Castellammare is a community of approximately 400 homes in Pacific Palisades, which is an unincorporated part of the city of Los Angeles. There are two communities on our hill: one is Lower Castellammare, which allowed its CC&Rs to lapse and is no longer a functioning HOA; and Castellammare Mesa Home Owners (CMHO), a HOA for approximately 219 homes, which is a 501(c)4 mutual benefit corporation with strong CC&Rs, active homeowners and voluntary dues.
Over the years, there have been resident-created and driven initiatives, such as brush clearance, security cameras, and other safety issues that benefit both communities. The HOA cannot shoulder liability for these activities as some of the locations for brush clearance and installation and maintenance of security cameras are outside the tract. However, the HOA participates by advertising the campaigns in its newsletter and providing pass-through accounts for the collection of donations. During the Pandemic and the “Safer at Home” mandate, the need for increased safety and security was felt by both communities. A survey of residents from both Castellammare Mesa and Lower Castellammare about these issues resulted in the formation of a 501(c)3 corporation, Castellammare Security Committee (CSC), with a voluntary, unpaid board made up of residents from both the HOA and Lower Castellammare. Its focus is to work in association with the HOA in the solicitation of tax deductible donations for the purpose of carrying out resident-approved safety and security initiatives.
While the residents are happy to have a corporation that benefits all of Castellammare and allows for tax-deductible contributions, the HOA views CSC as a competing organization that has limited the HOA’s participation by removing the need for the HOA to manage pass-through accounts for donations. CSC believes that removing liability for these outside activities from the HOA and providing a way for resident contributions to be tax deductible should be considered a win-win. Without cooperation between CSC and the HOA, the issues will lose momentum, progress made up to this point will be lost, and more importantly, HOA member-residents will lose faith in the HOA, witha predictable loss in voluntary annual dues.
Any advice and/or referrals on where to seek more information will be greatly appreciated.
Since the residents in your community feel strongly about this, perhaps you can urge your HOA board to cooperate with the resident-run CSC. It’s hard to do anything if your board won’t budge. Have you tried bringing up this topic at a meeting? Maybe show the board that all the residents are in favor of this? What does your HOA manager have to say?