Greetings from our President
Welcome to the 2017 Arcadia Highlands Home Owners Association emailed newsletter.
This is a new method of communication with our members which we hope will provide timely information on our activities and keep our members up to date on what’s happening in the Highlands. Our association is an affiliation of like-minded people interested in maintaining a high level of quality of the neighborhood where they live, raise their children and retire.
Our association welcomes your participation. Being the largest HOA in the City of Arcadia, we are made up of many people-- some active directors, some past presidents and directors and many just interested neighbors--all volunteering their time, talents and efforts to maintain and grow an association that represents the members on behalf of the community and with the City of Arcadia.
You, the members, make up the association and your input is vital to our mission. We welcome your attendance at our board meetings, your participation in our efforts to work with the City and community groups and your talents and time to make us a better association. Thank you for your involvement and for allowing us to work on your behalf to maintain the Highlands as a special place to live.
Home sales activity in the Highlands
Since the first of the year through mid May, there were 14 homes sold and 12 active but not yet sold. Average price for the 14 homes sold was $1.74 million. Average price for the ones not sold was $2.92 million. Average square footage for the homes that sold was 2,962. Average square footage for those not sold was 4,180. For those homes that were sold, the average time on market was 47 days.
For the same period in 2016, there were 10 sales and the average price was $1.62 million.
There have been bear sightings recently and one recently killed a dog in La Verne. To keep them away from your home, keep your yard clean and pick ripe fruit off your trees. Collect fallen fruit quickly. Bears especially like to eat avocados. It’s also a good idea to put trash cans out the morning of collection day, not the day before.
Living in the foothills as we do, we are bound to have close encounters with coyotes. During the last five years of drought they have been reproducing in our neighborhood. Our smaller pets have often become their food source. We cannot expect them to leave. What should we do? Don't make your property comfortable for them. Do not leave pet food outside. Check the back section of your property for dens. Don't ever feed them. Keep your pets inside at night. Small animals are particularly vulnerable. If you see an injured or sick coyote or pet call the Pasadena Humane Society at 626/792-7151.
On May 23 our association hosted a meeting at City Hall to learn how to be safe and live peaceably with our wildlife. All five of the City’s HOA’s were invited. Pasadena Humane representatives gave a presentation and answered questions. For more information, visit the City’s website.
Oak Tree Care
The Highlands is known for its beautiful oak trees. Odds are, you probably have at least one oak tree on your property. Some of the oldest oaks in The Highlands are over 100 years old! To help protect oak trees, do not disturb the ground around the root zone with digging, concrete or asphalt and do not install plants under the trees that require frequent watering. Oaks do not like water.
To save water install more drought resistant plants such as aloe, Rooikappie (Little Red Riding Hood which blooms all year around) and the Matilija poppy which smells better than roses and needs water only once a week.
Crime in the Highlands
If you live in the Highlands, you probably know there has been an increase in crime. Below is a summary obtained from the police department:
In general, over the past few months the Highlands has shown up infrequently in APD’s weekly reports. However, there were three reports of burglary in a single week (April 16-22). In all three cases, burglars smashed a glass window or door to enter and then ransacked the home.
However, we are confident that with increasing close cooperation with the City and especially our Police Department, as well as with expansion of our Neighborhood Watch program, we will see a favorable trend develop in the time ahead. More home owners installing quality home alarm systems will definitely also support these actions.
Neighborhood Watch Report
Our HOA supports community involvement and safety through the Neighborhood Watch program. Neighborhood Watch calls upon residents to step forward and assist the police in building safer, crime-free neighborhoods. A typical watch area covers 10-15 homes on each side of a street and is designated by blue and white signs posted at each end. Watch areas are coordinated by a block captain who is in contact with the neighbors. We currently have 13 active block captains and need more volunteers to have complete coverage.
Neighborhood Watch’s motto is “See Something, Say Something”. Please report any suspicious activity to the Arcadia Police Department at (626) 574-5123. There is no such thing as a false alarm--the police want to hear from you.
Tell your neighbors when you will be away on vacation and inform the Police Department at the number above.
There are so many things to do and see in Arcadia. Visit the beautiful Botanic Gardens at the Arboretum, check out the Arcadia Public Library and stop in at the Gilb Museum. Attend concerts in the Arcadia Park, the Arboretum and the Performing Arts Center at Arcadia High School. Spend a day at the Santa Anita Race Track. Have breakfast at its Clocker’s Corner. Attend a concert at the Hollywood Bowl--get there on the shuttle that leaves from Arcadia Park!
Last October the City of Arcadia secured the coveted AAA bond rating from Standard & Poor’s with the outlook for the City as “stable”. The rating increase from AA+ to the highest rating of AAA was a reflection of Arcadia’s strong economy, budgetary performance and liquidity.
The Arcadia Unified School District schools rank in the top 4% of all California school
districts & student test scores are well above the California standard for excellence.
As you know, this has a positive impact on property values in the Highlands.
ABOUT YOUR HOA
Arcadia Highlands Home Owners Association
We are a non-profit organization of neighbors in the Highlands. Our goal is to serve
and protect the interests of our members, preserve the value of their property and
the attractiveness of living in this community. We provide another opportunity to get
to know your neighbors and be an active part of the community. Our goal is to
continue to expand our paid membership and to make the association as effective
and well regarded as possible.
At the beginning of this year we had 161 paid members. As a result of effective email messages earlier this year and knocking on a great many doors by dedicated member volunteers, we are now up to 275, an impressive 71% increase! This was accomplished even with the high turnover of homes over the last two years.
Our ARB mission is to preserve the quality and beauty of the neighborhood by requiring design that is harmonious and compatible. All properties in the Arcadia Highlands, as specified by the City of Arcadia's Resolution 6770, are under the jurisdiction of our HOA.
Approved ARB activity so far in 2017 includes one new build, five roofs, five window replacements, three remodels/additions and three landscaping projects.
By now you should have received the emailed INVITATION for our picnic at Wilderness Park on Sunday, July 9th from 5 to 8 PM. This is a great chance to get to know your neighbors. We have invited the City Council Members and all five will be attending. It's a good opportunity to show them the strength of our association and the involvement of our members. No speeches, just a fun time is planned. Please send your rsvp and check as soon as possible. We hope to see you there!
Our main operating bank account has a current balance of $15,724.69, compared to a balance of $15,988.07 at the year’s beginning. Expenses in 2017 to date include the upcoming picnic, the renovation of our “Welcome to the Highlands” sign on Santa Anita, the printing of flyers, postage and our new website.
Notice of Annual Meeting
The notice of our annual meeting will be mailed to you on July 15. Included will be
instructions on how to nominate a candidate for election to our Board of Directors.
Our nominating committee will carefully consider each submission.
Nominations must be received no later than August 15.
Our annual printed newsletter will be mailed to you on September 18. Please be on
the look-out for it. It will have lots of information on what your association has been
doing in 2017 and our plans for 2018.
The ballot for the election of our 2018 Board of Directors will be mailed to you on
September 22. It will include directions for voting and space for write-in candidates.
Please mark your selections and return your ballot to us no later than October 24.
Our annual meeting will be on October 26 at 7 pm in the Multi-Purpose Room at
Highland Oaks Elementary School, 10 Virginia Road, Arcadia.
At the meeting, election results for our 2018 Board of Directors will be announced.
Everyone attending the annual meeting will receive a free ticket for prizes to be
given throughout the evening. We hope you will attend--it’s a great way to stay
informed and meet your neighbors.