Updated 25 June 2022
FYI (For Your Information)
posted 2 April 2021
Condo Owner On-Line Classes
by Mariette van den Bersselaar
HOAconsulting.net is an e-learning website that offers some excellent courses on HOA living, HOA Board User Guide, and how to protect your home from the Coronavirus. I have attached a screen print of the three courses.
Three Courses
The library of 3 audio video courses is offered FREE for a period of time and for one month after you sign up. It is not clear from the website when the free offers expire. 
Learn at Own Pace
Each course is less than an hour long and you get a lot of information packed in a short amount of time. You do not need to complete the course in one session, and can go back to it as many times as you want. 
How to Get Started
To get started, go to the website www.HOAconsulting.net and select the blue button "Take a Course Now", then go through the steps of putting the courses in the shopping cart, proceed to the checkout (where the cost will be $0) and sign up with your email account and your own password. 
Very Informative
I thought the courses were very informative and can wholeheartedly recommend them. Let me know if you decide to take a look and if they were helpful.

Editor Notes:
  1. I took two of these classes. In the class HOA Board, I found out that an HOA is the "Caretaker" of the Community and not the "Landlords". In the course HOA Living, I found out what the Board is not. Very enlightening.
  2. When you register for these free classes, you have 30 days from the registration date to take them before you re asked to pay for them. You do not have to give a credit card or anything to register.
posted 24 January 2022
Boiler System Discrepancies
Allow me to share with you my impressions of the circumstance where Harbour Vista is experiencing lukewarm water in several buildings on the property. On January 28th, the HOA will have a site inspection and review of the affected Boiler systems with representatives of the Boiler Manufacturer (Laars), ProStar Mechanical (maintenance vendor) and a representatives from the HOA.
Discrepancies Identified
The Board and ProStar Mechanical have identified several discrepancies with the new boiler systems versus the old ones. Of significant note is that the lukewarm water/sediment issue is only occurring in the buildings supported by the boiler system installed in 2018.
Boiler Summary
Three Laars boiler systems were installed in 2018 replacing the original RayPak dual Boiler systems. Two were installed to support the three Grunion Buildings (30 units per boiler) and one was installed to support the 4791 Lago and 4831 Lago Buildings (40 units). These buildings are experiencing lukewarm water issues-though not in every unit. The original RayPak dual boiler systems that serviced the two Blackbeard buildings and 4861 Lago and Cabana Buildings are not experiencing the lukewarm water/sediment issues. All boiler systems use the exact same size reservoir system (119 gal).
Boiler Summary
Building Boiler Total btu's Units
16512 Blackbeard Dual
16542 Blackbeard
4791 Lago Single
4831 Lago
4852 Cabana Dual
4861 Lago
16521 Grunion Single
16551 Grunion (north)
16551 Grunion (south) Single
16581 Grunion
Dual versus Single
The RayPak system uses two smaller boilers working in tandem to supply hot water. One boiler is on all the time and if demand is exceeded, the other one kicks in. The Laars boiler system consists of a single boiler which
is 30% larger than the one system that it replaced. The old design works and the new design is having problems. Certainly this will be a question for the Laars boiler representative. More to follow.
Plumbing Issues
The hot water system to each building supports both faucets, showers and hydronic heating systems. The water is distributed where piping runs from the bottom floor to the top floor and is a common system to the building. Therefore, problems with one unit's plumbing can affect other unit’s plumbing which has been discussed in previous articles. Continued use of the Mixet valves that were installed when the complex was built, has been shown to cause crossover problems.
Hydronic Heater
There is a return line from each unit that returns water back to the boiler systems reservoir through a circulating pumping system. In addition to lukewarm water issues, it appears that sediment in the pipes has increased with the Laars boiler systems. Members are encouraged to clean faucet strainers more frequently. The HOA is looking into obtaining the services of a plumbing engineer to perform a more detailed evaluation of these issues. ■

Editor Note: If you are familiar with a water heater, it consist of the heating element inside a tank. The boilers at Harbour Vista have the heating element which called the boiler out side of a tank which is called the reservoir. The advantage is the water is heated faster, the tank does not have to be too large and heating of the water is almost instantaneous.
posted 25 August 2021 (update 3/30/22)
New Electronic Kiosk Systems
Completion of the installation of new Electronic Kiosk Intercom system at all three Harbour Vista gates was completed on August 23, 2021. These new Kiosk offermost the functionalityof the old syste, and provide new functionalities.
New Phone Numbers
The new systems do not affect remote control vehicle gate openers or the gate keys. When a guest or vendor selects your name from the new system list, you receive a telephone call from the gate kiosk. Each Kiosk has its own number:
  • 839-212-3238 (Cabana Gate)
  • 573-292-7435 (Grunion Gate)
  • 912-340-8383 (Lago Gate)
Use your cell phone or land line to receive calls from the kiosk. When the call is answered, the gate can be opened by entering the number 11” (press 1” twice). This is different from the previous system which used 9".
Use Cell Phone to Open Gate
One new feature of this system is that residents can use their cell phone to open the gate when they enter the property. Simply dial the gate number from a registered cell phone and the gate will open. This feature only works from a cell phone that has been registered at the particular gate system, and with "Show My Caller ID” enabled.
Multiple Phone Numbers and Name per Family
Guests or vendors select the person to call from the Kiosk, by name. One may scroll down the list of names quickly by pressing and holding either the up or down buttons. More than one name and phone number may be added for one residence. For multiple residents living in the same condo, this will be very useful. Another change is the system does not hang up from the gate. Only the person receiving the gate call can hang up.
New Phone Numbers and Names
The installers were not able to obtain the phone list for the previous kiosk from Powerstone. A new list had to be created from scratch utilizing the current membership list, contacting residents via email, and scanning work orders for phone-add requests. HOA Treasurer Mariette van den Bersselaar worked with Sunrise to format the name list and transfer it to the new system.
Vendor Code Update
Vendor codes were reentered and are working. The previous system used two pound signs ("##") before the four-digit code. The new system uses a single pound sign ("#") after the four-digit code to complete the entry. The vendor needs to hold the pound key ("#") down a little longer to actuate the gate. A notice was placed on the call box to help vendors understand the change in vendor code entry.
Why Were the Kiosks Systems Replaced?
The previous system only worked via land lines and could not support phone numbers outside the 714, 562 and 949 area codes. The new system is accessed via a wireless number and supports all area codes in the US.
To have your number changed, updated or added, contact the Property Manager Company. Make sure to provide name, address and phone number. ■
posted 11 April 2021
EV Charging at Harbour Vista
As Electric Vehicles are becoming more affordable combined with significant rebates from the State and Federal and the push by the current administration to electrify America, Harbour Vista residents may consider purchasing an electric car. These new vehicle they may wish to charge in their garage. But electric power in each garage is paid for by the HOA. This is for serving a garage door opener and lights-and maybe intermediate electrical uses. All the garages in a row are served by the same circuit. Charging an electric vehicle in a condo garage, runs the risk of tripping the circuit for all the garages. Residents should never use the garage HOA electricity to charge an electric vehicle. This includes plug-in hybrids.
Civic Code
The State of California Civil Code §4745. Electric Vehicle Charging Stations states that an Association must allow members to install charging stations in exclusive use common area (parking space or garage). For Harbour Vista garages, this requires a separate meter paid by the owner. But installing the supporting electrical panel and circuit is at the owner’s expense. To help the owner, Southern California Edison offers $1500 rebate to offset these expenses.
Building Permit Required
For a installing a Garage EV charger in an owners garage, the HOA requires that an Architectural Request be submitted for approval and that the owner obtain an Electrical permit with inspection from the City.
posted 4 May 2021
Crossover to be Investigate
Residents in the 16521 Grunion Building have been experiencing water temperature issues.
Temperature Issues
The hot water temperature was tested and showed to be the correct 140 degrees, however residents are experiencing fluctuating temperatures or no hot water at all. There have been several hypotheres proposed with the recent one centering around “crossover”. At the Thursday April 29 HOA Meeting, the Board requested that the Property Manager engage a plumber to inspect each unit in the affected buildings and to specifically inspect the single handle shower faucet for crossover.
What is Crossover?
Crossover is when the cold and hot water line are mixed at a single handle shower faucet. This most likely occurs from the original shower faucets that were installed when Harbour Vista was built in 1980. The valves were made by the Mixet Company and worked fine when new. But 40 years later they may have deteriorated and mix the cold and hot water inlet lines even if they are off or never used. This in turn may affect a neighbor's water temperature below or above or even across the way from the unit. The Mixet company went out of business many years ago. Mixet single handle shower faucets were popular in the ’80’s and replacement parts are still made by third parties. But even when refurbished with new parts, the deteriorating valve is not replaced and will continue to mix the cold and hot lines.
Shared Water System
The buildings at HarbourVista share a common water system. The system provides both hot and cold water, and heat for the hydronic forced air heating system in each condo. The single handle shower faucets share common lines to their neighbors’ units specifically with shower stack plumbing across two or three floors. Having shower faucet crossover in a unit below does affect a neighbor above or to the side.
Pressure Balance
A few residents let the HOA Architectural Chair informally inspect their shower faucets. It was found that several units were still using the old Mixet vales. Several owners have remodeled their master bathroom and had installed new pressure balance faucet. But, many two bedroom owners do not use their second bathroom’s shower.They use the second bedroom as an office or a den with little need to update the bathroom shower fixtures.
The Plan
The HOA has directed an HOA plumber to knock on the door of all units in the affected buildings and investigate for crossover. It is very important each residents be available or have a neighbor provide access to their unit when this inspection occurs. Remember, you may have no hot water issue, but your single handle faucets may be affecting your neighbors.
Owner’s Responsibility
Replacement of a faucet is the homeowner responsibility. As stated in the CC&R’s, it is the responsibility of a homeowner to maintain their unit in proper condition. ■

Editor Notes:
  1. I wrote about this in 2014. It is amazing that is it is still going on. See Mixet Valve Info
  2. Replacing the shower faucet will mean that the whole building’s water must be shut off. This will affect 30 resident on the Grunion side and 40 resident on the Blackbeard, Cabana and Lago side. Many years ago I published an article in how to install individual shutoff ball valves at your shower. This allows easy future replacement of the shower cartridge without scheduling the building's water to be shut off. The trick is to install a removal wall panel on the opposite side of each shower which is either in the laundry room or the walk in closet. See Install Individual Shutoff Valves.
posted 14 November 2020
Kids' Cabin Fever
During these Covid times, parents are faced with their children’s need to be outdoors. “Go out and get some fresh air” is a typical request. But outside grounds of Harbour Vista does have rules. “Do not play in the streams” as a big “NO-NO”. Injuries can occur. Another one is riding a skate board, scooter or bike on the walkways. The Walkways are not pedestrian obstacle courses. But where can children play?
Basket/Tennis Court Grass Area
Harbour Vista has set aside a Basket/Tennis Court Grass Area near the Cabana Car Wash and across from the 16512 Blackbeard Building. The HOA allows children to ride their skate boards in this area, play basket ball and there is a nice grassy area for children to do all sort of things. Younger children must be supervised. There is no issue with parents bringing toys to this area and so forth for their children to use for play. Of course they must be removed when not in use. Maybe the HOA should purchase a play set for this area (under $2000)?
Fabulous Play Set Near By
Speaking of play set, Huntington Beach Wieder Park is right adjacent to Harbour Vista along the Lago Drive exterior wall. But there is no gate to it from our complex. You must walk around. If you walk from Green Street going south and turn down a street call Neely Circle. There it is! Wieder Park has two fabulous play sets. Yes, two of them!
Gate to Park
For many years, it has been suggested that the HOA would install a Gate to Wieder Park at the Logo Driveway south wall.■
posted 23 December 2020
Harbour Vista HOA Safety Committee
Fireplaces at
Harbour Vista
are Gas Heating, Not Wood Burning Appliances!

The Fireplaces in each condo, are not true fireplaces. They are classified as vented gas burning appliances.

One should never use them to burn any material in them.

The Chimneys are Only Vents

The separate chimney stacks on each building that individually service a single condo, are not true fireplace smoke stacks-they are very thin wall vents which serve the gas appliances. Burning wood or chemically treated logs will leave residue inside the thin vent surface which builds up over a period of time and can become a fire hazard.

Enjoy, but Don’t Burn

Enjoy the decorative cement log heating display with the gas flames which is quite beautiful. Remember, not to burn anything in this heating appliance. It is not designed for that.■
posted 31 January 2021
Force Air Circulation
A member diagnosed with Covid-19, was polite enough to inform her neighbors as she quarantine herself in her upstairs unit. A resident on the bottom floor, asks the following question:

"Can the air in the top floor unit circulated through the hydronic heater into the bottom floor unit?"
This is a Good Question
The answer is NO!
Each unit hydronic heater utilizes independent air flow. Air is circulated via a fan through a forced air system where the intake is from the metal ceiling grill located in the hallway of each unit. No air is mixed from one unit to another via this system.■
posted 22 September 2020
Balcony Cover
HOA member Mary Williams around May of this year, piloted an over hang balcony cover for her condo. The Sun really heated up her balcony area for her top floor unit. Besides solving the heating and shade issues for her unit, the design is aesthetically pleasing and matches the architecture of the building. Approval was granted by the Architectural Committee for a pilot where her design only attached to the overhead framing and did not penetrate the stucco. There are no attachments to walls or floor of deck. This structure does not move and is held in place by pressure.
Classified as a do-it-yourself project, Mary William’s son who is a skilled woodworker cut all the wood and painted before being assembled. This took approximately 20 hours or two days. Galvanized deck screws were used. Wood was painted to match existing walls and trim of deck. Costs of materials was approximately $350 because he used utility grade pressure treated wood for the stringers. Utility grade wood has lots of holes and defects but most are not noticeable after painting. Better grade 2" x 2" would have cost more. The construction consisted of 40 stringers for 12' x 12' deck.
The single 2" x 4" was attached to the fascia with screws (only attachment to existing structure). This gave a lip for the 2" x 2" stringers to sit on. Stringers were attached to the 2' x 4' with screws set at an angle.
Gutter and FIOS
The 4" x 4' post was set 2 inches away from the wall. A shorter 2" x 4' was set next to the wall. This way the gutter is not touched nor is existing conduit or FIOS wires at the ground level. The two posts were caulked to stop moisture.
The two 2" x 8" were set onto of the posts. These were sandwiched with spacers. Less weight than 4" x 8" beam that would be prone to sag without center support. The stringers lay on top and extend approx 12 " beyond. 2" x 8' were attached to posts with L-brackets.  2" x 4" bracing was attached at angles for stability.
2" x 4”'s were attached to the end of the overhanging stringers. A screw into each stringer. Holes were caulked and painted. If a stringer ever needs replacing, it is an easy removal.
Architectural Guidelines
The Architectural Committee is very pleased with this installation. It is appreciated how this patio/balcony cover matches the architecture at Harbour Vista. The Committee will look very favorably to Architectural Requests which reference this type of design. This installation is sturdier than the ones referenced in the current Architectural Guidelines. Harbour Vista Guidelines will be updated to add this new design.■
posted 26 August 2020
Cockroaches at BBQ
by Michael Deitrick (HOA Secretary)
For those who wonder why and have commented or complained about cockroaches at the Cabana pool bbq area, let me help you understand how this happens. Most weekends I venture out with my spray bottle of disinfectant and paper towels to wipe down the tables from the previous days festivities. On occasion I go back inside and get a trash bag to take care of a full can that needs emptying.
Extrra Special Day
During one of the hottest weeks we’ve had all summer, someone thought it would be nice to pour milk into one of the trash cans. Not just a little but a healthy portion. That does real well in the hot sun. 😉 Corn on the cob and other BBQ leftovers are the perfect invite for bugs.
What Can We Do?
If you are going to enjoy the bbq area for dinner, it
would be helpful to bring a bag and dispose of your food scraps into the dumpster instead of the pool trash cans. Not sure if everyone understands that the pool area gets cleaned once a week so the food that is left behind will rot for days in the hot sun. Pouring out beverages in the sink before disposing of the container would also be helpful.
We All Need to Do Our Part
My family doesn’t use the bbq area or spend much time around it, but if anyone is wondering why we have a cockroach problem, it isn’t too hard to figure out why.

We all need to do our part to help keep our community clean no matter whether we rent, own or have guests. ■
posted 13 June 2020
Trash Pickup
Mixed Up Dates?
Recently a long time owner placed large items for trash pickup in a Grunion trash bin enclosure. Unfortunately, this cause the trash function of this bin to be inhibited for both residents and the trash pickup service. The reason was the homeowner had confused the dates.
Funded by HOA
Funded by the HOA dues, Harbour Vista has large items pick up every two week on early Friday morning before the regular schedule trash pickup that day. Pickup dates are posted at the Cabana and Grunion mailboxes. Also, you can always call the management company verify the dates. Because the bins are empty on Tuesday and Friday, any items placed inside the bin’s gated enclosure will not only inhibit residence from using the bin, but may prevent normal trash pickup from occurring. This has happened in the past. Large trash items should only be place inside the gated trash bin enclosure the night before. Remember large items pickups are done on Friday very early in morning before regular trash pickup.
Rule and Regulation
The HOA has a “Rule and Regulation” which makes a violator subject to fines. It states in Section 1.12

"Use of Common Area “Disposal of mattresses, appliances, furniture, water heaters, etc. at the trash bin area is permitted on the night before pickup from the Association's disposal company. Please contact the management company in advance to obtain the actual pickup date.” 
This situation happen because the current condo owner was confused about the date and ownership of the condo was in the process of being transferred to a 
new owner. Even with transfer of ownership, these item should have been left in the unit’s garage till the appropriate date for disposal. Also when a new owner takes procession of a property, they also became subject to these HOA “Rules and Regulation”. Fortunately, the inconvenience cause by this mistake was negated, as this area was straighten up a little prior to the regular trash pickup.■
posted 8 January 2019
FYI (Safety)
The Importance of Homeowner's and Renter's insurance
Although the Harbour Vista HOA does carry a master policy that is paid by your association dues, this only covers the "common area" such as the structure of the building, the inside of a wall, such as the pipes and the drywall itself.
HOA Master Policy
It is vital for each homeowner and renter to have homeowner's and/or renter's insurance. This HOA master policy does not cover individual units and it's the homeowner's responsibility to have their separate homeowner's insurance. Renters should also carry renter's insurance to cover their possession and emergency housing.
In the event of a fire, pipe leak, flood, or other emergency, the HOA is only responsible for repairing "the common" area. If a pipe bursts inside your unit and then floods your neighbors below, you will be responsible for the repair, which is why homeowner's insurance is so important.
Carpet/flooring/ cabinetry, countertops, paint, and valuables inside your unit will be covered by individual homeowner's insurance. If you choose to have earthquake insurance on your unit, normally that is an additional cost, that would cover your emergency housing and the repair of 80-90% of the interior of your unit.
No Predictions
No one can predict when an emergency is going to take place, but knowing that your condo is "insured" will give you piece of mind.■
posted 9 January 2019
FYI (Safety)
Here's how to prepare an evacuation "go bag" that you can quickly grab in case you ever need to evacuate. Place in an easily accessible area near an exit along with a pair of shoes.
Choose a Bag
Choose a bag. Each member of the family should have his or her own. Start with a backpack or a nylon camper's laundry bag with a drawstring.
Take Photographs
Take photos of all the rooms in your home, along with all your valuables. Store these photos on a cloud server, and back them up on a flash drive (which you should keep in your go bag.)
Scan Documents
Scan all your important documents, and save them on a flash drive. You could also save them onto a cloud server if you have an encryption service you trust.
  • Driver's license
  • The deed to your house or equivalent proof - such as tax bill
  • Your will and/or trust
  • Proof of insurance - house, car and health
  • Medical records or web accessible medical records
  • Passports
  • Social security cards
  • Birth certificates
  • A list of personal contacts with their addresses and phone numbers
  • Your kids' immunization records
  • Your pet's paperwork for vaccinations and medical history and make sure your pets are microchipped (check for accuracy after a move)
Essential Supplies
Add essential supplies to help you get by for a few days. This includes water (one gallon per person per day), non-perishable food, a first-aid kit, a flashlight, batteries, clothes, diapers and pet supplies. Ready.gov has a full emergency kit checklist that you can download.■
posted 5 January 2018
Earthquakes and Harbour Vista
Part I - Land Types

by Mike Borzi
This is part one of a multiple part article about Earthquake Preparedness at Harbor Vista. The author Mike Borzi is a retired City of Los Angeles Senior Inspector. He has also taught Building Inspection at various institutions including Cal State Long Beach. He a first responder for Northridge quake among other disasters.
Part I - Land Types
Living in California we are always aware of the possibility of a sudden earthquake. In the last 50 years we have had 4 significant earthquakes. Coachella, Northridge, Whittier, and the San Francisco  quake. By far the most damaging was the San Francisco quake.
The reason that the San Francisco quake was so bad was because the entire area is built on land that is subject to "Liquefaction". This means that it is not stable soil, and when the earth shakes, the land turns liquid.
Stable Ground
This is not to say that when we have an earthquake that it is not serious, but for the most part southern California is on fairly stable ground. Here in Huntington Beach we are on flat land near the beach which means sandy soil which is the best circumstance as far as soil stability. 
Light Damage
The earth quakes in southern California have been significant but relatively light damage compared to San Fransisco. As a first responder to the Northridge quake the major damage was limited to a couple of poorly designed apartment buildings. Even the remaining unreinforced masonry buildings that have been retrofitted were able to withstand the quake.The practice of open walls on the first floor is no longer allowed.
Lessons Learn
We learn lessons from each occurrence to make the Building Codes better to try to limit the damage of the next earthquake. If you start with firm stable ground you are ahead of the game. Next chapter will be on the different types of buildings and how they respond in a major earthquake event.

Next time, I will discuss how different types of building will fair during earthquakes in Southern California. ■
posted 29 August 2018
Modest Search Function Added
to Harbour Vista News
Harbour Vista News has added modest search capability to the web site. This function is located in most the index page for multiple pages. You can search the CC&R’s’, Rules and Regulations, Sublease, Ground Lease, Architectural, and Harbour Vista News Archives. Each of these indexes includes a find dialog box, where you can enter a search keyword or phase. After entering the text field, clicking the “Search” Button and a pages will be displayed with search results with page titles where that items appears. Click the Link Title to display the page. One in the located page, use the web browser “control-F” or “command-F” to explore the linked page for the keyword or phase.

We plan to do more with this engine in the future since we wrote it. Enjoy. ■
posted 20 March 2018
Earthquakes and Harbour Vista
Part II - Building Types

by Mike Borzi
In part 1, I discussed the ground that the buildings sit on, and why we at Harbour Vista have very little to worry about as far as earthquakes go.  This time I will discuss the buildings.
Soft Story
In the Northridge quake the two buildings that collapsed were designed with what we now call a soft story. That is generally a 3 or 4 story building where the first level is more open than closed. Basically it is on posts with very little wall area. In this situation when an earthquake hits the building starts moving and there is no "shear value" to keep the building from collapsing. I will come back to this.
Steel Frame
Most buildings are steel frame, concrete, or wood frame, or in the old days we had unreinforced masonry.  Steel and concrete do not "flex" so tremendous efforts are made to make them resist earthquake movement. Think about a 60 story hi rise made of steel or concrete and the stress that an earthquake puts on these buildings. Los Angeles City hall is 27 stories built in 1922, that was constructed of a steel frame and masonry. In the mid eighties the building was retrofitted from foundation to the tip of the building to make it safe in a major earthquake.The foundation now sits on rollers so it can move in an earthquake. Historically, major failures have only happened in other parts of the world where there is no standard building codes, and no building code enforcement.
Wood Frame
Wood frame structures buildings(type V) as isHarbour Vista do flex and are designed to withstand earthquake movement. In the event of a major earthquake we would see some drywall cracks, and some stucco cracks. These would be very superficial and easily repairable,  the chance of a substantial failure is very remote. In the Northridge earthquake, NO standard type V wood and stucco buildings failed. The majority of failures were brick fireplaces that separated from the building, and masonry block walls that fell over. The only failures were the soft story buildings, and only the two next to each other failed.
300 % Safety Factor
There is about a 300 % safety factor built into the Building Code, so even if everything is not perfect there will not be a failure.

Next time we will discuss the possible damage to water, waste or power in an earthquake. ■
posted 22 July 2018
Earthquakes and Harbour Vista
Part III - Mechanics

by Mike Borzi
In part 2, I spoke about types of construction and how the various types of buildings react during an earthquake. Type V wood framed buildings, like ours at Harbour Vista respond very well and are not subject to heavy damage during a quake. Cracks in stucco and drywall are generally the worst of it. Now, I will speak to the mechanicals of the buildings and the infrastructure (i.e. the water, electrical, and gas systems).
System Do Very Well
During the Whittier and the Northridge quakes, there was damage to freeways in the areas. BUT, the electrical, water, and gas systems did very well. There were NO gas fires in any dwellings. There were some gas mains in the street that broke, but no house systems that caused a fire. A lot of water heaters fell over, but that was the main extent of it. The water system did very well. There was very little loss of any water system or lack of water service, and no outbreaks of polluted water or disease. The electrical system also responded well. Very short loss of system in very limited areas, no raging electrical fires or electrocutions.
Unfounded Fears
A lot of the the displacement of people was caused by unfounded fear. Those people were used to believing that when there is an earthquake the buildings fall down and people die. They were afraid to to return to their homes. On top of that they also know that they cannot drink the water. This is all true in most parts of the world, but not in the United State, where we have strong building Codes and steady enforcement of those Codes. I had friends that were in Mexico City when they had a major earthquake and it made a lasting impression.
San Francisco Quake
OK, what about the San Francisco earthquake you ask? The diffrerence with the San Francisco quake and why the damage was so severe is like Mexico City, San Francisco is built on VERY POOR soil. It suffered what we now call liquifaction, where the ground turns to liquid during a quake. This is very rare in the United States.
Grading Laws
Grading laws became effective around 1958 and put a stop to the kind of buildings that plagues a lot of San Francisco. It is very hard to go backwards to fix these issues. In the L.A. area we still have some old buildings that are unreinforced masonry, but most if not all of them have been retrofitted to reduce the damage during a quake. ■
posted 29 August 2018
I Want My Free TV
by Michael Barto
At the recent swap, I was selling a flat screen HDTV which was displaying actually running TV sports programs in high definition with power from the garage. Some people passing by asked “how can this be?” Where is the cable or TV Box. I showed them taped to the back of the TV, a small flat $19 antenna plug into the cable input of the TV. This is know as “Free TV”
Alternate to Paying
Disk Network, Spectrum and DirectTV have slowly increase their rate. Typically asking from $35 to $80 a month. Several years ago, I cut the core and hooked up what is called “Free TV”. All HDTV receives manufactured in the last 15 years support over-the-air digital broadcast with built in HD tuners. Digital broadcasts include all the major networks such as CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox and so forth-all in high definition. Every year I watch the Rose Parade and the Supper Bowl “free of charge”. The picture quality is as good or better than a compressed cable or satellite broadcast. There is no snow. Digital broadcast support surround sound, display programming information and even support a broadcast Guide (on most sets).
Not Paying for TV
Digital over-the-air broadcast are assigned to mostly the UHF radio spectrum which is broadcast from Mount Wilson as was the old analog TV. All your favorite stations are there plus a lot more. Last time when I asked my TV HD tunnel to scan for stations, I had about 173 stations with just this simple $19 antenna. To be fair, not all are high definition. Not all are in English. But they provide superior picture over the old analog system. Many of these free over the air TV station are the same stations that are included with your pay Cable or Satellite such as ION TV, GetTV, MyTV and so forth.
What is Not There
There is a stations specifically to binge old TV series like Decades. Old Movies like “ThisTV”. “Grit TV” is for westerns and “Comet TV” for SciFI. See FreeTV Channel Guide. Sorry no “Comedy Central”, “Turner Broadcast”, FX , the ScFi Station, CNN, MSNBC or Fox News.
Just an HDTV Antenna
To make it work you need to plug in an HD antenna to the cable(antenna) input of your HDTV. These are not like the old bulky VHF/UHF or rabid ears. Cost of these antennas starting under $20.00. Costco, Target, Walmart are great places to buy them-and you can return them if it does not work. The one that I demonstrated and was throw in when I sold the set was purchased for $19.00 at Fry’s. Some antennas come with power amplifiers to improve the signals and receive more stations (about $20 more). These active system use the power of the USB connector of most HDTV. So attaching it to the back of the set or the wall behind the TV is what most installations are like.
Some Tests
We ran a test for a neighbor at Harbour Vista on the second floor in the 16452 BlackBeard building of a South unit. The antenna was place on the south wall. We also had another test on a second floor unit in the 4861 Lago building on the north side unit and the antenna place on the north wall. In both cases we got about 140 channels. But reception from the North wall gave a few more channels.There were drop out channel in both cases. Specifically ABC and Fox. These stations broadcast their digital signal is in the upper VHF spectrum which requires a wider HD antenna. Also, reception depends if your unit is facing north, on which floor and if their are other units in front of your. ■

  1. Once existing on the all roofs at Harbour Vista were very high end UHF/VHF antennas. For receiving HDTV, these old antennas were superior to anything you might hook up in your condo and would easy get ABC and Fox. Unfortunately, Time Warner (now Spectrum) before digital broadcast, sold Harbour Vista the idea that they would provide the regular over the air TV free channels to through the antenna hookups in each condos. To do this, they disconnected the antennas and plug their cable lines into them. Of course after everything went to HDTV, these free signals disappeared.
  2. I recently found a HDTV antenna at Rite Aide by Philips (power antenna for $40), that listed on the packaging that it will receive channel 7 (ABC) and 11 (Fox).
  3. I have a spare HDTV antenna, if any of my neighbors would like to try it. Simple contact the Newsletter
posted 20 February 2018
Assessments Comparisons
by Andrea Rolf
The Harbour Vista Association increased it Assessment fees by almost 20% stating at the beginning of the year. Some members believe that our Association fees are too high, whereas, a few feel that they were too low. I was asked to provide the following information; As a practicing real estate agent, I decided to provide the prevailing rates in the areas.
In comparing condos, one must consider the amenities that Harbour Vista provided over condo associates. One specific amenity is our free hot and cold water. With a hydronic heating systems in each unit, this converts to also free heating in each condo. Harbour Vista offers single car garages. Many condos only have carports. A few condo has free cable TV. Harbour Vista does not. We have a pools/spa, barbecues and a basketball/tennis court. Each of our condos enjoy large square footage from 885 to 1270. We have streams and ponds.

The following is a table of what I discovered:
Association HOA Amenities
Seabridge Lakes $520 garage, inside laundry, pool , spa,sauna, tennis, gym, clubhouse, guard gate $50/mon. 2bd
Harbour Vista $516-$559 Pool, Spa, Garage, Streams, ponds. 1,2.3 bdr
Pierhouse Condos $495 Includes water, hot water, trash, cable TV and heating per unit; boiler.. Subterranean Parking. Some Ocean Views,. elevators, pool, spa, clubhouse, gym
Seabridge $233-$492

2 pools ,spa, sauna ,tennis courts ,gyms, clubhouse, $50/month for guard gate. Studios and 2bd.

Pier Colony $479 nside laundry, full gym, guard gate, pool, spa, clubhouse, underground parking, elevators
Mill Stream $465 pool, spa, ponds, garage
Pacific Ranch $425 guard gate, pool, spa, greenbelts, garage, lots of guest parking
Broadmoor $409 guard gate, pool, spa, tennis, club house, dog park, 2 car garage
Beachwalk $399 garage,pool,clubhouse
Huntington Bayshore $395 underground parking, pool, spa, rec room, dog park, onsite HOA office. 1 bdr
Huntington Township $382 no pool or amenities. 1,2.3 bdr
Mariners Cove $370 no garage ,pool, tennis courts
Huntington Pacific $359 no amenities. Studio only
The Gables $316 Complex maintains and repairs full yearly termite per unit, paint, roof, trash, landscape, exterior paint, roof; no water or hot water
Villa Warner $295 pool, spa, weight room, clubhouse, no garage. 1bd
Land Lease Comparisons
I also check some local land lease information for two of the condos:
Association Lease Expires
Harbour Vista $220 ending 2041
The Gables $737 ending 2059. The land lease owner pays the guard and the guard gate and sewer, HOA pays a small fee for use of guard
Pierhouse Condos $247 ending 2082
If any of you would like to contact for real estate information about Harbour Vista property, you may call on my cell phone at (714) 318-7323.■
posted 8 June 2018
Plumbing-Heating Maintenance
Leaking Heater Shutoff
Harbour Vista Condo’s use a Hydronic heating system-where heat is provided with a forced air system using heat circulated from the common water heater systems. Using this method provides heating to a unit which is paid by the HOA assessments and is free to the owners. But from time to time the coils in the heating system in the unit may start to leak.
Water Damage
Calling a plumber may take time for them to show up and turn the water off plus an expense of an emergency call. In the meantime this may cause water damage and maybe even to your neighbor’s unit below you if you are on an upper floor and the leak is severe enough.
Turning It Off Yourself
Fortunately, the heating system has two water shutoff valves. You could turn it off yourself, if you know where they are located and how to turn them off.
  • First turn the heater off at the wall thermostat. Then remove the heater grill panel in the ceiling located where the leak is occurring. In a one bedroom this is located in the ceiling just as you enter the single bedroom. In the two and three bedrooms it is the ceiling above the hallway. This will expose a a split rectangular box enclosure with a gap empty by the coil with the fan enclosure next to it.
  • On the split side opposite the coil, there may or may not be a metal plate (previous owner may have remove this plate or their plumber forgot to put it back). This plate is about 8 inches tall with a “l” shape at the bottom to pull it down. Pull this plate down. It may take some effort but is does come off.
  • Behind this plate are two shutoff valves. One is an intake and other is the outtake. Turn both of them off. The order it not important. This should stop the leak.
The coil is held in by a couple of screws. It is usually solder in with copper pipes to the shutoff vales. It will need to be unsolder to remove. Once the coil is removed, you might consider taking it to a radiator service. They can fix leaks and do a pressure test for around $100 (See Editor Notes). If you reinstall it, you might consider not re-soldering it but use a disconnect valve system with flexible piping similar to which is used under your sink for the next time it might leak.
Replace with Ball Valves
When these heater were installed, the contractor did not install ball turnoffs valves, but instead used regular shutoff valves. These old valves have a tendency to wear out and will no longer turn the water off. If you wish to replace these valves, you will need to schedule a “water turn-off” with the HOA as these valves connect directly to the common system. ■
Editor Notes:
  1. The only way to stop the water leaking from the heater when the valves do not work or in any emergency issue, is to turn the water off at the boilers (for Blackbeard, Cabana and Lago buildings this will affect 40 units in two buildings). For Grunion only 30 if turned off at the boiler. But the bottom floor Grunion units have three shutoff valves on their balcony. Tuning off all three valves will stop the water in the bottom floor unit and all the units above them.
  2. This radiator shop can repairs leaks in the coil and perform a pressure test. I have used them before:
    Frank's Radiator Shop
    18361 Beach Boulevard
    Huntington Beach, California 92648
  3. These people can build you a whole new unit for around $455.
    American Coil
    1664 139th St,
    Gardena, CA 90249
    (310) 515-1215
    See Hydronic Heater Suggestions
posted 31 December 2017 (update 9 Jan 2018)
Plumbing-Heating Maintenance
Hydronic Heater Suggestions
Recently a member had to replace the coil from the Hydronic Heater system in her condo after it started leaking. She located a company in Gardena called American Coil who would make a replacement with a five year guarantee for around $455 including tax. She had CJ Cooling & Heating install it with flexible piping with a disconnect.
Easier Maintenance
As originally installed, the hydronic coils were copper solder into each unit making it somewhat complicated to replace. Upgrading with flexible piping with a disconnect, provides easier service.
What is a Hydronic Heater System?
Each unit at Harbor Vista has a Hydronic Heater system installed in the ceiling attached to a forces air vent system. A Hydronic Heater system consist of a fan, electronic control system and a radiator coil. The HOA provides circulating hot water from the common boilers through these coils for each unit. Hot water costs are included as part of each member’s monthly assessment. ■
American Coil
1664 139th St,
Gardena, CA 90249
(310) 515-1215

CJ Cooling & Heating
Riverside, CA 92503
Editor Notes:
  1. American Coil has the specification for this coil on file (e.g. invoice 3662 for specs [made for John Briscoe]). The will also ship the unit to your resident.
  2. There is a radiator repair company on Beach Boulevard that repairs these coils for about $100.
  3. If the coil leaks within five years, American Coil will replace it with a brand new unit at no charge. You can also get a cheaper version of the coil without the guarantee (no coating) for approximately $100 less. American Coil will offer $100 off each coil when 10 or more are purchased.
  4. Hydronic Heaters leak from time to time. Fortunately there are two valves (intake and outtake) located in the ceiling near each system that can be turn off. Each member should be familiar with this emergency procedure.
  5. CJ Cooling & Heating charged around $250 to install the new coil and even pick it up from the vendor.
  6. If the coil turn off valves are in good working order, no schedule HOA turnoff is required.
  7. Replacing the turn off valves will require a scheduled water shutoff by the HOA.
  8. Also the Hydronic Heater fan motor can also break or just become too noisy. The motor is a FASCO D178 and the bracket is FASCO FM50 which can be found on the web.
  9. The replacement coil is slightly thicker than the original coil and is more rugged. But it does easily fit into the existing condo space.
original coil
replacement coil
posted 26 December 2016
Private Social Media Site
For Harbour Vista
Nextdoor is a private social network for our neighborhood. Neighbors register by their location (street name) and then become part of group. For Harbour Vista residents, our group is called Harbour Pines. There is no charge to be a member. To start go to (https://nextdoor.com/), you will find and meet your neighbors there.■
posted 23 August 2017
SUNSCREEN: A Mindful Choice
by Michael Huma
With the solar eclipse occurring last Monday, August 21, 2017, our minds are likely to be focused on the sun more than usual. Summer is also in full gear and we are spending more time outdoors, at the beach, and in pools exposing ourselves to more ultraviolet (UV) rays. One of the first things we think about before running out the door to face a long day under its rays is our sunscreen.

There are a number of common ingredients in commercial sunscreens that should be avoided! Although these ingredients may act as filters that block dangerous UV rays, studies indicate serious side effects such as hormone disruption, neurotoxicity.

The skin is largest organ of the body and great care should be taken to protect it not only from sun exposure but chemical exposure as well. Below are a list of common chemicals that are found in commercial sunscreens (and other cosmetic products as well) that should be avoided.
  • Avobenzone – When avobenzone interacts with chlorinated water (the kind of water in your pool) it produces acetyl benzenes and phenols, two particularly toxic chemicals linked to infertility, immune system deterioration, and cancer. Scientists are currently studying avobenzone’s transformation in sea water leading to an even wider array of breakdown products due to bromination. The addition of copper salts to a swimming pool for algae control leads to the formation of bromoform in large quantities. The EPA has indicated that breathing or ingesting bromoform results in slowdown of brain function and injury to the liver and kidney. See Dangerious Chemicals.
  • Oxybenzone – This is another very common and very toxic ingredient due to its hormone disruption. It is associated with endometriosis, a painful disorder wherein tissue normally lining the inside of the uterus grows outside it. It has also been linked to early puberty in girls, low sperm count and male infertility. Oxybenzone may also trigger allergy symptoms. In 2014, the American Contact Dermatitis Society declared Benzophenones as allergen of the year with Oxybenzones belonging to these aromatic ketones.
  • Octinoxate – Also known as octylmethoxycinnamate, it is a common ingredient not only in sunscreens but in shampoos, lipsticks, nail polish, skin creams, hair coloring products, and other products. Octinoxate acts to disperse the sun’s UVB rays. However, it readily absorbs into your skin and takes additional chemicals with it that normally would not be absorbed which may actually be encouraging premature aging rather than preventing it. It has shown to increase the development of estrogen in cells and high levels of estrogen in the body has been linked to the development of breast cancer. Octinoxate’s hormone disruption has negative effects on the reproductive system and thyroid gland. It remains active in water, making it easier for animals to come into contact, and has been shown in a study conducted by the Environmental Health Perspectives to cause complete bleaching of coral reefs even at low concentrations. You can see in the image from Emma Van Zandt’s Prezi Coral Reef Bleaching presentation how this phenomena is harmful. The U.S. and other countries spend billions of dollars to help protect the coral reefs.
  • Homosalate – This ingredient helps sunscreen penetrate the skin and stays there. Homosalate bioaccumulates and isn’t as quickly expelled from the body as other toxins. Once inside you, homosalate disrupts estrogen, androgen, and progesterone levels.
  • Retinyl palmitate – Retinyl palmitate (or vitamin A palmitate) becomes dangerous under sunlight. Exposure to ultraviolet rays will cause retinyl palmitate to break down and produce free radicals. The more free radicals there are in your body, the greater your risk of developing skin cancer.
  • Parabens – These are synthetic preservatives are widely used to prevent the growth of bacteria since the 1950s. They mimic estrogen in the body and have been linked to breast cancer and reproductive issues. A 2004 British cancer researcher Philippa Darbre, Ph.D., found parabens in malignant breast tumors suggesting possible association between parabens in cosmetics and cancer. The European Commission on Endocrine Distruption has listed parabens as Catergory 1 priority substances, based on evidence that they interfere with hormone function. Parabens also interfere with male reproductive functions. Studies have indicated that methyl-paraben applied on the skin reacts with UVB leading to increased skin aging and DNA damage. It also causes allergic reactions and neurotoxicity. Organic parabens exist in food also but in food they are metabolized when eaten, making them less strongly estrogenic. Parabens are typically prefaced by chemical-sounding names like methyl-, propyl-, butyl-, and ethyl-, which are indicative of their alkyl groups.
  • Synthetic fragrances – They may add an aromatic touch to sunscreen, but don’t be deceived. Synthetic fragrances have been linked to an assortment of detrimental health conditions like nausea, headache, asthma, and cancer. An alternative is obtain a therapeutic essential oil, such as lavender, and mix it with your cream/lotion. Avoid using citrus essential oils in the sun as it causes photosensitivity.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has created a Sunscreen 101 Guide to help select a safe sunscreen for you and for our environment..

When searching for the best sunscreen option to purchase, look for fragrance free Mineral Sunscreens that have Zinc Oxide or Titanium Oxide as their active ingredient for blocking UV rays. Never use the spray on sunscreens as the risk of inhaling chemicals is very high.

Thus far research has exposed toxicity to our health and environment from the use of these common chemicals and more research is needed to gain a better understanding of their effects. There is a reason to be mindful.■
As resident of Harbour Vista, Michael Huma is a Geological Engineer specializing in water resources, environmental pollution and its effect on human health.
posted 15 August 2014
For Your Information
In June of this year the Board and Action Property Management adopted new requirements and changes for the Clubhouse rental for private use. The new "Clubhouse Reservation Agreement" and "Clubhouse Rules and Regulations" are posted on the Action Property Management's Vivo web site or on the Harbour Vista News web site.

Here are a few of the new rules/requirements: Available Hours: Sunday through Thursday 7:00 A.M. – 10:00 P.M. and Friday and Saturday 7:00 A.M. – 10:00 P.M.

Security deposit: $100.00 or ( $200.00) if alcoholic beverages are provided and a $25.00 processing fee.

Beer, wine and champagne are permitted under the following conditions:
  1. Host provides adult (21 years old or above) bartender who remains sober throughout the event.
  2. Bartender must insure that no minor or intoxicated person will be served.
  3. The bartender's service employer must carry insurance of $1,000,000 and name the Association, its members and the Board of Directors as additional insured on such policy.
You may obtain the key to the Clubhouse the day before your event or on Friday if your event is on the weekend, at Action Property Management at 2603 Main St., Suite 500, Irvine CA 92614.

These are just a few of the changes to the Reservation form and the Rules and Regulations. If you are planning an event and want to rent the Clubhouse you may want to take a look at the new complete Clubhouse Reservation Agreement and the Clubhouse Rules and Regulations enacted by the HOA Board.■
update 13 September 2017 (originally posted 2 September 2017)
Committee Members Requests
Schedules of Committees
At the HOA Meeting on August 28th, the new Board announced the formation of three new committee and the reorganization of two others. The HOA has scheduled organizational or reorganization and the first meetings of these committees as follows:
Committee Date Time Location
Landscaping Fri 9/8
Cabana Clubhouse
Rules and Regulations Mon 9/11
Cabana Clubhouse
Public Safety Tue 9/12
Cabana Clubhouse
Architectural Wed 9/13
Cabana Clubhouse
Budget Wed 9/20
Cabana Clubhouse
All of these meetings will be held in open session in the Cabana Clubhouse. All committees except for the Architectural Committee are open to any HOA member or resident of Harbor including renters. The Architectural Committee is restricted to HOA members only.
You Should Participate!!
Harbour Vista News encourages all interested parties to support these committees by participating or just attending. Committee membership improves knowledge of the community and most important provides a voice to influence how the HOA is run.
Committees and Issues
  • Landscaping Committee (reorganization)
    This Committee will provide recommendation to the landscaping services. At the August meeting, the Board announced plans to split this committee into two separate subcommittees. One for Phase I (Blackbeard, Cabana and Lago Buildings) and the other for Phase II (Grunion Buildings).
  • Rules and Regulations (new committee)
    This committee will provide recommendation for updates. revision and creation of rules and regulation. A couple of items on the table are updates to a shade restrictions and satellite disk regulations.
  • Public Safety (new committee)
    This committee is a new will concentrate on safety issues, awareness and earthquake preparation.
  • Architectural Committee (reorganized)
    This committee will limit its membership to HOA members only. This committee reviews and approves architectural and remodeling requests, provide inspection and makes recommendation for update and additions to the Architectural Guidelines.
  • Budget Committee (new committee)
    This importance of this committee, whose membership can include renters, is responsible for creating a comprehensive budget for following year (2018). This committee will be concern with financial issues and recommendation for raising or reduction of dues and special assessment.

Information provided in tnis article is subject to change without notice.

Email hvboard@harbourvistahoa.com for current information.

Update1 (09/13/17): The Architectural Committee was held but was immediately cancelled because of no attendance. This was contributed to the invitation for volunteers on the Bulletin Boards not being clear to everyone. The abbreviation ARC used in the posting may not have been understood to mean Architectural Committee. For the time being, the Board will assume responsibilities for the Architectural Committee function for the next month until a new Architectural can be formed.
posted 28 November 2015
Things Your Should Know
About Condo Remodeling

Michael Barto
Remodeling your Condo is something every homeowner considers at one time. Even something as simple as installing a new facet or a more ambitious projects like redoing your entire kitchen, owners should note that each unit at Harbour Vista is part of a complex building system. Because it is a condo, even simple remodeling projects have restriction beyond that of remodeling a house. This article is intended to provide some unofficial guidelines as to what you can do and what problems you might unintentionally create.
Talk First
Our CC&R has very few restrictions in what you can do to the inside of your condo. The inside restrictions fall under three concerns: safety, structural and sound proofing. For outside remodeling such as replacing windows, installing a screen door, our CC&R’s have restrictions. Anything that is visual from the outside of the Building, must be approved by the HOA. It is best to discuss your intention with the Board before embarking on any type of modification where it is visible from the outside. That includes your balcony or patio.
By law, our HOA must establish an Architectural Committee to oversee and grant remodeling approvals. The Architectural Committee may require the homeowner to obtain a City building permit. The City Inspectors have the expertise and the authority to protect the community from creating safety issues. Requirement for a City inspection depends on the complexity of your project. The HOA will provide you guidance and it is best not to assume.
City Permits
Many construction contractors offer you a choice to have your work performed with or without a City Permit. It must be noted that by Law there cannot be any difference in the cost of the work by the contractor whether you have a permit or not. Only the additional cost is that of the permit or permits. But if you get caught by the City performing work without a permit, you will be fined and required to obtain the required permits. Please note that Permits may be required for preliminary demolition or tear down before you even start the construction phase of your project.
Must Disclose
When you sell your unit, by law you must disclose to the buyer any project that was performed without a permit. This may affect your selling price. Since permits are public information any address can be looked up on the city website to see if a permit was finalized, cancelled or is still in progress.
The City Will Work With You
Though contractors may encourage a homeowner to NOT get involved with the Cit inspections, our City of Huntington Beach works with a property owner to meet California Building Code and will provide them advise and help. Members of the Association who have gone through the City inspections will give you glowing reports about how nice it is to worked with City.
A Permit May not Be Required.
If your are just replacing a facet or an old toilet, you probably do not need a permit. If you decide to replace all you kitchen cabinets you probably still do not need a permit as long as you are not moving you kitchen sink, the plumbing, electrical or replacing you garbage disposal. If you are swapping out an existing light fixture with a similar type or a wall socket, you probably do not need a permit. Checking with the City is free. They even have a telephone number (714-536-5271) where you can talk with them without going in person.
Plumbing Issues
If your remodeling affects the plumbing, take caution, Harbor Vista uses a common plumbing system. If you are replacing a tub with the same type tube, you probably do not need a permit (but I would check that with the City to be safe). Also, any type of rerouting of plumbing WILL always require a City inspection.
Electrical Issue
If you are replacing an old fluorescent light fixture with the same type fixture, you do not need a permit. But if you decide to replace the fluorescent light fixture with new recess can lighting system, you will need a permit because you are rewiring the electrical system. The The State of California Tile 24 energy standards requires that you use LED lights. Any type of electrical change except simple replacement of the same type requires a permit.
Garbage Disposal
Because the California Building code requires that Garbage disposals be on separate circuits, if may seem ridiculous, but the City requires a permit to even replace a broken Garbage Disposal (Electrical Permit is approximately $62) that is the law. But you will find that most plumbers will tell you a different story. Your insurance company will not provide insurance if they find out that you did something incorrectly and something happens. See note Below:
Structural Issues
If you want to remove an inside load bearing wall or even punch a hole in it, you MUST get a permit. You may be required to submit architecture drawings and provide a structural engineering study. As long as removal of the wall is structural sound by increasing the framing and you have the proper supporting documents, your project will go forward with the City. It is also obvious that you also must submit a request to the HOA Architecture Committee.
Sound Proofing
We have shared walls and floors in the condos. Many homeowner have installed tile and wood floors without understanding the sound proofing ramifications. Tile and wood floors carry sound, if you do not take certain precautions your downstairs neighbor will have increased noise because of your remodeling. It is best to install a cork type sound proofing sheeting or similar material over the subfloor for an upstairs unit before installing tile or wood flooring.
If you replace the drywall of a shared wall between units, you might consider adding sound deadening material like Sound Choice Insulation Sheathing Board or a similar products.
Sound deadening materials are also very useful for downstairs units because they can be easily installed through the ceiling. Reports of where an upper unit owner has installed cork sound proofing sheeting with the downstairs unit installing ceiling sound deading sheets has had spectacular results
Unofficial Guidelines
These are so many things to be consider with remodeling and this article could go on forever. Harbour Vista News has prepared an Unofficial Architecture Guidelines Page. These suggestion are our own. They have not been approved or sanctioned by our HOA Architecture Committee. They are just something that homeowners have discovered over the years. They are designed to give you some insight before you start a remodeling project. This will be a growing document. Additions and comments are always welcome—and letters to the editor as always appreciated. Email: mbarto@logiqwest.com or call 714-883-1949 ■

Editor Note: The Garbage Disposal paragraph was deleted from this artilce after visiting the Huntington Beach City Planning Department. If you are doing a direct replacement of an existing garbage disposal, you do not need to obtain a permit.

posted 13 April 2016
HV Water Quality
Expensive Toilets
Installing expensive toilets in your Condo, might require you to replace them with a downgrade. A homeowner installed two expensive American Standard VorMax™ Flushing Technology Toilets. After a week or so, the toilets developed a continual water flow that would not turn off. The HOA plumber Scott English explained that the small valves and parts used in VorMax™ Toilets cannot handle the sand created during City water maintenance or when the HOA shuts down the main water systems for repairs (See February 2016 Board Meeting). The plumber recommended using a less expensive American Standard Cadet 3 which has a single larger plunger which creates a stronger water flow system to handle flushing down the accumulated sand in the bottom of the tanks. This resulted in the homeowner giving away the expensive toilets and double paying for installation fees which cost more than the price of the Cadet 3 toilets. ■
posted 28 April 2015
For Your Information
Note: This announcement is defuncted since new Board has taken Office on July 27, 2015. This notice is for archive purposes only.

The CC&R's for our HOA call for an Architectural Committee to consist of at least 3 members. The Board has the power to appoint and remove homeowner/volunteers to the committee.

At the August 25, 2014 Board meeting the board appointed board member Ron Wolewicz to chair the committee.

Then at the January 26, 2015 Board meeting the Board appointed three of the board members to serve as the Architectural Committee members. The members of the committee are: Gayle Poynter, Ron Wolewicz and Adele Shiffman. The Board also reviewed and re-adopted the Charter for the Committee.

The Board did not ask for homeowner/volunteers to serve on the committee. Many HOA's have volunteers serving on their architectural committee. Having more homeowners participating in the HOA is desirable and healthy for the HOA. Our Board decided instead to serve in both capacities.■

Note: The Harbour Vista News web site has copies of the CC&R's (Unit), CC&R's (Committee), CC&R's (Installation), Rules & Regulations, Comittee Charter and the Application for Architectural Review for your convenience. If you are considering remodeling/renovating your condo you should be familiar with these requirements.
posted 13 July 2015
You may think someone just forgot to take their floating beach balls with them when they left the Cabana pool or spa areas. That is not true. The beach balls are there to keep the ducks from going into the pools and spas.
No More Baby Duck Rescues
Each spring mother ducks would lead their baby ducks into the pool or spa. Unfortunately, the ducklings were not big enough to get back out–trapping them there. Residents would spend hours rescuing the ducklings from these areas. One day a resident the pool cleaning worker if there was a way to solve this problem. He suggested putting a beach ball in the pools and spas to deter the ducks from going in. The resident purchased a couple of beach balls and put them in the water. Sure enough it seems to work! Very few duck sightings have occurred in the Cabana pool or spa areas and no more baby duck rescues.

Note: Because of the configuration of the Grunion Pool, this issue does not occur in area. ■
posted 11 September 2016
A neighbor submitted this anonymously story about his inexpensive solution to repair of his garage door because it no longer closed properly.
When the wood garage doors at Habour Vista were replaced with aluminum, a top door strut was not part of the upgrade. Over time some doors have buckles and wears out preventing them from shutting properly. After doing some research, I realized it needed a strut on the top allow my door completely closed. Instead of paying a garage door service $135.00 to drill 6 sheet metal screws into the top to install a new strut, I decided to do it myself.
My Solution
I went to Lowes which didn't have a strut. Instead of throwing in the towel I kept looking and found a 3-5/8 inch X 8-FT 20 gauge Metal stud. Which was exactly the width I needed. Part number is 131210. I purchased some self drilling metal screws. The only issue was you need to cut the metal in order to fit in between the rollers on the garage. Simple fix took me about 10 minutes and this was without proper tools. Used a screw driver as my drill wasn't working. Total cost was $9.50. That is how I did it and it works great. ■
posted 3 March 2015
For Your Information
The Board announced at their February meeting they will be more strictly enforcing the HOA Parking Rules.

Residents who are in violation of the Parking Rules will get a green warning notice of the violation. The Board can have cars towed at the owner's expense if the resident continues to violate the Parking Rules.

A notice has been posted at the mailbox kiosk letting residents know the Board will be taking action on enforcement of the rules.

The notice reminds residents that the Visitor Parking spaces are not for Resident use. Residents have one assigned space and one assigned garage for their use. If a resident needs additional parking they have to park outside the complex on the street not in the Visitor Parking spaces. The Board members will be taking down the license plate numbers of the vehicles parked in the Visitor Parking spaces and identifying violations and issuing warning notices.

You can review the Parking Rules here on theAction Vivo Web Site as a PDF■
posted 17 August 2017
The Parking Committee announced at the July HOA Meeting that they would start painting redFire Lane"-“No Parking” strips in front of the garages. Using a chalk line and an inexpensive strip marker ( the one used to mark parking spaces is broken and needs to be replaced), the Committee started to lay strips at the back Grunion garages as a test. The lines are not totally straight but it's just the beginning to get an idea. The Parking Committee is intending to widen the strips and get a new striping maching (around $100).
Police Will Ticket
Be warned: With these new markings, the police will have the authority to ticket vehicles left in these spaces whose fines are very expensive. ■
posted 28 April 2017
Video Doorbell
by Michael Barto
For my one bedroom condo, I decided to install a security video doorbell. Video doorbells work like any other doorbell, but are Wi-Fi enabled, include a video camera, speaker, microphone and a motion detector. The motion detector is triggered anytime someone is outside the door and starts recording video which is stored in the cloud. It also sends notification and streaming video to your mobile phone. You can interact with the doorbell remotely from a mobile phone. If someone rings your doorbell, you cantalk with them (e.g “sorry I am not interested”, “I am busy”, “leave the package on the door”, etc.).
I compared the two most popular brands: “Ring” and “Skybell HD”. Ring is easiest to purchase from the local Home Depot, Lowe’s or Best Buy, while Skybell HD has to be ordered on-line. Both have the same list price, but Skybell was cheaper from Amazon. Each one is available in two colors color (silver or bronze). But the Ring offers two other colors and a deluxe version for $50 with some other features. Here are differences that stood out:
  Skybell HD Ring
Style Round Elongated Rectangle
Video Quality Best Good
Not as good as Skybell, but very acceptance
Price $173.11
Video Storage Costs Free: 7 days cycle $30/year: 6 week cycle. Free first year
Motion Sensor Good
3 modes
Supports multiple zones
I selected the round Skybell HD because of it style and its free video storage. It took me ten minutes to install. The Skybell HD kit includes a stucco drill and screw driver. Our Condos electrical doorbell transformers are fully compatible with both.
Very Easy Installation
I only had to hook up two wires and it did not matter which wire went where. After it was installed, I download the mobile App to my phone (iPhone or Android) and it walked me though the internet set up. By the way, the Skybell has some additional features that the Ring does not. You can turn off all its light or have them glow red and green for Christmas (mistletoe not included). For both bands there are extensive videos on YouTube.
If Stolen?
Both bands offer free replacement if someone steals them from your door.
Note: See related article “Security Cameras Never Worked” ■
posted 11 August 2016
Construction Attorney's Warning

Paul Windust is a construction attorney for our HOA legal counsel at Berding & Weil LLP. He has recently published an eye article called "HOA Duty to Address the Upstairs Unit’s Noisy Floors". You might remember that the year HOA litigation against the Rosendahls (the member who did "not asking for permission" ) was started with noise complaints from surrounding neighbors during their construction phase. His article discusses hard surface floor noise created by replacing existing carpets with wood or tile floors. He also describes how important it is for the HOA to act quickly and assertive to defuse disputes. He warns that inaction can lead to litigation from homeowners who sue an HOA for failing to enforce the rules.
Must Have Permission
Further, he warns that homeowners need to make sure that they have "permission for any remodeling" and that an effective architectural committee should have sound practices for approval. HOA CC&R’s should be comprehensive and required compliance with IIC sound proof ratings.
What Comes to Mind?
So what does this mean for HOA members? You should make sure you have permission from the HOA before you start your remodeling. If you do not, it is called “breach of contract”, and you can be sued by the HOA, even if an upstairs neighbor was told that by the architectural committee that he did not need permission for his remodeling project, and understand that a downstairs neighbor may still complain.

An unapproved project by the HOA Board can lead to a spiral of litigation's based on non-enforcement by the HOA.
Our Prosecutor
Paul Windust was the prosecuting attorneys for the successful litigation against a member for breach of contract for "not asking for permission". Even though there were no damages, the HOA was awarded a judgement for all legal cost to the tune of $100K. ■
posted 23 April 2014
For Your Information
Harbour Vista News has done some research on Rental Restrictions since many Homeowners have mentioned their concern about the number of renter occupied units in Harbour Vista.
Adopt Restrictions
Our HOA could adopt rental restrictions via an amendment to the CC&Rs, approved by the HOA membership. Restrictions approved by the membership and recorded would affect all future owners. The current 40% of owners who use their condos as rentals would still be allowed to use their units as rentals. Only new buyers of units would be affected.
Occupancy Requirement
One common restriction is an Occupancy Requirement that would require buyers of units to reside in a unit at least one (1) or two (2) years before the buyer can rent out the unit. This restriction helps slow the number of buyers who want to use the unit as a rental. (See Civil Code 4740).
Rental Cap
Another restriction commonly used is a Rental Cap. This also would need an amendment to the CC&R’s approved by the HOA membership. Since the renter occupied units in Harbour Vista is about 40%, it would be good to set the CAP at 45%.
High Percentages
Insurance Carriers and Lenders recognize problems associated with high percentages of rental units in condo developments. Many preferred carriers have seen a higher claims history when the percentage of rental units rises above 35%, as a result they charge higher premiums to these associations. Many lenders have a minimum owner occupied requirement to lend in condo developments. Lenders are reluctant to lend to buyers when the development has a high percentage of rental units, since a high percentage of rental units depresses market values.
Protect Our Property
It would benefit all Harbour Vista homeowners/property owners and protect our property and property values, for the HOA Board to look into these issues and to propose amendments to the CC&Rs. While there is a cost associated with amending the CC&R’s and some additional administrative work for the management company, having rental restrictions would benefit all homeowners/property owners and the HOA. ■
What do you think? Send an email to the HOA Board or Harbour Vista News telling us if you think this is a good way to slow down the number of rental units in Harbour Vista.
posted 12 May 2014
For Your Information
Security Cameras Never Worked
As a Resident of Harbour Vista you probably have noticed the security camera housing hanging over several buildings in Harbour Vista. You may even take comfort from knowing they are there. Well, guess what, they do not work and never have worked! Installed about fifteen years ago the system was never completed and therefore has never worked.
Looking for a Deal
The motivation for installing a video security camera system was because a resident was slashing tires in the parking lots and harassing children who lived in the complex. The video cameras were to catch this individual. Fifteen years ago video camera systems were very expensive---$50,000 or more. Coming to the rescue was the nephew of a HV resident who knew security camera systems and how to install them. He said he could obtain a high quality security camera system at a rock bottom price from a company in Canada. The cost would be less than $8,000 and would cover the whole complex. He would also install and configure the whole system for FREE. The Board at that time thought it was a great idea and approved the proposal. Part of the proposal called for the Board to hire an electrician to install conduit and enclosures on the buildings to house the cameras. The cameras were to be wired to the recording equipment that was to have been installed in the sauna room behind the clubhouse.
It Was Broken
Unfortunately, when the equipment arrived it was broken. The nephew told the Board he would look for replacement parts to get it working. After a time the nephew’s got a job in Temecula and he moved from Harbour Vista. As a consequence he stopped work on the FREE installation. With no technical expertise available to complete the project, the ball was dropped as other issues took priority with the Board.
The Present
Fast forward to the present, current Board Member Ron Rolewicz, had the new project to research and obtain preliminary quotes for installing new security cameras in the complex. But this never seemed to be a priority for the Board due to financial constraints.
Security Issues
Recently a homeowner had a suspicious person knock on their door asking for some information. The homeowner reported it to the Police Department and then asked about getting the “recording” from the security cameras only to find out that the cameras do not work and there are no tapes. Having the cameras still mounted on buildings gives a false sense of security to residents. ■
This website and it's contents is NOT an official or legal entity of the Harbour Vista Homeowner's Association, LLC. The content has NOT been approved by, nor are the views, expressed or implied, those of the Harbour Vista HOA Board of Directors or the membership. Send email to editor@harbourvistahoa.com