Where’s the Beef?

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: http://www.calhomelaw.org/doc.asp?id=706]

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:
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov.  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
http://www.calhomelaw.org/doc.asp?id=460 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

[img src=http://river-run-condominiums.com/wp-content/uploads/river-run/flagallery/river-run-signs/thumbs/thumbs_caution-sale.jpg]3210
[img src=http://river-run-condominiums.com/wp-content/uploads/river-run/flagallery/river-run-signs/thumbs/thumbs_ermergency-shut-off.jpg]60
[img src=http://river-run-condominiums.com/wp-content/uploads/river-run/flagallery/river-run-signs/thumbs/thumbs_fire-hydrant-1.jpg]70
[img src=http://river-run-condominiums.com/wp-content/uploads/river-run/flagallery/river-run-signs/thumbs/thumbs_fire-hydrant.jpg]50
[img src=http://river-run-condominiums.com/wp-content/uploads/river-run/flagallery/river-run-signs/thumbs/thumbs_gas-shut-off.jpg]40
[img src=http://river-run-condominiums.com/wp-content/uploads/river-run/flagallery/river-run-signs/thumbs/thumbs_granite-peak-management-1.jpg]20
[img src=http://river-run-condominiums.com/wp-content/uploads/river-run/flagallery/river-run-signs/thumbs/thumbs_granite-peak-management-2.jpg]20
[img src=http://river-run-condominiums.com/wp-content/uploads/river-run/flagallery/river-run-signs/thumbs/thumbs_granite-peak-management-3.jpg]10
[img src=http://river-run-condominiums.com/wp-content/uploads/river-run/flagallery/river-run-signs/thumbs/thumbs_granite-peak-management-4.jpg]10
[img src=http://river-run-condominiums.com/wp-content/uploads/river-run/flagallery/river-run-signs/thumbs/thumbs_granite-peak-management-5.jpg]00
[img src=http://river-run-condominiums.com/wp-content/uploads/river-run/flagallery/river-run-signs/thumbs/thumbs_granite-peak-management-6.jpg]00
[img src=http://river-run-condominiums.com/wp-content/uploads/river-run/flagallery/river-run-signs/thumbs/thumbs_parking-sign-1.jpg]00
[img src=http://river-run-condominiums.com/wp-content/uploads/river-run/flagallery/river-run-signs/thumbs/thumbs_parking-sign-2.jpg]00
[img src=http://river-run-condominiums.com/wp-content/uploads/river-run/flagallery/river-run-signs/thumbs/thumbs_parking-sign-3.jpg]00
[img src=http://river-run-condominiums.com/wp-content/uploads/river-run/flagallery/river-run-signs/thumbs/thumbs_parking-sign-4.jpg]00
[img src=http://river-run-condominiums.com/wp-content/uploads/river-run/flagallery/river-run-signs/thumbs/thumbs_parking-sign-5.jpg]00
[img src=http://river-run-condominiums.com/wp-content/uploads/river-run/flagallery/river-run-signs/thumbs/thumbs_parking-sign-6.jpg]00
[img src=http://river-run-condominiums.com/wp-content/uploads/river-run/flagallery/river-run-signs/thumbs/thumbs_parking-sign-7.jpg]00
[img src=http://river-run-condominiums.com/wp-content/uploads/river-run/flagallery/river-run-signs/thumbs/thumbs_parking-sign-8.jpg]00
[img src=http://river-run-condominiums.com/wp-content/uploads/river-run/flagallery/river-run-signs/thumbs/thumbs_parking-sign-9.jpg]00
[img src=http://river-run-condominiums.com/wp-content/uploads/river-run/flagallery/river-run-signs/thumbs/thumbs_pool-signs.jpg]00
[img src=http://river-run-condominiums.com/wp-content/uploads/river-run/flagallery/river-run-signs/thumbs/thumbs_private-property.jpg]00
[img src=http://river-run-condominiums.com/wp-content/uploads/river-run/flagallery/river-run-signs/thumbs/thumbs_speed-limit-dogs.jpg]00
[img src=http://river-run-condominiums.com/wp-content/uploads/river-run/flagallery/river-run-signs/thumbs/thumbs_tennis-courts.jpg]00
[img src=http://river-run-condominiums.com/wp-content/uploads/river-run/flagallery/river-run-signs/thumbs/thumbs_trash-signs.jpg]00

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.

HOA &Where's the Beef?16 Sep 2009 09:18 am

Apparently controversy is brewing again about certain Phase II owners that have landscaped common area property behind their units. In the past fifteen years the Association has never even bothered to pick up the trash that occasionally accumulates on the common area property located adjacent to the Truckee River.

While the Association is free to pick and choose their maintenance policies, which are currently contracted to Granite Peak Management, it is puzzling why anyone would be annoyed by the additional help that individuals ante up. It is even more puzzling that but a single homeowner would become a target since several homeowners have completed some landscaping behind their units.

Of course Mary Denove, a lawyer incapable of thinking out of her box, again suggested that the Association sue. Sue, Mary, Sue almost always offers up this option to various problems. It is very similar to the ‘Drill, Baby, Drill’ solution to our energy problems that Sara Palin conjured up even though such a policy would solve nothing.

Some insight into Mary’s personality can be gleaned from her response to a homeowner that was investigating ways to reduce their high propane bill. Mary declared that this was not a problem because she was paying 3 times as much.

Of course, Mary did not recommend suing her good buddy Bonnie Lofstedt who went even further with her landscaping efforts and fenced off the common area property around their home in violation of our governing documents. The Board went even further by publishing policy that stated that if folks wanted to access the Truckee River shoreline that they had to do so by traversing around the front of Bonnie’s unit. Essentially prohibiting access directly behind Bonnie’s unit. This also represents a failure of fiduciary responsibility as our governing documents clearly contain an easement for the public along the Truckee River shoreline.

While I suspect that the majority of homeowners do not object to the various landscaping projects, some of us do object to denying access along the river bank behind Bonnie’s unit. In fact, a path has been cleared through the dense brush along the river bank to promote access to the point across from Bells Landing which is used for recreation.

Over the years some members of the Board have insisted that we need Mary on the Board, based soley on the fact that she is a laywer, even though Mary’s expertise is afar from property management and CIDs. In fact, my experience is that Mary is behind the deliberate efforts of the Board to communicate and negotiate with a lack of good faith.

I have long opposed Mary’s position on the Board and those that have had the dubious pleasure of communicating with Mary are coming to understand my beliefs.

I continue to urge that homeowners not caste their votes for Mary & Bonnie, but realize that there are so few candidates for the Board, that anyone that tosses their name into the hat will be elected.

Where's the Beef?11 Sep 2008 02:51 pm

For the last several years, since the Board decided to propose a 3/4 million dollar assessment, I failed to receive some of my mortgage statements. It then came to my attention that a former board member was accepting delivery of my statements when they knocked on my door with the opened statement in hand, offering up a sanctimonious explanation about how the statement had the wrong PO Box on it, and demanding that I have my address corrected. Little did she know that I had already spent hours on the phone trying to get the address corrected with no results.

I occasionally get mail in my PO Box that is not mine and it is a simple act to walk 20 feet and drop it off to Larry or whomever is working the counter at the time. All this started after I helped defeat the first 1/2 million dollar assessment on the grounds that our president at the time, had failed to adaquately do her homework and was prepared to give the job to a local handyman.

Since that defeat, various members of the board have gone out of their way to spread rumor and levy petty political attacks against me for having the audacity for questioning their supreme wisdom. There is no doubt in my mind that my statements were reviewed by one or more board members to check the status of my loan to ascertain whether I could afford the new proposed assessment.

This type of behavior is consistent with my 12 year plus experiences with the board that continually believes that they can arbitrarily deny rights granted in our CC&Rs. But what would one expect from a board that actually spent time discussing and voting on whether they should allow me to work from my home on my computer?

Where's the Beef?24 Jul 2008 12:03 pm

I received this rather unflattering email from Paul:


if your going to edit my comments like a f***ing english teacher, put your name on the comment and make it your own damn comment!!!!!!!!!!!!!


This is not the first time I have received a crass email from him.

First of all Paul, the post was mine. Second, there is a difference between a post and a comment, although this subtlety is probably beyond your comprehension. I posted your email to demonstrate the usefulness of this new site.

The post generated a comment from Alpine Springs Water District and as a result homeowners learned that they did not have to pay their $1000 water bills immediately, although the “payment terms” are rather extravagant.

So Paul, please be advised if you wish to continue to send me your hot-tempered emails, I’ll be happy to start a category called ‘humor’ and post all of them there. Or perhaps the correct category would be ‘nuisance’ per section 2.6 of our CC&Rs.