February 2015

HRB Meeting Minutes

The meeting was called to order at 4:14 pm.  HRB members present were Steve Cauffman, Chair, Brad Conley, Sandrine Scherson, Jan Fisher, and Barbara Taborek.  Also present were ICHA representatives Andrew Herndon and Ron Reid, as well as HRB candidates for the 2015 term, Catherine Pugel and Hobart Taylor, who agreed to attend in advance of their election.

 (1)     Common Area Tree Removal Request

Three homes on Thompson Ct have requested that ICHA remove a very tall Eucalyptus tree in the common area behind their parcels.  They are concerned about it falling, but ICHA contends that it is healthy, well maintained, and poses negligible risk, despite its extreme height.  ICHA asked HRB for input.  The board concluded if the residents contend that the tree is a hazard, they should provide evidence (such as an assessment by a professional arborist) to substantiate that risk.  If the residents wish to have the tree removed, despite a lack of evidence that it poses a hazard, then this would be categorized as a request to modify the landscaping in a common area for reasons of aesthetics or personal preference.  HRB considers such requests (handled similarly to architectural applications) on a case by case basis, but requires that all surrounding neighbors indicate that they have been notified of the proposed change.  The request was not signed by the homeowners on Russell whose properties are also adjacent to the location of the tree, so HRB refused to evaluate the request at this time.

(2)      Sunday Adult Soccer Game

The adult soccer group that used to play at Gabrielino on Sunday afternoons has relocated to a city field, in response to resident complaints about profanity, aggressive behavior, and reckless driving. 

(3)      Recent Community Events

The Holiday Bazaar was a smashing success!  Thank you, Sandrine, and Marta, for organizing.  The Footnotes, an acapella group from University High, sang outside, and were well received.   Peak attendance times were between 11am and 2pm, and then around 4pm.

A "Coffee on Us" was held at the Community Center on December 4th.  40-50 people came, and while there was continued interest in the posters showing the ongoing Uni Hills development, this gathering was more social than others.  Thanks to ICHA and the Coffee Lady for another successful event.

(4)      Extension of CC hours on Fridays

The Friday night social group asked to extend CC hours so they can stay indoors longer during the winter.  HRB agreed to extend the time without fee, since the differential cost is minimal, as long as all residents are welcome.  Concerns about responsible alcohol consumption were noted.

(5)      Pocket Park

The two finalists in the contest for naming the new Phase 10 Pocket Park are (a) "The Playground at the End of the Universe" and (b) "Coltrane Corner".  HRB recognized the former as both funny and apt, tying in the space theme of the park with its location near the end (both spatially and temporally) of the observable UHills universe, but recognized that the latter would be more helpful in actually directing people to it.  A vote was taken and the name “Coltrane Corner”  edged out  “The Playground at the End of the Universe” 3-2. 

Andrew is working on arrangements for installation of a water fountain, and correcting the oversight that the glass picnic table tops were procured without holes for shade umbrellas.

 (6)     Tennis Courts

Verbiage for the new signs has been finalized.  The signs are meant to clarify already-existing policies, with the only substantial change being the requirement that paid instructors display ICHA-issued permits while on the court.   

 (7)     Upcoming Election

A sample ballot, along with a web page explaining the voting process, was prepared and approved.  We have 4 candidates for 4 positions.  Steve will coordinate with Victor Van Zandt on sending voting invitations to all homeowners by email.  Those without email will receive written notices in the mail.  Unique voting codes will be used to ensure that each household completes no more than one ballot.  Each ballot will allow up to 4 votes to be cast.  The new "administration" will begin with the March meeting.  Heartfelt thanks are due to outgoing longtime members, Michele Walot and Mike McNally.  A gift certificate will be given to each as a token of our gratitude.

(8)      Maintenance Issues

Andrew reported that all landscape watering in the Vista Bonita and Los Lomas area is being converted to reclaimed water. This has been in the works for some time, and is especially welcome during this time of drought.

The water fountain at the garden park is apparently not working.

(9)      Architectural Approvals, or Lack Thereof

A homeowner on Urey wants to further extend a previous kitchen addition, but has not formally filed an application.  We encouraged them to do so.

A homeowner on Owen re-faced the front of their house with stone without approval. The homeowner is being asked to file the paperwork, including formal notification of neighbors, giving them a chance to comment, before HRB determines whether or not to retroactively approve the modification. 

(10)    UCI Nature Preserve

The UCI Biology Department has received a grant which will allow them to put up signs at the entrances to the Preserve reminding people that they are entering into a ecological study area. The HRB would be interested in seeing the plans for the signs, since UHills residents likely are among the Preserve's most frequent visitors.

(11)   Events & Long-Range Planning:

A few of us got together last week to brainstorm regarding plans for future events and amenity improvements.  The bottom line is that most events require manpower, and even when we offer financial support, the events do not happen without volunteers willing to plan and execute them.  Andrew and Ron often do much of the logistical work, but cannot be responsible for running every event, so many are contingent on someone taking ownership.  We need to better advertise our willingness to support such folks (whether by arranging coffee carts, food trucks, reimbursement of expenses, etc.).  Perhaps more residents would organize events if they knew we had such assistance to offer.

The following suggestions were generated as ideas for the incoming board to consider.

Upcoming Events:

·         Near-term (before June 30):

o   2nd annual Trio Celeste Concert (Friday, March 20).

o   Easter Egg Hunt (in April;  Lori Greene needs help).

o   Earth Day Rummage Sale & Cleanup Day

§  E-waste, large items, salvation army, shredding, free mulch, [paint/batteries/hazardous waste?]

·         Things to repeat next fiscal year:

o   Summer movies in the park

o   Coffee-on-Us events

o   Popsicles in the Park

o   Fall Fiesta (big event, uses half our annual budget)

o   Holiday Bazaar

·         Other Possibilities:

o   Spring/summer Concert Series in the park

o   Movie nights at community center

o   Scavenger Hunts

o   New Resident Welcome Event

o   Brown-bag series

o   Blood drive

o   Master gardener seminars

o   Dog Training/Obedience

o   Discount/Free tickets to UCI sporting or cultural events on campus

o   Storytelling hour (parents must stay!)

o   book exchange

o   Audubon Society (marsh tours)

o   Holiday Sing-a-long (Chris Pounds organized caroling this year)

o   Cul-de-sac "block parties"

o   Halloween Parade/Costume Party/Movie

o   Valentine's Champagne Social

o   Post-construction celebratory carwash/window-washing discounts


Possible Infrastructure/Investments:

·         Replace/repair dilapidated storage box at Gabrielino backstop?

·         New volleyball net at Los Trancos (add regulation lines/posts?)

·         Large roll-about/storable pop-up TV screen for Community Center events

·         Contribution to help expand the community garden (along Anteater, near Palo Verde apts)?

·         Exercise stations (par course) around the community?

·         Tennis Court webcams

·         Wi-Fi coverage of pools and/or parks

·         Lights for Gabrielino field/playground (to extend usable time during winter months)