Saturday, August 29, 2009

"We just want to protect what we pay for"

Tracy Press - Nothing wrong with Redbridge gates: "Redbridge Community — an 8-year-old, 430-home neighborhood between Lammers Road and Kelly School — is widely considered one of Tracy’s cleanest, priciest neighborhoods. Its sidewalks are spotless, its landscaping impeccable and its parks off-limits to all but the people who call Redbridge home.

But the neighborhood has taken some heat lately for discouraging outside traffic by erecting a pedestrian gate on one of its main streets. The barrier is especially needed, Redbridge residents said, since the newly opened Kimball High School has upped foot traffic on the subdivision’s privately maintained sidewalks.

But the shiny new gate hasn’t been well-received by a handful of neighbors just outside Redbridge."

Here's how one resident justified the 7 foot fence, which may soon include a locked gate: "Real estate agent and Redbridge resident Jeff Pelletier agreed.

“I don’t want to sound arrogant, but this is a private community,” he said from the Redbridge General Store. “We actually double-pay because we pay for our own services on top of what we pay the city in taxes.”


Fred Pilot said...

"We actually double-pay because we pay for our own services on top of what we pay the city in taxes."

Back before local government mandated CIDs began to widely proliferate four decades ago, this was fine. Their residents paid a premium of private property taxes in the form of HOA assessments for the privilege to own residential property within them.

But now that HOAs are nearly as ubiquitous as the cities, towns and counties that require them and they are no longer exclusive enclaves. Can we really afford two layers of local government -- one public and one private -- and the resulting double property taxation?

Beth said...

You're right, Fred. It really bugs me when people act like hoas are ubiquitous because buyers like them. No, they are ubiquitous because local governments require them, because they add to the tax base but buyers have to pay privately for services they already paid the government for.

Fred Pilot said...

*Some* people clearly like living under an HOA regime. After all, there were according to CAI data 10,000 CIDs in the U.S in 1970. I believe the current figure is around 300,000. That kind of growth isn't driven purely by market preference; there is clearly a public policy component at work.