FALL 2023 NEWSLETTER
Articles in this Issue
• President’s Message
• Welcome New Board Members
• Thank You Departing Board Members
• Introducing the New Editor
• Getting Involved
• Update from Our Treasurer
• Update from the Facilities Committee
• Update from the Wildfire Prevention Committee
• Maintenance Recap
• El Nino or El Not?
When I was approached in March of 2002 to join the Board to fill one of two vacancies, the last thing I imagined was being in this position as serving as Board President. The vacancy I filled had six months remaining on its term and I wanted to bridge the gap until the upcoming election that September. While serving, I learned what I already knew, which is that I had a strong fondness for the welfare of Kingswood Village. That fondness motivated me to seek election to our Board and to commit to three years of service for Kingswood Village.
Undoubtedly, we, as an Association, face many challenges that will require commitment, collaboration, deliberation, and sound decision making. We need to recover from years of deferred maintenance. We need to learn from our past hiring mistakes and come up with an approach to identify qualified individuals to fill our open staff positions. We need to develop and implement processes that create efficiency, transparency, and accountability. I believe that the current Board is made up of volunteers who are committed to doing the necessary work to address the challenges we face, to implement sound management strategies, and to make sound business decisions. I encourage all owners to stay informed, to attend Board meetings, to ask questions, and to challenge us to live up to our promises and commitments. I look forward to representing you and your interests throughout the current term of this Board.
President, KVPOA Board of Directors
Welcome New Board Members
At the September 16th annual Board meeting, two new Board members were elected: James Ransdall and Jon Hunt.
James has been a resident in KV since 2021. Professionally he has founded several companies and most recently managed a global consulting group for IBM. He and his wife enjoy the outdoor life of Lake Tahoe and are busy with their children and grandchildren who live in the area. James has stepped up to serve as Secretary on the Board.
Jon has been a resident in KV for three years. He currently works as an Operations Manager for a digital marketing agency, where he oversees various aspects of project management, team coordination, and client relations. In addition, Jon has managed both long-term and short-term rental properties, providing him with valuable insights into property management, tenant relations, and the importance of maintaining the quality of our community for the benefit of all residents.
At the October 21st Board meeting, the Board selected two candidates to fill two vacancies: Raquel Bito and Daniel Harshman.
Raquel has been an owner since 2000 and uses her place as a year-round getaway from the Bay Area. Raquel is an architect and senior project manager with over twenty years of experience managing large scale building projects. She is a member of several professional organizations. She has owned and managed both single residence and office buildings. She currently serves on the Facilities Committee as Co-Chair and her focus is working with the Board on Kingswood Village maintenance and operations.
Daniel Harshman purchased his unit in 2007 as a vacation home to enjoy skiing, hiking, and bicycling around Tahoe. After the pandemic, he moved full time to Kingswood in September of 2021. Daniel is a lawyer having practiced business litigation and trademark litigation for over 40 years. He remains active in both federal and state Courts in the State of California. Daniel has stepped up to be chair of the Insurance Committee.
Thank you departing Board Members
Linda Garcia’s family represents three generations of Kingswood involvement, and she has worked tirelessly as the President of the Board. Tim Booth served as our Insurance Committee Chair for many years in a very challenging environment. Elliot faithfully documented our Board meetings as Secretary and provided his expertise as a Board member. James MacDonnell offered suggestions to the Board for improvements. Thank you all for your service. It takes dedication to be a Board member and these individuals have demonstrated that in abundance.
Introducing the New Editor: Diane Keller
Hello everyone! I joined the Kingswood Village community in June 2020, when I bought my condo. My adult daughters and I are long time skiers and enjoy kayaking and hiking in the area as well. I enjoy writing, having written newsletters for my college consulting business. I hope to bring “news you can use” in the newsletter.
If you wish more info on a certain topic or have ideas and suggestions, please let me know. You can reach me at email@example.com
Getting Involved, by Diane Keller
The Board members have many duties and responsibilities. You are welcome to join a committee (or two!) to make Kingswood Village the best condo complex on North Lake Tahoe.
I must say it took me a couple of years to realize there are many committees on the Board. (Even though I attended the majority of Board meetings!) So I thought it would be good to recap our volunteer opportunities.
Wildfire Prevention Committee (WPC) – The State of California mandates that homeowners maintain defensible space within 100 feet of their homes. KVPOA WPC has developed a 3-year plan in conjunction with North Tahoe Fire and TRPA to address areas of risk. Our goal is to be certified by September 2024. The committee coordinates with Liberty and Cal Trans to ensure they are doing their part. The committee walks the property to mark trees and vegetation that are fire risks and need to be removed. The committee hosts clean-up day several times a year. WPC also spearheads the FireWise Community program.
The Facilities Committee works on keeping our community clean, beautiful, and safe. Efforts include landscaping for fire prevention and water conservation. Dumpster replacement is ongoing to deter bears. Decks, stairs, and buildings to be painted are identified. Lighting is targeted for repair and replacement.
The Insurance Committee is tasked with acquiring insurance in what is a very challenging environment, given recent wildfires, insurers leaving California, and rate hikes. Keeping abreast of legislative trends is key, as is being involved in associations and organizations with similar concerns.
The Short Term Rental Committee is concerned with creating an effective strategy for STRs within KVPOA to preserve the residential neighborhood character of our association and to mitigate common nuisances attributed to STRs.
The Treasurer is responsible for the Budget Subcommittee and the Review Subcommittee. The Budget Subcommittee oversees and manages three funds: the Operating Fund, the Reserve Fund, and the Capital Improvement Fund. A financial review is required by the Davis-Stirling Act, which mandates a monthly review of all financial documents.
Other committees include the Hiring Committee, the Architectural Review Committee, the Nomination and Election Committee, and the Fines Committee. A big thank you to all the volunteers currently assisting the Committee Chairs.
Update from Our Treasurer
As a reminder, the official letter for 2024 Special Assessment approved by homeowners will go out December 1, 2023 with a due date of February 1, 2024.
Update from the Facilities Committee, Nick Zaikowski, Chair
The Facilities Committee is preparing plans going into next spring. This includes building repairs, landscape planning, lighting repairs, and general maintenance. Action logs are being developed to plan and track this work. The engineering firm our association uses provided site maps for to use for this planning.
Campus lights have been fixed in many areas this year. There are still a few lights that need to be addressed. In addition, there are many light post leaning with broken tops. These will be noted and a plan to fix these issues will be established.
Landscape planning continues. With the tree removal almost complete we are now able to see where landscaping may be needed to fill voids. Stumps have been identified to be ground up prior to any landscaping done in those spots. Native, water retentive, low fire risk plants and trees have been selected.
A detailed building survey was done noting building issues like chipping paint, steps, railings, and siding repairs needed. This survey will be useful in planning and prioritizing. General maintenance has been discussed to make sure work starts getting done as soon as possible come spring. This includes site cleanup, turning on the irrigation, aerating lawns, and overseeing grass areas in poor condition.
Planning ahead now should help get these things done come next spring and summer.
Update from the Wildfire Prevention Committee, Jason Gibeaut, Chair
he WPC has been busy addressing the defensible space mandate over the past several years. Let’s review. Board members walked the property with North Tahoe Fire Protection District (NTFPD) in 2021 to identify trees for removal, such as dead and dying trees, trees too close to one another, and trees too close to KV buildings. Approximately 220 trees were identified at that time. Due to the cost and complexity of the defensible space requirements, NTFPD gave Kingswood Village three years, until summer 2024, to be in compliance. We are ahead of plan.
To date, Phase 1 was completed by our contractor, Wilderness Forestry, in 2022. Phase 2 was completed during 2023. During these two phases, over 200 trees were removed. In August 2023 we conducted a volunteer defensible space clean-up day to remove combustible ground vegetation and pine needles. Liberty Utility removed dead and dying trees near their utility lines and poles south of Commonwealth along 267. Cal Trans removed trees north of Commonwealth along 267 and returned to pick up and chip the debris. This is incredible progress.
What’s up next? Phase 3 tree removal and limbing of branches adjacent to condo buildings will start in November, ahead of plan. Once this work is complete, KVPOA will be ahead of schedule for tree removal. Work that remains and will be scheduled once the snow melts in Spring 2024, includes additional limbing of trees, removal/spacing of combustible ground vegetation, removal of pine needles and vegetation within 5 feet of condos, and removal of pine needles from roofs. It is very likely we may be faced with additional dead and dying trees that need removal.
In addition, the Board is reviewing how to assist STR owners who need to be compliant with defensible space prior to March 2024 (which is before the KVPOA deadline of September 2024). Placer County is considering extending the deadline for STRs within condo complexes, so stay tuned. The Board is also researching fireproof tarps for deck woodpiles, another defensible space mandate.
The WPC plans to conduct additional volunteer defensible space clean-up days, in spring and summer 2024. Our expectation is that homeowners show up and help in any way they can. (You can hand out water bottles if you can’t chop down vegetation!) It is an arduous, but fun day, and a great way to meet your neighbors. Don’t forget, as a homeowner, you can help our entire complex by removing vegetation within 5 feet of your condo and raking pine needles throughout the year for the ground crew to pick up.
For a further education on defensible space, please check out the material on the KVPOA website.
The Board is diligently focused on finding a new maintenance manager, as well as new staff and seasonal help. In addition, the Board is awaiting cost proposals for winter snow clearing from several vendors.
Winter preparation is complete. The new pool cover arrived, which will help with winter preservation. Pool shutdown procedures were done. Earlier this year, the main pump and filtration system were replaced, and a new robotic cleaning system installed.
In terms of our sprinkler system, irrigation lines were blown out and the system turned off. All lawns have been aerated.
Progress has been made on roof replacements, roof repairs and stairs. To date, roofs for units 113-118 have been replaced. Roof repairs for units 193, 214, 221, 222 have been completed. Deck replacements were completed at units 182, 235 and 244. Three decks are budgeted for 2024.
Two buildings were painted this year: units 152-159 and 160-163. Three buildings are budgeted for 2024.
El Nino or El Not? By Rachel Barnes, Patch Media Staff
“Meteorologists are extremely confident that the El Niño climate pattern is strengthening and will last through spring, but does that mean we’ll get another winter of atmospheric rivers in California? And what about the ski season? Will we see more snow?
The Climate Prediction Center says with 100 percent certainty the strengthening El Niño weather pattern will last through early winter, and with 90 percent certainty that it will last until spring. The agency, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, expects the El Niño pattern to bring very rainy conditions to California this winter.
In most El Niño winters, the Golden State tends to be rainier than usual from January to March. In moderate to strong El Niño winters, we normally see a strong southern jet stream and atmospheric rivers during that period.
Snowfall can be trickier to predict. El Niño climate pattern tend to bring warm, wet winters to California. At higher mountain top elevations, those atmospheric rivers can dump massive amounts of snow as we saw last year when Southern California mountains experienced a rare blizzard and storms that dropped 10 feet of snow.
During strong El Niño events in the past, California mountains frequently experienced epic ski seasons. However, if temperatures become too warm, those same atmospheric storms can bring rain to the mountains instead of snow.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's El Niño blog, El Niño years tend to bring higher than average snowfall to California's mountains — especially the Sierra Nevada mountain range. This year’s El Niño, which began developing in June, is the first in four years.
Right now, it looks like we can expect a strong southern jet stream for Californians, according to the private weather company’s outlook.”
Let’s hope for epic snow and a great ski season!