This month’s article is by Matt Wood, the Vistoso Community Association (VCA) Vice President and Governing Documents Committee Chair. Last year I was Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee.
The Board of Directors (BOD) is working overtime to find a suitable office space for our staff as the current building was sold as part of the former Vistoso golf course property sale and we must vacate the premises. As soon as we have a new space, we will announce the new location to all members.
One of the key focus areas for this year is updating our infrastructure. That includes updating the Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs). All homeowners in our association must abide by this document.
Unfortunately, the current CC&Rs are badly outdated they contain confusing language and wording that is no longer considered legal. The CCRs were originally written 35 years ago in 1987, and updated in 1989, 1995, and most recently in 2001 (to address the change in the law on political signs), it now contains over 100 pages of “legalese.”
The Governing Documents Committee worked with an attorney specializing in Homeowners Associations (HOAs), to revise the CC&Rs to remove any unnecessary and outdated language.
Their efforts produced a proposed CC&Rs document of 35 pages. The revision did not change anything substantial; it’s less cumbersome and user-friendly. The proposed CCRs are easy to read and find the answers to our member’s questions.
The challenge we face is that 75% of all voting members (not just 75% of those who voted, but 75% of all eligible votes – over 7,100 votes) must agree to change the CC&Rs. This is a formidable task, given that we had a 21% voter turnout for the last BOD election in March 2022.
Over the next several months, we will be working with the Communications Committee, all 20+ Sub-HOAs, and as many community volunteers as we can to “get the word out” on
- 1. the importance of each member’s vote, and
- 2. the need to support updates to make the CC&Rs readable and relevant for today’s VCA members
- 1. Rancho Vistoso is home to a variety of wildlife. Which of the following are true?
- A. There are 13 species of rattlesnakes in Arizona – all are poisonous!
- B. Tarantula mating season in southern Arizona is late summer and fall.
- C. Bears have been seen wandering local neighborhoods.
- D. It is legal to kill Javelinas in your yard.
- E. In the winter months, hummingbirds are not seen in Tucson.
- 2. The Vistoso Community Association (VCA) manages 10* neighborhood parks. What are some things you can do in the parks?
- A. Play frisbee with your dog at the Hohokam enclosed dog park.
- B. Grill some hamburgers and hot dogs at any of the 7 parks with BBQ grills.
- C. Enjoy the scenery under covered ramadas at 6 of the parks from sunrise until 10 pm.
- D. Play basketball at 6 of the parks.
- E. Have a wine party at all of the parks.
A park located on Moore Loop road near the Altera and Valley Vista neighborhoods will be added to the VCA park portfolio later this year. It has a large dog park, playground area, restrooms, and ramadas currently available for use. Watch for the park naming and dedication ceremony.
- 3. The VCA has 4 dedicated full-time First Service Residential employees. What are some of their job responsibilities?
- A. Hire and oversee contractors for maintaining common areas.
- B. Resolving disputes about a common wall between neighbors.
- C. Updating the CC&Rs.
- D. Inspecting approved exterior modifications for compliance.
- E. Driving around neighborhoods and taking pictures to document CC&R compliance issues.
- 4. Which of the following statements is true about the Reserve Study?
- A. It’s an in-depth analysis of an association’s assets conducted by a third party.
- B. It projects not only the lifespan of assets but also provides an estimate of the cost of maintenance and replacement.
- C. The study suggested that the HOA make monthly contributions to the Reserve fund in the amount of $37,500*.
- D. Money can be transferred back and forth between the Operating Budget and the Reserve funding.
- E. The Reserve Study showed that as of 1/1/2021 the Reserve Fund was 76.9 % funded. This means the Reserve Fund status is strong, and special assessment risk is currently low.
Note that the contributions for the reserved fund were increased in the current budget to $58,333. This was needed to cover the late addition of a $200,000 component for the mitigation of large drainage erosion projects as well as the need to gradually increase our percent of full funding.
- 5. What are the top three expenditures from the Reserve Study for 2022?
- A. Repair and replacement of irrigation systems.
- B. Replenishment of landscape granite.
- C. Drainage mitigation and repair.
- D. Extermination
- E. Repainting the tennis courts.
1) A, b, and c are true. A good source for information about local wildlife is https://www.azgfd.com/wildlife/livingwith/. For rattlesnake removal call the Golder Ranch Fire District office at 520-825-9001. Recently several Rancho Vistoso neighbors have posted pictures of bears in their yards on Facebook! If you see one in your neighborhood, call the local Arizona Game and Fish Department at (520) 628-5376.
D and e are false. In Arizona, javelinas are classified as big-game animals and are protected by state law. To scare off Javelinas, try making loud noises and spraying water from a garden hose. If they continue to be a problem you can contact the local Arizona Game and Fish Department at (520) 628-5376. There are 13 species of hummingbirds in Tucson; see this article for some excellent information – https://thisistucson.com/summerguide/7-things-to-know-about-hummingbirds-tucsons-fiercest-fastest-residents/article_2eb6459e-c2f1-11ea-a7a2-eb0e73904beb.html
2) You can enjoy all the above activities except e. Alcohol is not permitted at any of the parks. All dogs must be on leashes unless in one of the enclosed dog parks. All parks are open from sunrise until 10 pm. More information on the parks can be found here – https://ranchovistosohoa.com/community/rec-areas/
3) A, d, and e are true. Answers b and c are false. A common wall between neighbors is usually not considered part of the VCA, and therefore the VCA does not get involved in such disputes. The CC&Rs can only be modified or updated with a vote of 75% of the total VCA membership. The four employees are:
• Barbara Daoust, GM
• Priscilla Harris, Asst Community Mgr
• Joe Watson, Compliance Coordinator
• Administrative Assistant (Open Position)
4) A, b, c, and e are true. Answer d is false. The monthly contributions the board makes to the Reserve Fund must be used to maintain and replace VCA assets and cannot be transferred to any other fund. You can find the reserve study documents here – https://ranchovistosohoa.com/resident-information/reserve-studies/
5) A, b, and c are true. Costs for irrigation repair/replacement ~ $342,000, landscape granite replenishment ~ $300,000, and drainage mitigation/repair ~ $200,000. Answers d and e are false. Extermination is an operating expense and not part of the reserve funds. Although some tennis courts will be repainted this year, the cost does not rise into the top three.
Meet your neighbor Michael McConnell.
Michael McConnell has been the principal of Innovation Academy since it opened for the 2017-2018 school year. Located on Desert Fairway Drive, Innovation Academy is a STEM school (science, technology, engineering, math) that accepts students from the entire Tucson area.
Michael’s passion for education, kids, and the community serves the school well. During his 27 years with Amphi School District, Michael was a kindergarten teacher for 11 years before becoming a school administrator. After working as a principal at Lulu Walker Elementary, Michael earned his STEM certificate from Columbia University.
Innovation Academy has received prestigious honors both nationally and internationally. This spring, the school was one of only ten STEM schools recognized internationally; the school has also earned national STEM accreditation for the past 3 years. Michael’s objective is to teach the students to be great communicators and thinkers. This means helping students learn how to problem solve and think critically and creatively.
Community service is also an essential part of the school’s curriculum. Embracing a “Kind” school philosophy, the students will coordinate community clothing drives, leave kind notes throughout the neighborhoods, and during COVID, they sent holiday and valentine’s day cards to the residents of Splendido.
Michael, his wife Marisa, and their two dogs have lived in Rancho Vistoso since 2017. They love the community for its friendliness and location. Michael can bike to work, and his mother-in-law, who lives with him, finds everything she needs without leaving the community. As for the dogs, Honey Bee Canyon is their favorite place to go for an outing.
Since Innovation Academy is hands-on and project-based, volunteers are an important part of the school. Retired engineers, physicians, and scientists are always needed. The school’s curriculum also includes art, music, and physical education, anyone willing to lend a hand is greatly appreciated.
If you’d like to volunteer next school year at Innovation Academy, you can contact Michael directly at [email protected].
Do you have a neighbor we should meet? Please tell us at [email protected] why you think it would be good to meet them and supply the neighbor’s phone number and email address. Please let your neighbor know that you referred them to us.
The newest member to join the Vistoso Community Association is Andrea Hargrave filling the Administrative Assistant role.
Andrea loves Oro Valley and has watched it grow tremendously in the 22 years she’s lived here. She has had a solid administrative background serving financial planning and investment firms and educational school systems and programs for several years. Andrea will send communication out to VCA members, support the communication committee, respond to members’ requests, respond to account questions, generate work orders, handle park reservations, and oversee the tennis court keys & system. She is excited to be a part of the Management Team servicing the Vistoso Community.
What’s happening in June Around Rancho Vistoso?
Check out what Oro Valley has going on. Events and Meetings Calendar – Oro Valley | it’s in our nature (orovalleyaz.gov)
To find out what’s up in the greater Tucson area – https://thisistucson.com/