Water Woes: HOA storm water, flood, erosion headaches

Suburban pond lake sidewalk storm water woes

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Since the 1970s, local governments have allowed – usually required – private developers to incorporate storm water control systems into newly constructed subdivisions of all types and sizes. Ongoing maintenance of retention ponds, drainage basins and swales, canals, weirs, dams, culverts, and related infrastructure has been assigned to private homeowners associations. For municipalities and counties, privatizing storm water management saved money by shifting cost burdens from taxpayers at Continue ReadingWater Woes: HOA storm water, flood, erosion headaches

Flooding, erosion common problems faced by HOA planned communities

As more and more homes are built, storm water problems multiply By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   For decades, cities have offloaded construction of community roads, water management systems, to private residential developers. In most cases over the past 2 -3 decades, ongoing maintenance of storm drainage systems has been dumped onto private homeowners, under the leadership of volunteer HOA boards and community managers with no technical knowledge. Every month I read dozens of Continue ReadingFlooding, erosion common problems faced by HOA planned communities

HOA planned communities built on unstable ground – literally

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities One of the more disturbing trends in new home construction is the use of unsuitable building sites. Over the past few years, I have read an increasing number of reports of owners that had to walk away from their homes because of unsafe conditions caused by movement of earth beneath their properties. The causes of that earth shifting have varied. Some homes have been built on landslides, some on Continue ReadingHOA planned communities built on unstable ground – literally

Lakefront properties can be costly liabilities for HOAs

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Examples of challenges faced by lakefront, Association-Governed communities   Members of Continental Country Club HOA, located in Flagstaff, AZ, have been fighting against nature to keep its ornamental “lake” attractive. Known by locals as Lake Elaine, the manmade body of water has been serving mainly as a storm water basin, leaking water into the porous limestone beneath its synthetic liner. In the 1990s, a court ordered the HOA to preserve Continue ReadingLakefront properties can be costly liabilities for HOAs