Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Landscape Issues and water

Bill: I don't think the problem is with Keystone. In fact, as far as I know there is no longer a Keystone employee managing the Landscape contractors. Mitz who used to do it was terminated. I believe the current CZ Board outsourced this task to a Consultant. I don't have the numbers with me on the road this week; but if I recall correctly as of October YTD about $77,000 was paid to this Consultant. And, Richard Liggitt used to focus on Landscaping. With him gone; not sure who is running the show. Ultimately, the buck must stops with the CZ Board. Board Members are responsible for making sure that all functions of the Association are managed properly presumably through our suppliers. It is a big job which is the reason we divided up functions when I served on the Board. Can't remember which; but either Karen or Jan owned the Landscapers when I was on the Board. Ownership of functions brings focus. It worked pretty well.
WHERE DID THIS PLAN GO WRONG?? LOOKS LIKE QUITE A CHANGE WHEN THE EXISTING BOARD CAME IN.Specific to Coto de Caza Concerned Citizens, we will issue a Call For Candidates in January in preparation for Board Elections in May. I would like to get the CZ Master Audit completed as well in January to issue to the community. We have to get the facts out there so everyone can see the big picture. The numbers do not look good. Regards, Joe Morabito
-----Original Message-----
From: William A. Gast [mailto:editor@wesupportthevets.com]
Sent: Tuesday, December 14, 2004 4:32 PM
Coto de Caza Homeowners association.
ToSubject: Re: [COTO] The Current CZ Board Needs to Work The Plan If Only Th ey Had One

I feel this needs to be injected here because of the subjects and issues involved with my personal experience recently. Working with Keystone getting landscape problems resolved of is like herding cats. I contacted and started working with Keystone ( We do not need to use names here) eight months ago. This was contact by email, phone and personal contact to get plants replaced in the hedge between Coto drive and association property. A truck made a spill there years back and the area slope plants and hedge has never survived. Keystone sent out a soils engineer and made tests. Three months later I was contacted that plants were ordered and would be replaced. Five months after initial contact I again started the email and phone calls. No action. Two months ago a landscape crew replaced two plants about ten inches tall/ ( The hedgeline is over three feet and plays a part in cushioning the traffic noise from Coto Drive) and they lasted about three weeks before dying. We now have thirty five foot open area with dead plants and a bare slope as a result of eight months of working diligently with Keystone. If that is not mismanagement I need a new definition of the term. What Joe is saying in part is, that situations like this should be put in a file at Keystone and when the contract is renegotiated with landscaping, it is reviewed. It has been stated several times but to no avail that Coto is just too large a property for Keystone. This community should be split between the north and south residences and two property management companies assigned and the responsibilities divided. That is another subject and issue but one that will reoccur I'm confident in the not so distant future. In respect to the fuel modification changes, at one time, CZ Master was very strict on the use of any plants not indigenous to the canyon. Then, In 1996 J.M. Peters built the Canyon Estates and used palms in every one of the models. The board did nothing to my knowledge and so now we have palms,Cypress,Willow and even avocado trees in front yards. ( Once "the Camel's nose is inside the tent".....)
How to correct this?Delegates elect the BOD. Delegates do not show up at BOD meetings and are not even close to these issues. ( Count the signatures on any sign-in sheet and see how many are Delegates)To be a Delegate is more of a popularity contest than a community dedication. Joe's "concerned citizens" need to start now interviewing and educating a select number of residents that share these concerns and will run for Delegates in their respective areas. This is the most expedient avenue to change. I remember not so many years back---- and many that read this forum will also-- a gathering of dedicated residents meeting in a garage and starting a mail campaign. It snowballed into a movement that kept this community moving in the direction that has resulted in continued growth, not stagnation. These are the kinds of actions that will bring change and correct these problems. the only problem is, Coto no longer seems to be comprised of residents that care what goes on down the street or beyond their doorstep. I remember the prophetic words of John Zarian in an article in the OC Register following the school issue. John gave the interviewer a running account of both sides position in the school within the gates of Coto and concluded with " Eventually, the residents of Coto will get what they deserve ."
I didn't really understand what that meant at the time. It certainly has a new meaning today.
Bill Gast

Coto de Caza Homeowners association


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