AZ Declarants and Builders Fail to Fix Manmade Lakes which They Built

A story that leaves me stumped.

What does one do when a defect is revealed in a development that is still building out to completion? The development is controlled entirely by Builders and a Declarant. The community residents are blocked from any access to an AZ Developer run HOA. And daily management is done by the builder hired HOA management company. Two years have passed for this community located on AZ state highway 347.

Instead, the HOA-hired management company has been posting continuous “working on it commentary” of the problem for the last two years and not giving a time period or detail of when a solution will be available. Evasiveness is the modus operandi. Questioning the HOA management team does not lead to an answer either. Residents are not allowed to speak to the Declarant assigned HOA members (redundant alert).

Meanwhile the builders are building as fast as they can and selling homes when they can. Obviously, it is not happening fast enough due to high interest rates. Once they reach a certain point, the HOA and all the unsolved problems will pass to the residents. And they walk away scot-free even though they have the responsibility of fixing issues as they are in charge. Negligence on their part? I doubt any of the builders are telling new buyers there is a problem with the development’s water elements which they will also be obliged to pay for also.

There exists 60-some pages of a CCR or a Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions which are complex in nature and are not as clear. What is covered on one page may also be covered on another page in a different manner. There are also other documents which have rules which homeowners must follow.

Being told to read the CCRs for information is laughable. People get lost in the detail and the other documentation. It was meant to be a difficult read for homeowners. The Builders and Declarant take advantage its length and complexity.

The old Declarant released himself administratively and passed on its rights by edict to a “subsequent-owner of part or all of development.” The new “subsequent-owner of part or all of development” could then be named as a new Declarant.

Earlier in 2023 during a City Council meeting, the City Council passed aa resolution taking over maintenance of the streets and public improvements parts at the request of the builder who in October 2023 became the new Declarant. The streets and other public parts of that parcel were insured by the old Declarant via a purchased insurance policy. The builder became a subsequent-owner of part or all of development as detailed in the CCRs (Taken from the CCRs).

Rather than use the county filed Plat to pass the resolution, a hand drawn document was substituted at the City Council meeting. It was inaccurate and seemly meant to confuse. It was also missing one street and the streets/roads were misnamed and relatively inaccurate. The Parcel was difficult to identify. I could not find the Parcel in the beginning.

During the City Council meeting I protested the use of the hand drawn Plat as I knew there was a more accurate Plat filed with the county. It did not matter, and the resolution passed.

The problem with the development is also environmental. Without constant maintenance (using chemicals) of the water elements (which much of the development does not live near) the water quality will (and does) degenerate. The water aeration system does not function as well as it did in the beginning. There have been reports from longer term residents of better water quality in the past. There was also a legal effort made in the past to force the issue of the aerators.

To battle the issues, the HOA management team hired a firm to spread the chemicals, a short-term and temporary fix, which has to be done periodically. The real fix involves is replacing the aerators. There is still algae and fish die offs.

A group of homeowners did hire an attorney and tried to force the issue. They backed off when the Declarant sent a cease and desist though their attorney and without a judge’s signature. I am pretty confident new buyers are not being told of the water issues and the potential costs.

Thoughts or direction is appreciated. It would be nice if a local Phoenix AZ news outlet or newspaper did pick this issue up.