Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me!

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By Robert M. Nordlund, PE, RS
Association Reserves, Inc.
June 2011

Inspired by National Public Radio’s “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” weekly radio show, read the following three Association stories, and guess which of the three is not true. The stories, and the answers, can be found on our website.

1)      Local building codes in this exclusive southern California community require minimum one-acre lots. A luxury golf community was planned in this area. But the developer needed enough homes to make the development profitable, finding at the end that they didn’t have enough acres left over for the golf course. So the Developer simply redefined the back yard of each home as a portion of the adjacent tee box, fairway, or green. True or False?

2)      A high-rise Association in Honolulu rented out rooftop space to various organizations for communication dishes. One client became delinquent in paying the rental fees. After several months of non-payment, the well-intentioned Board Treasurer went up onto the roof and unplugged the equipment. Within 15 minutes, emergency vehicles were swarming into the driveway of this Association.  True or False?

3)      An aging Arizona townhouse association without a credible Reserve Study was facing a number of Reserve expenditures. The fading trim needed painting and they discovered that their balconies no longer met safety regulations. Doing any work on the building was going to trigger an insurance review and building code compliance, forcing an expensive retrofit of all balcony railings. Rather than embark on such an expensive project, the Board redefined the association’s color scheme to shades of “faded brown”, and took on a rustic, cracked wood “western” decoration theme. True or False?

Scroll down to read the answers:

Answers:

  1. True. Technically every home was minimum one acre, but each backyard had a small fenced-in area and the space outside the fence was considered part of the golf course. This is one golf course where you could hit your drive smack down the middle of the fairway, and still be in someone’s backyard!
  2. True. The delinquent client was the US Navy and the communication dish was for the local Navy base. The Pentagon became very anxious when the base went “dark”! Legend has it that the Board Treasurer stood his ground, refusing to plug the equipment back in until the Navy accounting department agreed to the immediate payment of the delinquent rent.
  3. False. The association did need to paint and replace their balcony railings but the building continues to deteriorate, with no decorating theme other than “falling apart”.

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