Deer Mountain Newsletter April, 2022

Weed spraying: Noxious weeds are weeds that have been designated by the state or the county to be harmful to crops, humans, habitats, ecosystems, etc. They are weeds that typically grow aggressively, multiply quickly and don’t have any significant natural controls. If we property owners don’t control them, they continue to spread throughout our neighborhood.  

Controlling noxious weeds is a Utah and Wasatch County requirement. This is a big enough issue that the county has the authority (after proper notification) to enter private property and control the noxious weeds themselves, with all their costs being billed to the property owner. In support of those efforts, DM also has a policy to impose fines (after proper notification) on Owners who do not properly control noxious weeds on their property.  

Weed season will begin soon and it is time to prepare to address the weeds on your property.  All noxious weeds on your property must be removed or controlled, although the most common noxious weeds we see here are Thistle and Dyers Woad. (Google them to see what they look like). You can get the full list of Wasatch County noxious weeds at this link: https://www.wasatch.utah.gov/portals/0/PublicWorks/Pdfs/Weeds/General%20noxious%20weed%20notice%202013.pdf 

You will likely need to treat or remove the weeds on your property 2 – 3 times per year to successfully control them. Early treatment is better and easier than later treatment and now is the time to start. Once they have matured, they are very difficult to eradicate and are likely to spread far and wide. If you do not wish to deal with the weeds yourself, most local landscapers know what to look for as how and when to best treat them.  

Water Rights: Many, if not all, of us, received a letter with a summons in March regarding the state re-evaluating water rights. The State is conducting a survey of all water rights across Utah to have a foundation from which to make decisions going forward. The notice is most relevant for homes/ranches on well or stream water that have water rights dating back decades. JSSD will be filing its water rights on behalf of the water recipients of its municipal water supply.  

In consultation with a water rights attorney, we were told the following, “This is a form letter sent out during the general adjudication to all properties in the area that had or were once associated with a water right or the place of use of a water right. If the people getting

these letters are hooked up to a municipal system and pay someone for water service, they can ignore it. If they have a well with a water right, they need to do what it says on the letter to preserve the water rights associated with the property.” 

However, water rights were an asset associated with our homes when many of us purchased them, so this is something to carefully watch and educate yourself about. 

We do encourage residents to stay informed and attend the meeting on April 21 at 6:00 pm at the Wasatch Senior Center: 465 East 1200 South, Heber City. The meeting can also be streamed at: http://www.waterrights.utah.gov/watchlive

Garbage Cans: Garbage cans should be brought in within 24 hours of pick up. This is a great opportunity to be a good neighbor. If your neighbor is out of town or you see a can outside their house, it is always an appreciated gesture to bring it up the driveway.  

Holiday Lights: It is now April and a good time to take down or turn off the holiday lights if you have not done so already. Let’s all enjoy some dark sky stargazing! 

Answers to Community Input & Questions from March Open Meeting

Summer Event Dates: The HOA will be hosting some summer social events. When dates are selected an email blast will go out as well as details posted on the Portal. 

Dog Park: The results of the Dog Park interest survey indicated that 56% of respondents want the Board to continue to pursue more information. Details of the survey will be attached to the March 28 Board meeting minutes. IF, and it still an IF, a Dog Park is added to the community, the intended location is south of the south entrance to Deer Mountain on the Open Space above the water retention pond on Keetly Station Circle. This location has been verbally approved by the County to move forward should we choose to do so.  The Board appreciates the many comments and questions that community members have put on the portal as these will give the Board and the committee questions, concerns and ideas to consider in the decision-making process. 

Street Lights: Our electric bills have been cut in half since the installation of the new street lights. The Board will discuss at an upcoming meeting how to address a few complaints about the lights’ brightness. Currently, lights are set at 40% when there is no motion and 80%  when there is motion. The change is gradual, not sudden, so it is difficult to detect the changes in brightness. Each time we adjust the brightness level there is a labor cost associated. We will determine if we should adjust all lights in the neighborhood and if individual lights are problematic how to address those few cases.

Committees Work vs. Board Work: Some projects are committee based and some work is done by Board members. Sometimes the deciding point is determined by the scope of work at other times it is decided based on the speed at which a decision has to be made.  Another deciding factor is if there are community members willing to be on committees and interested in working with others. 

Architecture Services: When the current Board was elected, satisfaction with the current architect was discussed and it was determined that we will continue with the current architect. The HOA has greatly benefited from having an outside professional in this role and past Boards are to be commended for making this decision. The current Architecture Committee, who interacts with the professional architect most frequently, is satisfied with the current services. 

Email vs. Portal (& social media): The Board continues to request that input and questions come via the Portal and they, in turn, share information via the portal. Notices of meetings and events will come via email one time and be posted on the portal.  Attachments to important emails will be linked on the portal. It is the responsibility of community members to sign up for and use the Portal. Board members and many neighbors are HAPPY to help community members get signed up. If you can use simple email systems or google, using the portal will be easy. There is concern that too many emails will become junk mail that people disregard. The Board also has a legal responsibility for some notifications and emails can get caught in spam filters too easily.  Next Door and other social media platforms are not used by the Board for official communications and posting negative comments about the community or the HOA reflects poorly on our community and is divisive. 

Meeting minute approval: Due to an error (even Board members are allowed to make mistakes sometimes ☺) several meeting minutes were not approved expediently.  This will be rectified at the April 28th open meeting and going forward we will ensure we do not get behind in approval of meeting minutes. 

Budget: On the original budget there was an $1100 deficit in the fines category, this is because some fines were levied but eventually forgiven when the homeowner(s) in question rectified the situation expediently and to the satisfaction of the Board.  

Antennas/Dishes: When the Architectural Guidelines were first devised and then updated over the years there were limits on antennas/dishes, both for size and location.  The world has changed drastically in 21 years. Workflow and reliance on internet and streaming have radically changed for many community members. There is also a relatively new FCC law that says HOA’s cannot implement policies that limit access to streaming and internet. The current iteration of the Architectural Guidelines brings us into compliance with this law and this updated reality of how we rely on internet/streaming. 

Legal Action: The Board (directly, through our counsel, and via social media) has received requests and letters from attorneys on behalf of Paul Mattson requesting to see copies of the third-party bids received for the installation of the streetlights in 2021. The Board has responded to these requests via the portal and when necessary, through counsel. But, given the continued requests by Mr. Mattson on social media and at an Open Meeting for the same information, the Board would like to respond in a way that is open and transparent for all owners and hopefully puts this issue to rest. 

The information regarding bids for the installation of streetlights was shared with all members of the community at an Open Board meeting before the Board voted to install the new lights. As advised by the HOA’s attorney, we have decided not to provide this information due to the fact that individual homeowners do not have a legal right to demand more information than that which was provided. Additionally, the Board is not required to provide documents related to actions not taken by a prior board. 

The Board was elected to make decisions for the HOA. Non-Board members are not entitled to act as super-chairman of the board, subjecting board decisions to individual scrutiny and review. The HOA Board is a volunteer position and Board members are not compensated. The Board devotes time and attention to doing what they believe is best for the HOA. 

If HOA members do not agree with decisions made by the Board, they should vote to replace the Board. 

Clearly, the path of least resistance would be to simply submit, but the Board has unanimously concluded that this would be a mistake. When a question has been asked and answered several times and a community member does not like the answer, continuing to ask it through legal channels and in public forums, makes the job of serving on the volunteer HOA Board much more unpleasant and time-consuming than it should otherwise be. It also discourages current and future Board members from serving the community in this role. Finally, the HOA incurs attorney fees and expenses in responding to these legal demands. 

No single community member is entitled to consume the Board’s attention and direction or to impose unreasonable expenses to the community. 

The Board has unanimously agreed to say no to the demand for documents we are not legally required to produce, and we believe that future boards will benefit from this precedent. Our community does not benefit from allowing homeowners to second-guess a prior board on a matter that can no longer be changed.

Property taxes: The HOA as an entity cannot address individual property taxes for community members. 

Tree trimming in Open Spaces: If trees are to be trimmed in Open Spaces the Board will make an effort to communicate with adjacent neighbors. 

Voles: ‘Tis the season for these critters and their friends the Pot guts to emerge throughout our area. The HOA does not seek to control them within the community.  Private homeowners can do as they choose on private property within the bounds of the law. However, as you make choices, please keep in mind that some efforts to eradicate the rodents can cause problems for other animals in our ecosystem via the food chain.  

Next Open Board Meeting: April 28th 2:30 MST via Zoom. 

Agenda will be posted on the portal. 

Topic: DM HOA Open Mtg Zoom Meeting (2:30 MST, 3:30 CST) 

Time: Apr 28, 2022 02:30 PM Mountain Time (US and Canada) 

Join Zoom Meeting 

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85260441007?pwd=OFRlZzJsMEhtNnJJc1lCejA1ZXlzUT09

Meeting ID: 852 6044 1007 

Passcode: 965888 

Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/keGSPI5IZA

Deer Mountain Newsletter January 2022

Board Mission Statement:
As a Board, we are volunteering to serve the common good of all Deer Mountain Homeowners. We will seek to enhance our community through communication, community involvement, and personalizing the professional approach.

Current Board Members
Robin Nygaard
(Communications & Community Relations): Robin and her husband Earl have lived in Deer Mountain for 20 years. This is Robin’s second term of service on the Board.
Bob Reid (Treasurer): Bob and his wife Karen moved from New York to Deer Mountain 18 months ago.
Wendy Pickering: Wendy lives in Salt Lake and is the Board representative for the DMAC complex.
Joe Wein (A/C & Special Projects): Joe has lived in Deer Mountain for 6 years. He and his wife Michele split their time between Chicago and Deer Mountain.
Jill Weininger (President): Jill has lived in Deer Mountain for 6 years and she and her husband Bruce split their time between Chicago and Deer Mountain

Dog Park 1-question survey
As we explore this possibility we are committed to a robust (&respectful) community input. Toward that end, please fill out this 1-question survey so we can get advisory input from our community. Use the link below to share your opinion with us by February 20th:
https://bit.ly/3An6eAM

Portal and grace:
As a Board, we cannot emphasize enough the importance of using the Portal for communicating with your Board. The portal can be accessed at: www.deermountainhoa.com

If you do not have an account, please register. We use the portal to communicate upcoming meetings and community events. All posts are confidential and seen only by the Board and Management. The Board will not respond to community issues brought to us via personal emails or other social media platforms. If you have a question or concern that you feel needs Board input, please post it on the portal. All Board members see all input on the portal. Please be patient with response times. Some topics require time for Board members to consider and discuss. Our Board members are volunteers and do not meet every day to discuss community issues. Your patience and grace are appreciated.
Please remember that not all issues belong on the portal. Please keep in mind that most issues can best be handled by respectful and open neighbor-to-neighbor conversation and communication. This should always be your first effort if you have a legitimate question or concern with something in a neighbor’s property that impacts you.

Dog Waste Stations:
We have purchased and installed 5 dog waste stations. They are located at trailheads and mailboxes. We hope these will help keep our community cleaner. It goes without saying that we request that all dog owners use these stations for pet waste on your walks.

Community Involvement Opportunities:
Please submit your name and interest for any of these committees via the portal.
Dog Park Exploration Committee: As you know the Board is currently exploring the possibility of adding a dog park. No decisions have been made and we are in the exploration phases. Please let us know if you are interested in helping with this.
Welcoming Committee: We are looking to create a committee that will welcome new neighbors to Deer Mountain.
Trail Maintenance & Landscape Committee: We would like assistance from neighbors in identifying trail areas that need attention and in planning open space community landscape clean-up efforts this spring & summer.
We hope to host hybrid zoom/ in-person meetings this spring if we feel it is safe with Covid numbers. Watch the portal for updates on open meeting dates.

Painting:
Please take some time to assess the exterior condition of your home. Is it in need of painting? How is the driveway looking? We all know how busy our local trades have been with the building boom going on throughout the Park City area. If your house needs painting, please make the time this winter to connect with painters and get things lined up for the summer months. All colors must be approved by the HOA and that process takes time as well.
Klaim:
Some community members have noticed that there is an ever-growing dirt pile visible from the homes on the south end of our community. This massive pile of dirt is on private property and is the dirt that was removed from the Klaim project to our South. We have been in contact with the county about this eyesore and have been told that when the construction process is completed natural vegetation will be planted on the remaining pile to make it blend in better with the natural surroundings.
Lights:
Please make efforts around your home to create a dark skies environment for all to enjoy. This means ensuring your exterior lights meet guidelines:
• Avoid clear glass on outdoor fixtures.
• Avoid excessive lateral or upward lighting
• Seek downward shining lights
• Consider installing timers so lights are out, when feasible, around 10:00 pm
Water update:
One of our neighbors met with the GM of the Jordanelle Special Services District to better understand our water situation. Water conservation here in the high desert will always be important but there is some good news as well. Currently, we aren’t drawing water from the Jordanelle. It all comes from a runoff tunnel under the Wasatch that brings water directly to JSSD treatment plants. About 70% of that water goes into the reservoir because we don’t use it all. When all the approved construction is completed, we will have a 10-20% shortfall in water coming from the tunnel and JSSD will start tapping its allotted share of the Jordanelle to fulfill obligations to customers. We have rights to about 6-10%, but the total available water is a function of how full the reservoir is each year. Hideout has a fixed allotment of water they must live within, so if they overbuild, they will come up short on water. Culinary water usage is the first priority, so if things dry up, we will be the last to have severe water restrictions for in-home use. JSSD can increase its water flow by some 25%+ if it taps the Victory Ranch well water, which it plans to do. Other well locations are also promising in the hills above their HQ building.

Trails:
We have an amazing trail system here in Deer Mountain that was established by a previous Board. They created trails that are on open lands. The old trail system crosses over private property. PLEASE keep peace with all neighbors by respecting trail closed & private property signs. There are miles of open space trails for all to enjoy and crossing private lot lines is not necessary. Thank you for your consideration. Specifically, please note the lower trail does not begin nor end on Keetley Circle. See trail map below: