Surveying HOA Members 2018-10-05

The HOA board is asking all members of the HOA what course they feel should be taken with regard to the ambiguity around Plat J’s membership in the HOA. To that end, a document in PDF format has been created with the various positions, advantages, and drawbacks to the possible courses available. Every homeowner is asked to sign and return (e-mail, physical mail, in-person) their copy so results can be tallied.  The document is attached to this post in case it has been lost in regular or electronic mail.


East Mountain HOA Request for Feedback 10-1-18

HOA Basketball Court Update 2017-03-14

In case you have not seen the basketball court recently, a couple of changes have been made. In addition to graffiti removed courtesy of some of the local youth, the backboards are now replaced with metal replacements that we hope will last much longer than the glass ones which were there before. When deciding between the glass type again, which had been touted as indestructible, and the metal ones which at least should not shatter, the latter option was chosen primarily for safety and durability. The basketball court area is one about which the board regularly received questions after the previous backboards were broken, and which was identified as needing regular maintenance and repair in the reserve study, so it was given priority for repair, a task which was completed in 2016.

Thank-you to those who provided feedback and helped move this task forward.

South and West HOA Fence/Wall FAQ

Welcome to the HOA, and the FAQ on the fence that borders the HOA on the south and west sides.  Questions about how to deal with the wall have been around for a long time, and the issue has been a focus of the various HOA boards for well over a decade.  At meetings over the years several questions and options have been brought up and sought by members of the HOA.  In order to do things legally, the various alternatives were sent to a lawyer to verify their legality.  Combining those, plus other questions that have come up, has resulted in the following FAQ.

Q.  I heard some people in the neighborhood talking about the “HOA wall” or “HOA fence”.  What is this thing, and how does it impact me?
A.  References to the wall or fence usually refer to the large wall that surrounds the part of the HOA along State Street on the west and south sides.  It was installed by the developer at the creation of the HOA a couple decades ago and has been falling apart since then due to a poor design and/or implementation in its creation.

Q.  Who owns the fence/wall?  I noticed it appears to be along some of the HOA members’ properties.
A.  The wall is technically commons area as defined by the CC&Rs and plat maps.  There are twelve homes built along the wall, so for those members of the HOA the wall also serves as their fence between back yards and something outside the HOA, mostly State Street beyond the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT)-owned hill, but also Yale Ave. and the wrecking yard on the south end for those who live on Texas Ave.

Q.  Why does the HOA own the fence/wall if it is along the property of a dozen homes and not around the entire HOA?
A.  The CC&Rs that the developer created assigned ownership of the wall, along with other commons areas like the park, basketball court area, and volleyball court area, to the HOA for maintenance.  Section 2.07 of the CC&Rs states that, “Common Areas shall mean those parcels of real property within the Development owned by the Association for the common use, benefit and enjoyment of the Owners such as open spaces, landscaping, entry statements, median landscaping, structural common areas, if any, R.V. parking, jogging paths, and the like, together with all easements appurtenant thereto.”  Further, the wall is part of an area known as “Parcel A”, which is defined per “Plat A” (along with parcels B and C) as being “Common Areas to be owned and maintained” by the HOA.

Q.  What does the HOA need to do with the fence/wall since the HOA owns it and it is officially a “Common Area”?
A.  Section 11.01 (c) of the association’s Bylaws states that, “The Association shall maintain, repair, replace and landscape the Common Areas.”
Q.  I live along the fence/wall, and it is crumbling/leaning/falling/broken/unsightly/bad and I would like it to be fixed.  Will the HOA fix it soon?
A.  The decision about how to best handle the situation is a tough one because of the scope and scale of anything attempted.  Suffice it to say that this is a discussion of every  meeting the board has had for a long time, and continues to be investigated to find the right solution that balances the many parties and factors involved.  The purpose of this FAQ is to help elucidate some of the issues for everybody to review.

Q.  Can the wall be fixed or patched in some economical way?
A.  Patching the exterior of the wall has been done in the past to try to fix the aesthetic problems, but the bigger issues are the fact that the wall is rotting from the inside due to water getting in, and tipping over in places due to trees or dirt pushing on it.

Q.  How does water get inside a stone wall?
A.  The wall has a cement cap which is meant to keep water from getting inside the wall, and that cement cap has broken down in several places.  In case that was not enough, the wall has the consistency (if not makeup) of styrofoam with stucco on it, meaning it is not exactly a marvel of modern engineering.  Because of this, water can get inside and then it does what water does when it gets inside anything and finds a way out, taking bits of the wall with it.

Q.  Can the cement cap be fixed?
A.  Potentially, though it is very expensive, and does not fix other problems contributing to the wall’s deterioration, meaning it would be an expensive temporary solution.  If that kind of money is being spent, it may be better to fix the problem permanently by replacing the wall with something designed and built properly.

Q.  Who built the wall, and can they be forced to fix it?
A.  The original developer of the neighborhood (“East Mountain Development LC”) put in the fence and then made it part of the HOA’s Common Areas; this was done long-enough ago that it is unlikely anything can be coerced.
Q.  How much will it cost to fix the fence/wall?
A.  The HOA received quotes in 2013 and 2015 from various fence companies that were deemed to be reputable, likely to be here to cover warranties in a few decades, and capable of doing both cement as well as vinyl fences for comparison purposes.  The best quotes received were for $95,493 for a vinyl fence, and $148,154 for a precast concrete fence, and included fixing the playground wall as well.  Those are now expired, as well as several years old, so new quotes will probably be higher (the next competing quote for a precast fence was $170,955, and even had a smaller scope of work).  Realistic estimates regarding the cost to take out the current fence, put in a new fence, and repair damage done to the UDOT right-of-way (along State Street) as well as neighbors yards are potentially over $200,000.  A Reserve Study, commissioned by he HOA, estimated the cost of replacing just the wall at somewhere between $162,500 ($25/sq.ft.) and $227,500 ($35/sq.ft.).

Q.  With quotes that were relatively low, why didn’t the HOA fix the fence back in 2013 or 2015?
A.  There are a few issues surrounding the project that keep looming and causing delays.  First, financing is important, and the HOA dues started low, and were not increased for over a decade, even to keep up with inflation, despite a booming economy.  As a result, the HOA does not have the money to pay for a project of this size, though for several years the HOA has been saving to eventually be able to fund this properly.  Financing part of the project is an option, but ideally would rather be avoided.

Second, the project will likely damage property for homeowners along the wall due to the machinery involved, as well as outside the wall which is UDOT right-of-way and must be materially restored to its current look and feel.  Even if damage can somehow be avoided, and even if it is restored, back yards will be left open for a significant period of time (weeks to months) as the project takes out the old fence and replaces it with a new one, causing concerns for children, pets, landscaping, etc.

Q.  What other options have been considered to prevent the need to spend this kind of money on the fence/wall?
A.  The board is open to alternatives, but some of them already investigated follow:
1.  Transfer ownership of the wall to those who live along the wall.  Generally this is unlikely to work because a property transfer would require approval from all members of the HOA, including those who would rather have the wall repaired by the HOA as is required per the CC&Rs.
2.  Replace the wall with something significantly different, meaning cheaper.  This is likely against the terms of the CC&Rs as stated in Section 9.02: “The Common Areas shall remain substantially of the same character, type and configuration as when such Common Areas became part of the Development.”  This means the HOA has a duty to keep the wall as a wall or fence of some sort, and also has a duty to keep it from crumbling.
3.  Let each owner living along the wall knock down their section and put in what they want.  The fence is HOA property (“Common Area”), so, until that changes, somebody causing damage to the property would be both a criminal, as well as subject to fines or repair costs which the HOA would send to the perpetrator per the CC&Rs.
4.  Assess those living along the wall for one twelfth the cost of the fence, since it is along their property anyway..  While this could be something asked of those living there, and is easy to propose by those who do not live along the fence and would not suddenly have a $20,000 expense given to them, it is against the CC&Rs to assess some members differently from others except in very special circumstances that do not apply.
Q.  I do not live along the fence/wall, so while its crumbling/falling nature does not impact me, my family, my pets, or my property as much as others, I am still interested in the outcome of this issue, if only because my HOA dues are involved.
A.  This is the general situation of most (90%) of the HOA members.  As all of us have agreed to abide by the CC&Rs, we all work toward common goals such as how to fix the fence/wall which are within the scope of the CC&Rs.  Ultimately the problem with the fence/wall is one the HOA must handle as a whole, and while that means some of us may pay dues for a project that seems to benefit others more than us, it also means the opposite is true in our favor when it comes to other projects; e.g. those who use the playground benefit from that more than those who do not; those who use the basketball or volleyball courts benefit more than those who do not; those who live near other Common Areas maintained by the HOA benefit from those more than others who do not.

Commercial-to-Condominiums Zoning Request Change 2016-10-19

Those within a certain distance of the State Street address mentioned below probably received this postcard today. If you have input regarding the request to rezone the commercial property to accommodate a new development of condominiums, please comment here so the Board understands the opinions of the HOA membership, and also contact the city at the phone number below, and best yet, attending the meeting in person at the date and time shown.

Provo City Public Hearing Notice
Planning Commission Hearing
Wednesday, 2016-10-26 @ 17:30 (5:30 p.m.)
351 W. Center Street, Provo, UT

Dave Morley, representing East Mountain Commercial, requests final approval for a Condominium Conversion of an existing 0.85 acre property, located at approximately 2335 South State Street, in the SC-1 Zone. Provost South Neighborhood. 16-0001CC, Dustin Wright, 801-852-6414

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q.  What are CC&Rs, or the “Declaration”?
A.  The “Declaration of Easements, Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions of East Mountain, A Planned Unit Development (Expandable), Provo, Utah County, Utah” (CC&Rs) is the governing document agreed-to by all property owners within the Home Owners Association (HOA) when the title was transferred to that property owner, or their agent (mortgage holder, etc.), and to which the owner agreed by so-signing.  In other words, the rules that govern the HOA’s developer, Board, and members.  The entirety of the document can be found in the documents from the “closing” on the property, or on the HOA website as a PDF file.  Created by the original developer of the neighborhood in 1994, the CC&Rs are tied to the properties (“lots”), and transfer with those properties as they change hands from owner to owner.

Q.  I have never read, and probably never even seen these CC&Rs even though I own the property within the HOA, so I do not think they apply.  Am I right?
A.  No, if your property is within the HOA, or ever was, then it is bound by the HOA’s CC&Rs which are tied to the lots.  If your Title company did not inform you of the HOA and CC&Rs and have you sign them, then you should talk to them about that.  See section 10.01 (“Membership”) of the CC&Rs which define membership in the HOA per lot.  See also section 13.09 (“Covenants to Run with Land”) for more on the tie between HOA and the lot.

Q.  I bought the property within the HOA, but now I am being told what to do with it in some way.  Why are you telling me what to do?
A.  When a lot in the HOA is purchased, part of the job of the Title company is to ensure that all of the legal documentation, including any applicable HOA documents, are signed, fees paid, etc.  One of those documents was the HOA’s CC&Rs, which bind the property to the covenants of the HOA.

Q.  When is the RV parking, cable TV, set of walking trails, exercise stations, or other amenity coming?
A.  There has been a rumor going around about RV parking, cable TV, and some less-oft cited amenities for years.  Unfortunately, while the original developer who setup the HOA may have said those were would be provided, the HOA itself was never setup to provide those, and there is not currently land for things requiring more land, like an RV parking area.  If money to acquire land can be raised, and if the land can be re-zoned appropriately, and if the HOA membership would like it, then amenities can be investigated, though unless the developer wants to come back and donate the land, this is not very likely.

Q.  Why does the Board pick on me but not on the person down the road who clearly violates the same or other rules?  Why did I get a letter when other people’s yards look worse than mine?
A.  Chances are that the HOA Board, or its contracted management company, is also talking to them, sending them letters, imposing fines, and otherwise doing as the CC&Rs require for non-compliance.  As a rule, the Board will not share details about others with you, or you with them, though you are welcome to talk to your neighbor directly about potential violations, or to e-mail the Board about the same.  Inspections are performed during summer months by our contracted management company so the board members do not inspect the whole neighborhood.  We occasionally receive complaints about egregious problems and do act on those.  These letters are not meant to be attacks or punishments, but are to encourage everyone to take the best care of their yards and to increase the value of all of our properties.

Q.  I want to reserve the gazebo/playground/etc. for some special event.  Can I do that?
A.  Not really, but if you get there early, you’ll probably be fine.  The commons areas are for everybody, and unless you’re having a really big gathering should probably be able to accommodate everybody.

Q.  I want to landscape my yard, or make my roof bright pink, or add a HAM radio antenna that will make the Eiffel tower look like a toy.  Who should I contact?
A.  E-mail the Board, and per the CC&Rs the landscaping committee will review your plans and let you know whether or not the change is approved.  Since the purpose of the HOA is to preserve value of the neighborhood by preventing unsightly changes, a substitute Eiffel Tower is unlikely to be approved, even if you can get Provo City to allow it.  All submissions are responded-to with thirty (30) days or, per the CC&Rs, automatically approved.  In general submitting plans at all is a good sign to the Board that you are serious about your improvement and reflects well from the start.

Q.  I want to change my house/yard/landscaping and heard that HOAs can be a problem.  What should I do?
A.  The purpose of any HOA is to help increase the desirability of the association’s members’ properties by ensuring a common standard throughout the HOA’s properties.  As a result, an HOA’s CC&Rs will often block certain changes, or require approval for changes.  The HOA’s CC&Rs, in Article seven (VII, 7), setup the ‘Architectural Control Committee’ (ACC) with the purpose to, “ensure that all improvements and landscaping within the Development harmonize with existing surroundings and structures.”  If there is no separate committee, the Board performs this duty.  The CC&Rs in section 7.02 state, “No residential improvement, accessory of or addition thereto, shall be constructed or maintained, and no alteration, repainting, or refurbishing of the exterior of any such improvement, accessories or additions shall be performed, unless complete plans and specifications therefor have first been submitted to and approved by the Committee.”  In other words, if you are changing your property in a way visible from the street, or in your back yard, submit some kind of plans to the committee.  The best reason to do this is to have the committee let you know if you are doing something that is prohibited by the CC&Rs, such as putting in a chain link fence, as doing so will just waste your time and money.  Submitting via e-mail, or in person, is just fine, and a response will come back within thirty days, or more likely, a couple of days.  If you do not hear back within a week or so, follow up to ensure that your submission, particularly if made via e-mail, made it to the Board for review, as spam filters may see attachments as something to increase the likelihood of the message being spam and, thus, lost.  Common requests include putting in a fence, changing landscaping, adding solar panels, remodeling part of the home, adding a shed, requesting to have chickens, etc.

Q.  Are there any restrictions on what I can do with my property?
A.  Yes, and the CC&Rs define restrictions in Article six (VI, 6).  For example, a house cannot be rented out partially, though it could be in its entirety, in accordance with both Provo City ordinance as well as the HOA CC&Rs.  Also, building a multi-family dwelling is prohibited, as would be a commercial building.  Letting your landscaping go entirely to the local variety of weeds, regardless of how eco-friendly you may believe that is, is also prohibited.  For full details, see the CC&Rs, with Articles four (IV, 4), six (VI, 6) and seven (VII, 7) being applicable by name; feel free to contact the Board if you have specific questions that you feel are not covered in the CC&Rs.

Q.  When are HOA meetings?  Why do I never know when they are held?
A.  The annual meeting will be announced, place and time, in advance with the regular HOA assessment (fee) bills, as well as on the website as soon as it is scheduled.  The HOA Board meets every month as well, plus communicates as needed, to discuss current matters, and these meetings are also open to others; contact the Board to find out more.  Subscribing to the posts on the HOA website should cause an e-mail to be sent to your registered e-mail address when any topics come up there, including announcement of the annual meeting in case you have a problem with reliably receiving bills in the mail.

Q.  Where does the money from HOA assessments end up?
A.  Assessments are used to pay for all of the operations of the HOA, from utilities for lights and water, to maintenance of landscaping, from improving the commons areas such as the playground or basketball court, to maintaining the southwest exterior wall.

Q.  When do HOA fees increase, and by how much?
A.  HOA dues may change, per the CC&Rs in Article twelve (XII, 12), define assessments, or HOA fees, how they may change, how they are used, etc.  Some highlights include 12.09 (“Uniform Rate of Assessment”) which states that everybody must be assessed the same amount, 12.08 (“Special Assessments”) which defines when a special, or unusual, assessment could take place, 12.10 (“Quorum Requirements”) which defines the membership required to establish a quorum in order for the activities under 12.08 to be valid, and 12.13 (“Effect of Nonpayment: Remedies”) which defines what happens if owners do not pay assessments.

Q.  Why do the HOA assessments sometimes go up?
A.  The HOA has been one of the least-expensive (for HOA members) HOAs in the state.  For well over a decade, despite a booming economy and inevitable inflation, the HOA assessments remained stagnant, meaning that the purchasing power of the HOA was decreasing year over year.  At the same time, time and weather eroded poorly-constructed walls, the park needed improvement and maintenance, and vandals found breaking basketball backboards to be an amusing pastime.  Also, various other payments tied to inflation continued to rise, such as the cost of utilities like power and water which the HOA uses to some degree.  Last year the board commissioned, as required by law, a reserve study of the HOA’s assets which should have a reserve set aside.  Since realizing that math was not on our side, the board has been working to build up the HOA’s assets in anticipation of some large expenses which will come.  Known to many is the main exterior wall which is falling/leaning/crumbling in various places and was estimated to cost, per the reserve study, from $195,000 to $227,500 in 2015.  In order to cover this cost, as well as other “reserve items” along with other ongoing operational costs, the board has, from time to time, chosen to increase dues.  For full financial details of the HOA, come to the annual meeting, or ask a Board member for a past meeting’s yearly report, along with the Reserve Study on the HOA website.  For comparison with current total fees, the reserve study’s recommendation was to, for five years, assess $30.58 per month of every property in addition to the current fees to fully fund the reserve in preparation for imminent future expenses.  At this time, the Board has decided to delay implementing this change for various reasons.

Q.  Some part of the commons area needs help; a dead tree, broken sprinkler, unfortunate-looking bush, graffiti, etc.  Who am I gonna call?
A.  E-mail, the Board (, or talk to a member of the Board, and we will take care of it.  Commons areas landscaping is handled by a company that mows/weeds/re-plants, etc.  Graffiti is reported by the Board to Provo City Police, and then cleaned up with specially-formulated elbow grease.

Q.  I have an issue with the Board; what can I do?
A.  As may be the case to resolve most conflicts, the first step may be to ensure a common understanding of the issue at hand, made possible by contacting the Board and explaining your perspective of the issue, and understanding others’ perspectives.  The Board is most-easily reached via e-mail ( and meet monthly to discuss current issues that are not resolved in the meantime via e-mail.

Q.  From where did the HOA board originate?  I did not hear about any election.
A.  The Board was setup by the CC&Rs when the HOA was created and has been maintained per the CC&Rs since that time.  Article ten (X, 10) sets up the majority of the components of the board and is available for those details.  Elections are held annually from among the HOA members at the annual meeting.

Q.  I want to be on the Board because it sounds fun to be involved.
A.  There are at least two main ways of getting involved.  One way is to run for the Board, which happens once per year as three-year terms end and vacancies open.  Attendees of the annual meetings, directly or by proxy, can cast votes, one per lot or property, for those who run, and those with the most votes are added to the Board; see the CC&Rs, 10.13, for details.  On the other hand, if you are interested in a particular HOA-related issue, whether it’s related to the commons areas, helping out neighbors in some way, organizing neighbors to some task, or whatever, talk to the Board about your pet project and see if a committee can be formed that will address your desire sooner, and faster.

Q.  I own the property with a relative; how many votes do we get at a meeting if we both attend?
A.  Each lot is entitled to one vote, so all owners will need to agree on votes cast in order to be counted.

Q.  How can I get more votes like mine at the meeting?
A.  There are a couple ways to get more votes like yours, with the simplest being convincing others to vote like you do.  Another option is to buy more lots within the HOA so you can exercise their votes.  The latter option is more-guaranteed once completed, but usually costs more financially.

Q.  I want to get out of, or rid of, the HOA.  How can I do that?
A.  Getting out of the HOA is done by selling all property within the HOA.  Getting rid of the HOA is probably not feasible, assuming it is possible, which past research indicates it is not.  To do so would require a 60% quorum of HOA members to push the change, would require Provo City and Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) to accept it, and would require for the property owners, including banks holding mortgages of properties,  to organize in some way (an association of home owners) to pick up the costs left behind as currently covered by the existing HOA, including ownership and taxes of commons areas, the UDOT “Right of Way” (along State Street), etc.

Q.  Ugh; this CC&Rs document is longer than anything I’ve seen tweeted, ever.  Could you help me know where to look for things?
A.  Sure, and the main articles are listed below to help drill down more-quickly; keep in mind this is a legal document, loaded with legalese, so more-official interpretation probably requires somebody trained in the black arts of real property law:
Article 1:  Purpose and Effectuation
Article 2:  Definitions
Article 3:  Property Description and Annexation
Article 4:  Duties and Obligations of Owners
Article 5:  Property Rights and Conveyances
Article 6:  Use Restrictions
Article 7:  Architectural Control
Article 8:  Insurance
Article 9:  Rights of Mortgagees
Article 10:  Bylaws:  Membership and Voting Rights in the Association
Article 11:  Bylaws:  Duties and Power of the Association
Article 12:  Bylaws:  Assessments
Article 13:  Miscellaneous
First Supplement:  Description of Additional Land
Second Supplement:  Description of Additional Land
Third Supplement:  Description of Additional Land

Zoning Conditional Use Permit Request 2016-08-17

Home Owners Association (HOA) members may have seen a postcard with this information on it this week:

Scheduled for: 2016-08-17 at 17:00 MDT
Held at: 330 W. 100 S., Provo, UT

Nathan Sweat requests a Conditional Use Permit for Engineering Services in the Neighbor Shopping Center Zone (SC-1) located at 2325 S. State St., Provost South Neighborhood. 16-0010CUP, Dustin Wright, 801-852-6414

This appears to be the buildings halfway between Mountain View Parkway and Arizona Ave on the HOA’s side of State Street. A map of the address requesting a change is available via Google Maps.

If you are interested in how zoning may change in the area, or what allowances may be made outside of normal zoning, and how that will impact the neighborhood (noises, smells, people, etc.) then attending these types of meetings can be very informative, especially for those closer to the site of the request (Mountain View Parkway, Arizona Ave., Dakota Ave., State Street) regardless of membership in the HOA.

How to Report Graffiti

If you discover graffiti in our neighborhood, please report it so that we can get it fixed.  Whether it is on public or private property, Provo city would like to keep track of these incidents and may have it cleaned at no cost to yourself or the community.  The board would also like to know about any graffiti to HOA property.  Report it by calling 311 or on the city’s website:



Provo Free Tree program

Once a year Provo gives away a few hundred trees to residents who have central air conditioning units.  You must apply on their site and it is first-come-first-serve opportunity.  A notice will appear in your utility bill, but if you haven’t received that yet and want to make sure you get your registration in early, go to and fill out the form.  More information about the program and the trees available is available here: