Cimarron Circle News June 2016

Happy Summer Everyone!

At the request of several homeowners, this newsletter is being sent out via mail (as well as being posted on the association website) to ensure everyone receives these important reminders.

Community Cleanup Day ( Dates have Changed) Please mark your calendar for Saturday, July 9th.  That will be our neighborhood cleanup day this year.  As in the past, a dumpster will be parked along the north side of the circle.  So far our project list includes removing any remaining deadfall from the center of the circle (as well as the park bench that finally fell over) and cleaning out the storage lot. 

Dogs & Scoop the Poop:  There continue to be numerous complaints regarding off leash dogs and their “deposits”.  As a reminder, all dogs must be leashed within the community.  Under no circumstances should dogs simply be “let out” to do their business.  All poop must be picked up immediately and disposed of properly.  This includes common areas and the parkland bordering our community.  Thank you to those who have picked up poop all winter along the trails leading from our neighborhood into Baxter Bog. 

Homeowners who have complaints about off leash dogs should document the situation with a photograph (including a date and time stamp) and contact Animal Care and Control.  With verification of offense, dog owners are subject to ticketing and fines. 

Private Property:  Every home in Cimarron Circle is located on a private lot with the HOA having rights of access for things such as lawn maintenance, snow removal, painting etc.  There are several easements in our neighborhood that provide community access to the greenbelts, the trail around the perimeter of our circle, and corner lots.  Unauthorized individuals wandering in and around homes and on lots outside of the access points and common areas are trespassing.  All home owners, renters and guests should be respectful of their neighbors and the private nature of their property. 

Mailboxes:  Believe it or not, the issue of mailboxes and postal mail security has been a topic of discussion for the board since at least 1990.  In an effort to finally put the issue to rest, the board recently underwent an extensive review of various different options and costs as well as considering what is allowed by our community declarations.  Given the various different opinions about what solution (including doing nothing) is best for the neighborhood the board decided to authorize owners who receive their mail at home and are concerned about security the option of purchasing one of two different types of locking mailboxes for their personal use.  These mailboxes fit the general look of the others in the neighborhood and will sit nicely inside our existing mailbox shelters.  Owners will be responsible for installing the mailboxes and for any damage to the shelter that might occur during installation.  The three mailboxes are 1) Postal Pro Remington Full Service Lockable Mailbox Model PPT3LBL, 2) Oasis 360 Locking Mailbox and 3) Wyngate Black Locking Mailbox Model WM16KB01.  All can be found at either Lowes or Home Depot.  The House Rules will be updated to reflect this information. 

Parking:  Parking, too, has been a very longstanding issue in our neighborhood.  Snow’s Management and the board continue to receive complaints of excessive “on street” parking which creates an unsightly neighborhood (and in some cases may block other driveways or a fire hydrant).  Cimarron Circle is a public street, so the association has no authority to tow vehicles or issue tickets against the general public.  (In cases where parked cars have blocked other driveways or been too close to fire hydrants the Anchorage Police Department has ticketed cars.)  However, the declarations DO restrict parking on the circle so the association may levy fines against members of the association (i.e. homeowners) who violate, or allow their guests/occupants to violate, this provision.  Nobody likes to deal with fines so please minimize “on street” parking to avoid more aggressive measures.  THANK YOU!!

Firewise: Unfortunately, this year may end up being another bad fire year given the early indications.  Last summer the board asked the Municipal Wildland Fire Inspector to come visit our neighborhood and provide recommendations for helping us limit our fire risk.  In general, he felt that our community was doing things correctly and he saw little of major concern.  However, he did make the following recommendations and the board will be following up on them this summer.
a) All owners should clean out their gutters of dead leaves starting in April – embers from even a fire far away can ignite those in an instant.  This is one of the most important things we can do to protect our homes and we ask everyone to work with their neighbors to ensure any conjoining gutters are cleaned out as well as their own.
b) Firewood should be stored away from the house and grills should be kept away from decks.  Owners are reminded that our declarations specifically state that there “…shall be no exterior fires whatsoever except barbeque fires contained within receptacles therefor…”.  This includes open flame fire pits. 
c) In the NW center of the circle we have a large clump of black spruce.  We should clean out some of these leaving smaller clumps of no more than 3-4 trees with several feet in between them.  (NOTE: we took care of this in the Spring when we had our annual tree trimming service completed.)
d) The deciduous trees we have in common areas and around the neighborhood are a protectant from fire but we should all keep a look out for the “coin type” fungus that may grow on them.  This fungus is a sign that the tree is dying and should be removed.  Removed trees, both spruce and deciduous, should be replaced with deciduous trees. 
e) We are doing the right thing by pruning up our spruce trees and should begin to do that on the younger ones as well.  We should also continue to spray for spruce beetles. 

Baxter Bog Clean Up: BIG THANKS to those that came out to assist other members from our local community council to help with the initial cleanup of our section of Baxter Bog.  This will be a multi-year process to drop and cut up all of the trees in the bog that didn’t survive the big wind storm a few years ago, clear out underbrush and remove garbage.  (Among the items volunteers pulled out from the area just behind our neighborhood were a television, a tent, and a massive role of chain link fencing.)  The permits to do this work on municipal parkland could not have been secured without the tireless efforts of the Scenic Foothills Community Council president, Mark Hill, and his team.  We’ll be able to start up again in July so be looking for notices of additional work parties later in the summer. 

Bear Safety: As is typical for our neighborhood, we’ve already had a few furry visitors this summer.  Please ensure all bird feeders are taken down and any spillage is cleaned up.  Garbage should be put out no sooner than the night before pick up (and ideally – the morning of).  Birdseed, pet food, dirty fish coolers, garbage, or other attractants should never be stored on decks.  Please also keep grills cleaned and properly dispose of cooking grease.  Taking these steps will help prevent negative wildlife – human encounters. 

Watering, flowers, tree care:  Many thanks to all those that are voluntarily watering the lawns,  trees and the front bed by the entrance, weeding and planting flowers in the common areas and mail boxes, and doing all sorts of things to keep our neighborhood beautiful.  The board would like to encourage everyone to water their grassy areas as this helps keep our landscaping costs down.  If you see any of these hard working folks please say thanks and if you feel the need to pull up a weed or two, or have some extra flowers that need a home, please consider helping with the front bed.  With no snow cover there over the winter many of the plants that were in the rock bed and under the trees did not survive.