Property Management

Granite Peak Management &HOA &Property Management &Where's the Beef?07 Oct 2010 03:21 pm

How often have you heard about an action taken by our HOA, Granite Peak Management, or of the Community Associations Institute (CAI) justified with the old saw about preserving homeowner value? I have listen to these pundits raise this claim over and over again, and the claim is the loudest whenever the action violates one or more provisions of our CC&Rs or California State Law.  How is that these folks believe that knowingly violating the law preserves value for the homeowner?

Several years ago I was exercising my Constitutional right to free speech and posted a political sign in my exclusive use area behind my unit. It was not long after that, that Granite Peak Management submitted a trumped up complaint against me to our Board claiming several complaints against me and citing a violation of our CC&Rs. Needless to say, this action did not endear me to either GPM or our Board and I did not act on my disgust, partly because there is actually a provision in our CC&Rs prohibiting this form of the guaranteed right of free speech granted by the Constitution.

Then today I received an alert from The Center for California Homeowner Association Law announcing that indeed, all homeowners have a guaranteed right to post political signs, that this right has been codified in California law, and that the loudest opponent of your Constitutional Right, the CAI, was once again unable to demonstrate their claims of preserving property value.

REMEMBER: HOA homeowners have a specific right under
California law to post political signs in support of a
candidate or a ballot measure, whether the election is for
the President of the United States, your congressional
representatives, your state lawmaker, your mayor, your HOA
board of directors, or an election on a special

This law is the result of 2003-2004 legislation sponsored
by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and supported
by CCHAL and members of the consumer coalition in

CCHAL and coalition members went to Sacramento to testify
repeatedly in support of the bill before the Housing and
Judiciary Committees explaining the need for AB 1525.

Coalition members also lobbied members of the committee
for their votes, got the issue covered in the press, and
supported Dr. Bill Durston in his campaign to fly a United
Nations flag outside his HOA home in order to protest the
invasion of Iraq by the U.S.  His HOA told him to take it
down and fined him for every day that it was up.  [CCHAL
website link:]

The Community Associations Institute (CAI) apparently
doesn’t believe in the U.S. Constitution, because it
fought the bill tooth and nail right up to the end.  CAI
argued that posting political signs and flying flags
degraded HOA property values.

The Governor rejected this phony argument and signed the
bill into law.

The California Attorney General’s Office also endorsed AB

AB 1525/Longville states that homeowners living in HOAs
have a specific right – guaranteed by the Constitution —
to post political signs.

Here’s what the law says:

Sec 1: It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting
this act to provide for all of the following:

(a) that homeowners throughout the State shall be able to
engage in constitutionally protected free speech
traditionally associated with private residential property

(b) that owners of a separate interest in a common
interest development shall be specifically protected from
unreasonable restrictions on this right in the governing

More information on AB 1525 is on the CCHAL website and on
the state’s legislative website:  To read the bill as chaptered,
go to
To read the ACLU letter, go to the CCHAL website:

Since 2001, CCHAL, the California Alliance for Retired
Americans (CARA), Consumers Union and the consumer
coalition have been tireless advocates in Sacramento to
get laws off the books that injure homeowners to create
new ones that protect HOA owners.

To read a partial list of bills that CCHAL and the
coalition have worked on in Sacramento, go to on the CCHAL

CCHAL NewsBrief
October 7, 2010

Over the past fifteen years I have often been attacked by our Board, and now Granite Peak Management, in ways that have violated our CC&Rs and California Civil Code. These sanctimonious actions are presumably a confrontational reaction for promoting a political agenda by simply asking questions and demanding answers.

Time and time these violations are justified under the mantra of preserving home value. It should be clear, even to a casual observer, that neither our HOA, nor Granite Peak Managment, nor the  CAI are able to influence property value (short of a capital improvement) one way or the other. The market forces are far to large.

On the other hand, I continue to believe that having our HOA operate responsibly within the auspices of the law, is an asset to each homeowner.

Property Management &Where's the Beef?06 Jul 2010 12:55 pm

A long, long time ago when I was in High School a little known rock group called the Five Man Band came out with a catchy song decrying the ever growing number of signs that can be found almost everywhere. Visitors to California often remark about the vast number of signs that pepper the landscape.

Of course, here at the River Run Condominiums we have more than our fair share of signs.

River Run Signs

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And of course, the most prevalent sign is the sign that is the most ignored. The No Parking signs are  routinely ignored. Of course, these signs contain the now famous bluster of our Board that is known for quoting the numbers of various civil code and CC&Rs while failing to fully understand their claims. Not only do these signs fail to meet the minimum size requirements specified by Vehicle Code 22658, they specify a non-working phone number and fail to enumerate the names and phone numbers of the towing companies. You can review the actual vehicle code online.

I brought up this topic at a quarterly board meeting and I was prompted told to shut up.

Our Board has a legal fiduciary duty to enforce the parking restrictions contained within our CC&Rs and this objective has not been met by the erection of the many parking signs.

In addition, Granite Peak Management routinely violates the sanctity of our fire lane compromising the fire safety of our complex solely based on their need for convenience.

Granite Peak Management &Property Management18 Jun 2010 10:36 pm

It seems Granite Peak Management is back to their dirty tricks stirring up more resentment. A while back my kitchen sink plugged up and GPM refused to help so I called a local plumber. Once GPM learned of this they went ballistic.

Of course we all remember what a hit The Sopranos was and I couldn’t help but remember that scene where one of the Caps had returned from prison and was out patrolling his previous territory and found someone mowing the grass that did not work for him. He beat the hell out of him.

Evan reacted in much the same way although he did limit his rage to a verbal rampage. I really did not understand this behavior until I read a copy of GPM’s contract. They get ‘juice’ from all contractor work they manage as authorized by our illustrious Board.

If your HOA has made the mistake of contracting GPM then you may expect to see a dramatic rise in the cost of doing business. GPM’s strong arm tactics are but one reason.

Subject: Well Being of the HOA

Dear Evan,

It has come to my attention that you have called one of my vendors offering diatribe, false accusations, and threats. All of this over the minor occurrence of a frozen pipe I had in my unit this past Monday.

After I called your office to report the problem one of your employees stopped by to take a look. After-wards your employee displayed an unprofessional attitude by criticizing my vendor with unsubstantiated accusations.  He further stated that I should not use the vendor because it would be detrimental to the well being of the association.

Also included in your employee’s diatribe was the claim that the vents under our units had been shut and that insulation had been installed. Apparently your employee has our association confused with some other association. The new vents that were installed during the siding upgrade do not have the capability to be opened or closed, nor has insulation been installed behind all the vents.

The occurrence of vendors arriving onsite all spouting wisdom about what is or isn’t in the best interest of our association is becoming annoying. These vendors do not own property here, or pay the bills. I find their comments patronizing and out of line.

Further more I fail to see how your angry call to my vendor is helpful for the well being of our association. It is my observation that this is just one more example of placing more importance on pointing fingers of blame on someone else in order to escape the association’s financial obligations to maintain common area property.

You have previously declared the existence of ‘exclusive use plumbing’ in our association, although our CC&Rs do not support this claim. It is clear, that if the association will not pay for regular maintenance, then the association has no business questioning my choice of vendors. Furthermore, calling my choice of vendors to pursue some past perceived grievance is definitively not in the best interests of our association.

I am sure I am not alone in hoping that your company would perform your maintenance chores with just a smile on your faces. After over 10 years of full time residency, it is highly unlikely that your company has any words of wisdom above and beyond that attained from my real life experiences.



River Run Condominiums #xx

And of course, Evan replied:

xxxx, thank you for your comments. Have a great day.

Evan Benjaminson

Granite Peak Management
1600 Squaw Valley Road, Suite 2
Post Office Box 3750
Olympic Valley, California 96146
phone 530-583-7545 x110
fax 530-583-7574

Granite Peak Management &HOA &Property Management11 May 2010 06:38 pm

Does anyone else out there smell conflict of interest? Is there really a reason to raise homeowner dues two years running? And add another assessment?

And why is it that with all the years of self proclaimed experience with property management afforded by Granite Peak, we receive yet another letter talking about new and unaccounted for expenses?

It was just a short five years ago that the homeowners bailed out our Board to the tune of 3/4 million dollars. Less than a year after that we received the bad news that a number of units were once again damaged by water.

My very first month of ownership here at River Run was marked by the very same problem. Of course, I requested the HOA reimburse my expenses. And of course, the Board declined. That was fifteen years ago.

Members of the Board have known for decades about the leaks. Despite Granite Peak’s years of experience, their management of the residing project failed to fix the leaks and once the leaks reoccurred, they went into overdrive trying to pin this problem on anyone but themselves.

So, the following year only 1/2 of the problem areas were repaired. We were told that our bailout money was running out and that Granite Peak may need to pass another assessment.

I am sure we will once again hear about our Board’s fiduciary responsibility. How many more times will we subjected to these lectures by those that have mostly failed their fiduciary responsibilities? Other than capital improvements, proposing assessments is direct proof of fiduciary failures.

So why is this? Some insight can be gleaned from Granite Peak’s contract. Request a copy, it is illuminating. Granite Peak is paid a commission on all additional work that they oversee. While, in general, I do not oppose getting paid for work managed, it is becoming a bit much when the firm that maintains our books, prepares our budget, constantly claims (Evan) and act like they (he) are (is) a member of the Board, and is also recommending an ever expanding list of unforeseen work.

Not only did Granite peak earn a fee for managing the siding project, they also received payment for managing the corrective action which they failed to prevent.

Of course I went running for my checkbook when I read the Board’s justification for the new proposed assessment.

“The Board of Directors strongly urges your affirmative vote on this Phase 1 Special Assessment to avoid the possibility of an additional dues increase.”

Who are they kidding? How is it that an assessment in not an increase in dues? And if this is the case, why is this proposal packaged with a notice that the Board IS raising dues?

“While the Board of Directors desired not to raise dues in these tough financial times…”

Yeah, right. These folks seem to believe our money is theirs, that they are entitled to soak us everytime they get an itch or whenever Evan of Granite Peak management decides he needs more income.

Enough is enough. These budget shortfalls are primarily caused by Granite Peak Management’s incompetence managing the re-siding project. We have every right to expect that when we fork over 3/4 million dollars that the work would have been completed so that the leaks were fixed. The primary beneficiary of ripping off the siding to fix the problem after the fact benefits only one party, Granite Peak Management.

Vote NO!

Property Management17 Nov 2008 11:25 pm

Google’s Eric Schmidt comments on the increased importance of the Internet on politics and on how the Internet helps to prevent bad decision making by allowing all of us to easily access information that can be more easily be vetted by more and more of us.

Bad decisions can be prevented by eliminating the secrecy behind them. Sound familiar?

Property Management21 Jul 2008 10:16 am

Fellow River Run Owners,

What needs to be accomplished by everyone in the association is to write an email or a letter to Water District ( about this unreasonable once per year billing practice. I got my bill a couple of weeks ago and the annual $925 August payment is quite shocking nor is it easy to pay. I do not believe the Water District is considering it’s customers best interests with this unreasonable practice. My bill has tripled since I have bought at River Run and it’s time for the water board (to) restructure the actual billing process as they have done for the bill amount. I just have a one bedroom so you folks with larger units are probably billed/pay even more. I would like to see monthly bills that I can auto pay via my bank on-line plan. Even the IRS (Placer County) bills property tax twice per year! This needs to be done prior to the August 7th noon when the Budget and Finance Committee meets.

thank-you for your consideration

Paul Fulkerson
Unit #2.