Greetings from the Board – August 2022

Carl Buchwald
Vistoso Hills Neighborhood

Greetings from the Board
This month’s article is written by Carl Buchwald, Vistoso Community Association (VCA) Director and Compliance Committee Chair.

I suspect many of you have seen the Geico commercial featuring Cynthia the overly involved violation enforcing HOA volunteer. In fact, when I drive thru our community at night and I see string lights visible from the street, I can’t help, but think “violation, violation, violation.” All humor aside, the purpose of this article is to help you better understand: What is a Compliance Committee? Who are they? Why are they needed? What do they do?

The Compliance Committee is a group of community member volunteers appointed by the Vistoso Community Association (VCA) Board of Directors (BOD). The committee is charged to observe and enforce compliance of the VCA’s Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs), specifically information contained in Article V. “Land Use Classifications, Permitted Uses, and Restrictions” and Article XI “Maintenance”. Additionally, the committee follows the changing laws as enacted by the various government bodies including but not limited to federal, state, county, city, town, etc.

The committee has a Compliance Coordinator, Joe Watson, who is an employee of First Service Residential, a committee chairperson who is typically a member of the BOD, and up to six additional members, plus an alternate. Except for the Compliance Coordinator, all of the other members are community volunteers (your friends and neighbors.) Joe spends 50-60% of his day driving thru our neighborhoods to ensure the requirements stated in the CC&Rs are being followed. The VCA is also contracted with a security firm, Vet-Sec, to patrol our neighborhoods in the evening to ensure compliance. In addition, members of the committee are encouraged to report infractions they observe.

When we purchased our homes in Rancho Vistoso, we understood that there were certain rules to follow to ensure the continued beauty and desirability of our neighborhoods. Each month the Compliance Committee meets to review all violations and variance requests. To encourage compliance to our rules, there is a Fine Policy. The Compliance Committee follows the policy when managing violations.

We all can make a mistake from time to time. That is why most infractions of the rules will generate a “Friendly Reminder” before being fined. Some violations like not keeping your trash in proper containers in proper locations, unauthorized garage/yard/estate sales, and damage or alterations to common areas are fined without a “Friendly Reminder”. All imposed fines can be appealed first to the committee in writing and/or in person at the monthly meeting held the second Tuesday, of the month at 3:00pm via ZOOM. You can also request a hearing with the BOD to appeal a fine.

To help you avoid a “violation”, here is a list of the VCA’s three most common infractions:

  1. Parking – Know where and when you can and cannot park your vehicle.
    • Vehicles parked within driveways may not overhang the sidewalk (AZ law)
    • Overnight street parking is not allowed
    • Parking of motor homes, trailers, boats, recreational vehicles within the community, outside garages, is allowed only for the purposes of loading and unloading. Vehicles must be removed within 48 hours.
    • Parking of abandoned or inoperable vehicles is not permitted on any residential lot, outside private garages.
    • Parking on vacant lots/parcels is not permitted.
    • Overnight parking in parks or common areas is prohibited.
  2. String Lights – In order to retain the serene natural beauty of the Sonora Desert and minimize light pollution, the VCA has adopted exterior lighting practices patterned after dark sky communities. String lights are widely used to add ambiance, light patios, and other exterior areas. They are permitted within the VCA as long as they are hidden from view. If the lights can be seen from outside your yard, they are in violation.
  3. Architectural & Landscaping Review – Before you start any home improvement project, please remember to submit an “Architectural and Landscaping Review Submittal Form”. Failure to do so is a non-compliance that could result in you having to redo the work performed and/or a fine. Why is this necessary? To create a framework for a cohesive community in Rancho Vistoso, Design Guidelines were developed. These guidelines will provide standards for height, colors, exterior materials, recommended plant, etc. Any and all exterior modifications, alterations, additions, construction or Improvements of any residence within Rancho Vistoso MUST BE SUBMITTED and approved by the Architectural Review Committee prior to the construction or implementation of such work.

Please know that the Compliance Committee is not here to make life difficult for all of our friends and neighbors. Rest assured that while we take the responsibility of keeping our community looking great, we don’t have a “Cynthia” on our committee. No one will be breaking out a hedge clipper cutting down your hanging baskets shouting “violation, violation, violation”. We look forward to enjoying our beautiful community with all of our friends and neighbors.