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Monday, June 24, 2013

Saddleridge Pool and Tennis Courts Flooded by Tropical Storm Andrea

Yes, three weeks ago tropical storm Andrea wandered over Wake County, and as longtime Saddleridge residents have come to expect, the pool and tennis courts were inundated by flood waters of Barton's Creek. No big news here. It's a regular occurrence. I've written about it many times before.

Frankly, I don't care any more.

I do not use the tennis courts. No one does. They're an embarrassment to the neighborhood.

I do not use the pool. I'd rather go somewhere and have twenty strangers pee on me than swim in any public facility. Think about it.

I'm not even concerned enough about the pathetic state of affairs down in the swamp that is our common properties to stir myself to go down and photograph the mess. There are already plenty of photos available, along with explanations of why things are the way they are. All is proceeding as I have forseen.

Any current or prospective Saddleridge property owners interested enough to avail themselves to the information may do so.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tennis Court Update

I haven't had much to say of late about the neighborhood tennis courts, except to report on the recurring floods. Recently Fonville Morrisey Sales Associate and Saddleridge homeowner Saysha Ryan, inquired as to what was on my mind. There are currently five homes for sale in Saddleridge, and Saysha is the co-listing realtor for one of these properties, so naturally, she would be curious. The photos are from a recent visit to the courts. As you can see, conditions continue to deteriorate. The tennis courts have become a cracked, weed infested mess. I've asked the opinion of several others about the courts, and the common reply has been, "simply pathetic." There is of course no point in attempting to correct this situation, as the adjacent creek will simply destroy the courts as it has before. Unbelievably, every homeowner in the neighborhood with a home for sale has listed our "amenities" as features of their homes. How anyone could or would consider our pool and tennis courts, situated between a flood prone creek and the neighborhood swamp to be a feature or asset in any fashion is a mystery to me. I think our tennis courts are a liability, and an embarrassment to the neighborhood. I think the neighborhood would benefit from their removal. That's right, pull up the fencing, scrape up the inch of uneven cracked asphalt and haul it to a recycling center, and allow the mud hole left behind to return to a natural state. I think the neighborhood would unarguably benefit from doing so.

Currently, according to Fonville Morrisey's website, there are over 19,000 homes for sale in the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill area. I think that a prospective homeowner with somewhere around $400k, interested in living in this general area, in a neighborhood with well maintained, useful amenities has lots of choices. Maybe there's a Fonville Morrisey sales associate somewhere that might be able to help that homeowner locate such a property.

That's what I think, and thanks for asking, Saysha Ryan!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Saddleridge Pool Vandalized...

...Yet again. The Saddleridge pool is currently closed as a result of vandalism that occurred earlier in the week. At least that's my guess, judging from the broken window. All community pools suffer from vandalism. Saddleridge especially, because our pool is situated on the bottom end of the common property, in the floodplain between the creek and the neighborhood swamp, hundreds of feet from any street. Your average teen aged vandal can entertain himself by breaking glass to his heart's content completely hidden from view, without fear of being discovered by a passerby. After hours beer drinking is a favorite pastime as well, judging from the discarded empties I saw there on my last visit. The window in the photo has been destroyed time and time again. The bottom sash was so badly damaged years ago that the separate panes were replaced by a single sheet of plastic.

I once suggested that both dressing room windows could be replaced with louvered wooden vents similar to what are already installed in the ends of the building, but that was idea soundly rejected. It would have been too permanent a solution, and would have doubled the ventilation in the toilet/dressing rooms, which are always smelly and mildewed. Instead, the Board of Directors has opted for replacing broken glass again and again, with the hope of achieving a different result someday. I believe that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result has been defined as insanity. At Saddleridge, it's SOP.
Update 5/31/10: The pool is now open. Saddleridge homeowners are encouraged to use their pool to enjoy what's left of the Memorial Day weekend.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Saddleridge Tennis Courts Flooded Again

Last night, Sept 26, Saddleridge Subdivision got a little rain from a low pressure system that blew in from the coast. As residents of the neighborhood have come to expect, we got a little flood too. The tennis courts went under again, but this time the pool was spared, by inches. The photo shows the tennis courts with a new coating of mud. The second photo shows the leaves and trash trapped by the tennis court fence, and gives an excelent indication of how high the water rose. Mother nature did a better job last night than she did the last time the property flooded. The last photo shows the discharge end of our new and improved culvert. Our clever Board of Directors saved money by making the abutment at the end of the culvert out of the broken asphalt from the paved drive over the original culvert, removed when the new culvert was installed. As you can see from the photo, the flood waters rushing over the road has eroded the soil behind the abutment, blown out the chunks of cleverly recycled asphalt, and created a sinkhole where soil should be. What you can't do right you will have to do over eventually. This is just another example of our Board's "meets requirements" attitude towards maintenance. I originally gave the board a C- for their efforts with the culvert. I may have to amend that to a D.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Attorney Henry W. Jones Produces His Map and Changes His Mind

On August 29, 2007, Raleigh Attorney Henry W Jones Jr. wrote the following letter. It's published in it's entirety without commentary here.



Dear Jack (Adzema -ed.) :

That's Jack Adzema, sometimes Board President, Board Member for Life, and neighborhood peachy guy.

This letter follows up our telephone conversation of the last few days concerning maintenance responsibilities on Lots where it may appear from individual Lot surveys that the dimensions of the Lot do not extend to the edge of the street. This opinion refers most specifically to the owner of Lot XX at the intersection of XX Drive and XX Drive.

The owner of the property has reviewed his survey and has confirmed the dimensions with a surveyor's tape and reports that his Lot does not extend to the edge of either XX Drive or XX Drive. He contends therefore that his maintenance responsibility stops at his property boundary line. He does not suggest who would maintain the strip of land between his property and the streets..

I do not think that the owner's contention necessarily follows from the facts.

Attorney Jones is wrong. Isn't it delightful, though, when an attorney who cannot read a map condescends to a homeowner who can?

I herewith attach a copy of a portion of the subdivision map which can be referred to as Map Book 19xx at Page xxxx. It clearly shows that the boundary lines may stop short of either street as shown by points on the map, but there is no property line between the marked points to indicate a line of demarcation between the owner's Lot and the right-of-way of either street.

How interesting. In his first letter, Mr Jones wrote, "In my opinion, the area that the owner of the lot has neglected to maintain is a portion of his Lot. From my review of the maps, it appears that each lot owner owns and the lot encompasses the area to the edge of the street. " Clearly, in order to make that determination, Mr. Jones must have been able to see property boundaries, which are shown on his map, and the edge of the street, which in fact is not shown on his map. Now, upon producing his map, Mr. Jones can see no property boundaries, or "underlying properties". Mr. Jones has changed his mind.

Of course there are property lines on the map. That's why the map was drawn in the first place, and why it is archived by Wake County, and made avavilable to the general public, not just attorneys. From Mr. Jones' own map, published here, the property boundaries are as follows, starting at the northwest corner of the lot:

A straight line, length 225.25 feet, direction 09 degrees, 01 minutes, 41 seconds. Then a straight line, lenght 266.48 feet, direction 57 degrees, 05 minutes, 06 seconds. Then a straight line, length 135.06 feet, direction 32 degrees, 54 minutes, 54 seconds. Then a circular arc, radius 25 feet, length 36.12 feet, then a circular arc, length 160.92 feet, radius 485.15 feet, intersecting with the first line described. Here, let me show you a picture.

Either Mr. Jones is being willfully dishonest, or he cannot read a map. I leave it to my readers to decide which.

It seems to me that the draftsman of the Declaration contemplated this issue when he drafted the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions for the Community. Each owner maintains his Lot. The definition of the term "Lot" in the Declaration is as follows:

"Lot shall mean and refer to any improved or unimproved parcel of land, shown upon any recorded subdivision map of the properties, intended for the construction of detached single family dwelling, excluding any common properties as defined herein."

Lot XX is shown very clearly on the subdivision map.

Mr Jones does another about face. But, just as the proverbial blind pig does occasionally find an acorn, Mr Jones finally gets it right. Yes, Virginia, the lot is very clearly shown on the subdivision map as I have exhaustively demonstrated.

The strip of land in question is clearly not Common Property because it is not owned by the Association.

Right. It's the property of the State of North Carolina. The DOT will tell you that.

There is no line of demarcation between the owner's Lot and the right-of-way in question on the subdivision map.

Demonstrably wrong. Mr Jones changes his mind yet again.

This leads me to believe that the draftsman intended the maintenance responsibility to be determined, not by reference to each individual owner's particular Lot survey, but by the lines shown on the subdivision map, as attached and as described in the Declaration.

The draftsman's intentions have no bearing here, and neither does Mr. Jones' magic crystal ball that allows him to divine the twenty year old intentions of a draftsman that I daresay he does not know nor has ever met. It does make nice filler material though. Mr. Jones is charging a lot for this letter.

I will not discuss the possibility of legal waiver or estoppel issues that would have been caused by the owner's continuous course of maintenance of the same area for a number of years; however, it appears to me that those issues may have some applicability as well.

Good. Then I won't have to discuss it either.

I've had quite a lot of fun with Mr. Jones today. In closing I must say that I truly do admire Mr. Henry W. Jones, for being willing to sign his name to this poorly written and even more poorly reasoned assortment of self contradictory bovine scatology, masquerading as legal opinion, for the purpose of advancing his client's interests, and cashing their checks. That's what I call real integrity.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Covenants corner #4 Hypocrite Board Member Lee Churn

Sadleridge covenants, Article XI, states; Each Owner shall keep his building site free of tall grass, undergrowth, dead trees, trash and rubbish and his property maintained so as to present a pleasing appearance. Article XIII, Section 13.4 also states; No lot or other area in the Subdivision shall be used as a dumping ground for rubbish, or a site for the accumulation of unsightly materials of any kind...

What you see here is a photo of hypocrite Board member Lee Churn's prize winning truck sized front yard trash heap, What you can't see in the photo is the adjacent half rotted woodpile and another pile of dead tree limbs and assorted trash. All of this mess is within feet of the right-of-way. I say prize winning because his front yard dump is even bigger than the trash heaps Board President Eric Noble has created by dumping his lawn maintenance related trash on the vacant lot behind his house. Over the course of the last year, Mr Churn, and the rest of the Board of Directors have dispatched neighborhood enforcer Carol Slaven of Charleston Management Corp. to police the neighborhood for such things as "Missing Pinestraw" and appearance "Problems/Violations". Oddly, it would seem that hypocrite Mr. Churn's front yard landfill has gone unnoticed, and the cited convenants unenforced. Clearly, neighborhood Pinestraw Policewoman Carol Slaven knows on which side her bread is buttered, and who has the butter.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Water Flows Downhill, Finally

Recently, after nearly twenty years of ass dragging, our hidebound Board of Directors finally saw fit to install a new culvert under the drive to the neighborhood pool. I've commented about this situation before.

What do you suppose could have possibly motivated the Board to undertake this long overdue and clearly necessary action?

The Board also had the contractor that installed the culvert to dig a new ditch to the creek, so the water had somewhere to go. Areas of the property that have for all intents and purposes been under water for years are now dry enough to walk on, even though this part of North Carolina is finally receiving rain fairly frequently.
As with much of the Board's activities, this work was done as cheaply as possible. They wouldn't want to cut into their party fund. The original galvanized culvert was replaced with plastic, rather than concrete. The original had been crushed repeatedly by the neighborhood homeowners backing their minivans and SUVs over the end of the culvert while trying to leave the handicapped parking places where they had no business to start with. I doubt the new and improved plastic culvert will fare much better. Time will tell. I'm giving the Board a C- on this one.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Covenants Corner #3 Hypocrite Board Member Glenn Lobsinger

Last fall Board member Glenn Lobsinger participated with the rest of the Saddleridge Board of Directors in prosecuting a homeowner for an imaginary covenant violation, based on a willful misinterpretation of the neighborhood covenants. In his defense, he napped through much of the hearing. Sorry if we kept you up Glenn. While concerned about appearances in the rest of the neighborhood, Glenn obviously has a blind spot where his own property is concerned. What you see pictured here is Glenn's (or someone's) lawn equipment on a trailer parked on his driveway. I've commented about this particular violation before here. That boat is still there, by the way, Carol. Of course, it goes without saying that Board members in Saddleridge should be required to comply with Covenants just as ordinary, run-of-the-mill unpriveleged homeowners are required to do. Carol Slaven of Charleston Management Corp. is "required to monitor the neighborhood, and to identify situations that are not in compliance with the Saddleridge covenants and appearance guidelines." Is there a double standard working here Carol? Or, do you too have a blind spot where Board Member's lots are concerned? Any answers Carol?
Glenn Lobsinger, your hypocrisy is showing.
Glenn and Carol are encouraged to respond to this post. I'll be happy to publish whatever you have to say about this situation.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Covenants Corner #2

Saddleridge covenants Article XIII, Section 13.3 states: No vehicles or similar equipment shall be parked or stored in an area visible from any street except passenger automobiles, passenger vans, motorcycles, pick-up trucks, and pick-up trucks with attached bed campers that are in operating condition and have current license plates and inspection stickers and are in daily use as motor vehicles on the streets and highways of the State of North Carolina, nor shall any vehicle be parked on any street in the subdivision except in the immmediate vicinity of and for the purpose of viewing a model house maintained by a builder.

The photos you see here are of a boat, covered with a blue cover, taken from a street in Saddleridge. This is unarguably a violation of Article XIII, Section 13.3. I've included two photos to show that this violation has been ignored for months by the Board of Directors, and Carol Slaven of Charleston Management Corp. You will notice that there are leaves on the trees in the first photo, and none in the second. You can also see that the front of the boat has been covered with a brown tarp. Nice try, but it's still a violation.
In years past, this covenant was not enforced by the Board of Directors, then finally enforced when enough homeowners complained mightily. It appears that the Board has lost its' focus once again. As usual, Carol Slaven's competence (She is required by the board to monitor the neighborhood for covenant violations.), is to be questioned.

Update: I have been informed by Carol that a letter has been sent to this board member concerning this violation. I have also been informed that this board member has resigned. I have accused the Board of hypocrisy in previous posts. This is just another sterling example.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Covenants Corner #1

Recently our Board of Directors has begun publishing their version of a neighborhood newspaper and distributing it through the neigborhood by taping it to the sides of mailboxes. A recurring feature of their news rag is "Covenants Corner". I think this is an excellent idea, and have decided to adopt a similar practice here. Let's get started. Article III of Saddleridge covenants states:
All driveways shall be paved (concrete or asphalt) from street to each house including parking areas. All driveways shall be paved (concrete or asphalt) and meet department of North Carolina standards.

Clearly and obviously what you see in the photo is a violation of this covenant. It has gone on for over a decade. You will note that the ground in front of the vehicle has been deeply rutted by the years long practice. Carol Slaven of Charleston Management Corp. is charged by the Board to "monitor the neighborhood for covenant violations". Carol's competence is clearly in question. Does the fact that this particular lot owner was a long time Board member have some bearing on Carol's and the Board's willingness to ignore a covenant violation for years? You decide.