Robert Lamoureux: flooding and HOA pool problems



My name is Monica S., and I live in Canyon Country.

After flooding in my home, I have heeded your warning about drainage. I reached out to a contractor for the drains, and he said that I need a permit in order for him to core the curb so that he can direct the water from my yards out to the street, and not have the water dispense out onto the sidewalk.

That makes sense as far as the drainage, but the permit? Why on earth would we need to do drawings, have someone out and pull a permit just to core a 4-inch hole in the curb?
—Monica S.

This is 100-percent accurate, your contractor is doing exactly what he or she is supposed to be doing.

The reason is that you can’t just randomly core a hole into a curb because each hole weakens the curb. The engineer’s job there is to go out to assess the area and make sure that there aren’t too many holes cored that will put the area at risk.

The curbs are city property, and the city has a responsibility to maintain these areas. If everyone cores at their will, that could be a huge liability to the city. You could even be denied, depending on what the immediate area is like.

Your contractor is spot on, so follow his lead.
— Robert

Hello Robert,

I hope this message finds you well. I enjoy reading your articles in The Signal, and I was hoping to get your input in a matter.

I am on the board of directors for our homeowners association for an 18-unit condominium complex in Newhall.

The HOA is making plans to demolish our swimming pool because most members on the board believe it has low usage, maintenance and repairs are expensive, there is no spa or heater and they think the pool is to shallow to enjoy. (The deepest point is 4 1/2 feet.)

I am the only member on the board who currently lives at the location of the condominium complex. All other owners rent out their properties to tenants.

I am afraid this will lower the value of our property, and that the board members do not understand or really care about the issue because they are not living on the premises. My question is: Can the board of directors make a decision like this? Is there anything you think I could do to stop them from closing down one of the only amenities our complex has to offer? I appreciate you taking the time to read this message.

I hope to hear back from you.

Thank you,
— Ruben


This is more of a legal question for an attorney. Over the years, it’s always been my understanding that common-area amenities cannot be removed without a vote from the membership.

I strongly urge you contact your HOA attorney and get a legal opinion before you do anything like what is being recommended.

Best of luck to you,
— Robert

Robert Lamoureux has 38 years of experience as a general contractor, with separate licenses in electrical and plumbing contracting. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. His opinions are his own, not necessarily those of The Signal. Opinions expressed in this column are not meant to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor after that contractor has made a thorough visual inspection. Email questions to Robert at [email protected].

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