By LYNETTE HAALAND , Four Points News
In May, the Steiner Ranch Master Association board voted to add some $30,000 worth of landscaping on Quinlan Park Road along Sierra Vista near River Ridge Elementary. But this has raised questions among some Steiner residents because it uses general funds rather than funds from Sierra Vista. Longtime homeowner Jannine Farnum spoke up at the most recent HOA meeting about it and came to the meeting armed with the results of an unofficial survey she conducted.
Farnum launched the independent survey in late September on a public Facebook post and in an email blast for “information gathering purposes only”. Results showed that most of the 100 individuals who took the survey were against SRMA paying for the new landscaping. A large majority also said that this sets a precedent for future such requests.
Farnum said she worded the survey in a straightforward manner and was not trying to reach a specific outcome. The online survey had a disclaimer spelling out that it was not distributed by the HOA or have any ties to the HOA.
The survey by SurveyMonkey was entitled “Sierra Vista Plantings along Quinlan” and was capped at 100 responses.
The survey stated “The board voted in May to spend $30,000 to plant screening plants behind some homes in Sierra Vista. They spent SRMA money to do so, not Sierra Vista funds. Sierra Vista has their own funds because they are a gated community and all Steiner gated communities have their own funds to do repairs and such behind the gates on private roads.”
The survey questions and responses are as follows:
1) Who should pay for the Sierra Vista Plantings?
Survey results showed 48 percent said Sierra Vista should pay, 37 percent indicated individual homeowners who want the plants should pay, 7 percent said SRMA should pay for this, and 8 percent said homeowners should not be allowed to plant behind their fences at all.
2) Do you believe this set a precedent by the Board? i.e. if they do this for one neighborhood, section or small group of homeowners should it be done for others as well?
A large 88 percent said yes, this sets a precedent, while 12 percent said no, it does not.
3) Have you put in a similar request for screening material and been denied? i.e. asked to plant behind your fence or asked for SRMA to plant behind your fence to screen your property?
The majority, or 90 percent, of those surveyed said they have not asked for such things from SRMA.
4) I don’t care how SRMA money is spent.
Survey results indicate that nearly 91 percent said no. In other words, a large majority of the survey takers said they care about how SRMA money is spent and 9 percent do not.
SRMA meeting feedback
At the Sept. 25 SRMA board meeting, Farnum spoke during the homeowner forum. She gave handouts with information for the board to review. Prior to the board meeting, she had emailed the board about the matter but in order for her concerns to be recorded in the official records, she needed to speak up at the board meeting.
She stated that the majority of Sierra Vista homeowners that face Quinlan Park Road bought after 2009 when River Ridge Elementary opened. She did her research. The neighborhood itself opened before that.
“So all but one homeowner bought their house with the school behind it already,” Farnum told the board.
She added that the majority of the homes back up to Quinlan Park Road. “Quinlan wasn’t a surprise to anyone, it has been around since before Steiner became a neighborhood,” Farnum said.
“The Master Association should not be paying for plantings, should not be paying for a handful of homeowners (to have plantings),” Farnum told the SRMA board.
Members of the SRMA board stated that the area that received plantings is a common area, not behind one house, and that it is part of the beautification plan. SRMA said that a professional gave suggestions on what to plant and where.
SRMA board members, of which one member lives in the Sierra Vista section, said that they have heard from some in the gated community that there were some drainage issues, and that Sierra Vista residents wanted a buffer from noise and for privacy.
The subject has been brought up during several SRMA board meetings since early 2018. In May, the board voted on the $30,000 plantings.