Neighborhood feud regarding speed bumps - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Letters To The Editor

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Neighborhood feud regarding speed bumps

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Posted: Friday, March 18, 2011 11:00 am

Speed bumps. Now, there's a dull topic. Or is it?

What started with the installation of four "speed calming" devices on Shomi Street blossomed into quite a feud. And in the process of the debates there have arisen all kinds of issues in regard to homeowners associations (HOA).

It has turned out that not only do speed bumps have "unintended consequences," but also there are lots of ways that HOAs can handle such issues. A good summary of the pros and cons of "speed humps," as the city of Phoenix calls them, can be found by using your search option on the computer and call-up the topic under "Phoenix, Speed Humps." And if you search under "Arizona HOA laws," you will get some mind-opening information about how an HOA should operate.

Phoenix puts up lots of road-blocks, so-to-speak, to the installation of humps. It can cost approximately $1,200 to install each hump and "at present there is no city funding available." In addition to the costs, there are significant requirements to be met before their installation becomes possible. Residents must obtain support from 70 percent of the residents in the general ("affected") area and 100 percent support from "every resident whose home is within 100 feet of a proposed speed hump."

The Shomi Street feud involves private streets, but the opponents of the humpy-bumps think that the spirit of Phoenix rules should apply. In any case, there are lots of Arizona HOA laws that address how members can speak to their boards about such matters.

Again, just use your search engine and open topics such as "Arizona, Revised Statutes, 33-1804." HOA boards are supposed to be more "transparent" these days, but some are still reluctant to hold welcoming board meetings or open forums. And the legal firms hired by the boards can, and apparently often do, take sides against the members when big issues arise.

Thus, what may seem like a dull topic can be a major learning experience for HOA groups. With a reported 9,000-10,000 homeowners groups in Arizona, and 46 percent of our residents residing in such associations, our news media might be helpful if they would encourage open discussions of issues such as speed bumps and rules governing HOAs. And if you are not in tune with the computer, all I can say is, "Get with it!"

Stirling (Buzz) Cooper

• Editor's note: At the Ahwatukee RTV-2 Board Meeting on Tuesday, March 15, the board voted unanimously to remove the temporary speed bumps on Shomi Street as homeowners had requested. The board said it will continue to research other options for speed control.

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