Blog

July 2020 Board Meeting

The July 2020 Board Regular Board Meeting will be held Thursday July 9 at 7pm. It will be conducted online, hosted by PDS’s GoToMeeting account.

Homeowners are invited to attend, as usual. Please contact community manager Lisa Riesland to register and obtain the login information.

Weeds Between Walls and Sidewalk

Our community manager recently learned that the association takes responsibility for weed control in the area between the walls along streets and the adjacent sidewalks. She was quite apologetic for having written a few weed notices for those areas recently… to owners on the adjacent lots.

Not to worry… those notices have been quashed, kaput, gone.

Want to know more about why the association takes care of them?

Hotly Debated at One Point

Historically, the board had always had the landscapers take care of this area (between the wall and sidewalk). I can’t remember the exact timing of when this happened, but at one point there was some notion to no longer do this (as a money-saving initiative, I think).  Homeowners caught wind of this potential change and (those that got involved – less than a dozen) spoke against it at a meeting. 

Governing Documents

Having studied the CC&Rs, I pointed out several items that — to me — made it very clear that these are the association’s responsibility.

The CC&Rs have two relevant definitions in Article 1:

1.12 “Common Area” means (a) Tract B, Tracts D through H, inclusive, Tracts J through N, inclusive, Tracts P-1 through P-9, inclusive, and Tracts Q-1 through Q-6, inclusive, Rio Crossing, according to the plat recorded in Book 676, Page 10, in the records of the County Recorder of Maricopa County, Arizona, together with all improvements situated thereon and (b) all land, together with all improvements situated thereon, which the Association at any time owns in fee or in which the Association has a leasehold interest for as long as the Association is the owner of the fee or leasehold interest, except that Common Area shall not include any Lot the Association acquires by the foreclosure of the Assessment Lien or any deed in lieu of foreclosure.

CC&Rs Section 1.12

1.2 “Areas of Association Responsibility” means (a) all Common Area; and (b) all land, and the Improvements situated thereon, located within the boundaries of a Lot or a public right-of-way which the Association is obligated to maintain, repair and replace pursuant to the terms of this Declaration, the Plat or other Recorded document executed by the Declarant or the Association.

CC&Rs Section 1.2

Farther down in the document in section 8, there’s this:

8.6 Maintenance of Walls other than Boundary Walls. Walls (other than boundary walls) located on a Lot shall be maintained, repaired and replaced by the Owner of the Lot. Any wall which is placed on the boundary line between a Lot and an Area of Association Responsibility shall be maintained, repaired and replaced by the Owner of the Lot, except that the Association shall be responsible for the repair and maintenance of the side of the wall which faces the Area of Association Responsibility. In the event any such wall encroaches upon the Common Area or a Lot, an easement for such encroachment shall exist in favor of the Association or the Owner of the Lot, as the case may be. Any wall which is placed on the boundary line between a Lot and public right-of-way shall be maintained, repaired and replaced by the Owner of the Lot, except that the Association shall be responsible for the repair and replacement of the surface of the wall which faces the public right-of-way.

CC&Rs Section 8.6

More of My Opinion/Interpretation

So the Tracts where the green belts are located are pretty clearly included in what the association must maintain.  We know the city maintains the streets and the sidewalks (except the sidewalks which are clearly on Common Areas – that means Rio Crossing maintains the walkway from Highland to the Roma Park area, and the sidewalks around and to/from the playgrounds and picnic Ramada). 

So in my personal opinion (not a lawyer, and not representing a board policy here), this boils down to the following:

  • Everything on a Lot is the responsibility of the owner.  Walls are situated on the property lines, making them “common walls”; the owner is responsible for “their side of the wall”, and the association is responsible for the side of any wall that faces onto Common Areas or Areas of Association Responsibility.
  • Everything on Common Areas is the responsibility of the association.
  • The city maintains our streets and gutters, street lights, and any sidewalks not on Common Area.  (A close examination of the properly lines shows that the sidewalks in front of homes is not on the Lot, but on “city property”.)
  • Everything else in Rio Crossing that is not a Lot and is not a Common Area and not maintained by the city is then an Area of Association Responsibility.

This means — in my opinion — that the following items are the responsibility of the association to maintain:

  • Gravel areas between walls and sidewalks – and any weeds or other living things that grow there!
  • All mailbox units.  (These are located on what is technically Avondale city property/easements. I believe the post office maintains individual boxes, but the unit itself, from the ground up – excluding the individual compartments – is the association’s responsibility.  I think of it like a condo.)
  • All doggie stations and garbage cans, and their supports and concrete pads, etc.

So, one more time: “I’m not a lawyer” and “these are just my opinions”, but it’s backed by facts I’ve checked out pretty thoroughly.  And I thought some of you might appreciate the information.

Update: Heatherbrae Entrance

If you’ve traveled through the Heatherbrae entrance this past week (since May 25), you’ve no doubt noticed a change.

Almost all plants are gone!

But if you’ve been paying attention to the association mailing list, you know that the current barren landscape isn’t going to last long.

Look again next weekend!

Watch this clip from the March video for more information. The goal is to revitalize the landscape for the entire community — and this is just the initial pilot project, which will soon look like this:

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me directly.

This site is one of the many official communication channels of the association. Those of you that know me, know that I’m a straight shooter and open communicator. You can go to other social media channels like NextDoor and get the opinions of your neighbors, but if you really want to know what’s going on, subscribe to the mailing list, look for these posts on the web site, visit our Facebook page, or subscribe to our (infrequent but important) Twitter feed.

There have been some comments made regarding the plants placed 4 years ago in the center median which have been removed — and will be replaced as a part of this project. The larger trees selected for the entrance were planted when very small, and now — just 4 years later — the amount of trimming required to keep them out of the roadway is actually detrimental to the plants’ health. The replacement plants are colorful but “appropriately sized” for the small median width in that location.

Playgrounds and Picnic Areas Reopen

From the Mailing List archive (subscribe here).

Hopefully by now you’ve heard that Governor Ducey has released additional executive orders which rescind, modify, or update previous orders,  In general, there is an easing of some of the previous restrictions along with additional guidance, and some timelines exist for future adjustments.

In accordance with his new executive orders, and based on numerous opinions from a variety of sources, Rio Crossing will remove the “caution tape” and prohibitive signs at playgrounds and picnic areas throughout the community’s common areas in the next day or so.

However, new signs will be placed which advises and reminds visitors to those spaces that certain precautions are still required, and that use of common area space remains at your own risk.  The following guidelines should be followed at a minimum:

  • If you are sick (not just with COVID-19,but with any potentially contagious disease), stay away from playgrounds, picnic areas, and other common areas to the extent possible.
  • Continue to observe social/physical distance guidelines of 6-foot separation in these areas.
  • Avoid these areas if you are in a high risk category.  This includes adults 65 or older and people of any age who have serious underlying conditions.
  • While visiting/utilizing these areas, don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • After leaving these areas, use hand sanitizer and/or wash your hands (recommended washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds).

Additional public health guidance is available from sources such as the Center for Disease ControlArizona Department of Health ServicesUS Department of Labor, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

As situations warrant, we’ll continue to update you through this mailing list and the various community social media venues.

Please do your part to stay healthy and reduce the risk of becoming infected, and be watchful of those who need supervision.

May Board Meeting

This is an online-only meeting.

Homeowners are invited to attend. Please contact our Community Manager Lisa at LisaR@PDSaz.com for details.

Date: Thursday May 14, 2020
Time: 7pm – Open Session

Street Work Next Week!

April 6 thru 9, 2020

You should have received a notice from the City of Avondale and Sunland Asphalt about the street work being done in Rio Crossing next week, Monday through Thursday, April 6 thru 9.

This is important! Please read!

If you did not receive the document, I’ve scanned it an made it available… click here to download.

Important notes:

  • This is for next week – April 6 thru 9
  • Roma Avenue and streets to the south will be done Monday and Tuesday.
  • Streets north of Roma Avenue will be done Wednesday and Thursday.
  • Look carefully at the document to determine when your street will be worked on. Pay particular attention to which side of the street is being done on which day.
  • Your car will be towed if parked on the wrong side of the street. Move it before 7am.
  • If you run irrigation, it must not put water into the street. See the document for details.
  • Trash and Recycle Bins must be out at 5am!! I believe they’ll pick up early those days to be done and out of the way before the street crews arrive
  • Don’t drive on fresh street material!!

Please read the document for full details!!
Be sure to view the map on page 2!!

Town Hall – Landscape Revitalization Project

We previously announced a Town Hall meeting for 11am on March 21 at the Roma Park Ramada/picnic area. Due to COVID-19 concerns and to facilitate more participation, we’re moving this meeting to an electronic meeting… same time and date: Saturday March 21 at 11am.

Now you can participate from your computer or smart phone wherever you happen to be. I recommend starting the connection process 5-10 minutes ahead of time. Go to this page for details on how to join the meeting.

March 2020 News!

You can get your March 2020 news in so many ways!

If you want to watch (or re-watch!) specific items from the YouTube video, but don’t want to wade through all of them, look for the topic below and click the link to go direct to that topic in the video:

  1. Check your first quarter assessments – link
  2. Heatherbrae Entrance and the Landscape Revitalization Pilot Project – link
  3. Community Town Hall – Saturday March 21 at 11am at Roma Park – link
  4. Monthly Meeting Dates and Venue Changes – next meeting Thursday March 12 at Avondale City Hall – link
  5. Revisions to Policies: Collections, Violation & Fines – link
  6. Register for access at RioCrossing.org – link
  7. Changes to Architectural Request Review Process – changes to Design Review Committee meeting processes – link
  8. Can You Volunteer an Hour a Month? – link
  9. Holiday Decorations Should Be Down By Now – link
  10. Vehicle Parking on Lot and Bulk Trash Violations – link
  11. Maintenance of Home Exteriors – link
  12. Upcoming Social Events – link
  13. Tenant Registration Policy – link
  14. Tot Lot Sand Sifting – link
  15. Avondale Police Department Community Resource Program – visit by Officer Archer and Vice Mayor Pat Dennis – link

Meeting Date and Venue Changes!

The March regular board meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 12, 2020 at 7pm at the Avondale Civic Center.

It’s hard to find a meeting location that is affordable, reasonably close by, available year-round, and with adequate facilities. The meeting location we’ve used for the past year significantly raised their rates once we changed management companies, and the accommodations were often noisy and accompanied by problems with building access. We met for a long time at nearby schools, but they’re closed (or difficult to get access to) in the summer and we often had problems getting the rooms unlocked.

So, starting with the March 2020 meeting, we’re going back to the Avondale Civic Center located at 11465 Civic Center Drive in Avondale, along Avondale Blvd just south of I-10. Their rooms are spacious, easy to set up, generally have overhead projectors and WiFi availability, good bathroom facilities, and a guard who ensures we have access and provides a level of facility security we don’t have at other venues.

Almost as hard as finding a place, is finding a date where all of the five board members are able to attend. People are busy! To help us maximize board participation, we might shake it up a bit and meet in different weeks of the month, but it’s shaping up that Thursdays are more available for most of us. That’s why you’ll see the March meeting is the second Thursday of the month.

See this page for more information about the meeting location and other details.

Change of Management Company

All members of the association should have received the notice from the new management company by now. If you have not, or if you need more information, please contact PDS (Planned Development Services) at 623-877-1396 for assistance.

Of particular importance is the change in mailing address and account number for your 2020 first quarter assessments, due January 1, 2020.