In order to prevent further damage to unit interiors, The Board decided to have all of our drains checked for blockages. We found a major root intrusion into the Orangeburg pipes under the wall between Units #8 and #19. The compromised section of pipe was replaced allowing for proper drainage into the city system.
Further snaking and underground camera investigation is being done to determine the extent of the root-intrusion problem throughout the property.
We recently had our Greenbelt trees, along Palmetto Avenue on the south side of our property trimmed. This prudent action taken every year in the early spring maintains the health of our beautiful Cocculus, Acacia, Privets, Ficus and Pittosporum specimen trees in that area.
The purpose of this letter is to give you a status report on plans to renovate and repair our property and to request that you approve a special assessment to fund this work.
Eight years ago the board commissioned a Reserve Study to determine the capital repairs and improvements needed to maintain our property and the status of our reserves on hand. At that time the report highlighted three major projects that needed to be done in the short term: waterproofing, exterior painting and roof repair. The roof repair was done and paid from our reserves at the time. The other projects were deferred.
In the interim we experienced a termite infestation which required us to spend $55,000 on pest control. A special assessment of $2,500 per unit was proposed and approved. Other than that unanticipated expense we have managed nicely on our regular monthly HOA fee of $900 per unit however the time has come to pay attention to the things we have been putting off.
First, waterproofing. Our main floor is leaking badly with resulting water damaging the ceilings and walls in the east garage. More importantly, the water problem is degrading our walls, floors and ceilings throughout the property. If we allow this to continue unabated, we are in for a much bigger problem in the years ahead.
The good news is that fixing the problem will result in a beautiful improvement to our property. All the unsightly cracks in the walkways will be gone. Storm drains and gutters will be repaired and re-directed so they do not discolor the pavement. All the planters that are not on grade will be dug up, drains re-drilled, sealant applied for waterproofing and then replanted. The result will be a huge improvement both structurally and visually. The contractor we have tentatively selected has more than 50-years experience in and around Pasadena. We have checked his references and are confident he will do an excellent job. He is fully bonded, uses regular employees, not day labor, and guarantees his work.
Secondly, Ardmore House needs to be painted. We have not painted in over a decade and it shows. The color is faded and the touch ups we’ve done are a bandaid. We looked at other buildings on Orange Grove and around Pasadena and found a color scheme that is close to what we have now with a little more pizzaz. Joe’s experience as a painter has been extremely helpful in this project both in color selection and in choosing the contractor. When completed Ardmore House will once again be one of the best looking buildings on the street.
Lastly, our three elevators are old and unreliable. Perhaps more importantly, they do not meet code. We have started on elevator #3 at the Bellevue entrance. This project is being funded out of current reserves, however there are not funds available to do the other two without a special assessment.
In total, these three projects cost $525,000. To assure that our assumptions are correct, last month we commissioned a new Reserve Study. The Executive Summary of that study is attached and fully supports the need for a special assessment in the amount of $12,500.
According to our Association CC&R’s, a special assessment must be approved by a majority of the owners voting. Assuming this passes, we have created an optional payment plan enabling you to pay 1/3 now with the remainder spread over 2016 and 2017. A schedule showing different payment options is attached. Please make your choice and include it when you return your ballot.
We have scheduled a special meeting on May 19th at 5:30 at the Cushman’s Unit (#23) to discuss this and answer any questions you may have. The discussion will be followed by voting supervised by an outside proctor. You may vote now by returning your ballot to Muggee Management in the envelope provided or you may wait until the meeting and cast your vote there after the Q&A session. We hope you will attend the meeting to learn more and share camaraderie with your neighbors. The meeting will be held at 6:00 p.m. at the pool with drinks and snacks provided. We will tally the votes at 6:45.
On behalf of the entire board, we want to thank you for your commitment to making Ardmore House a place we can be proud of and enhances the investment we’ve made in our homes.
The Elevator Modernization project is underway. Starting with Elevator # 3, which is located in the Bellevue Building, we will be upgrading all three of our elevators to current safety and legal requirements. Due to the age of the existing system, parts are no longer being manufactured and it is difficult to continue safely maintaining them. Parts will be kept for use on the remaining elevators until we complete the other two.
When its’ finished, we will essentially have a brand new elevator inside and out. The interior cab will feature all new carpets, panels and lighting! Additionally, all the ADA compliance systems will be included, such as the new automatic one-touch emergency call button. More information forthcoming…