Scrooge moved into one of the Foothills Reserve HOA’s “sub homeowners associations,” angry homeowners in the Summit Community charge.
The 2019 holiday season got off to a bad start after a management company warned homeowners about putting up holiday decorations too early.
“During a recent inspection of the community, it was noted that some homes had already started to put up Christmas-style decorations for this coming holiday season,” advised Trestle Management Company, a Mesa firm.
“They included lights, wreaths and figurines,” it continued. “As a friendly reminder, the board wished to remind owners such displays should not be put up until 30 days prior to any given holiday and should be removed 14 days after said event. We thank you for your cooperation in this matter.”
Residents balked and said they don’t intend to cooperate – and are demanding the company and the board retract the veiled warning.
“I’ve lived here since 2006,” said Nicole Brusik Koester, one of the original settlers in the far west Ahwatukee community. “I’ve never seen an email like this sent to the entire community. People are not taking them down.”
Brusik Koester and other homeowners fired off emails.
“The HOA needs to retract this email ASAP,” Brusik Koester told the company. “Clearly, whoever green-lighted this did not take the time to educate themselves that there are NUMEROUS religious holidays this time of year.
“As written, this email is clearly discriminatory toward homeowners who belong to a variety of religious affiliations,” she wrote, adding:
“Never in the history of the community has the HOA had the audacity to send an email like this to homeowners. I am not anti-HOA but I’m saddened to think that our paid management company would not vet this issue more thoroughly before sending a mass email to our community.”
Stating “our HOA is a grinch,” Brusik Koestler got on social media to tell her neighbors some people were told to take down their holiday decorations “while only a few streets away, another family/home is celebrated for their display.”
“I understand neighbors not wanting decorations up months in advance and weeks after the holidays, but a lot of people start decorating mid-November because it takes a lot of time and energy,” she added.
Another resident said, “That’s crazy” while still another remarked, “That’s All White Tuke for you.”
Galen Schliem, president of the Foothills Reserve HOA board said his board had nothing to do with the warning.
“The Foothills Reserve Master Association didn’t send out the offending notice about Christmas decorations,” Schliem said. “We have two neighborhoods in the Foothills Reserve, Sunrise and Summit, that have a sub-association. Their management company put out the notice if I’ve heard correctly. The master association has no control over this issue.”
Jason Carter, Trestle community manager, said, “The email sent to all homeowners on Friday was a friendly reminder and not an enforcement action.”
The HOA’s rules state, “Holiday decorative items, such as seasonal lighting, statuary, inflatables and holiday flags, do not require prior written approval” from the association’s architectural committee as long as they are not disruptive and are up no sooner than 30 days before a holiday and no longer than 14 days after it.
Homeowners can seek a variance from the rules, but there is a review process they have to go through, he said.
Carter also said the rule was enacted by the Foothills Reserve Master HOA and that Trestle and others are researching what can be done to change the rule.
“However, it may be that changes can only be effected through the master owners association and not the sub-association,” Carter said.