Summer 2019 Update

After 30 years of neglect we successfully raised funding to "Save Elevado Road" from irreparable disintegration.  Almost 100 sections of pavement completely replaced, berm repairs where needed, and a fresh surface of asphalt slurry from Vista Grande to Flametree, have given Elevado a new lease on life.  Construction experts for the City of Vista and other municipalities have complimented us on our work. In fact the City of Vista used the exact same technique for repairing East Vista Way, from Bobier to Warmlands, with one of our contractors - Joe's Paving!

Fortunately, we acted in the nick of time.  Had we waited until after the 2018-19 rainy season, the accelerated deterioration from water damage would have increased the cost of remediation beyond the budget most residents were willing to afford.

 

Striping 

Now that drier weather is here, the final work item in the Statement of Work is nearing completion.  The Association's construction and finance subcommittees have approved awarding a contract for striping the center line of Elevado for traffic safety.  Negotiations with the low bidder are underway and a schedule will be announced shortly.

 

Road Maintenance Program

Having narrowly avoided a community crisis, now is the time to plan ahead.  Let's return to the road lifecycle charts we originally posted in September 2017. 

 

Credit: PublicworksTraining.com

 

Credit: PublicworksTraining.com

 

These industry charts teach us that our Road can last another 30 years IF we implement periodic maintenance, and the most cost-effective maintenance cycle begins five years after completion of construction. Waiting longer will have two negative consequences:  not only does the cost of maintenance go up, but the useful life of the road - even with "catch-up" maintenance - will quickly go down.

Since completing repairs in September 2018, the "Save Elevado Road" team has been actively studying options.  We again reviewed community history comprised of past correspondence and newsletters dating back almost 40 years to understand what has worked and what hasn't.  Too often the discussion has led to contention, gridlock and discouragement. As one resident wrote to his neighbors many years ago: "One thing that has been a large thorn in the makeup of this lovely area and our peace in living here has been the continuous contention that has always been present over the issue of adequate area road maintenance."

For the first time in our community history we are all invested in Elevado Road.  And we mean everyone. Every resident, every absentee vacant lot owner and every public utility has paid their contribution.  EVERYONE! We are all invested, on a fair and equitable basis, and have a shared interest in protecting our investment.  The time to make this commitment is now!

Based on our research and advisors, we believe a five-year funding cycle is a prudent and reasonable approach, with the base amount contributed annually by each property owner set at 20% of their 2017 contribution.  Thus, rather than waiting until the end of each five-year cycle, the funds can be accumulated over time, and used as necessary to address interim problems. This will enable property owners to budget and plan ahead, rather than surprise owners with a much larger requirement when least expected.

In addition, it's time to formalize our organization with the help of a professional property manager to take responsibility from the hard-working community volunteers who have brought us this far.  A professional property manager can serve multiple maintenance functions, including acting as a point of contact for all inquiries and complaints, inspecting the road on a regular basis, interacting with utilities, developers and other contractors who are liable for repairing their own work, and the routine tasks of billing and collecting.

While this may surprise some residents who have benefited from our volunteers' services at no cost, a commercial, for-profit organization needs to be compensated.  After soliciting proposals from several organizations for estimating the cost of this service, our plan includes a fixed maintenance charge of an additional $45 per year per property, regardless of its location.  In addition to the administrative services of a property manager, this fee will help cover the cost of incorporating our association, filing for tax exemptions and other legal formalities, and liability insurance for the Association.

A spreadsheet has been developed to show the cost per property, which runs from a low of about $63 per year for the property closest to Vista Grande, to a high of about $393 per year for the properties past Flametree.  We believe this fee will cover all costs of maintenance and administration for Elevado for the foreseeable future.

To implement this program your neighborhood hosts will be conducting local events to collect completed individual Pledge Agreements.  No payments are needed at this time, but before contracting with professional service providers, we do need some assurance of voluntary participation.  If the voluntary commitment is strong enough, we will make sure - as we did in 2017 - that eventually everyone participates. 

 

Next Steps

You have a choice.  You can sign either a simple Pledge Agreement or, if you want a more formal agreement, you can sign the Road Maintenance Agreement after we have given everyone thirty days to provide comments.  Here is a little more explanation:

  • The Pledge

At this point, all we need is your signature on a simple Pledge Agreement.  This lets us know that you agree with our Plan and will begin making payments once the program officially starts later this year. After a third party manager is hired, they will begin sending invoices.

  • Road Maintenance Agreement (Still open for comment)

For those property owners who want a formal, legal agreement we have also prepared a formal Road Maintenance Agreement (RMA) to clarify each property owner's rights and obligations. 

The RMA has been peer reviewed several times by residents on our subcommittees, including a local attorney donating his time "pro bono" on our project. We are publishing it now for your review and comment.  Please send your questions and suggestions bernie@elevado info.

Here is some background:

This Agreement is purely voluntary, and is binding strictly between the current property owner and the Elevado Association. It will not be recorded and it will not be the basis for an automatic lien on your property.

We are taking this voluntary approach because there is no legal requirement that anyone sign such an agreement.  The RMA was not in existence when you purchased your property, it is not a "CC&R" that runs with your title, and you do not have to accept it.  Your obligation to participate in the repair and maintenance of Elevado arises strictly as a matter of law, under Civil Code §845.

There are good reasons why you may wish to sign it. As a prudent property owner, it provides a clear record of your rights and obligations, for yourself, your family and for a future purchaser who may be interested in knowing how you met your obligations. Another reason is that the RMA gives you the right to vote for the Directors who will be elected to run the Association after it's incorporated. Finally, our insurance broker has advised that coverage under the Association's liability policy, if one is issued, may be extended to those individual property owners signing a written RMA.

But the choice is yours.  If you think it's helpful, then we're pleased that it gives you comfort.  If you think its objectionable, all or in part, fine - sign the Pledge instead. If you think your neighbor should sign the RMA, well that's strictly up to them. No one can make them sign the RMA if they don't want to.

 

Side Roads

As with the 2017 program, our Plan covers only Elevado, from Vista Grande to Flametree (treating the last 1/4 mile of Elevado as another side road).  One of the many reasons our 2017 project was successful is because no one was required to pay for a side road they didn't use, and the owners of each side road were given control over whether they wanted to repair their side road - or not.  Some did (Wonderview, Camino Cantera, Via del Prado, Subida el Cielo, La Loma Serena, Corre Camino and End of Elevado) and others did not. As with the 2017 program, we will support the owners of any side road who wish to implement a similar plan by extending these services to them on the same financial basis.  The choice is theirs, but no one will be required to pay for maintaining any road they do not use. If the owners of any side road are interested in more information, please contact the Association at bernie@elevado.info for more information.

 

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