line-of-sight clearance at several intersections.  Tom said they had no specific budget for the improvements.

The complete Landscape Masterplan can be viewed as a pdf by clicking here.

Broadstone Apartments Purchased by Abacus Capital Group
Christopher told Voting Members the Broadstone Apartments were sold  and have been renamed "Altezza High Desert."  The management company Graystar oversees the apartments which were purchased by Abacus Capital Group out of New York.  The apartment complex pays yearly dues to HDROA of about $30,000 and are bound by a contract with the association. Although the apartment complex residents are not members of HDROA, residents must follow all High Desert rules and regulations.  Tom Murdock said a group from High Desert will be meeting monthly with the new management to ensure that landscaping and lighting rules be followed. "The new management seems interested in fixing problems we've had and being good neighbors," said Tom.

Rental Policy
Tom told Voting Members that a handful of ballots remain to be cast by Voting Members regarding the possible change to the High Desert CC&Rs that would restrict rentals in the community. The proposed change states that house rentals of less than 6 months are prohibited (except under special request to the Board of Directors such as rentals for filming movies), that any owners renting their property would be required to notify the property management company and to provide contact information, and that renters must be notified of the requirement that they abide by the CC&Rs.  The proposed change to the Use Restrictions requires the consent of Voting Members representing 75 percent, or about 1200 High Desert homeowners.  Each village in High Desert elects a certain number of Voting Members to represent their interests, averaging one or two Voting Members per village.  
Presently, about 25 homes in High Desert are under rental contracts.

Voting MembersNew Voting Members
A number of new Voting Members from 10 villages  were in attendance at the meeting following September recent election.  All villages elect new Voting and Alternate Members in either even or odd years.  Christopher Lopez, Community Association Manager with HOAMCO, said the election went well, although one village, Mountain Highlands, remains without any representation.

Caroline Enos Re-elected as Chair and Peter Strascina Elected as New Vice-Chairperson
Voting Members unanimously re-elected Caroline Enos of The Trillium as their Chairperson for the upcoming 12-month period. Caroline was elected in July to fill the vacant position through October.  She agreed to run for re-election. Peter Strascina, Desert Mountain, volunteered for the post of Vice Chairperson and was duly elected by Voting Members. See photo at left.

Cameras and Crime Prevention
Dave Williams, Board director and High Desert's Crime Prevention Liaison talked to Voting Members about types and numbers of crimes recently committed and reported in High Desert.  He distributed a map showing the High Desert location of 50 reported crimes in the area over the last 12 months as shown on the website at CrimeMapping.com. Of those 50 crimes, he said 20 were located in the apartment complex.  Only one reported crime in the High Desert housing community was of a violent nature, he said, and that may be a result of a domestic incident.  Most of the reported crimes were property crimes, he said, adding, "The best thing you can do is lock your car, take the keys out, always  put the car in the garage and close the garage door.  Get an alarm system for your house and use it."  He strongly recommended neighborhoods initiate a Neighborhood Watch program in conjunction with local police.

An extensive discussion among Voting Members followed Dave's report with several Voting Members saying the CrimeMapping document did not display the actual number of burglaries and break-ins at High Desert.  Voting Member Sam Baca, former Albuquerque Police Department Chief,  said 70 percent of all property crimes in the United States are not reported.  He said it is important that all crimes be reported to APD since the department allocates officers to areas depending on the number of crimes reported.  He also recommended that the Board consider placing cameras at strategic places in High Desert to capture incidents and identify burglars and vandals. Tom replied that the Board of Directors is in the process of considering an initiative to hire a security company to come in and look at High Desert as a whole and recommend how cameras could or should be used. "We need to get some sense of what a reasonable amount of surveillance would cost," he said, adding that a camera capable of capturing a license plate number is in the range of $2,000 today, although prices are falling steadily.

Presently, Trillium is the only gated village in High Desert with a 24-hour camera which is located at the gate.  Village members agreed to purchase and install the camera after several incidents involving cars crashing into and damaging the gate.  After the camera was installed, the incidents ceased. Tom said residents of gated villages can meet and choose to spend their assessments on camera purchases and monitoring.  "But how will non-gated villages handle the payment?" Tom said.  "Do they agree upon a special assessment to pay for the camera, or does it come out of the Master Association funds?  These are all questions we need to consider."

"Everyone worries that cameras mean Big Brother is watching you," said Sam.  "But Big Brother has been watching you forever anyhow.  Cameras are the best deterrent to crime."

Wilderness Cañon
Voting Members asked Tom about the progress of  Wilderness Cañon,  High Desert’s final and 25th village currently under review by the city of Albuquerque. The proposal, which has already been approved by High Desert’s New Construction Committee (NCC), calls for a 19-house subdivision in Tract 13, directly south of Wilderness Compound.  The city's Design Review Board just approved the plans recently, Tom said, with individual departments within the city continuing to review.  See the article below for more information about Wilderness Cañon.


Wilderness Cañon Village In Planning Stage

By Steve Hamm, New Construction Committee Chair

High Desert’s final and 25th village is in the planning stage now.  Wilderness Cañon is the village’s name.
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 Mr. Scott Schiabor from Scott Patrick Homes and Mesa Verde Development Corporation along with Panorama Homes owned by Mr. John Lowe.
The New Construction Committee (NCC) worked with the developer for over three months to assure the plans were in compliance with the High Desert Guidelines for Sustainability – Builder Homes. The final plans were approved for compliance by the NCC on August 20, 2015. The High Desert Board Of Directors also approved the proposed development plans shortly thereafter.
Additional steps in the approval process rest with the city of Albuquerque.  The plans were reviewed and approved by the city’s Development Review Board on October 21st, and various city department’s requirements must be met in order for permits to be issued.  Additionally, there are legal steps to register the 19 individual “lots” and village common property with the county.
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, but no gate will be installed at the entry.  See map above of the village.
If the city permits are obtained this fall, construction would begin with several months of infrastructure work of roads, utilities, and walls, followed by construction of the first houses next spring. The NCC will monitor the construction process for compliance with the Guidelines.

Christopher Lopez, High Desert’s Community Association Manager, can be reached at 314-5862 or via email at highdesertmanager@hoamco.com  to answer any questions by homeowners.


Do You Have a Great Picture of High Desert You'd Like to Share?

Have you recently taken a good scenic photo in 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 post it here.  Don't forget to let us know where you took it in High Desert (village or street).  We'll try to get it up as soon as possible.

We also are looking for good photos of any wildlife in High Desert.  If you have one, send it on.  We'll post it on the Wildlife in High Desert page.

Photo of Lauda Miles Medara Memorial Park by Tom Kilroy..



 Drainage Tunnel in High Desert Vandalized Again:
G4S Officer Snaps Photos of Six Men Later Identified by Police,
But Another Group Could Also Be Involved

Six young men, ages 18 to 20, were identified by police following a fourth recent incident of grafitti vandalism to the drainage tunnel between Blue Grama and Pino Canyon Place. High Desert G4S patrol officers were able to take photos of the men as they ran away, squeezing through the tunnel grate to escape. Christopher Lopez, Community Association Manager for High Desert, said the police are handling the latest September incident but added that he believes another group may also be involved.

In the three earlier incidents this summer, metal grate bars have been repeatedly cut, twisted and pried apart to enable intruders to access the tunnel.  Once inside, they have painted graffiti and built campfires a full half mile from the entrance.

In early August, G4S, High Desert’s security patrol service, saw several trespassers who appeared to be adolescents running east from the tunnel area.  Officers said there were no parked cars on streets in the vicinity, indicating the trespassers may live nearby, possibly in adjacent Desert Highlands or Mountain Highlands villages.

“This is an extremely dangerous situation,” Christopher Lopez, Community Association Manager with HOAMCO, said.  “The tunnel is made inaccessible for a reason. Anyone playing around inside that tunnel would likely be killed quickly in the event of a flash flood.”  After the August 6 incident, Christopher met with APD to arrange for surveillance of the area. 

G4S will continue to pay extra attention to the area around the grate during nighttime hours.Christopher said.  In addition, the High Desert Board of Directors acted to allocate funds for extra patrols by Albuquerque Police Department through its Chief’s Overtime program.
Tom Murdock, President of the High Desert Board of Directors said it appears highly probable that the vandalism has been caused by teens living in the community. “We will find out who is doing this,” he said. “And when we do, we will present their parents with the bill for repairing the damage caused by their children.”

Contractors hired by the association worked August 7 (see photo)  to repair the  damage  to the grate caused by intruders using a heavy car jack to pry the three-quarter-inch metal bars apart in order to gain access. Christopher said DeWalt tool batteries were found inside that probably operated cordless grinders used to cut some of the bars.

“When we catch the people who have done this, we will bring charges,” Christopher said. “We will prosecute this matter to the fullest extent of the law.”

Vandalism to the mouth of the tunnel was first discovered by a High Desert resident walking near the tunnel in May.  The homeowner contacted HOAMCO and Christopher inspected the grate.  He discovered bent bars and graffiti painted on the walls inside the tunnel.  “We called the City’s graffiti removal team but they said the tunnel maintenance and repair is definitely our responsibility,” he said.

Before the grate was repaired for the second time last month, Christopher and AMAFCA officials walked a half mile down into the tunnel using safety equipment, lights and ropes to make sure no intruders were trapped inside.

High Desert is responsible for repair and maintenance of the grate at the entrance to an eight-foot diameter tunnel that extends underground several miles.  Surface water runoff from the Sandias pours through the grate which was installed to collect any large debris and to keep intruders from entering the tunnel. Once in the underground tunnel, the water is fed into a network of arroyos and tunnels that eventually empty into the Rio Grande.

The tunnel is part of an engineered system overseen by the Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority (AMAFCA).  When High Desert was originally developed, the community accepted some obligation for repair and maintenance of the arroyos, including the tunnel grate, in return for being allowed to maintain the arroyos within the development in their natural condition.
“Believe me,” Christopher said, “you do not want to be caught inside that tunnel when a flash flood comes through.”

Photo: A construction worker climbs the tunnel grate to make repairs after the latest act of vandalism which included cutting and bending the metal bars in the lower left hand corner. The metal grate serves to keep intruders out of the underground tunnel and to stop debris in surface runoff from clogging the tunnel. High Desert is responsible for maintaining the grate.

New Homeowners Welcomed at Wine & Cheese Party

The High Desert Welcome Committee entertained new homeowners at its regular semi-annual Wine & Cheese Party September 11 at the home of John and Maddy Shelton, Co-Chairs, in the Highlands. Twice a year, the Welcome Committee, under the leadership of the Sheltons, welcomes new homeowners to the community with an evening of wine, cheese and conversation, along with a short talk by the president of the Board of Directors.  Tom Murdock, current president, explained how the governing of High Desert is structured. He also encouraged the newcomers to consider volunteering for one of the many different committees now operating in High Desert and to participate in activities and projects throughout the year.

Wine and Cheese Party September 2015Photo, far left: Camille and Babu Singaraju moved into their new home in Sunset Ridge in June.  They have been longtime residents of Albuquerque and found their High Desert home after deciding to move to a single-story house. "We've found everyone here very welcoming," Babu said.


Photo, immediate left:  Bob and Susan Allardice moved into Pinon Point July 1st.  They last lived in Washington but decided to move here in order to be closer to their two grown daughters. Bob is a retired Air Force pilot and he and Susan  own and operate a consulting business. Bob said they looked for a home with low maintenance and easy access to the mountains.  "In Washington," he said, "I had to drive an hour to get to a trail. Here in High Desert, it's just a few blocks away."


High Desert Volunteers Honored

Dozens of High Desert volunteers were honored Friday night, June 5 at a party in the Highlands.  The event was organized by the High Desert Board of Directors for the Association and held at the home of John and Maddie Shelton. Hors d'oeuvres and wine were served and volunteers from a variety of High Desert committees and projects gathered on the patio to talk, eat and watch a beautiful sunset over the Sandias. 

Photo below, first, far left: Ray and Thea Berg. Ray is a former president of  HDROA and currently heads up the Park, Trail and Highway Clean-up projects and also oversees the Landscape Advisory Committee.  Thea participates in the clean-up projects, is active on the Welcome Committee and organizes the Studio Tour in High Desert each year.
Photo: second: John and Maddie Shelton hosted the event and also serve as co-chairs of the Welcome Committee.  They host two wine and cheese parties in their home each year to welcome new residents to High Desert.
Photo: third: Con and Marcy Stahly, Trailhead, sit with Joann Francomano (far right), Desert Mountain.  Marcy is a volunteer on the Landscape Advisory Committee.  She joined four years ago to help with the landscape survey.  Joann displays her art each year for the Studio Tour.
Ray and Thea BergSheltons




High Desert Website Is Now Smartphone Friendly
smartphoneWant to check the High Desert website with your smartphone or tablet?  Recent enhancements of the system make viewing easier than ever, with individual "pages" scaled properly and menu items appearing at the top right corner of the page.  

The new responsive design won't change how the High Desert website appears on a normal width desktop screen--  but on a smartphone, pages should scale properly and allow for easier and more intuitive navigation.  Tapping the 'menu' button at the top right will drop down the High Desert website's normal menu items. Simply make a selection and go on to the next section.  Each page of this website will have a 'home' button in the menu as well, making it easy to return to the main page.

The High Desert website content is maintained by HDROA which contracts with NORD Enterprises, a professional services firm that specializes in homeowner association websites.


Replacing Your Roof?  New One-Page Color Requirements Summary Now Available

High Desert homeowners considering replacing their roofs now have a simplified, abbreviated summary of HDROA's roofing color requirements, approved earlier this spring by the Board of Directors.  The new one-page summary is suitable for sharing with  roofing contractors as decisions on color and materials are made. The summary can be viewed by clicking here.

To read the full amendment to the Guidelines for Sustainability that this summary is based on, please click here.

The Modifications Committee is seeing an increase in requests for roof replacement as many High Desert homes pass the 15-year mark.  Owners putting on a new roof are reminded that any High Desert roof replacement is an external change to the dwelling and therefore requires prior approval of the Modification Committee. The Modifications Committee has a “fast-track” process to approve roof replacements with specifications identical to the original approved roof.  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.

Board Strengthens Enforcement of Ban on Garage Sales
In response to requests from Voting Members and many residents, the Board of Directors recently acted to toughen enforcement of the ban on garage sales in High Desert.  Under the new policy adopted by the Board, any resident found conducting a garage sale will be immediately notified by the High Desert Security Patrol to end the sale.  Failure to do so within one hour will result in a $100 fine of the owner without further notice.
The governing documents of High Desert prohibit residents from conducting any "garage sale, moving sale, rummage sale, or similar activity” (see the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&R) Exhibit D – Use Restrictions). This restriction has been in place since High Desert was first established.  Recent discussion at Voting Member meetings has reaffirmed support for this restriction, but also highlighted that the Association lacked an effective process for stopping violators.  This resulted in the new policy.
Specifically the enforcement policy has been amended to say:  
“…in the event that an active garage sale or similar violation of the Use Restrictions is observed or reported, the Board may authorize the High Desert Security Patrol to issue a warning notice to the Owner or other Person in Charge (PIC) demanding the cessation of all activity and the removal of all signage or other evidence of the event within one hour.  If the Owner or PIC refuses to comply within the stated time period, the Security Patrol Officer shall prepare and hand-deliver a Notice of Proposed Sanction including all required information noted in paragraph 4 above and provide a copy of the Notice, along with photographic evidence of the continuing violation, to the management company for subsequent processing as noted below."

To view the entire Enforcement Policy, please click here.
This restriction on garage sales does not prevent a resident from selling household items, however it must be done within the confines of the dwelling without any external evidence of the sale, including no signage.  For example, an estate sale may be held as long as it is conducted entirely within the home and has no street signage.
The overwhelming opinion of residents and Voting Members is that this policy is good for the community in that it reduces incidence of traffic congestion, damage to yards and common area landscaping, and may even help reduce casing of the neighborhood for future criminal activity.  
Please feel free to share this information with your neighbors or post it on your Villages's NextDoor.com page.  If you see a garage sale in progress, you may notify the High Desert Security Patrol at 505-506-5287.  They will take the appropriate action.

High Desert Survey Complete: Residents Can View PDF

By Clay Wright, HDROA Board of Directors 

piechartThe 2014 survey of High Desert residents is complete. 340 people participated. The survey asked 21 questions specific to life in the High Desert community.

The entire survey, including comments is available as a pdf. Click here to download. All personal information and inflammatory comments have been delete from this version.

The High Desert Board is carefully reviewing responses. The information will be used to make adjustments to its governance of the community in 2015.

While there were numerous comments made for each question, some general trends emerged.

Landscaping is an important issue among those taking the survey. Several comments questioned specific landscaping practices and future plans. Those very issues are presently being reviewed by a professional landscape architect contracted to develop a long-term landscape master plan for High Desert. Members of the Board, The High Desert Landscape Committee and some residents are participating in the plan's development.

An issue repeatedly addressed was speeding. In response to the survey, High Desert has asked the APD officers it hires under the Chief's Overtime Program to specifically watch out for speeders and those who don't stop at stop signs - be they motorists or bicyclists.

Another recurring item mentioned on the survey is dog waste. According to Communications Committee member Jay Hartfield, "This summer we co-marketed the 'There is No Poop Fairy' campaign with Bernalillo County. (http://www.bernco.gov/poopfairy) The idea is to humorously educate people about this serious problem." Board Vice President David Bentley says, "we have tried several different approaches, yet the problem persists. Quite frankly this perplexes the board. We spend thousands of dollars every year for waste stations yet some people still won't use them. It's a nasty problem."

Covenant enforcement drew many comments. On the issue HDROA Board President Tom Murcdock says “While the survey shows that a clear majority of our homeowners want the covenants to be enforced, we must continue to strive to find the right balance between too much and too little enforcement.”

The survey opened on September 1, 2014 and closed November 24, 2014. The survey was advertised in the Apache Plume, on this High Desert website, at the top of the quarterly billing in September, and at Voting Member meetings. 

Vacation Watch Form Now Available to Homeowners:
Request Security Patrol Watch of Your Home While You Are Away

Homeowners leaving on vacation can now fill out a new form requesting that G4S security patrol keep an eye on their home while they are away.  In the past, residents were asked to call G4S directly (which can still be done).  The form can be scanned and faxed to the HOAMCO office.

High Desert homeowners can ask for regular checks of their vacant home and walk-arounds of the property. GPS advises homeowners to have neighbors pick up any packages left at the door while owners are gone.
The new form will be posted permanently on the Official Forms page, under Vacation Watch Forms.  Click here to download form. To  view an online submission form, click here.

Diagnosing Problems in the High Desert Garden Landscape

photo by s. hamm
Photo by Steve Hamm

In the February Apache Plume newsletter, columnist and homeowner Margo Murdock wrote about diagnosing problems in your garden.  She provided a number of examples and directed readers to go the website to read more. 

Click here to see Margo's Apache Plume article:  "Diagnosing Your Landscape Gardening Problems." 

For examples of those problems see her article: "Problem Diagnosis: Examples." 

To see other articles by Margo, visit the Plants and Gardening page.

Homeowners May Sign Up Now For New Email List To Receive Association Updates & News

mailchimp sign-up page

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.

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. 

Notices & Reminders


  To see "Notices and Reminders" for High Desert,
click here.


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