Landscape Policy Overview

This article is written in an effort to let residents know how landscape issues are handled and decisions made. We hope this helps in clarifying our goals and in understanding how landscape decisions are made.

To begin, our landscape is one of the main attractive features of our complex. We are one of the few, if not only, community in the area that can truly claim to be a park-like setting. Having an attractive landscape beautifies South Park and as such, helps our property values.

Of course, maintaining our landscape does cost money. Landscape accounts for about 10% of our total budget, only water and cable take a larger portion of our budget. And, landscape greatly affects our water usage. Certainly, one goal is to keep our property looking attractive. When making landscape decisions, safety is our first priority, followed by cost and the long term health and maintenance of our trees and plants. Because landscaping is such a large portion of our budget, controlling cost is important. When trees or plants are selected, we must consider not only the initial planting, but how to care for it - whether it require a lot of water, special care or extra maintenance. Even the amount of clean up, such as dealing with weeds or dropping seeds, is considered. Like people, trees and other plants have an expected lifespan. We do not want things that would have to be replaced frequently because this would increase our costs.

Certainly when a tree limb appears to be in danger of falling, we will do what is necessary - usually removal of the limb. Trees and bushes are trimmed on an, 'as needed' basis. For example, we trim bushes when they grow large enough to hinder someone pulling a car into their garage. Once each year we go through the entire complex and do major tree trimming with the main goals of safety, building clearance and clearance for vehicles. But as much as possible, we try to allow our trees and plants to grow naturally.

As stated, the landscaping we have and what we plant going forward affects our water usage. This past summer we started replacing some areas with new grass. The new grass is easier to maintain, will look better once it fully matures and, very importantly, will require less water. In the coming years, more grass will be replaced. As we replace landscaping, water requirements will be a consideration.

We are fortunate to have one of the few licensed arborists in the area as our landscaper. Once a month, the Landscape Committee meets with this arborist and we walk through the complex to look at any issues that have been raised by residents as well as look for potential problems. When issues arise, a decision can typically be made quickly and the work done in short order. In some cases additional research is done and then the issue is brought to the next homeowners meeting for a resolution or decision.

The landscapers are not allowed to take direction from individual homeowners. It would not be fair to the landscapers to have them taking direction from 275 different homeowners and since different people like different things, there would be a lot of confusion and inconsistent care given to the landscape. By having a single point of contact with the landscapers we are able to have a fair, consistent policy and to control costs.

If you have an issue that you would like addressed, it's best to send an email to either or both:

      landscape@southparkhoa.org

      rwert@communitymanagement.com

Please include a detailed description of the issue and include your address or the location of the issue. The Landscape Committee will take up your issue at the next walk through.

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