The purpose of this calendar is to make event planning and communications easier and most accurate by documenting the standard events that, though subject to change, typically occur throughout the year. Where possible, text from newsletter archives is reused and refined here as better information is captured. See articles suitable for any time of the year at the bottom.
Board meetings are typically held on the 4th Monday of every month and consist of a Board-only executive session, followed by a regular session and open forum that may be attended by residents.
- The quarterly TOT Town Hall is held the 2nd Saturday in January in the Library (unless otherwise announced). All residents are invited to attend this informal information sharing event.
- Time to consider running for the Board – The annual HOA Board of Directors election is typically held in May, but the process starts much sooner. The January Town Hall is a good opportunity to engage attending Board members with questions (residents are invited to Town Halls but only owners may vote for and serve on the Board). In February, owners are provided candidacy forms by US Mail and may declare their candidacy by the date provided. For more information on the Board and its duties, see topotopanga.org/hoa/. While only owners can serve on the HOA Board, residents and owners may at any time request to serve on committees. For more information, visit topotopanga.org/committees/
- This is a good time to put the annual Social Committee “consider joining the board” reception the calendar: TOP O’ TOPANGA WINE & CHEESE GATHERING Are you considering running for the Board? Come and enjoy discussion of the upcoming Board Elections, Sunday, March 18, 4-7 PM, TOT Library
- HOLIDAY AND STREET PARKING REMINDER – Please plan ahead of time to clear away storage that may prevent your on-lot parking spaces from use and register and obtain parking window stickers for your resident vehicles from the onsite office. Vehicles without visible stickers or guest parking passes may be towed without notice. All vehicles parked in any common area parking space must always display either a TOT Sticker, Guest Parking Pass obtained from the Onsite Manager, or temporarily display visited Homeowner/Resident name, address and phone number, or they may be subject to immediate towing at owner’s expense and responsibility. Residents are responsible for informing their guests that ALL streets in TOT are designated fire lanes and No Parking Zones. Offending vehicles may be subject to citation and immediate towing without further notice. For a copy of all parking rules, please contact the onsite office or visit https://www.topotopanga.org/parking/
- Information from the January Town Hall meeting can be shared via the newsletter.
- Owners are provided HOA Board of Trustees Candidacy Forms by US Mail and may declare their candidacy by the date provided. For more information on the Board and its duties, see Home Owners Association (HOA). Residents may, at any time, volunteer to serve on Committees, many of which are open to non-members.
- An informal evening reception is typically held for those considering running for the Board. All are invited to mingle with neighbors and active Board members to discuss ideas, plans, and Board responsibilities.
- The pool heater is turned on April 1 (unless otherwise announced). Please review the pool rules (see Pool & Spa).
- The quarterly TOT Town Hall is held the 2nd Saturday in April in the Library (unless otherwise announced). All residents are invited to attend this informal information sharing event. This is also a good time to have a “Meet the Candidates” event.
- The Annual Board of Directors Election Ballot package is mailed to membership. Please watch your mailbox and carefully follow the instructions to complete and submit your ballot prior to the Annual Members Meeting (typically in May). You can also submit your sealed ballot in person at the meeting or the onsite office.
- The Board Candidate Forum typically takes place in April or May. Please join your neighbors in the Clubhouse and get to know the candidates on the election ballot.
- Annual Brush Clearance Notice: Every homeowner should have received the Annual Brush Clearance Notice from the County of Los Angeles by March. County inspections typically begin in our area on May 1, and all brush clearance should be completed by that date. All owners are responsible for maintaining their property in accordance with the requirements listed in the notice (the responsibility of the HOA is to maintain our common areas in accordance with the County’s requirements). If you do not receive a copy of the County notice, or need more information, direct your inquiries to the County Brush Clearance Unit at (626) 969-2375 or our local Topanga Fire Station 69. A special green waste bin will be available at a time to be determined (on Supi, adjacent to the existing trash bins) to assist residents in complying with brush clearance regulations.
- GREEN WASTE BIN The Green waste bin will be available on Supi (adjacent to the existing trash bins) from April 1st through April 30th to assist residents in complying with the County Fire Department brush clearance regulations mailed to all residents. Here are the guidelines:
- This special bin for green waste materials only. No bags, plastic, recyclables or trash please.
- Resident landscapers must haul large amounts of green waste out of the community.
- NO GREEN WASTE in the regular community trash bins during this time. Thank you!
- Information from the April Town Hall meeting can be shared via the newsletter.
- PLEASE REMOVE POOL TOYS WHEN YOU LEAVE THE POOL Floating toys and other items used in the pool are permitted, but need to be removed from the pool when you leave. Leaving them in the pool prevents the pool skimmers and filters from properly being able to clean the pool. Your cooperation is appreciated to keep our pool clean and safe.
- PLEASE ENSURE STREET SAFETY FOR ALL
Our streets provide critical walking, running, bicycling, and driving access for all of us, and require conscientiousness to ensure safety.
Drivers, please be cautious and stay within the posted speed limit of 15 MPH and obey stop signs on all community streets. All of our streets are County designated fire lanes and parking is prohibited at all times.
Walkers, runners, and bicyclers, please be aware of vehicle traffic at all times. Pets should be kept on a short leash as they may not be easily seen by drivers.
Children under 12 should be accompanied by a responsible adult when on the streets or using community facilities. Please watch and warn for oncoming vehicles, as children may not be easily viewed by drivers. Streets are not intended for recreational purposes, and should be kept clear of bicycles, skateboards, and equipment.
- Kids at play: please be cautious. For the safety of our residents, the community provides multiple recreational areas and prohibits recreational activities in TOT streets, which should be kept clear of bicycles, skateboards, and recreational equipment. Children under 12 should be accompanied by a capable adult when using facilities or on the streets, to watch and warn for oncoming vehicles, otherwise they may not be be easily viewed by drivers. We want to keep our children safe. Please remind family members and guests that streets are not intended for recreational purposes. Drivers must also be cautious and stay within the posted speed limit of 15 MPH on all community streets.
- The California State Department of Housing & Community Development (HCD) sometimes performs park-wide inspections during May. Advance notice is provided to owners so they may ensure their home and lot is in good, clean condition prior to the inspection. For more information, visit Housing & Community Development (HCD).
- CHILDREN’S AGE REQUIREMENTS FOR POOL USE To keep children safe, please follow our rules which state that an adult (person over eighteen years of age) must accompany children under the age of 14, and that children under the age of five years old are not permitted in the spa.
- Be mindful of snakes, but don’t kill them: they help control the rodent population. Once the weather gets warm, we may find a snake in our path. Rattlesnakes strike only as a defensive mechanism to protect themselves: they won’t attack unless provoked. They usually give warning by rattling their tail. When walking, keep you and your pet away from the vegetation at the edges of paths and streets. If bitten, call 911 or get to an emergency room immediately. Gopher snakes (pictured) are harmless but are often mistaken for rattlers. They are slimmer and longer, and have no rattles, but can imitate rattlesnakes by “rattling” their tails against the ground in an attempt to fool predators. Snakes are an important, natural control to the rodent population, and it is important to let them do their part in maintaining our ecosystem. If you need to remove and relocate a snake, contact John MacNeil (310) 455-2013, Dan MacNeil 310.455.2234 (H) or 818.730.7379 (C), Doug Allan (310) 579-7667, or call the Onsite Manager.
- If the HCD Park Wide Inspection has occurred (see May), the HCD will send any violation citations for correction of their findings .
- The quarterly TOT Town Hall is held the 2nd Saturday in July in the Library (unless otherwise announced). All residents are invited to attend this informal information sharing event.
- See Emergency Preparedness & Contact Info > Fire Warnings: Take Extra Caution
- Please keep the 4th of July safe – Please make sure that our streets—all of which are fire lanes—are kept clear and that no sparklers or fireworks are used anywhere in the community. Security will have an extra patrol at the gate and within the community on the evening of July 4th. Use of all fireworks is against the law! If you see someone setting off any kind of fireworks or you see a fire, CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY WITH THE EXACT LOCATION OF THE PROBLEM. DO NOT CALL SECURITY, THE ONSITE OFFICE, OR LORDON.
- Board Election Results
- IT’s BABY FROG SEASON…watch your step! Baby frogs have been spotted in the grass near the Clubhouse and pool. California Treefrogs are our friends. and eat a wide variety of insects, spiders, centipedes and other invertebrates.
WASTE MANAGEMENT TRASH FEE INCREASE – Residents may have received a County-wide mailing from our trash vendor indicating a cost increase. Please note that this notice was a mass mailing sent to all residents in the County and because we are a commercial account, does not apply to our community. There may be a negotiated increase from Waste Management, but not the noted amount and not at this time.
- CONSERVING WATER IN THIS TIME OF EXTREME DROUGHT – We are still under extreme drought conditions, and even the simplest changes to daily routines can have a significant impact. These include shorter showers; turning off water when brushing teeth or shaving; installing high-efficiency toilets, aerators on bathroom faucets, and water-efficient shower heads; recycling indoor water to use on plants; fixing pipes; and only using dishwashers and washing machines with full loads. You can track your water bill and meter to see how your efforts affect usage.
- Information from the July Town Hall meeting can be shared via the newsletter.
- Take wildfire precautions and and be prepared for emergency. Wildfires can ignite at any time of the year, but Topanga is generally more susceptible between September and December when the combination of dry brush, Santa Ana winds, and low humidity is more common. In addition to spring brush clearance, you can protect your home through greater defensible space, and help ensure your physical safety through greater defensible space, and help ensure your physical safety. The North Topanga Fire Council will evaluate your home and give tips as to how to make your home safer. For more information, see Emergency Preparedness.
- Be on the lookout for the HOA Budget Package that will be sent to members in November via US Mail?
- The quarterly TOT Town Hall is held the 2nd Saturday in October in the Library (unless otherwise announced). All residents are invited to attend this informal information sharing event.
- The pool is sometimes closed in October. If not… Swimming pool updates… Based on our current and generally warm weather forecasts, the pool heater seasonal shutdown will be based on the weather’s continued cooperation. There have been some comments regarding the pool contamination lengthy shut-downs. Please note that shut-downs and shock treatments are governed by State Health & Safety regulations and recommendations. The HOA and our pool maintenance vendor must follow those rules.
- Halloween Festivities. Close to Halloween, residents will be provided a length of yarn or ribbon to tie to their mailboxes to show they will participate in Trick or Treating (Note: Some people have their lights on all the time, so asking people to leave them on if they want to participate won’t work.) (Optional: There will also be a Halloween Parade… see next page for details!) All children should be accompanied by an older sibling, parent, or other adult. Make sure your child is visible to cars by carrying a flashlight, glow stick, or wearing reflective tape on their costume . (See more safety tips. )
- Halloween fake spider web decorations are deadly to birds and bees, who can get caught in them and die. Hummingbirds use spider webs to build their nests, which contain toxic substances. Please be safe and restrict the use of fake spider webs to indoors (and keep it where your indoor pets can’t get to it).
- Information from the October Town Hall meeting can be shared via the newsletter.
- FINANCE COMMITTEE UPDATE – Inflation costs for our vendors, materials and labor have affected both the operating and reserve lines of the HOA budget. After much review and discussion, the Board voted to increase the monthly assessment (dues) from $640 to $650, a ten-dollar increase, beginning January 1, 2023. Also, there will be a special assessment of $384 per household to be applied to the reserve line for repaving the roads (Asphalt Resurface), due on January 1, 2023. California Civil Code allows the Board of Directors to issue a one-time annual special assessment up to 5% without owner approval. If you wish to request an extension or payment plan for the special assessment, and to avoid late fees and penalties, please submit a written request to Donalea Bauer at Lordon Management before January 1, 2023. (email@example.com). Additionally, if you pay your HOA assessments and expenses through an automatic payment plan, please be sure to adjust the deduction amount to reflect the increase in the monthly dues as well as the special assessment.
- Avoid parking problems over the holidays.Plan ahead of time to clear away storage from your parking spaces and obtain guest parking passes from the Onsite Manager during office hours. Please remind guests that ALL streets in TOT are fire lanes and vehicles parked in fire lanes are subject to citation or immediate towing. For temporary loading and unloading , please leave visible contact info on the dashboard with the resident’s name, address, and phone number.
- HOA members should receive the new budget by the end of November.
- Holiday Boutique – Join us at the TOT clubhouse to mingle, shop locally, and celebrate with TOT neighbors and friends. TOT resident artists, artisans, and crafters who would like to be vendors at our Holiday Boutique should contact Flin at (310) 717-4294. You are welcome to invite friends, but there is to be no outside advertising, as it is a TOT-only event. (Not sponsored by the Social Committee.)
- Holidays often affect the trash and recycling pickup schedule. Weeks in which Christmas day, Thanksgiving day, and New Year’s Day fall typically postpone pickup one day. Visit https://www.topotopanga.org/waste-management/ for the full year’s schedule and more information.
- Holiday Boutique – Same as above, remove contact sentence.
- All Hail the Christmas Tree Dumpster! The dumpster will be available shortly after the Christmas holiday, and located near the trash bins on Supi. Please remove all ornaments, tinsel, wiring, stand, and other materials before placing in the bin. Do not leave trees anywhere else but the bin.
IT’S A BIRD, IT’S A PLANE, IT’S AN SCE DRONE
Southern California Edison (SCE) is utilizing UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, aka drones), to survey and inspect power lines and may be seen flying in our area, as we are a high fire risk area. TOT’s power lines are all underground and safe from fire danger. However, TOT’s power comes from the high-voltage lines that run along Topanga Canyon Blvd and are subject to all kinds of damage.
SPEAKING OF DRONES…
Flying of recreational or commercial drones over Top O’ Topanga property is not allowed, by law, without proper permissions and special aircraft pilot licensing. Use of drones is controlled by both Federal and Local Authorities, and there are severe penalties for illegal drone operation. Additionally, Top O’ Topanga is located in a controlled airspace zone and under FAA restrictions.
FOR OWNERS WHO AUTOPAY
Owners who autopay their HOA account need to regularly check their bill to make sure you’re paying the correct amount. There are sometimes changes to service fees, and the system won’t accept payment if it differs from the bill.
REPORTING VIOLATIONS HELPS
TOT management does their best to ensure that rules are followed but cannot be everywhere at once. While no one is expected to put their personal safety at risk by confronting violators, if residents feel comfortable, they can remind another resident of the rules. Every homeowner has been provided a copy of the rules. They are also available from the Office Manager or the topotopanga.org website.
Reporting violations is important, as it initiates the process the Board requires to hold residents and visitors accountable. For non-emergency violations such as pool or trash rules, contact the Onsite Manager with as much information as you can provide. This may include name and/or address of the person (if known), physical description, date, time/duration, location, and description of an incident.
For police and fire emergencies, call 911 directly. For a non-emergency, park security issue, or to report parking in the streets (fire lanes), call Archon Security at (800) 274-5717.
ARE YOU LEAVING YOUR HOME FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME? HERE ARE SOME PRECAUTIONS THAT YOU SHOULD CONSIDER IN PREPARATION…Some residents in the community with other homes or family to visit, or taking long vacations and leaving their homes for whatever reason, should consider some of the following before leaving. Make sure you have notified the Post Office to divert all mail or have someone collecting it on a regular basis.
- Make sure shades, doors and windows are closed and locked and electric garage door operators are turned off or unplugged.
- Shut off main valves for both water and gas lines located on the outside of your house. Electricity should stay on.
- Set random timers on a few lights located around the house to give the appearance of occupancy. LED bulbs use little power and cost only a few cents a month to operate. In the event of a water leak or power outage that may reset your irrigation timer and cause excessive water bills and possible damage to your home and property, shut off is advisable. We don’t have a frost problem in this area that requires heating so shutting off your gas main will protect you if there should be a leak caused by earthquake or other unknown cause. If you have pilot lights on your stove and water heater, they will have to be relit when you return. Please note that any minimum water and gas utility service bills must still be paid monthly, even if shut off locally.
- Make sure that any vehicles on the property are properly parked and not intruding into the street. No vehicles can be long-term parked or stored in any common-area parking space. THEY WILL BE TOWED!
- Notify the Onsite Management Office with the dates that the property will not be occupied and leave contact information in case there is an issue that requires your attention. (This information will be held in confidence)
We hope this information is helpful in the interest of health and safety for all in the community.