View Full Version : Arizona green space question

April 08, 2004, 15:05
All the Arizona members here, I have a question about "green spaces" in a subdivision in Mesa. My mom bought a new house last year. It is adjacent to a green space with a draw and creek in it. Now when she was looking at the lot the realtors told her (I was with her) that the green space was not for trails but to allow wildlife a lane to pass through the area. They even built a fence to keep all the motorcycles and quads out. It is full of round tail squirrels, Gambel's quail, humming birds, other species of bird (including the occational ducks), lizards, and coyotes(the legal kind) Well yesterday she gets a note from the home owners association that they will be building a concrete trail along the creek and today they are out here cutting down all the bushes and short trees. Any suggestions on who to contact about this? The reason she bought this house was for the green space with the assurance that no trails where to be put in by the subdivision realtors (Continental Homes). Should we contact the builder, home owners assoc., the city?????

April 08, 2004, 16:06
sounds like they lied to you both

John Culver
April 08, 2004, 16:10
If it wasnt in writing there isnt much you can do.

Always get it in writing. Talk is cheap.

April 08, 2004, 16:45
It seems to me that there should have been some kind of disclosure by the builder before signing a contract, that there would eventually be a path build thru the green belt. She may need to get a lawyer who specializes in property rights to handle a case for her.


Sword of Laban
April 08, 2004, 17:40
Call the freaks, sorry fellows, ok freaks over at the Sierra Club. They will send over a bunch of back to earthers who will crap all over the place and pollute the stream but they will probably stop the construction though they may accidentally start fire to the place or find an obscure beetle that will allow the government to declare the entire area endangered creature habitat, forcing you to move out of your home to protect the delicate ecosystem. 415-977-5500 you make your call you take your chances.

April 09, 2004, 07:27

Call the City of Mesa and talk to the City planning department. The subdivision plat or City ordinances may have limitations on what can be done in "Green Space" areas. Trails would not be unusual through a green or open space area, as they were probably established as part of the "enhancement" of the subdivision for the benefit of the home owners. The Home Owners Association may have ammended the subdivision plat to allow the change. We're you given any notice of pending changes by the HOA? The City should know what's going on due to permitting for the trail or could tell you if it is a "permitted use" within the green space. If not, they should be made aware of what's going on!

Also, check the subdivision CCR's (Covenents, Condtitions, and Restrictions) that came with your Mom's lot purchase. They tell you what you can and can't do with her property (what areas are for the community use, what colors are acceptable, if you can park on the street, where you can put your trash can, if out-buildings are ok, etc.) CCR's can be really anal in some neighborhoods. If she didn't get a copy, they are recorded documents that, depending on how web friendly the City/County is, can be researced on line or you can get a copy at the Recorders Office. Got to watch those CCR's as they can really limit what you can do on your own property!

If you have a copy of the subdivision plat, it may show a trail easement right were they are putting the new trail. If there is a "platted" easement, then that's where the trail goes.

I'm a civil engineer in northern Arizona and have been dealing with this type of stuff for over 24 years. You just never know what your buying into until you have read the CCR's, looked at the subdivision plat, and/or talked to the City about the property and allowed uses under your zoning.

Rchard in Prescott

Da Nerd
April 09, 2004, 07:40
Don't you just love homeowners associations??

April 09, 2004, 09:29
Originally posted by Da Nerd
Don't you just love homeowners associations??

I am currently at war with my wife on that subject. She wants a new home, they normally go hand in hand with a homeowners association. I will not buy a home connected with a homeowners association. The trenches have been dug sort of speak.:eek: :wink:

Da Nerd
April 09, 2004, 10:29
My sister in florida wanted to put some flat paver bricks in a small circle so they could put a couple chairs there to watch across the lake in front of their house.
HOA said NO.....when I pay a quarter of a million dollars for a house, I better damn well be able to do what i want ....

April 09, 2004, 11:30
Sadly, here in AZ, the HOA's are out of control. There's really not alot homeowners can do about it either. A couple we are friends with bought a home in a similar situation, with a large grassy area behind them. THey used to take their dog there to play. It was one of the selling points of building on that lot. 2 years into the development's existance, the HOA decided grass was too costly to maintain, and so they cleared the whole area and put in rock. Needless to say, my friends weren't happy about it, but even trying to fight it didn't help. They were basically told they had no rights, the HOA was the decision maker and had all authority. Funny that a HOA can "decide", in all of their infinate wisdom, to make a change to the community that LOWERS the surrounding home values......

AZ is screwey like that....


April 09, 2004, 14:12
Bukaluka, thanks for the suggestions.

I hate HOA's. Last year in Houston one tried to evict an old widow for not paying her dues for a year, less than a $1000. :mad:

Problem is that without them you get cars on bricks in every other house. But they have started to go to far.

April 10, 2004, 07:53
Originally posted by donker

Problem is that without them you get cars on bricks in every other house. But they have started to go to far.

I got no problem with that as long as they are decent people, who will knock the shit out of their deadbeat kids.:eek:

April 10, 2004, 23:16
It sounds to me like it's common area in an HOA, and if it is, and it's approved by the zoning commission, it's legal.

Also, I've never heard of a "green" area dedicated to wildlife migration. They're usually wash areas, and are basically dry streams, even if the area surrounding them doesn't look like a stream.

They're fun to watch during a wild storm.

April 13, 2004, 20:35
This has a running creek/stream (in Texas we'd call it a "crick") in it, not a dry wash. As I understand it (from the news) your not allowed to build within a certain distance from free flowing water. Plus with all the wild animal problems of the recent years here in AZ builders are incorprating zones (maybe required, I remember a story in the news about a year ago talking about this problem) for wildlife to pass through and not have to climb into backyards.

Seems my mom was not the only one not informed of this little project. Several of the other neighbors are up in a stink about this. Nobody was informed of this prior to it being announced that contruction would soon begin. They paid lot premiums for these green space lots and the builder put about 2/3 brick fences and 1/3 iron fences so people could watch out for the view. Now if they build this we get to watch a park with no privacy in the backyards. Any booger maker could walk up and look into the homes.