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IN MY VIEW: Rancho Sahuarita could learn from Sonora - Green Valley News: Letters To The Editor

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IN MY VIEW: Rancho Sahuarita could learn from Sonora

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Posted: Saturday, April 27, 2013 3:09 pm

Sonora by Del Webb Community is a premier age-restricted community within the Village of Rancho Sahuarita. Many of us were drawn to this community because of the beautiful landscaping, first-class amenities and family living at its best. The Village of Rancho Sahuarita benefits from property taxes paid by all residents to support first-class schools and activities for young families. We continue to appreciate and enjoy all of our community.

The Sonoran residents did not file a lawsuit, but did seek injunctive relief requiring Bob Sharpe and the Village of Rancho Sahuarita to simply mediate the HOA rate increases (“HOA fees meant for everybody,” Page A6, April 21).

The residents authorized the HOA Sonora Board of Directors to mediate on their behalf, rather than 428 individual homeowners filing individual claims. Mediation of these issues was the most efficient and least costly approach, sitting across the table, face to face, discussing what would be fair.

The basis of our request for mediation focused on the fixed income issue of the residents living in our neighborhood. As would be expected, our earning capacity is diminished as retirees, with many Sonoran residents dependent on Social Security.

On average, recipients receive $1,237 a month, or $14,800 per year. In 2013, Social Security recipients received a 1.7 percent increase, an average of $21 a month, while facing a 7.3 percent increase on our Master HOA fees. Likewise, many of our residents lost their retirement/pension funds in the economic downturn, causing unplanned financial hardship, through no fault of their own. In light of our fixed incomes, the Sonoran residents believe HOA fee increases should be consistent with Social Security cost of living raises.

The Sonoran residents never, at any time, wanted to have their HOA fees reduced by half, but rather argued a cap and/or restructured fee ratio would be fair to both the Master Association and the residents of Sonora.

You were correct in saying the Sonora residents pay two HOA fees; however you were incorrect in the amounts printed. Sonora residents pay $88 to the Master HOA each month, rather than the $82 you cited. Sonora does not receive any funding from the Master Association for facility management, maintenance, landscaping, pool, exercise equipment or recreational facility improvement.

Sonora has taken charge of managing its own community through in-house management, Architectural Review and CC&R Compliance and Violation issue enforcement. All of the expenses are paid from the $85 monthly HOA fee paid to Sonora by Del Webb, a fee which has never been increased. The Village of Rancho Sahuarita could learn from Sonora by Del Webb Management strategies, benefiting all residents of Rancho Sahuarita.

Lisa Solano is Community Association Manager for Sonora at Rancho Sahuarita HOA.

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