Securing your home as the weather warms up

burglary-crime-burglar-opening-a-door-183991278

As outdoor temperatures rise, so do crime rates. The community’s Facebook page has seen an increase in posts from home owners reporting having fallen victim to acts of vandalism, theft of property, and suspicious activity. Between mid-February and early March, we’ve been made aware of a home and vehicle shot with a paintball gun, children trespassing into the storm drainage areas, the theft of outdoor/gardening products from someone’s yard, and a home owner witnessing what appeared to be shadows of people meddling around his property.

With homes still in construction in our community, we are an ideal target for vandals and petty thieves, especially as the weather begins to warm up. If you witness a crime or suspicious activity, you are encouraged to call Doña Ana Central Dispatch at 575-526-0795. In case of an emergency, dial 911.

If you can squeeze a home surveillance system into your budget, security cameras are highly recommended. Photos and video don’t lie. Virtually every modern home surveillance system offers smartphone apps that allow you to monitor your property at all times and can even alert you if motion is detected via email or phone notification. If you are a member of a wholesale club like Sam’s or Costco, you will find great deals on home surveillance system bundles that include up to eight cameras. If you dread hiring a professional or running cable through your attic and behind walls, there is a home surveillance system that is truly 100% wireless.

Among other recommendations from other community home owners – a home alarm system, stainless steel screws for your doors’ strike plates that are long enough to drill into your door frame, outdoor lighting with motion detection, light switch timers, and storm doors. For more home security tips, click here.

Week In Review: Parks beautification complete, watch for children, handling vandalism

February 19, 2017

The park beautification project that was approved at this month’s meeting was completed at the large park.

Before

After

Photos by: Raul Telles

February 22, 2017

A homeowner’s house is vandalized with a paintball gun over the previous weekend. The crime was unreported. Villa Valencia HOA President Raul Telles urges homeowners to report any acts of vandalism to the police, and reports that unnamed Villa Valencia homeowners were cited for their children writing graffiti on park playground equipment. A quote from Mr. Telles via Facebook:

As a word of caution, any type of criminal vandalism such as this needs to be reported to the police department before the offenders think that this is an acceptable norm within our community…I kindly ask that everyone remains proactive and reports the criminal intent they are preview to. A family within our community has already been given a citation warning for their children marking on the playground equipment. These are our parks and furthermore our neighborhood. We are not only stewards to our property but to our community as well. If we allow for our community to be tarnished, then the value of our properties go down with it.

February 23, 2017

A two-year-old girl is killed after getting run over by her own father in northeast El Paso. With the weather warming up, Social Committee Chairman Jorge Garcia offers a friendly reminder to drive with caution around our community:

The weather is warming up and we are beginning to see more children playing on our neighborhood streets. I kindly urge you all to please drive responsibly around our community and always watch out for children…

…Parents, we all know we try our very best to watch our kids, but realistically, we can’t watch them every second of every day. It only takes a moment of our diverted attention for our babies to vanish out of sight.

Febuary 25, 2017

The park beautification project approved by the board earlier this month wraps up with work completed at the small park.

Photos by Raul Telles

Villa Valencia family contributes to beautification project, plants two yuccas at large park

Villa Valencia homeowner Jorge Garcia and family made plans to contribute to the park beautification project by planting two red yuccas at the large park along with HOA president Raul Telles and his brother, Gabriel Telles. The red yuccas are still growing and will begin blooming their coral bell-shaped flowers starting around May, which will last through October.

Photos by Raul Telles. Bottom: Garcia’s 2-year-old daughter wasn’t having it.

Villa Valencia neighborhood parks to get new lighting

dsc01596
Children play at the small park on Russell Blvd and Megan St. Photo: Jorge Garcia

The future is looking bright for both Villa Valencia parks. Neighborhood home owners association president Raul Telles met with city officials Friday morning to discuss placement of new lights at both community parks. The large park will undergo the installation of three light poles, and the small park will get two.

“30 days estimated time,” said Mr. Telles via text message. “EP Electric will be installing poles in the neighboring community across the street at one of their new parks that is being constructed. Mr. Ruiz [Sunland Park City Superintendent] caught wind of this, so he pushed one of my [park lighting] requests to the top for Villa Valencia.”

When asked at which park lighting installation will begin: “Both parks, within 30 days,” Mr. Telles replied. “If [there are] any delays, we’ll keep everyone posted.”

After standing obscure for over a year, street light on Ashwood is finally turned on

When Social Committee Chairman Jorge Garcia spoke to several home owners along Ashwood Street, the same concern was echoed by all neighbors he spoke with – their street light had not worked since they each moved in.

Some homes along Ashwood are at least a year old.

On January 19, Garcia reported the light to EP Electric and was told it would take up to 10 days to get fixed. 10 days came and went and the light was still out, so Mr. Garcia contacted them again. This time, he was given a report number and after another week without resolution, HOA President Raul Telles stepped in and called EP Electric with Garcia’s report number. They did not find it in their system. 

After being bounced around different departments, Mr. Telles wound up speaking to a manager and got the ball rolling again with a new report number. On Valentine’s Day, Villa Valencia home owner Eliana Jordan contacted Mr. Garcia with a photo to confirm the street light was finally lit.

February 9, 2017 meeting: New committee officers, changes to parks imminent, new rules and regulations draft presented

The Villa Valencia Board of Directors would like to congratulate Ms. Monica Godinez and Mr. Victor Gonzalez for their induction into the ARC and Parks & Gardens Committee, respectively. Ms. Godinez joins Ms. Anakaren Valenzuela as an ARC Committee Officer and will be working along with ARC Chairman Jorge Sustaita. Mr. Gonzalez will be working alongside interim Parks & Gardens Committee Chairman Raul Telles.

The Board of Directors and community homeowners unanimously voted to accept a proposal from At-Ease Lawn Care Services to perform major upkeep in and around both parks. The maintenance project will cost approximately $1,966 and will take two weeks to complete. Work is set to begin in March. The Board is also in the process of attempting to privatize both parks. The project is currently at city level awaiting approval. Privatizing our parks means only Villa Valencia residents will be able to use them exclusively. The idea was proposed after receiving complaints from residents regarding outside parties using the neighborhood parks for sports practices.

HOA President Raul Telles presented a draft of new rules and regulations that will mostly address issues with the neighborhood’s overall appearance that are not covered in the original covenants. Among some of the new proposed regulations are as follows:

  • Vehicles are to be parked only along street curbs, on driveways, or in garages. During door-to-door invites and at the meet-and-greet, members of the Board received complaints from residents regarding vehicles being parked on front lawns or on the sides of homes.
  • Pets shall be leashed at all times anywhere within community common areas. The Board also received complaints from residents regarding people letting their dogs run loose at both parks and while walking with their pets. One neighbor claimed to have been knocked down by a loose dog at one of our parks.
  • Holiday decoration removal. Holiday decorations shall be removed by 28 Feb, 2017.

The final draft of rules and regulations will be presented at a future meeting. For complete details of the meeting, click here to view or download the official minutes.

HOA President and VP voluntarily remove rebar, spare affected residents from city fines

HOA President Raul Telles and Vice President Allen Goodman cut away rebar that was protruding from the easements behind Villa Valencia residents’ homes. Those residents were facing fines from the city, but the Board of Directors intervened. Mr. Telles and Mr. Goodman offered to get rid of the rebar to avoid affected residents from getting fined.

The Board of Directors recently learned that home owners living on Laurensito St. adjacent to Comerciantes Blvd. are responsible for maintaining the easement behind their homes. The city of Sunland Park was preparing to issue fines to several home owners who had pieces of rebar of various sizes protruding from the ground within their easements. It was too late to alert those home owners in a timely fashion, so Mr. Telles intervened on behalf of affected residents and informed city government officials that he would remove the rebar himself so affected neighbors would not be fined. Mr. Goodman volunteered to assist during our monthly meeting.

The task took about one hour to complete.

Photos: Jorge Garcia (Instagram: @PictureYouThis)

Why you should pay your HOA dues monthly or at the beginning of each quarter

woman-writing-amount-on-yellow-check-getty_573x300

Photo by Jamie Grill

One of the items discussed at our February 9, 2017 meeting was DANA Properties’ partnership with Sperlonga, which collects payment data from DANA and reports it to the credit bureaus. At our meeting, Villa Valencia HOA President Raul Telles reported that he pays his HOA dues at the end of each quarter and inquired with DANA Properties whether that has the potential to be negatively reported, to which he was told it would not. Be that as it may, Mr. Telles was flagged as being delinquent. We do not want other members of the community to be negatively reported by DANA Properties to the credit bureaus.

To prevent that from happening, make HOA due payments at the beginning of each quarter (January, April, July, and October). Social Committee Chairman Jorge Garcia reported breaking his quarterly balance down into monthly payments through his bank’s bill pay service, which also saves him the $14.95 credit card processing fee DANA Properties charges if you make a payment from their website (they also offer a payment service by e-check with no processing fee for recurring payments). To set up your payments through your bank’s bill pay service, you’ll need your account number from DANA Properties’ quarterly statement and their mailing address.

Important Information Regarding Easements

If your backyard faces Pete Domenici Hwy, Comerciantes, or is adjacent to Russell Blvd, please read.

The easement behind or adjacent to the streets mentioned above are the home owner’s responsibility to clean and maintain. Please keep this in mind to avoid being cited by Sunland Park Code Enforcement.

A handful of you who live on Laurensito with backyards facing Comerciantes have exposed rebar on your easements. This rebar was left behind by the home builders. The city was preparing to issue citations to those home owners, but the Board of Directors intervened. Mr. Telles and Mr. Goodman, our HOA President and VP, have offered to cut the exposed rebar to avoid home owners from being fined by the city. Mr. Telles will be notifying affected home owners personally. He and Mr. Goodman plan on cutting the rebar on Sunday February 12.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please comment or contact us.

Introducing the Villa Valencia neighborhood blog!

As promised at the Feb. 10, 2017 meeting, the blog is now up and running! You spoke and we listened – not all of you have social media accounts, and since December 2016, the only source of information for the community was our Facebook group. Now you can simply visit our blog site and learn about the latest developments in our community! If anyone has any additional suggestions, comments, or concerns, feel free to comment!