After a severe storm, a homeowners association in Bakersfield says it is not responsible for owners' safety. According to the HOA, owners should have prepared themselves individually.
After a severe storm, a homeowners association in Bakersfield says it is not responsible for owners’ safety. According to the HOA, owners should have prepared themselves individually.
A Bakersfield community, Pine Mountain Club, recently experienced a storm that left several owners snowed in. Despite some owners expressing their concerns, the homeowners association’s general manager, Karin Shulman, maintains that the HOA is not responsible for owners’ safety.
“We can’t take care of people individually,” Shulman told local news. “That’s not our job.”
According to Shulman, the association did everything possible to prepare the members for the storm. The association sent out email blasts letting them know that a storm was approaching. The email blast also reminded members to make preparations for food and heat.
“You have to be self-sufficient, and we have to be prepared; that’s up to every single homeowner to be prepared,” Shulman said.
The Pine Mountain Club is in charge of removing snow. But, amidst the efforts to remove snow, more than half of the snow plows became damaged. This slowed the snow removal, leaving club members in higher elevations snowing for more than 10 days.
Lewis Larmon, a community member, explained that club members pay more than a thousand dollars in annual fees to the HOA. This fee also covers snow plowing services. And while Larmon understands why many felt frustrated over recent events, Larmon himself does not feel angry.
The HOA extended efforts to assist club members by allowing residents to use the association’s clubhouse for power and heat. Approximately 50 people stayed in the clubhouse during the storm.
Shulman believes that club members have learned from this experience and hopes they will be more prepared.
“You have to be responsible to ensure you have heat and medication when you have a storm coming in,” Shulman said. “This is really a precursor to come.”
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