HRB Meeting Minutes — October 6, 2014

                The Meeting was called to order at 4:10. HRB members present were Steve Cauffman, Chair, Brad Conley, Sandrine Scherson, and Barbara Taborek.  ICHA members present were Andrew Herndon and Ron Reid.

(1)      Phase 10 Construction

                HRB advised ICHA that residents near construction are growing increasingly frustrated by the noise and dust.  There are just a few weeks of work close to California Ave. remaining.  Other grading (closer to Pauling) will continue until Thanksgiving.  HRB suggested coordinating a discounted rate on window-washing through a reputable vendor (and possibly car-washing, at a facility that recycles water), for all UHills residents, as a way of celebrating when grading is complete.   Andrew noted that ICHA may be able to accelerate the schedule for landscaping the new slope along Cal. Ave, which will make it more attractive and stabilize the slope as well.

(2)      Request for use of community room

                A request for non-reserved use of the community room by a resident was considered, and approved under condition that suitable insurance be obtained and that the use leave no mess. 

 (3)     Pool Temperatures

                A resident requested that heating of the Urey pool be turned off early, in order to raise the temperature of the Gabrielino pool a few degrees during October.  HRB noted that recreational users prefer higher temperatures, while lap swimmers prefer a slightly cooler setting.  HRB elected to continue the same pattern as last year, with all three pools heated at their usual settings for May-October (Urey at ~82, Gabrilino and Los Trancos at ~80).  For winter months (Nov-April), Urey heating will be turned off, but Gabrielino and Los Trancos will continue to be heated to ~80. 

                Last year, the cost of heating all pools & jacuzzis ranged from $1200-1800/month in the summer, and ranged from $2500-5000/month in the winter (with Urey off).   Costs vary significantly depending on ambient temperature.

                Solar heating options were discussed.  The area around Los Trancos is too shaded, but solar heating could be a good option for Gabrielino.  Andrew noted that new solar heat exchangers such as those being used in the Edison smart grid experiment could be cost-effective.  HRB supports a thorough evaluation of solar options for Gabrielino, and for the future Phase 10 pool.

 (4)     Condo Maintenance

                A condo resident requested clarification of responsibility for maintenance/repair issues.  Doors, windows, and exterior modifications/additions (decks, arbors, trellises, or other added hardscape) are resident responsibility, while walls are maintained by the condo association.  The association re-paints stucco and wood trim periodically.

 (5)     Other Maintenance Issues

  • A resident requested that we switch to unscented dog poop bags.  Andrew says scented bags were phased out in favor of unscented ones over a year ago.  HRB wonders if there is a rogue vigilante refilling empty bag dispensers with scented bags.
  • The dog water fountain at Gab has been broken for months.  Children clog the drain with sand and dirt, and wedge things into the dispenser.  It has been fixed, and then broken again, repeatedly.
  • An apparent sprinkler malfunction leading to swampy conditions was reported at Vista Bonita.
  • Improved signage at entrances to the Preserve has been developed.  Laminated notices will be posted soon, followed by more permanent signs advising visitors to keep dogs leashed and respect the fragile ecosystem by, for example, not setting fire to it. 
  • The "Report a Problem" link on is missing.  This problem has been reported to the web master for resolution.

(6)      Tennis

                A summary of the tennis survey was reviewed.  (It is now posted separately on  HRB will develop new language for the sign posted at the tennis courts, and will also develop an instructional permit template.  Instructors will be required to obtain and display their permit whenever present on our courts.  Permit will include photo, contact info, phone number for complaints, and a statement of rules regarding instructional use of UHills tennis courts.

                At present, the suggestion of implementing an on-line reservation system for one court has been shelved, since survey results indicated that most respondents favor the existing system, despite its limitations.  Many survey respondents felt that more courts were needed.  ICHA's community-wide amenity survey, however, showed overall strongest support for an additional pool.

                We are examining feasibility of installing a webcam, to allow residents to check court status before leaving home.   A courtside bulletin-board and/or whiteboard would also be useful.

                Though not as easy to get to as courts in our own neighborhood, there are nearby courts at Crawford (eleven courts), and at Uni High (eight courts), in addition to those at various City parks. 

(7)      Fires

                There is evidence that people have been lighting small fires in the open space & preserve with apparent evidence of drinking as well. This is a high risk fire area. UCI PD should be contacted if residents witness this illegal behavior.         

                On a few recent occasions, burnt remnants including charred paper have been found in the street near Owen and Lower Urey.  Anyone who has information about this is asked to please call UCI PD at 824-5223.

 (8)     Solar Installations

                At HRB request, ICHA has been reviewing the land lease in order to provide clearer guidelines for residents considering solar panel installations.   Residents who obtain panels through lease agreements, or other arrangements besides outright purchase, could need to "buy out" of such agreements before the home can be sold.  Further details will be published soon, so that residents can understand the pros and cons of buying vs. leasing, given the constraints imposed by the UHills land lease.

                A resident complained that ICHA appeared to be actively discouraging their solar installation, telling them to instead focus on improving energy efficiency.  It seems to HRB that these are not mutually exclusive strategies. 

(9)      Architectural Review

                A property improvement application for a room addition was reviewed and unanimously approved.   

 (10)   Upcoming Events

Mark your calendars:

  • Fall Fiesta on Sunday October 12th.  The Fall Fiesta will feature amusements for kids (bounce houses, hamster balls), booths from Armstrong Nursery displaying drought tolerant plants, another with Low-flow toilets for $60, Victor with his Phase 10 maps. Food will include 500 hot dogs and hamburgers, Fresh Fruit, Chicken and Beef Tacos, Pizza, 700 portions of lemonade, a latte cart, and 2 kegs of beer.
  • Day of the Dead/Halloween post-party, Saturday Nov 1st.  No-one has volunteered to organize, so this will be cancelled or scaled back.  (Update: It will now be a no-frills movie night, featuring "The Nightmare Before Christmas".)
  • Holiday Bazaar, Saturday Dec 13th.  Contact Sandrine Scherson if interested in hawking your wares.
  • Trio Celeste Concert, Friday March 20th.

Additional possibilities that are under consideration:

  • Possible brown-bag series by campus police department on emergency preparedness, neighborhood watch, etc.  
  • A community blood drive coordinated with either UCI Med Center or American Red Cross.


That is all, for now.