Mount Hermon Association, Inc.
Rules and Regulations Enforcement Guidelines
Guidelines Effective August 31, 2015
- To enforce MHA rules and regulation in a consistent, objective manner in order to promote compliance for the benefit of all Mount Hermon residents and guests.
- To give Mount Hermon Residents, Community Board Members and MHA Staff, clear direction in working together toward conflict resolution and enforcement of our rules and regulations.
- To communicate clear expectations to those who are not in compliance with our rules and regulations, while doing so in a manner consistent with biblical teaching and promoting healthy community relationships.
- Be a Good Neighbor – As a foundation encouraging positive relationships in our community, we promote “The 10 qualities of a good neighbor” which includes “They seek a win, win situation when problems arise.”(See addendum to this document or go to http://mounthermoncommunity.com.)
- Talk to your Neighbor – If a resident has concerns about an MHA rule or regulation that has possibly been violated; the concerned resident is encouraged to respectfully speak with the responsible party about their concerns in order to facilitate neighborly communications and ultimately compliance with the rule.
- Involve a Community Board Member – If the concerned resident is not satisfied with the outcome or uncomfortable having a-one-on conversation with the responsible party , the concerned resident is encouraged to speak with a Community Board Member about the issue offering another perspective. If the Community Board Member(s) is in agreement, the Board Member(s) can go together with the concerned resident to speak with the responsible party directly in an effort to resolve the issue.
- Speak with the MHA Property Manager – If the responsible party does not comply with the rule after meeting with a Community Board Member(s) and the original concerned resident, the Board Member(s) and concerned resident are encouraged to take the matter up with the Facilities and Property Manager of MHA.
- The Facilities and Property Manager or his assigns will investigate the rule violation as necessary and may contact the responsible party directly in order to resolve the issue.
- If the Facilities and Property Manager agrees that the issue warrants further action, the Facilities and Property Manager will write an official letter to the owner of the property in question, citing the rule(s) that have been violated and giving clear expectations about compliance with the rule including a deadline for compliance if appropriate.
- Further Steps – If the responsible party does not comply with the rule after steps 1-4 have been completed, the Facilities and Property Manager or his assigns may take the following further steps:
- Contact the Santa Cruz County Planning Department, if the rule is also a County Code Violation. The concerned resident is also encouraged to report this to Santa Cruz County Planning Department.
- Contact the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office for assistance if the rule is also a violation of the law. The concerned resident is also encouraged to report this to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office.
- Have vehicles towed that are on MHA property and are not in compliance with the rules.
- Take other legal action as reasonable and necessary.
- Safety Issues – If the rule being broken is an immediate safety issue (e.g. vehicle blocking the roadway, wildland fire threat, etc.) The Facilities and Property Manager or his assigns may immediately go to step #5 of these guidelines.
Ten Qualities of a Good Neighbor –
- They practice frequent positive communication.
- They want to build good relationships.
- They are quick to lend a helping hand
- They look out for other’s property and possessions for possible theft or damage.
- They are involved and are responsive to unusual situations.
- They promote the well-being of the whole community
- They are concerned for widows, elderly and children.
- Parents are will to provide a safe place for neighborhood children.
- They obey the law
- They seek a win-win situation when problems arise.
Examples of enforcement using the steps above –
- One on One (go directly to the responsible party)
This course of action should be the usual first step in resolving conflict. This shows that you care about the person as well as the issue. It may be tempting to call the County first and by-pass any interaction, but this will only result in unfriendly attitudes and distancing feelings.Here’s an example. Billy-Bob heard loud voices and laughter close to his house at 11:30pm, which is past the Santa Cruz County noise curfew 10:00pm-8:00am. It was bothering him. He found out the owner was Barbara-Dee a couple of houses down. She had some guests over and they lost track of time talking in the backyard. He went right away to her home to speak with her. After a friendly interaction, Barbara-Dee apologized, thanked him for letting her know, and said she would have her friends move inside.
- Including a MHC Board Member (Contact: [email protected])
This course of action should come after you’ve contacted the responsible party one-on-one and did not get a satisfactory response. Email one of the current MHC Board members explaining the situation and giving your phone number. They will contact you, discuss your concerns, and brainstorm ways to find a reasonable solution. If necessary, go together with the MHC Board member to the responsible party and talk things through.Here’s an example. Anakin owned a dog and walked him often without a leash. The dog would relieve itself in neighbor’s yards and scare other dogs being walked with leashes. Many neighbors nicely asked Anakin to observe the leash rule at Mount Hermon, but he refused. Someone contacted a MHC Board member and explained the situation. Both of them met with Anakin and explained their concerns. Fortunately, Anakin didn’t realize just how insensitive to other neighbors he had been and said he would walk his dog on a leash from then on.
- Involving the MHA Facilities and Property Manager (Contact: [email protected] or 831-430-1203)
This course of action usually comes after you’ve met with the responsible party one-on-one and with a MHC Board member but did not get a satisfactory response. Email or call Mark explaining the situation. He will meet with you and speak with the responsible party to try and work out a solution. [There are some circumstances when Mark should be contacted right away such as property hazards, roads/trails/bridges concerns, Mount Hermon Camp concerns, abandoned cars, etc.]Here’s an example. Skipper collected boating parts. He often left these parts in his front yard until he found a place in his garage to put them. This made his front yard look pretty unorganized and messy. A number of neighbors were concerned, but Skipper didn’t want to change. After a couple of one-on-one visits and an interaction with a MHC Board member offering to help, Skipper chose to ignore them. Mark was contacted. He called Skipper and worked out a date to have his front yard cleaned up. He followed up his call with a letter to clarify the details and agreement. Skipper cleaned everything up on time. Many neighbors complimented Skipper personally, which helped build their relationships.
- Contacting Santa Cruz County Code Enforcement (http://www.sccoplanning.com/PlanningHome/CodeCompliance.aspx)
This course of action should be rare. Since there are three other more personal ways to encourage enforcement, this should not be the first thing you do. However, there are many rules and regulations that are simply restated from the county codes. If someone has gone through all the previous means of addressing the problem, Mark will contact the Santa Cruz County Code Enforcement or Sheriff to help bring resolve.Here’s a bad example. Marybeth wanted to make it easier to get her trash and recycle bin to the front of her house since she had a large front yard and it was quite a hassle rolling them back and forth over her pebble driveway. She spoke with Mark and received permission to build a very cute storage unit close to the front of her yard, which stored the bins. Not knowing this isn’t a building code infraction, a neighbor called the county without even speaking to Marybeth. The county inspector came out and told Marybeth it looked nice and was totally fine.
- Calling the Sheriff Deputy (Non-emergency, 471-1121, or 911 in an emergency)
This course of action is when you feel threatened, see trespassers, have a medical emergency, etc. When you call the Sheriff, it creates a report and generates documented history that can be used later for purposes of solving crimes and understanding the bigger picture.Here’s an example. Thomas noticed that a side window of a neighbor’s home was wide open. This home was often empty until summer. He noticed footprints on the wall just under the window as if someone had climbed in. He right away called 911 and gave a report. A Sheriff came out immediately to check it out. Thomas also called Mark and a MHC Board member to let them know about the problem.